Scoliosis Case: Movement Never Lies

“My knee is hurting” as Sarah (not real name due to confidentiality reasons) performed her overhead squatting assessment, nursing her left knee by putting her hand on top it as she stood back up.

I held both her knees in place as she was cued to perform it again.  She was able to squat deeper but ever so hesitantly.  I asked her, “Is that better?”  Curiously, Sarah said yes.  I asked her to repeat it a couple more times as she gained more confidence with each repetition.

I told her, “You just need better knee control and I think you’ll be fine.”  I then proceeded with other movement screens, did some special testing, and then asked her questions to screen for possible problems that would make it difficult for her to tolerate exercises at home in between the visits, such as ankle problems, past history with her knee, her other knee, and then, of course, back problems.  She said that she had scoliosis.

I asked her more about it and then took another look at her overhead squatting.  I noticed that she was leaning more towards the right, which worsened the deeper she squatted, which, of course, worsened her left knee complaint.  Assessing her spine in standing, she had a convexity in the upper part of her back that when she bent forward to touch her toes, the curve worsened leaning Sarah to the right.  When she bent backwards, she complained of a neck pain that she usually gets when she’s standing or walking a lot.

I asked further medical screening questions to make sure that she was a good candidate for physical therapy to see if she needed to be referred back to her referring medical doctor.  I then gave her the prognosis and what her program was going to look like.

Would you like to see what her home exercise program looked like after the first day?

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