Scheuermanns Disease. - Roland Jeffery Physiotherapy

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Scheuermanns Disease. - Roland Jeffery Physiotherapy
Scheuermanns Disease.
What is Scheuermann’s Disease?
This is a hereditary disease that mainly affects teenage and growing boys. It is a
common postural abnormality of the spine in the younger player. Young players
complain of pain in the upper back and later, when the player has stopped growing,
the upper spine (thoracic spine) may become rounded - this is called a kyphosis (See
Figure 1).
Figure 1: Kyphosis.
Figure 2: Poor Posture.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Players will not notice a specific accident or incident that
causes pain. Scheuermann’s disease usually occurs over a
period of time, with players noticing fatigue and pain in
the upper back (See Figure 2).
The upper spine becomes more rounded (kyphotic) in
players who have been experiencing pain for some time.
Often, poor posture and weak postural muscles can
contribute to the problem.
Figure 3: Stretches.
© Roland Jeffery Physiotherapy 2011
Ph (09) 444-7643 Website www.rjphysio.co.nz
What can the player do?
The player should stretch the various muscles round their back and pelvis (See Figure 3), as well as
strengthening the abdominal muscles. Good posture is essential to reduce the pain and symptoms. The
player should also see a sports injury professional, such as a sports doctor if their symptoms continue.
What can a sports injury professional do?
A sports doctor may obtain an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. If three adjacent vertebrae have wedged 5
degrees or more, then a diagnosis of Scheuermann’s disease can be made (See Figure 4).
Figure 4: Scheuermann’s Disease: X-Ray.
A physiotherapist may perform joint mobilisation and massage to the upper spine to relax muscles and reduce
pain. Advice on posture, stretching and strengthening exercises will also be given. Most importantly, a sports
injury professional will advise on when the player should play, train and rest. This will help prevent the injury
from worsening or becoming a long-term problem.
© Roland Jeffery Physiotherapy 2011
Ph (09) 444-7643 Website www.rjphysio.co.nz