Saturday, 10 February 2018

Woman whose spine was slowly turning 90 degrees reveals incredible transformation after surgery that could have left her paralysed and blind

Emily Jackson suffered years of pain before getting surgery to straighten her spine

How a Woman Braved Disability, Poverty & Body Shaming to Become a Teacher

Though she was afflicted with Scoliosis, she made it her mission to educate others about disability, and how people with disabilities should be treated!

I consider myself normal in all aspects, but society always thought that I wouldn’t become an independent woman,” says 29-year-old Sanmati Havale from Boragaon village of Karnataka’s Belgaum district.
Sanmati is affected by Scoliosis—a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. This led to an uneven shoulder height, and thus began Sanmati’s battle to fight for acceptance.

My posture was normal till Class 4, but things changed after that. Suddenly, everyone around me became unusually nice and would go the extra mile to ensure that I was feeling fine. My parents would drop me to the school every day, and my Physical Education teacher made me the captain of the sports team, which was quite unexpected!” she says.
Sanmati was curious but didn’t pay too much attention till one of the teachers from her school asked her to go to the district hospital and get a disability certificate. “Initially, I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, and so I informed my parents.

My father accompanied me to school, and we spoke to the teacher again, and that was when I figured out that I was suffering from an impairment,” says Sanmati.

Sanmati took time to process the news and noticed that while there were people who treated her with extra care, there were many classmates who were extremely callous and would mimic her and try to bring her down.
“You won’t be able to do this, is something I’ve been hearing for years now,” she adds.
However, Sanmati realised that she was not someone who would give up easily, and while she adjusted to living with Scoliosis, she also decided that she wanted to lead an independent life and help people who were facing a similar problem. “Initially, it was difficult for me to focus, but I decided to fight for several other people like me,” she says proudly.

Sanmati completed her Diploma in Education in 2009 and started to work as a teacher in a school in the Boragaon village of Karnataka. For five years she taught mathematics, Kannada, and English to students of Class 3. Sanmati also briefly worked as a business development officer for a solar power company in Bengaluru.
“Teaching in a school is not easy, as you end up in several uncomfortable situations like students asking you about your body posture in the middle of the class. Also, standing for 60 minutes becomes difficult at times, but that never became a hurdle in my journey,” she affirms.
Later, Sanmati completed her Masters in Sociology from Karnatak University in Dharwad. Currently, she works as a teacher in a government school in Boragaonwadi village.

Today, she teaches more than 300 students every day and also makes them aware of what disability means. “The education system should make students aware of disability. Society projects disabled people as incapable of achieving anything in life,” she explains.

Sanmati also harbours a dream—she wants to help in abolishing child labour and is taking small steps towards making the dream come true.

Sanmati’s parents, Tejmati and Shripal Havale, have been huge pillars of support. Her mother says, “Right from her childhood days, I wanted Sanmati to be an independent, educated woman. Today, she has fulfilled my dream, and the entire society looks at her as a role model.”

For Sanmati, every step is a struggle because of the way society has portrayed ‘impairment.’

“There are times when conductors ask me to get down fast at the station. Many times people do not vacate the seats reserved for disabled people. During such tough times, many students of mine have helped me out by offering me the seat,” she says with a smile.
Today, Sanmati’s choices are praised by the community. “People walk up to me and apologise for the things they said when I was a child. I smile at them and ask them not to judge any human being,” says Sanmati.
Recollecting her own experience of being discriminated against, she strongly vouches for equity amongst human beings. “I was denied employment in a company in Bengaluru, because of my disability, as they wrongly believed that it would be difficult for me to commute to work. I tried to argue with them, but they refused to consider my requests, despite my credentials.”
Kudos to Sanmati for standing her ground and not becoming a prey to the ‘conservative’ thinking of the society.

Source : The Better India , 8th Feb 2018 

Schroth Method offers effective treatment for idiopathic scoliosis

For an effective, nonsurgical approach to scoliosis treatment—to complement treatment recommended by a patient's spine provider—consider the Schroth Method. It is now offered by Gundersen Outpatient Physical Therapy in La Crosse.

Originally developed by Katharina Schroth in Germany in the 1920s, the Schroth Method uses customized exercises to return the posture to a more natural position. It is standard treatment for scoliosis in many European countries, but just recently made its way to the United States.
"Throughout treatment, we look closely at the three-dimensional curve in the spine and teach patients very specific ways to correct that curve, or scoliosis posture. Once patients have gotten into their corrected posture, we teach them breathing and muscle activation techniques to hold that correction. Essentially, we help train the motor neurons to sense when they're in a corrected posture versus when they're in their scoliosis posture," explains Gundersen physical therapist Kerry Pischke, PT, ATC, who is Schroth-certified by the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School (BSPTS).

Kerry Pischke, PT, ATC
Kerry Pischke, PT, ATC, Gundersen Physical Therapy
Amanda Larson, MD
Amanda Larson, MD, Gundersen Pediatric Orthopedics
Patients may see visible improvements in their spine curvature following treatment, which typically includes about 10 sessions over a six-month period.
"It takes a lot of repetition and commitment from the patient to learn these techniques. That's why we also recommend doing home exercises, at least five days a week for a half hour each time," notes Kerry.
Several trials have found that physical therapy scoliosis-specific exercises lead to improved patient outcomes including less pain and improved muscular strength, muscular endurance and self-image. In one study, spinal deformity improved in 69 percent of patients who completed Schroth exercises compared to only 6 percent in patients who did not complete the exercises. In another study, the Cobb angle (degree of spinal curvature) of the supervised Schroth group improved by 2.5 degrees while the Cobb angles deteriorated by 3.3 degrees and 3.1 degrees in the home exercise and control groups.
"Patients with a scoliosis concern should be first evaluated by a physician who is trained to care for the spine operatively and non-operatively," advises Amanda Larson, MD, one of these physicians in Pediatric Orthopedics at Gundersen.
"There are many conditions that can look like scoliosis and these must be ruled out before scoliosis may be called idiopathic. Once diagnosed with scoliosis, growing children must be frequently monitored for growth of their curve. Curves that remain less than 40 degrees may be managed by bracing/casting and therapy (like Schroth) as these tend to not get bigger after kids are fully grown. Curves greater than 40-50 degrees may get larger in adulthood and often require surgery," Dr. Larson explains.
Referrals for Schroth treatment are appropriate for:
  • Adult scoliosis patients without pain (future therapist training will allow for adult scoliosis patients with pain)
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients with a Risser sign <4 and one of the following: 
    • Cobb angle 10-20 degrees especially when <10 years old, family history or clinical observations of pelvic imbalance or shoulder blade asymmetry
    • Cobb angle of 20-25 degrees
    • Cobb angle greater than 25 degrees along with bracing
Our spine providers and therapists can help you decide if Schroth treatment is right for patients.
For more information or to refer a patient for consultation, contact Gundersen Outpatient Physical Therapy-La Crosse via MedLink at (800) 336-5465 or in La Crosse, call (608) 775-5465

Source : Gundersen Health System, Feb 2018

People with scoliosis can exercise


Carefully tailored program can improve strength, function and endurance

Some of the clients I work with have scoliosis, an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. If you look at the back of someone with scoliosis, you'll notice their spine curves to one side. The angle of the curve can be barely noticeable or it can be quite pronounced. Typically, the shape of the curve will look either like a "C" or an "S." If scoliosis is suspected upon examination, further investigation (including X-rays or other diagnostic imaging) will be ordered by a medical professional to confirm the diagnosis.

After someone has been diagnosed with scoliosis, they are presented with options on how to best manage their condition and the symptoms that come with it. Typically, these will include uneven musculature and strength, difficulty breathing and mild to moderate back pain. Exercise is usually included as a treatment option and, from my perspective, a client with scoliosis who has been cleared to work out should be most concerned with improving their level of function and building strength and endurance in a way that isn't causing more pain or dysfunction. It is also important to recognize that while strength and conditioning exercises can help to improve daily life and overall fitness, it is not intended to be a cure for the condition.

I approach designing a functional fitness program for someone with scoliosis as I would any other client. I choose exercises based on the different types of human movement — upper body pushing and pulling, lower body "level changes," core rotation and locomotion (movement from one point to another). Rather than following the bodybuilding model of working on isolated muscles, I like clients to engage in movements that involve many muscles and also move them in ways that mimic what they would do in everyday life. Think of the way you move when you shovel snow, carry groceries or even place a baby in a car seat and you'll have an idea of the kinds of movements I am referring to.

The point is that physical activity should not be avoided; it should be planned in a thoughtful, meaningful way. Some types of exercise and some movements should be avoided, some should be emphasized and some should be considered as "proceed with caution" after some trial and error.

"Scoliosis specific" exercises are corrective movements designed specifically to reduce or stabilize scoliosis curvatures. They should only be done when prescribed and supervised by a qualified rehabilitation specialist such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor. Fitness trainers and medical exercise specialists are not qualified to administer these corrective exercises.

There are a few rules I would apply to the workout program for a client with scoliosis who has been cleared to exercise:

• avoid loading the spine with a weighted bar across the shoulders, as in barbell squats;

• avoid backwards bending movements like you would do in yoga lying on your stomach;

• avoid extreme twisting or rotating at the waist.

Here are the movements I would add to a program for someone with scoliosis:

• core stabilization moves like planking, the "Bird Dog" and hip bridges (if tolerated);

• unilateral strength training moves to ensure equal strength building on both sides of the body;

• single leg body weight exercises to build strength and stability without the need for loading with extra weight.

Here is what a typical workout session might look like:

Warmup with marching and arm swings for five minutes. Stretch the chest, back, hamstrings and thighs.

Complete 10 to15 repetitions of each of the following exercises:


•Single arm band rowing;

•"Drawing the Sword" dumbbell raises;

•Anti-rotation resistance band exercise;

•Single leg anterior reaches;

•Forearm plank for 30 to 60 seconds;

•Bird dog;

•Hip bridges.

Repeat three times and conclude with 10 to 20 minutes of low-impact cardio exercise of your choice.

Medical exercise specialist Ernie Schramayr helps his clients manage medical conditions with exercise.

You can follow him at erniesfitnessworld.com; 905-741-7532 or erniesfitnessworld@gmail.com.

Source : The Hamilton Spectator , 23rd Jan 2018

Friday, 9 February 2018

Inspired Spine Expands Global Access to Its Breakthrough Spinal Surgery

Partnerships in Dubai and South Korea advancing the standard of care in spinal fusion surgery

Inspired Spine today announced advancements in its strategy to evolve the global standard of care in spinal fusion surgery. Inspired Spine is creating a center for advanced minimally invasive spine surgery at the Canadian Specialty Hospital in Dubai, led by Dr. Mohammed Nooruldeen, and completed its first telemedicine consults with surgical patients there last week. As the first step in providing Inspired Spine's advanced surgical solutions to their patients, surgeons in Seoul, South Korea participated in a live educational session to learn more about Inspired Spine’s innovative treatment approaches.
“We have established a true global presence for our cutting-edge advanced minimally invasive spine treatments and protocols," said Dr. Hamid Abbasi, MD, FACS, FAANS, Chief Medical Officer. “Over the last two years, we have created the infrastructure and a rigorous training mechanism to enable other surgeons to learn our techniques. In addition, our protocols ensure that an Inspired Spine patient receives the same level of excellent care whether in the US, South Korea, Dubai, or anywhere else in the world.” Dr. Abbasi is the global leader in the Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) technique, which is transforming the standard of care for treating many of the causes of chronic back pain, including: degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis. For more information about the OLLIF procedure please visit: http://inspiredspine.com/minimally-invasive-ollif-faq/.
Inspired Spine recently opened a 120,000 square foot Total Spinal Health and Technology Campus in Burnsville, MN to scale its global training program, enabling more surgeons to learn its techniques. Six peer- reviewed studies have been published on the superior outcomes delivered by its surgical techniques versus the current standard of care, including a minimally invasive fusion approach for effectively treating adult degenerative scoliosis. Multiple surgeons throughout the world are in various stages of Inspired Spine’s “soft transition” training program.

We have established a true global presence for our cutting-edge advanced minimally invasive spine treatments and protocols, said Dr. Hamid Abbasi, MD, FACS, FAANS, Chief Medical Officer.

About Inspired Spine 
Minnesota-based Inspired Spine is a total spine care provider dedicated to improving treatment value and outcomes by applying the least invasive solutions to back-pain problems. Inspired Spine Centers offer a variety of treatment options for chronic back pain sufferers – from advanced diagnostic technologies, such as open, upright MRIs, to a range of conservative non-surgical therapies, in addition to unique minimally invasive outpatient keyhole surgical techniques. The company is building a network of comprehensive care centers that offer conservative care, such as physical therapy and pain management, as well as groundbreaking minimally invasive outpatient surgeries that reduce costs and speed recovery for patients. For more information, visit http://inspiredspine.com/ and follow Inspired Spine on Twitter @InspiredSpine.

Source : CISION , PRweb , 10 Feb 2018