In our rehabilitation centre, the treatment of Scheuermann’s disease consists of a daily postural education, lasting several hours. As for pain therapy, we mainly apply physiotherapeutic methods with osteopathy, manual therapy, McKenzie and Brügger. In addition, we offer psychological help for pain relief. In case of severe chronic pain, we additionally treat it with acupuncture. Pain therapy with medication is only performed in rare cases.
The aim of the present study was to find out if such an intensive rehabilitation programme had any effect on pain level in patients with Scheuermann’s disease.
An Intervention study (pre-/post-design) was undertaken including the following material: 351 patients suffering from Scheuermann’s disease reported their pain level before and after an inpatient treatment. For this aim, we used a visual analog scale (VAS), a numerical scale (NS), a standardised adjective scale (VRS) and a pain frequency scale. In our group, there were 61 female patients with a thoracolumbar Scheuermann's disease, 121 female patients with a thoracic Scheuermann's disease, 92 male patients with a thoracolumbar Scheuermann's disease and 77 male patients with a thoracic Scheuermann's disease.
The average age was 17 to 21 years old with an average kyphotic angle varying in the individual groups between 53 and 64 degrees.
In the case of the numerical pain severity scale, pain severity was for example 2,9 in female patients with thoracolumbar Scheuermann’s disease. In female patients with thoracic Scheuermann’s disease, pain severity was also at 2.9. In male patients with thoracolumbar Scheuermann's disease, it was at 2.0 and in male patients with thoracic Scheuermann’s disease, it was at 1.9. This numerical pain scale showed highly significant changes in pain severity: 2.1 in female patients with thoracolumbar Scheuermann's disease, 1.9 in female patients with thoracic Scheuermann's disease, 1.4 in male patients with thoracolumbar Scheuermann’s disease and 1.8 in male patients with thoracic Scheuermann’s disease. There was also a significant decrease in pain frequency. Seen as a whole, each scale showed a pain reduction between 16 and 32%, which is significant in all the cases and even highly significant in some cases.
The in patient rehabilitation seems to have a positive effect on pain level in patients with Scheuermann’s disease. In case of Scheuermann’s disease in adult age, treatment is only indicated when patients suffer from pain. For those reasons, an in patient intensive program of rehabilitation in a clinic with adequate quality structure should be considered.