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Physical therapy intervention studies on idiopathic scoliosis-review with the focus on inclusion criteria1

Hans-Rudolf Weiss

Author Affiliations

Gesundheitsforum Nahetal, Alzeyer Str. 23, D-55457 Gensingen, Germany

Following a paper presented at the 8th annual meeting of the SOSORT, Barcelona 2011: Hans-Rudolf Weiss, MD, Elisabete Santos Leal, OMT, Ulrike Hammelbeck BSc.: Proposal for the SOSORT inclusion criteria for studies on physiotherapy

Scoliosis 2012, 7:4  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-7-4

Published: 25 January 2012



Studies investigating the outcome of conservative scoliosis treatment differ widely with respect to the inclusion criteria used. This study has been performed to investigate the possibility to find useful inclusion criteria for future prospective studies on physiotherapy (PT).

Materials and methods

A PubMed search for outcome papers on PT was performed in order to detect study designs and inclusion criteria used.


Real outcome papers (start of treatment in immature samples/end results after the end of growth; controlled studies in adults with scoliosis with a follow-up of more than 5 years) have not been found. Some papers investigated mid-term effects of exercises, most were retrospective, few prospective and many included patient samples with questionable treatment indications.


There is no outcome paper on PT in scoliosis with a patient sample at risk for being progressive in adults or in adolescents followed from premenarchial status until skeletal maturity. However, papers on bracing are more frequently found and bracing can be regarded as evidence-based in the conservative management and rehabilitation of idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents.