Prosthetics and Orthotics International, vol.28, no.3, pp.273-277, 2004 (SCI-Expanded)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 4 week physiotherapy programme on patients who were given a spinal orthosis for neuromuscular scoliosis. This study was planned as a single group pre- and post-intervention repeated measures design. All patients were given a polyethylene spinal orthosis with an anterior opening. Fifteen (15) patients with neuromuscular diseases and a mean age of 12.46 years were evaluated. An exercises programme consisting of postural training, muscle strengthening and stretching exercises with special emphasis on respiratory exercises was given as an adjunct to orthotic treatment. The degree of impairment in forced vital capacity was 17.56% upon wearing an orthosis, it decreased to 9.28% following therapy (p<0.05). There was also a statistically significant increase in muscle strength, balance duration and a significant decrease in limitation of range of motion. The results of the study imply that the conservative treatment of neuromuscular scoliosis should include an exercise programme as an adjunct to an orthosis, both to reduce the compromising effect of an orthosis on respiratory function and to support the patient's physical capacities.