The Amazing Benefits of Cupping

Cupping is EXCELLENT to ease muscle strains and aches 

It’s one of my favorite ‘tools in the toolbox’ to help your muscles recover from aches and pain, and it’s something that you can do in the comfort of your own home in just 5 easy steps.

Why should you try cupping? It’s very helpful for anyone with hip, knee, low back, upper back and shoulder pain. And, with the magical combination of physical therapy and cupping, you, too, can get rid of muscle strains and perform better than ever.

Did you know that Michael Phelps, the amazing Olympic gold medalist swimmer, had cupping done on his body before he plunged into the pool for the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio? It definitely helped his muscles reach their optimal potential and grab those gold medals!

A physical therapist uses cupping similar to how a musician tunes an instrument: the musician first needs to make sure that his/her instrument is in tune before setting out to play a song. Cupping is like ‘tuning’ the human body before it goes out to perform in the Olympics or simply to take a walk outside.

Cupping is an ancient Eastern medicine modality that has been around since 1500BC. This form of cupping involves heating cups made of glass, silicone or bamboo, and then placing it on the skin and leaving it there for 15 minutes. The redness is caused by tiny blood vessels ‘breaking’, but no worries, as the redness disappears within hours.

In the clinic here, a modified form of cupping is done by using silicone cups or a small sink plunger, and no heat.

The key difference with this form of cupping in physical therapy is that movement is used while the cups are on the skin.

By moving the body while cupping, it releases restrictions in soft tissue (skin, muscle, fat, ligament or tendon) instead of it being a passive modality (meaning that you don’t move).

All soft tissues in your body need to glide on one another like sheets of paper that can easily move between themselves. When there is a restriction or a ‘stickiness’, the tissues cannot move freely and get bound together. When that ‘stickiness’ or binding between tissues is unable to release by itself, it can cause a decrease in movement. Over time, true tissue restrictions occur limiting movement and causing muscle strain and pain. By freeing up the soft tissues off of one another, there is less pain and the muscles have the freedom to do whatever function is needed.

You can give cupping a try at home on yourself with just 5 simple steps:

1- Purchase a cupping set ( Highly recommend the Lure brand , economically priced below $30) see image with link to purchase

2- Apply vasoline oil or lotion to the rim

3- Squeeze the closed end of the cup and place the open end on the area of your body that needs it ( safest to use on large muscles or the knee cap ) . You may also use multiple cups along a muscle such as on the outer thigh for IT band pain.

4- While the cup is on, do a movement that helps to stretch the tissue under the cup (example: if the cup is on your upper back, then raise your hand up and down as if asking a question in class)

5- Remove the cup after 30 seconds or up to 1 minute and wipe the skin clean.

Now you’re ready to go toss a ball, swing a golf club, reach overhead to a shelf or swim for the Olympic gold medal!

Click on the image or link below to get your cupping set today and get rid of those annoying muscle aches and pains.

If you have any questions or are not ready to do this on your own, then please schedule an appointment at your convenience here:

Keeping an ‘eye’ on scoliosis in kids ages 10-19 years old

Do you have a child with scoliosis between the ages of 10-19 or are you a teenager yourself and aching to grow taller?

This time of life is a roller coaster filled with  both emotional and physical changes.

One of the changes teens are the most excited about is growing taller!

Studies have shown that puberty is starting younger but still lasting as long as it ever has…

  • Girls typically finish most growth by age 17
  • Boys typically finish most growth by age 19

Child being measured in height

4 Tips to help your child/teen get the most out of their growth spurt :

  1. Monthly Height checks: Its time to get out your pencil and find a place in their room to measure  height. Consistent height checks during adolescence are KEY to keeping a check on the progression of their scoliotic curve. If you are finding a ‘jump’ in height from one month to the next, and your child/teen has scoliosis, or you are suspecting it: that is a sign that their scoliotic curve is changing. It may be decreasing but it also could be increasing. Please follow up with your pediatrician when you see this change. You may also contact our clinic for an evaluation and/or treatment session.
  2. Calcium and vitamin D: These nutrients are vital to bone growth ! They can be found in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, white beans, fish, foods fortified in vitamin D (cereals, OJ, and some dairy products), cheese . These ” 2 critical nutrients for bones:  Calcium is a crucial guiding block of bone tissue.  Vitamin D helps the body absorb and process calcium. Together these two nutrients are the cornerstone of healthy bones.”- How to Keep Your Bones Strong as They Age.
  3. Sleep– 9-11 hours per night for kids ages 6-13 and 8-10 hours per night for teens ages 14-19. Sleep is ESSENTIAL for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Daily exercise: Bones love weight bearing so go take a walk, run or skip in the park to help your bones grow strong and healthy

It is ideal for scoliosis check-in’s every 3-4 months with your physical therapist during your child/teen’s growth spurt

These physical therapy sessions include height and posture checks, review and progression of exercises, and access to exclusive online video content to help strengthen the spine.

If you are in need of a scoliosis check-in, then schedule your appointment today before the growth spurt ends and skeletal changes are more permanent.

Schedule your session today.


Chart Describing Kids Growth Spurts

The connection between back pain and blood pressure

You have the ability to lower your back pain and blood pressure by learning where you need to breathe

Blood Pressure Device

Recent studies have linked back pain with increased blood pressure for a number of reasons, including stress, lifestyle, disease and genetics. But did you know that how you breathe also has a profound effect on both back pain and blood pressure?

Think of the middle of your body or trunk as a pressure regulator from your vocal cords, diaphragm and all the way down to your pelvic floor. It is like an unopened carbonated beverage of your choice, such as Coca-Cola , Pepsi or LaCroix. When that can of beverage is intact, there is an inherent pressure built up inside. Once you pop the top, the pressure releases and you can pour out your beverage into an icy glass and enjoy.  In other words, the pressure inside the can has now changed. Your blood pressure can do that too and how you breathe affects it, as well as genetic factors, cholesterol and disease.

Ideally you need to breathe proportionally in your upper chest, and lower abdominal cavity with the diaphragm in the middle helping to push the pressures up and down. But when you have too much of your breath focused in one of those areas, your blood pressure can increase or decrease. Over time, your muscles accommodate and work more or less in one of those areas, and your blood pressure can either increase or decrease beyond what is healthy for you for the long term.

In just 5 minutes in a physical therapy session with an emphasis on dynamic breathing with eccentric control,  my patients have been able to lower their systolic blood pressure by up to 20 mmHG!

Try this at home to find out where you breathe:

  1. Use a measuring tape or any long tubing or band and wrap it around your chest underneath your arms
  2. Take a big breath in and then let it all out and see how many cm/inches/ or estimate how much the tubing moved
  3. Now wrap the measuring tape, tubing or band around the middle or your body or just under your ribs.
  4. Repeat step 2
  5. Finally wrap the measuring tape, tubing or band around the lower part of  your abdomen or at the umbilicus or belly button area.
  6. Repeat step 2


  • If your measurements were relatively the same at all 3 levels, then Congratulations! You are an even breather!”Keep calm and Carry on”
  • If your measurements were highest in the upper chest, then you are a chest or neck breather and may want to focus on diaphragmatic breathing and getting your breath into your belly. This will help to lower your blood pressure and decrease neck as well as low back pain. Here’s your exercise: Blow into a party blowout or blow bubbles through a straw to begin to work your diaphragm and teach your body to breathe down there
  • If your measurements were highest in the middle region, then you are a lateral breather and that is quite athletic and efficient! “Keep calm and carry on”
  • If your measurements were highest in the belly region, then you probably don’t have a lot of low back pain, but you may have upper back or neck pain with some blood pressure issues. Try to focus on more diaphragmatic breathing and upper chest breathing. Add in pectoral muscle strengthening exercises like push ups, pec flys, and shoulder strengthening exercises.

*Reference and credit goes to: Mary Massery Breathing Continuing Education Courses.

Schedule your consultation either by Telehealth or in-person to find out how to get the most out of your breath today! 

What’s the best way to keep the gains you made in physical therapy this year?

Here are 3 options for you right now:

  1. Do nothing and keep your fingers crossed that your curve doesn’t progress or your pain comes creeping back.
  2. Keep up with your current exercises that were given to you the last time you came in for an in-person session and do them consistently.
  3. Schedule your Telehealth session and get your spine straight and strong and prevent your symptoms from coming back or worsening.

Patient stretching on exercise ball

Just out of curiosity, are you keeping up with your home exercises during this quarantine?

Are you wondering if you are doing your exercises correctly or are you even doing them at all? (gasp!)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic things have changed drastically for all of our usual routines, work and school. You can’t go to your gym or to therapy like you were used to. But you do need to keep the progress that you made this past year in physical therapy. Don’t lose what you have already gained- you worked too hard this past year to let it go to waste! 

Just imagine how good you will feel after all of the COVID-19 pandemic passes and not only is your spine straighter, but you feel stronger and more confident rather than feeling like you lost all that you had gained!

Book your virtual appointment here

Joy Smith photo and Phzio logo

This has been a great teaching tool for the clients that have already taken advantage of this convenient option! I have been able to see what they have at home to add to or enhance their stretches that they had not considered.

Patient stretching out on floor mat with pet cat

Plus, I may even get to see a cameo appearance by one of your furry pets! It is a great way to stay connected and stay up-to-date with your therapy.

Your Telehealth appointment is now being offered at an affordable price that is less than in-person at the clinic.

30 minutes = $55

45 minutes = $75

1 hour= $100

How open minded are you with this as an alternative? Give it a try!

I am also creating a 45 minute online scoliosis group exercise class for females. Fill out this survey if this interests you and be the first to experience a brand-new exercise format!

Scoliosis Exercise Group interest survey

If you decide to give Telehealth a try, then you can keep the results you gained and keep feeling great!

Should you come in for a physical therapy appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Here are Some Thoughts to Consider

Checklist All of our lives were suddenly upended late last week and now hour by hour as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly throughout the world.

So many questions are being asked and not all of the answers are known now.

But I want you to know that I am tapping into my creative side and trying to find ways to offer you physical therapy that will keep both you and I healthy.

First, I want you to know that as a small, private physical therapy clinic, I have and will continue to maintain a clean and healthy environment for you and your family. All measures will be taken to maintain and exceed clean practices in the clinic per the CDC recommendations and all other sources of health information at this time.

If you truly do need physical therapy services, and need to come in for a treatment session here are the current changes in effect:

  1. Appointments are 1:1 and on an ‘as needed’ basis only, and will be spaced 15 minutes between clients so that the front desk/ lobby area can be cleaned and empty when you arrive.
  2. All equipment, doors, phones, credit card processors, computers, and the front desk will be wiped down after each and every human interaction.
  3.  All clients and families will be asked to wash their hands upon arrival and exit to ensure the safety of all.
  4. The therapist will sanitize the treatment room after each session. This has ALWAYS been a standard of practice here at the clinic and will continue.
  5. If you are not feeling well and have symptoms of a cold or flu, please call and reschedule your appointment for at least one month out and you have medical clearance from your physician.

And here’s the best part!

For all current clients: You will be receiving an email or a link via a newsletter that will give you access to a virtual home exercise.

(this includes only those who have been seen in the year 2020. Past clients will receive a general exercise tip)

These are in development now and will be available by the end of the week.

I strive to continue to deliver you quality physical therapy if you do not want to come in for a treatment session during these changing times.

So, again should you come in for your physical therapy appointment right now?

Only if you truly do need it.

I will be here for you at the clinic on a limited and an ‘as needed’ basis. I will also be using this downtime to construct new, innovative ways to offer you physical therapy via home exercises.

You are welcome to call or email if you have any questions about what you need to do for exercises or concerns.

Your health has always been my top priority and will continue during these difficult and changing times.

To be sure that these emails don’t go to your junk inbox, enter in your contact list to prevent these important notifications from being unseen by you.

Adults with Scoliosis

Maybe you’ve known since you were a kid that you had scoliosis, and now you’re an adult and want to know how it will affect you as you age.

Or maybe you found out when you were in your 30’s or 40’s that you had a curve in your spine.

Either way you probably have been told by your doctor that you have ‘adult scoliosis’.So what exactly is that?

Adult scoliosis is a collective term that includes those that were diagnosed as a child or teen and those that acquired it later in life.  It has been reported that about 2-32% of the adult population has some scoliosis curves in their spines.

What happens to the curve in your spine once you hit adulthood and beyond?

Once you have reached ‘skeletal maturity’ or your bones have stopped growing, the good news is that research has proven that scoliosis curves may only progress 1 degree a year  left untreated.

But if you do scoliosis exercises and stay active, you may be able to slow down that progression even more. Joy Smith, PT has advanced certifications in specialized 3-Dimensional scoliosis treatments for kids, teens and adults with scoliosis and post-surgical scoliosis.

Adults with small curves reported no pain, and curves less than 30 degrees tended NOT to get any worse as the years went by in adulthood. 

Adults over 50 years old with scoliosis are functioning at a high level and living and enjoying life!

Here is a great article from the Cleveland Clinic’s website:

5 Surprising Facts About Adult Scoliosis

“You have more control than you think”
Adult X-ray showing scoliosis

You may have more power over adult scoliosis than you think. Doctors can offer you various treatment options, and there are things you can do to help yourself. Here are five things you might be surprised to hear about adult scoliosis.

Surprise #1: If you are diagnosed with scoliosis, you probably won’t need surgery.

When diagnosed with scoliosis, many people fear the only course of action will be major surgery.“Only a small portion of people with scoliosis require major reconstructive surgery,” says spine surgeon Douglas Orr, MD. “Many people with scoliosis can manage their symptoms just fine without any type of surgery.”In many cases, treatment for scoliosis is aimed at relieving symptoms rather than fixing the curve in the spine.

Adult scoliosis patients are initially treated as we would treat a patient with a straight spine who has back pain.

Treatment might include physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize the spine. It might also include anti-inflammatory medications or epidural injections to relieve pain.People who can’t get pain relief from medications or physical therapy might need spinal decompression surgery.“If you’re considering surgery for scoliosis, talk to your surgeon and find out how many spinal deformity procedures he or she performs each year,” Dr. Orr says. “You want to make sure your surgery is done by someone who specializes in these types of procedures.”

Surprise #2: The size or the location of your spine’s curve doesn’t predict whether or not you will have symptoms.

As you age, your spine begins to deteriorate. As it weakens, it may also begin to curve. Some people may never have any symptoms. Others might experience leg pain, numbness or tingling when walking and/or back pain.“If you look at a person from the side, you can see that the spine has three natural curves; one in the lower back, one in the middle of the back, and one at the neck. We tend to lose the curve in the lower back as we age. That’s what creates problems and causes symptoms,” says Dr. Orr.

Surprise #3: Adults can have one of two types of scoliosis.

Doctors see two types of scoliosis in adults. One is the type of scoliosis doctors also see in teenagers. This is called idiopathic scoliosis. In some cases, the curve progresses and begins to cause symptoms in adulthood. In other cases, it is not diagnosed until adulthood.The second common type of scoliosis seen in adults is degenerative scoliosis. In this type, the normal wear and tear on the lower back during the aging process leads to the development of a curve in the spine.

Surprise #4: Smoking causes back and neck problems.

In addition to seeking treatment for scoliosis, there are things you can do at home to reduce your symptoms. “The most important thing you can do is not smoke,” says Dr. Orr. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of back and neck problems.

Surprise #5: You can still exercise with scoliosis.

Although many people who have scoliosis have been told to limit their activities, Dr. Orr disagrees. “The more physically active people with scoliosis are, the less likely they are to be symptomatic,” he says. If you are overweight, weight loss can also help to reduce scoliosis symptoms. It’s also important to monitor your bone density and seek treatment if you have osteoporosis.”

Make your appointment today at the Joy of Therapy to get started on an exercise routine that will help your spine stay strong!

Take the Genetic Height Predictor Test!

Here are 3 quick methods you can do to find out if your height measured up to what it ‘should’ be or determine how tall your child will be.

Methods for Predicting Your Child’s Height

  1. Genetic Potential Height: Add the height of your mother and father together in inches and find the average height. Then add 2.5 inches to determine a boy’s height and subtract 2.5 inches to determine a girl’s height.Kids height predictors
  2. Two Times Two: Figure out how tall your child is or was when she/he was two years old, then multiply that height by two.
  3. Follow the curve: Measure your child’s current height, then plot it on the growth curve chart used by pediatricians. Follow along on their growth curve—staying in the same percentile and see where they end up as an adult.”-

None of these methods are absolute, as other growth factors influence how tall you will be, such as posture issues and scoliosis.

Some say that the ratio of your height is 1:1 to your arm length or wingspan.

Wingspan is your arm length measured from the middle finger of your right hand to the middle finger of your left hand when outstretched.

Measuring wingspan is just one of the many measurement tools that I take when you are a patient here, specifically for posture related issues, such as scoliosis, Schueremann’s, kyphosis or hyperlordosis.

There is also research linking arm length or wingspan to excelling in athletic sports, specifically those that involve balls, wrestling and the mixed martial arts.

Makes sense when you think about it since the longer your arm is, then you can reach your opponent or the ball before those with shorter limbs!

Study shows wingspan has a correlation to athletic prowess in the NBA, MMA

The words What's Your Reach? with NBA player Anthony Davis spreading his arms out wide and child standing in frontCurious?

Come in for a posture assessment and see how wingspan reflects your height!

Book your appointment

“No one can really predict to what heights you might soar. Even you will not know until you spread your wings.” – Gil Atkinson

Types of Scoliosis Bracing

What type of Scoliosis Brace do I need?



The answer: YES!

If you or your child has been told to wear a full-time, solid brace due to scoliosis, then it is wise to do your homework and read up on what types of braces are out there for you.

Note: I do not sell, make or distribute any braces, and I do not get any payment or bonuses for promoting one type over another.

The ideal scoliosis brace should allow your body to ‘breathe’ by having openings cut out in the brace where your ribs need to expand. Scoliosis is a 3-dimesional curvature so simply tightening a brace with straps is not the answer, as that will only SQUEEZE you in 2-dimensionally and not fully correct the curvature.

Schroth therapy can complement any scoliosis brace but not every brace can complement Schroth therapy.

Braces have evolved over the years and here is a snapshot of their history:

  1. Milwaukee Brace: original scoliosis brace invented in 1946
    Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral Orthosis (CTLSO)
    • Pros: good for high scoliosis curves in cervical and thoracic spine• Cons: metal, not 3-dimesional and old-fashionedoriginal scoliosis brace invented in 1946
  2. Providence or Charleston Nighttime Brace: developed in the 1990’s
    • Pros: It is used for nighttime and part-time only.
    • Cons: It doesn’t allow for walking  due to it being low over the hips; only good for balanced and single curves
     Providence nocturnal scoliosis orthosis.
    Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO); developed in 1972
  3. Boston Brace: Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO); developed in 1972
    • Pros: Most common choice by doctors due to familiarity and gets good results. Extensive research
    • Cons: Heavy. Straps fasten in the back making it hard to take on and off by yourself. It doesn’t correct the curve in a 3 dimensional pattern and often semi- custom or pre-fabricated. Even when these braces are individually designed, they are little more than modified “barrel” braces. Can give too much abdominal pressure. Made by traditional casting.
    Full time scoliosis orthosis.
    Boston Brace: Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO); developed in 1972
  4. WCR Brace (Wood-Cheneau-Rigo): modern brace developed by Dr. Rigo, Grant Wood and Chêneau to de-rotate the spine and used in conjunction with the BSPTS/Schroth Method
    • Pros: Custom made and computer-generated to fit exactly to your curve type. Thin and allows for expansion in the rib cage where needed and lightweight ; comes in lots of patterns. It is an international brace as it is made in the US AND in Spain.
    • Cons: Big and long  as the brace comes up and under the armpit. Can be costly.
    modern brace developed by Dr. Rigo

Still not convinced? Check out these x-ray results:

x-ray comparision

(Photo from Align Clinic website)

Here is their website if you would like more information, case studies, results or questions answered. The Align Clinic. They are located in Green Bay, WI, San Mateo, CA, Houston, TX and I host a clinic as needed here in Tallahassee.

Regardless of which brace you choose, none of them will work if you don’t wear them! So please wear your brace 18-20 hours a day as recommended to get the best results. It’s very similar to wearing orthodontic braces in your mouth or a retainer: if you don’t wear it – it won’t work!

See you at the next bracing clinic!

Our next Scoliosis Bracing clinic will be

January 2020
WCR Evaluation and Fitting clinic

Suite 114, 1809 Miccosukee Commons Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32308, USA

Presented by Walter Ramos, LO of Align Clinic

Hosted by Joy Smith, Schroth PT at Joy of Therapy Physical Therapy Clinic

Phone: 920-940-5277

This special Cheneau Rigo Brace evaluation is a complimentary opportunity for all patients and families who may have questions or concerns regarding the fit, function, or design of their brace. This clinic is also open to BSPTS, Schroth PTs, MDs, and any new patients that may want to learn more about the Cheneau Rigo brace.

To schedule your complimentary evaluation, please call Lynn at 920-940-5277.

We urge you to take advantage of this unique opportunity and we look forward to seeing you soon! Appointments are limited and filling up fast; therefore it will be booked as “first come, first served.”

Use your Flexible Savings or Health Savings Account to pay for your PT

pink piggy bank with coins

Do you have an FSA/HSA , or Flexible Spending /Health Savings Account through your employer?


If you have funded your FSA or HSA, then be sure to use it before you lose it!

 It applies to physical therapy services and is accepted at the Joy of Therapy for all therapy services.

So if you have been putting off getting in for an appointment, or hoping (like most of us do) that the pain will go away, but it hasn’t- then come in soon!

For State of Florida employees, it is called a ‘Benny’ Card and works just like a credit card on medical expenses. December 31 is the last day to incur claims for the calendar year . 

Below is an excerpt from that will help to answer some of your questions. All FSA plans are different, so check what your limits of spending are for this plan year.

“A Flexible Spending Account (also known as a flexible spending arrangement) is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.

You don’t pay taxes on this money. This means you’ll save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on the money you set aside.

Employers may make contributions to your FSA, but aren’t required to.

Learn about Flexible Spending Accounts

  • For details about your company’s FSA, including how to sign up, ask your employer.
  • Complete information on Flexible Spending Accounts is available from the IRS.

You use your FSA by submitting a claim to the FSA (through your employer) with proof of the medical expense and a statement that it has not been covered by your plan. You will then receive reimbursement for your costs. Ask your employer about how to use your specific FSA.

Read more about how FSAs work in this IRS PDF publication.

A few fast facts about FSAs

  • FSAs are limited to $2,650 per year per employer. If you’re married, your spouse can put up to $2,650 in an FSA with their employer too.
  • You can use funds in your FSA to pay for certain medical and dental expenses for you, your spouse if you’re married, and your dependents.
    • You can spend FSA funds to pay deductibles and copayments, but not for insurance premiums.
    • You can spend FSA funds on prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medicines with a doctor’s prescription. Reimbursements for insulin are allowed without a prescription.
    • FSAs may also be used to cover costs of medical equipment like crutches, supplies like bandages, and diagnostic devices like blood sugar test kits.
    • Click here to see a list of generally permitted medical and dental expenses.

FSA limits, grace periods, and carry-overs

You generally must use the money in an FSA within the plan year. But your employer may offer one of 2 options:

  • It can provide a “grace period” of up to 2 ½ extra months to use the money in your FSA.
  • It can allow you to carry over up to $500 per year to use in the following year.

Your employer can offer either one of these options but not both. It’s not required to offer either one.

At the end of the year or grace period, you lose any money left over in your FSA. So it’s important to plan carefully and not put more money in your FSA than you think you’ll spend within a year on things like copayments, coinsurance, drugs, and other allowed health care costs.”

“You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for therapy received as medical treatment”  —

Call, email or send a message on one of our social media sites to schedule your appointment before your FSA benefits expire on December 31- see you soon!

Contact us today!

How much exercise do I and/or my child really need?

The ‘Move Your Way’ Campaign was created to help you know how much exercise you and your chid need to thrive. It is in response to the National Youth Sports Strategy which aims to unite U.S. youth sports culture around a shared vision:

“One day, all young people will have the opportunity, motivation, and access to play sports — regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, ability, or ZIP code.”- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Move Your Way flyer with activity levels

Move Your Way Walk. Run. Dance. Play. Flyer

A Scoliosis Exercise & Bracing Success Story


“Here’s proof why managing a scoliosis curve during a child’s growth spurt is so important” 

It’s overdue to share with you a scoliosis success story that I would love to take all of the credit for, but this one really goes to my patient and her family.

This sweet 12year old girl came to the Joy of Therapy in April 2019 with some back pain, an ever increasing scoliosis curve,  and discomfort wearing a back brace. Plus, little did we both know, but she was about to hit a growth spurt over the summer. 

Fast forward 5 months, and nearly 20 treatments later, she has decreased her scoliotic curve by 50%!

She went from wearing a rigid brace and no therapy with a 48 degree curve in the thoracic spine and 43 degree curve in the lumbar spine, to a 22 degree curve in the thoracic spine and 20 degree curve in the lumbar spine while wearing a dynamic brace and therapy.

Plus she grew 2 inches during that same time! 

How did she do it?

Through the combined effort of:

  1. Specific Scoliosis Exercises custom designed for her curve type by Joy Smith,PT 
  2. An amazing dynamic WCR brace from the Align Clinic which she wears consistently 20+ hours a day designed by Walter Ramos,L/O,CPO Align clinic
  3. Supportive and loving family
  4. Great medical care by Dr. Ryan Price at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic TOC

The key to all of this success hinges on the fact that she wanted to make this change and stuck with the program.

She attends therapy regularly, wears her brace as prescribed and her dad has even made the Schroth bars for her to use at home.

So what does this mean for you if you have scoliosis? No matter how big or small your curve is, if you are a child, teenager or adult or whether or not you have a brace or don’t want to wear a brace- a comprehensive program that addresses ALL of your needs is here for you.

Contact me today to find out how to start feeling stronger, straighter and feel better all over today! #scoliosis #schrothmethod #physicaltherapy #cureais #posture #curvygirls

Call or email here

Is this poor posture or something more?

Physical picture vs x-ray of structural kyphosis


This is Scheuermann’s  Hyperkyphosis

It is a “structural kyphosis that typically develops during adolescence, causing the kyphotic spine to become rigid, and sometimes progresses into adulthood.” — Scoliosis Research Society.

It is not poor posture or a lazy posture. This is a  condition that includes physiological changes to the structure of the thoracic spine, therefore causing an increased rounding of the trunk.

The Schroth Method can help those diagnosed with Scheuermann’s by elongating and de-rotating the spine. Schroth exercises are customized for your unique spinal deformation. The method teaches you how to:

  • Correct spinal rotation and increase lung capacity with a rotational breathing technique.
  • Help restore normal spinal position with pelvic corrections, breathing technique, and stabilizing isometric contractions.
  • Improve your posture during routine daily living, not just during therapy.

Scheuermann’s disease begins before puberty. It is not known what triggers the abnormal growth, but there are theories that the bone may have been injured at some point, or that the area was weak before puberty. Heredity is thought to play a role, but the connection is not straightforward.

The condition is connected to skeletal growth, and the curvature does not usually increase after growth is completed. It is estimated that 1 to 8 percent of people develop the condition.

If you or anyone you know has this condition, please go to your doctor and ask for a referral to physical therapy. Then call and schedule your appointment today with Joy Smith,PT the  ONLY physical therapy specialist in the Florida Panhandle to treat Schuermann’s disease according to the Schroth Method.

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