Torso rotation therapy has been repeatedly found to be effective for the treatment of Scoliosis. There are links floating around about this therapy in various new and ancient threads. I decided to post all known links here. If you know of any study or anecdotal information that is either pro or con please post it here for other parents.
September-17-2008 - News Story with Video: MedX torso machine reduces 8 year old girl's curve from 14 degrees to 8 degrees.
Roger Schwab: "We've seen it work on almost every case that we've had."
Main Line Health and Fitness Scoliosis page
May-24-2010 - Before and after x-rays: 10 months of Torso Rotation Strength Training
An 11 year old girl used TRS therapy for one year to treat her Scoliosis. The mother e-mailed me the x-rays and I combined them into one picture.
Therapy is based on these 3 torso rotation strength training studies. All 3 studies found that torso rotation strength training stopped curve progression in all small and moderate curves. Many curves were reduced.
February 2003 - Study: The Role of Measured Resistance Exercises in Adolescent Scoliosis
2006 - Study: Trunk rotational strength training for the management of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).16 of the 20 patients demonstrated curve reduction, and although some fluctuation occured, none of the remaining 4 patients had a persistent increase in curve. No patient required surgery or bracing.
July 2008 - Study: Treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with quantified trunk rotational strength training: a pilot study.Seven adolescents with AIS (5 female 2 male; mean 14 yrs +/- 2.6 yrs; mean Cobb 28 degrees +/- 6 degrees range 20 degrees -37 degrees) underwent four months of supervised trunk rotational strength training, and repeat strength test. Four individuals showed reduction (>5 degrees) in their original curve, and 3 remained the same (+/-5 degrees).
Patients received a 4-month supervised followed by a 4-month home trunk rotational strength training program.2000 - Study/Report: A Preliminary Report On The Effect Of Measured Strength Training In Adolescent Idiotpathic ScoliosisQuantified trunk rotational strength training significantly increased strength. It was not effective for curves measuring 50 to 60 degrees. It appeared to help stabilize curves in the 20 to 40-degree ranges for 8 months, but not for 24 months. Periodic additional supervised strength training may help the technique to remain effective, although additional experimentation will be necessary to determine this.
March 2007 - The Journal Of Musculoskeletal MedicineMyolectric activity was asymmetric in both sides and in abdominal and paraspinal muscles of all patients. These asymmetries were corrected completely with torso rotation, which was associated with significant strength gains.
Photocopied Report: Dr. Vert Mooney: Exercise For Managing Adolescent Scoliosis
We combined this experience with that of a physiotherapist in New Zealand who was using the same equipment and the same protocols for a total of 31 patients with adolescent scoliosis. The mean curvature was 29.5 degrees (range 10 to 50) when treatment started and 25.1 degrees (minimum decrease, 4 and maximum decrease 43) when it concluded. ...None of the patients worsened.May-18-2006 - Thread: Gerbo asks Dr. Vert Mooney a few questions about Torso rotation and the longterm effects of this therapyIn most cases the curvature can be reduced. Brief exercises performed twice a week are adequate. Braces are not necessary.
Gerbo:Dr. Mooney:Similarly to what i asked a year ago, are you still following your initial study group and has stabilisation been maintained?December 2 - 2011 InterviewI have followed some and stabilization has been maintained.
I just conducted an interview with one of the nation's top Scoliosis experts. (you can read it here) After the interview we had an exchange about torso rotation that I found helpful so I'm going to include it here.
Question) Your answer on the ineffectiveness of traction and exercise got me thinking.
"Again, exercising for hours at a time is no match for the braces on your teeth that are constantly pulling."
You are absolutely correct. When my son does torso rotation exercises he performs 3 sets of 15 on each side. The total time he spends exercising is literally a couple of minutes. I don't see how that small amount of stretching could make much difference. Could torso rotation work because of some sort of secondary action? For instance maybe this type of exercise releases hormones that stretch the ligaments in the spine? Maybe some other secondary effect? But you're right, a few minutes of exercise probably isn't enough to have a direct impact on the ligaments.
Dr. Kiester) Reasonably directed exercise is of huge impact which is why the immobilization of body bracing has such negative effects. The amount the ligaments have to stretch to stop the progression of the curve is surprisingly small. Thus a little exercise of an effective kind may even result in some reversal of the deformity. Doing a moderate force of continuous stretching (like putting braces on teeth) is when the goal is complete or near complete restitution of the normal anatomy.
March 2011 - Article by Physical Therapist Scoliosis Success Story
We received a call from a woman, whose 16 year old daughter was suffering from scoliosis. Her curvature had been measured between 40-41-degrees in April 2010.The protocol was simple: One set of exercise to either side, starting with the weaker of the two. She was to go to muscular fatigue if possible on the weak side, or up to the point where I was satisfied with her effort and concerned that mechanics would break down. In most cases, this meant approximately 7-8 reps, and attempting to move slowly and smoothly. As with all novices, the 'control' aspect is difficult - and particularly with an exercise as demanding as the MedX Torso Rotation.Come late-November, she visited the doctor and her curvature was tested. The results, as we hoped, were positive: a 6-degree improvement (from approximately 40-degrees; 15% less curve).