I'm 18 years old and I have scoliosis.  My family doctor wants me to visit a physiotherapist regarding the pain I have in my lower back. I'm not very familiar with physiotherapy so I wanted to know a little bit more about it and what would I be expecting and how treatment would work.              

Q10:

A physiotherapist will work with you to figure out what is causing the low back pain and what might be done about it.  While your scoliosis may contribute to your pain it might not be the main problem.  Lots of people with quite bad scoliosis do not have a lot of pain and lots of people with no scoliosis have low back pain.

The twisting of your spine uses up some of your spine's ability to adapt to the daily stresses applied to it. A person with scoliosis will be more likely to react poorly and be injured by excess lifting, twisting or prolonged sitting.  Your physiotherapist will teach you exercises to optimize the strength and recruitment of the muscles that support the spine. They will also show you stretching exercises to make sure that you counteract the generally stiffening effects of your scoliosis.  More than anything your physio will help to educate you about the best way to care for your particular back problems. Knowledge is power. We will help to give you the power to be proactive in minimizing the effects of your scoliosis.

If your parents have extended benefits (often part of work benefits) they may cover a large part of the cost (usually about 80%).  The number of treatments you are allowed are based on a calendar year so if you do have them you should try to use them before the end of the year when you will lose the ability to claim for any unused coverage. If you don't have coverage it still shouldn't be that costly as we will primarily be teaching you how to look after yourself.  Hope this helps.