SOSORT is an international scientific research society dedicated to furthering the most effective treatment of scoliosis by conservative methods. This society, made up of MD’s, PT’s and Orthotists meets yearly. SOSORT 2016 took place in May in Banff, Canada. This year’s meeting was specifically organized as a joint meeting with IRSSD (International Research Society of Spinal Deformities) compromised of surgeons who specialize in scoliosis surgical procedures. Both groups came together this year to share research findings and to co-ordinate best practice protocols for the treatment of scoliosis. This was my 2nd opportunity to participate in a SOSORT conference. (In case you have not heard of Banff – a national park situated in the Canadian Rockies – it is an awesome vacation destination.)
This 5 day meeting began with an educational introduction to various practices utilized around the world. Physical Therapy methodologies presented included Schroth – the first and most widely used and recognized scoliosis specific methodology, also SEAS, Dobomed, Side Shift and FITS. My poster presentation introduced the advanced, integrated approach of Postural Restoration as well. Orthotists met in their own group to expand their perspectives on the most current and effective bracing concepts.
Three and a half days of research presentations followed. Most presentations were 7 minutes long. Discussions were encouraged. Topics included evaluation & imaging, screening & assessment (including bone mineral density), progression predictors, etiology, physical therapy intervention, bracing intervention and weaning, surgical interventions and quality of life. All of these abstracts are published online in SOSORT’s Scoliosis Journal at www.sosort.mobi>index.php>scoliosis.
We were also introduced to the National Scoliosis Foundation, a patient advocacy group founded by a gentleman who himself developed severe scoliosis and has personally experienced many of the challenges individuals and families face in the process of treatment. Their website www.scoliosis.org provides multiple resources for people seeking help navigating information and treatment options.
A young articulate member of the Curvy Girls Group spoke to me. This support group was founded and is populated by adolescent girls with scoliosis – all over the US and growing internationally. Local groups meet together providing helpful and relevant interaction for girls with scoliosis. Their website is www.curvygirlsscoliosis.com.
For those who are seeking information, guidance or help in addressing their own or their child’s scoliosis concerns, be assured that there is much information and assistance available. However, also be aware that the most advanced and effective treatments are relatively new and often unknown in the mainstream medical world of the US. As scoliosis treatment is coming more to the forefront and being researched and refined, many disciplines are offering their own treatment solutions – which may or may not be based on a thorough understanding of the 3 dimensional, asymmetrical nature of scoliosis.