Immediate effects of scoliosis-specific corrective exercises on the Cobb angle after one week and after one year of practice

Karina Zapata, Eric C. Parent, Dan Sucato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: We are unaware of any studies describing the immediate effects of scoliosis-specific exercises on the Cobb angle measured by radiograph. This study aimed to describe the differences between radiographs obtained with and without corrective exercises after initial training and after one year. Methods: A female with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis was first seen at age 13 years, 0 months with a Risser 0. She had a 43o left lumbar, 15o right thoracic curve. She was seen again after 6, 18 and 30 months and performed exercises from 18 to 30 months. She performed Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School (BSPTS) exercises for a four-curve type (lumbar dominant with pelvis deviation to the lumbar concave side). At 18 and 30 months, x-rays were obtained with and without performing corrective exercises. Results: At 6 months, her lumbar and thoracic curves measured 41o and 28o, respectively. At 18 months, her lumbar and thoracic curves measured 47 o and 30o, respectively. Also at 18 months, immediately after her x-ray in the relaxed standing position, she performed her corrective exercises in standing with arms lowered for a second x-ray. Her lumbar and thoracic curves remained similar and measured 43o and 32o, respectively. At 30 months, she performed unsolicited corrective exercises during the x-ray. Her lumbar and thoracic curves measured 26o and 41o, respectively. Another x-ray in the relaxed position revealed lumbar and thoracic curves measuring 39o and 35o, respectively. The immediate effect of corrective exercises after a year of training was a 33 % improvement at the lumbar spine compared to only a 9 % improvement the previous year. Conclusion: After initial training, corrective exercises during a standing x-ray did not significantly improve the Cobb angle for the major lumbar curve compared to the relaxed standing x-ray. However, a year after performing exercises, unsolicited corrective exercises resulted in a significantly improved Cobb angle compared to relaxed standing for the curve primarily targeted by the exercise program. Improved exercise ability and spinal flexibility may have contributed to the improved Cobb angle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalScoliosis and Spinal Disorders
StatePublished - Oct 17 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Immediate effects of scoliosis-specific corrective exercises on the Cobb angle after one week and after one year of practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this