What is Scoliosis?

What is Scoliosis? Range of Motion Physical Therapy Dublin

Scoliosis is defined as a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side, curvature is normally found in the Lumbar and thoracic spine. Scoliosis may be structural or functional.

Structural scoliosis curves do not straighten during forward bending or side bending into the curve of the spine. There will be a lumber bulge or rib hump with forward bending when a structural scoliosis is present.



A functional (idiopathic) scoliosis can be caused by muscle imbalance, poor posture or a leg length discrepancy. This type of scoliosis generally straightens on forward bending or side bending into the curve.

Acute scoliosis is when there is facet joint impingement thus causing both muscle spasm and restriction in spinal mobility. The body will shift weight to the opposite side of the impingement due to pain, giving the impression of a curvature of the spine.

Functional Scoliosos can present in a number of ways, which depends on how many curves appear throughout the spine and angle of the pelvis.

When treating a right thoracic scoliosis as depicted, it is important to understand that the thoracic spine is side bending left and rotating back to the right, while the lower lumbers are side bending left and rotated right. In addition to this the left side of the pelvis is lower causing a longer leg length on the left side.

ScoliosisIn an effort to resolve this particular deformity it is important to look to de rotate the spine and look to level the pelvis, this can be done as follows:

  • Stretch the Left side thoracic spine by side bending to the right, while also strengthening the muscles of the right side for thoracic spine.


  • By also rotating the rib cage left it will de rotate the right rotated thoracic spine, and again strengthen the muscles that will help maintain this position.


  • To correct the lower lumbers it will help to level of the pelvis. The pelvis can be levelled by placing a book under the left foot.


  • The lumbers can be further de rotated by moving the right foot forward.


  • Again there are some easy exercises that can be done to help create long term change.

In addition to prescribing exercises and stretches it would also be important to release out the tight muscles along the length of the spine and around the pelvis, to ensure the exercise can correct the Scoliosis over time.

I have attached a video that gives some more information about Functional Scoliosis and how some stretches and exercises can help correct the Scoliosis.

How to correct Scoliosis with Exercise and Stretching.

If you would like to learn more about this condition or to book a consultation please contact me at Range of Motion Physical Therapy.


Lower Cross syndrome

Hip Pain due to Poor Hip Mobility

Hip Pain and Hip Mobility Range of Motion Physical Therapy Dublin

As it is the end of a year and the start of another, I was thinking back over what I learnt in 2013. One area I have done a lot of research and study on is the lower body, and specifically the Hip. With this in mind I would like to share a few simple hip mobilisation exercises that can be done to help prevent or improve poor hip mobility. I have been using these exercises with clients with great results.

Lower Cross syndromeI have been prescribing these exercises to clients that have hip alignment issues and been complaining of hip or low back pain. In the majority of cases the hip alignment issue is a result of Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS). LCS can cause a reduction in hip mobility leading to compensatory patterns, possibly causing the aforementioned hip and low back pain.

Lower crossed syndrome is the result of muscles strength imbalances around the hips and lower body. These imbalances can occur due to muscles being in a constantly shortened and or lengthened position in relation to each other.

When treating this issue the first objective is to correct the alignment of the hip and improve the mobility of the hip. This is done through a combination of manual therapy techniques to turn on, i.e. strengthen weak muscles, and turn off tight muscles. These changes are then maintained by giving a client some corrective exercises to be done at home.

Hip mobilisation exercises are one type of corrective exercise that will help with the re aligning of the hip, these exercises can also be done as a general exercises to keep your hips healthy and prevent restrictions developing.

Below are a couple of great home exercises I use to help increase hip mobility, thanks to Mike Reinold:

The above video demonstrates how to do some pivots, which can be done as a warm up exercise, you can gauge how fast you do them and the must be pain free.

I have also included some hip mobilisation stretches for the external rotators, hip flexors and TFL/IT band.

If you are suffering from Hip pain or Low Back pain, and would like to make an appointment for an assessment and treatment please contact me at Range of Motion Physical Therapy Dublin.

Lower Cross syndrome

Range of Motion Physical Therapy Newsletter January 14

New Years Resolutions:It’s that time of the year again, time for New Year’s resolutions! A New Year, a fresh start and over one week in and how many of us have already broken our New Years resolutions?The answer is: most of us.
But there’s no shame in it, we’re all in it together. New Year’s resolutions are exactly the wrong way to change our behaviour. It makes no sense to try to quit smoking and lose weight at the same time, instead it is best to set out a couple of targets throughout the year and focus one at a time.

For those of your who have set yourselves a new challenge to begin running, you can get some help from the professionals, my local running club Lucan Harriers AC are starting a Fit 4 Life run program for beginners. Check out their Facebook page for details on how to sign up, programme starts this Monday 13th January. Lucan Harriers Fit 4 Life

If you decide to start a fitness program do not forget to have a regular sports massage with Range of Motion Physical Therapy, to help with muscle soreness and tightness. It is always best to have a treatment before any issues worsen.

Lower Cross syndrome
Hip Pain due to Poor Hip MobilityAs it is the end of a year and the start of another, I was thinking back over what I learnt in 2013. One area I have done a lot of research and study on is the lower body, and specifically the Hip. With this in mind I would like to share a few simple hip mobilisation exercises that can be done to help prevent or improve poor hip mobility. I have been using these exercises with clients with great results. Hip Pain due to Poor Hip Mobility

Sports Hernia

At Range of Motion Physical Therapy Lucan I work with a number of different sports clubs and teams, such as GAA, Rugby and athletics. As a result I see a number of athletes with what appears to be a sports hernia!!

Below I outline what is a sports hernia, the symptoms and what is the best course of action should you suspect you have a sports hernia.

What is a Sports hernia?

A sports hernia occurs when there is a weakening of the muscles or tendons of the lower abdominal wall. This part of the abdomen is the same region where an inguinal hernia occurs, called the inguinal canal. When an inguinal hernia occurs there is sufficient weakening of the abdominal wall to allow a pouch, the hernia, to be felt. In the case of a sports hernia, the problem is due to a weakening in the same abdominal wall muscles, but there is no palpable hernia. This can make a sports hernia difficult to diagnose.

The problem with the abdominal wall in people with a sports hernia is not a muscle strength issue. It is more of a muscle imbalance issue between abdominal muscles and leg muscles inserting on the pubic bone. As you can image leg muscles are relatively more powerful than the core muscles, it is this imbalance along with participating in certain sports can contribute to sports the hernia forming.

What are the symptoms of a sports hernia?
A sports hernia typically begins with a slow onset of aching pain in the lower abdominal region. Symptoms may include:

Pain in the lower abdomen
Pain in the groin
Pain in the testicle (in males)
The symptoms are exacerbated with activities such as running, changing direction, and bending forward. Clients may also have increased symptoms when coughing or sneezing, it is important not to ignore these symptoms as the hernia can become worse. Sports hernias are found in many types of athletes such as GAA, Rugby and soccer players.

How is a sports hernia diagnosed?
As I mentioned earlier, diagnosis of a sports hernia can be difficult in the early stages. A sports hernia is determined based on the combination of the clients history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. MRI scans have also become more common in looking for signs of a sports hernia.

What is the treatment of a sports hernia?
The initial treatment of a sports hernia is always conservative in the hopes that the symptoms will resolve. The type of conservative treatment advised is a period of complete rest, followed by 4-6 weeks of physical therapy.

Physical therapy for sports hernia focuses on programme incorporating strengthening of the core muscles, while also stretching the low abdominal and lower extremity muscles and tendons.