The Role of Correction in the Conservative Treatment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Shu-Yan Ng*, Xiao-feng Nan, Sang-Gil Lee, Nico Tournavitis
Wanchai Chiropractic Clinic, 11/fl China Hong Kong Tower, 8 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

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© 2017 Ng et al..

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Wanchai Chiropractic Clinic, 11/fl China Hong Kong Tower, 8 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong; Tel: 852-39983208; E-mail:



Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercises (PSSE) and bracing have been found to be effective in the stabilization of curves in patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). Yet, the difference among the many PSSEs and braces has not been studied. The present review attempts to investigate the role of curve correction in the outcome of treatment for PSSEs and braces.

Material and Methods:

A PubMed manual search has been conducted for studies on the role of correction in the effectiveness of PSSE and bracing. For the PSSEs, the key words used were “adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, correction, physiotherapy, physical therapy, exercise, and rehabilitation.” For bracing, the key words used were “adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, correction and brace”. Only papers that were published from 2001-2017 were included and reviewed, as there were very few relevant papers dating earlier than 2001.


The search found no studies on the role of correction on the effectiveness of different PSSEs. The effectiveness of different PSSEs might or might not be related to the magnitude of curve correction during the exercises. However, many studies showed a relationship between the magnitude of in-brace correction and the outcome of the brace treatment.


The role of correction on the effectiveness of PSSE has not been studied. In-brace correction, however, has been found to be associated with the outcome of brace treatment. An in-brace correction of < 10% was associated with an increased rate of failure of brace treatment, whereas an in-brace correction of >40-50% was associated with an increased rate of brace treatment success (i.e. stabilization or improvement of curves). Thus, in the treatment of AIS, patients should be advised to use highly corrective braces, in conjunction with PSSE since exercises have been found to help stabilize the curves during weaning of the brace. Presently, no specific PSSE can be recommended.


Braces of high in-brace correction should be used in conjunction with PSSEs in the treatment of AIS. No specific PSSE can be recommended as comparison studies of the effectiveness of different PSSEs are not found at the time of this study.

Keywords: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, Correction, Scoliosis specific exercises, Pattern-specific scoliosis rehabilitation, Physical therapy, In-brace correction, Brace.