Faculty Advisor(s)

Brian T. Swanson

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Samantha Fisk


Background and Purpose: Spinal deformity is a challenging spinal disorder in adults. A scoliotic curve of >10 degrees exists in up to 12% of the population and while surgery is the definitive measure, there is limited evidence to guide non-surgical treatment. This case investigated traditional physical therapy (PT) treatment utilizing a Regional Interdependence Approach (RIA) and components of the Schroth method for a patient with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Case Description: A 66 year old male presented with CLBP, worst upon rising in the AM with (6/10 NPRS). Imaging demonstrated thoracolumbar dextroscoliosis, bilateral foraminal narrowing and associated spondylolisthesis of the fifth lumbar vertebrae. A RIA exam revealed mobility deficits of thoracolumbar spine, instability of L5-S1, and a 1.38” leg length discrepancy. A comprehensive treatment approach was used including lumbar stabilization exercises and postural therapy, including components of the Schroth method. Outcomes: Following 12 weeks, pain improved from 6/10 to 4/105, with the patient reporting no pain when arising from bed. 30-second sit to stand improved from five to eight. Following implementation of a shoe lift visible changes were noted in pelvic symmetry. However, the degree of scoliosis appeared unchanged and no subjective improvements were noted on the Roland-Morris Low Back Pain Questionnaire (RMLBPQ).


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