(HealthDay News) – A recent Cochrane review concluded that there is a lack of high-quality evidence on the efficacy of scoliosis-specific exercise (SSE) in adolescents with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), according to research published in the June 15 issue of Spine.

Michele Romano, PT, of the Italian Scientific Spine Institute in Milan, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to evaluate the efficacy of SSE in AIS. Data from a total of 154 patients involved in two studies – a randomized, controlled study and a prospective, controlled, cohort study – were analyzed.

The researchers found low-quality evidence from the randomized study that the addition of exercises increased the efficacy of other conservative treatments. Significant differences were observed in reductions of the thoracic curve (mean difference, 9) and the lumbar curve (mean difference, 8). Very low-quality evidence from the cohort study showed that SSEs incorporated into an exercise program reduced brace prescription (risk ratio, 0.24; 95%  confidence interval, 0.06–1.04), compared with usual physical therapy consisting of different kinds of general exercises prescribed by individual physical therapists.

“More randomized controlled trials are needed to clarify the real role of SSEs as a treatment modality for mild to moderate AIS compared with no treatment,” the authors write.

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