A LITTLE girl is dancing again after she received groundbreaking therapy to correct a curve in her spine.
Libby Clarke, nine, from Southend, faced having metal rods inserted into her spine after she was diagnosed with scoliosis, or curvature of the spine.
The family were terrified by the prospect of surgery, but research on the internet led them to Scoliosis SOS, a London clinic offering a range of non-surgical options.
NowLibby is back in her ballet shoes and dancing again after coming through the treatment.
Her mum Jill Clarke, 45, said: “Libby was so sad all the time. It was like she had lost any motivation for life.
“The treatment has changed everything for us as a family and life seems to be getting back on track for the first time in a very long time.”
Jill took Libby for check-ups with her GP after noticing her shoulder blade was protruding on one side.
Libby also had severe pains shoot down one side of her back and was struggling to keep up with her dance group.
Jill added: “I was heartbroken when Libby was diagnosed with scoliosis, it was so scary.
“I was given so much information and mixed messages by different professionals, it was terrible.”
Libby’s parents discovered scoliosis was a progressive condition and that it needed to be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Treatment involves a major operation to insert metal rods either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.
Libby deteriorated quickly, losing her flexibility and confidence and it began to seem surgery would be the only option, until they found the London clinic offering a mix of non-surgical treatments.
Within weeks of being on the course, Libby’s condition improved. She no longer got short of breath during exercise and her pain disappeared.
Libby learnt a set of exercises, which strengthened the muscles surrounding her spine. Her scoliosis stabilised and she will not now need surgery. In addition, she has been able to continue with her dance classes and is back to her normal, bubbly self.
Jill said: “I am so relieved to get Libby back to what she loves.
I really didn’t want her to have surgery.”
SCOLIOSIS causes the spine to curve sideways.
The condition affects more than 4 per cent of the population and if left untreated, can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.
Current treatment in this country is to wait until the curve becomes so severe, that the only option left is to operate.
Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has Scoliosis herself, the Scoliosis SOS clinic opened eight years. After an extensive initial assessment, patients on the
four-week course undergo a customised programme of exercises to promote correction of their asymmetric posture.
They also receive weekly spinal scans and other tests to
track their progress.