What is Scheuermann’s Disease?
The vertebra that makes up our spine is more or less cylindrical in shape and is stacked on top of each other, to help allow movement and stability to our body. In Scheuermann’s we notice that different parts of these structures grow at different rates during a growth spurt. This can lead to a curved spine or its more common name ‘Humped Back’.
It is more common in the thoracic region of the spine. Due to the nature of posture we adopt in day to day life. It can occasionally appear in the lumbar spine but due to the smaller amount of vertebra it is not as easily picked up.
Symptoms of Scheuermann’s can often present between the ages of 10-15 which is a key time of development and growth within our spine. Some research suggests it could be related to a bony injury prior to puberty, others have been unable to specify what causes it. They have not as of yet found a heredity link in Scheuermann’s.
Backache/pain that may be intermittent following long periods of sitting
Reduced sense of balance
Tiredness combined with muscular stiffness
Pain worsened by twisting, bending or arching backwards.
What can physio do for Scheuermann’s Disease?
Physio tends to follow on from diagnosis by a consultant and X-rays and MRI’s are the main way to distinguish the severity and confirm Scheuermann’s.
A common factor in children is weakness in their core stability. Often due to a lack of physical activity or long periods of poor sitting posture during school. A physiotherapist would focus on a range of movement and develop patterns of movement. Progressing this to muscle strengthening and lengthening for surrounding support and stability. We utilise techniques that can help relax muscle groups as well as relieve pain. For example heat therapy, hydrotherapy or soft tissue massage.
Importantly physiotherapist’s pay thorough attention to postural habits in seated, standing and lying positions, helping children to get the most out of all the activities including sleep. Most importantly we will prevent future dysfunction by working on all these factors above in our structured and detailed assessments.
If you do feel your child needs an assessment regarding any of the above symptoms, then please contact us.