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Exercises may save Brighton teen from spinal surgery
Teenager and keen runner Valentina Capetta is aiming to get back on track after a dangerous brush with spinal surgery.
The 13-year-old had always been fit and active until she was diagnosed with a severe curve in her spine last year.
After numerous appointments with specialists and X-rays, doctors said Valentina had developed scoliosis and surgery was the only option to save her mobility.
Scoliosis causes the spine to excessively curve sideways. The condition affects more than 4% of the population and if left untreated can lead to 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.
The operation involves metal rods being inserted either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.
The Capetta family, from Brighton, were left devastated at the thought of such a risky operation but they knew if Valentina did not have the surgery she could end up unable to move properly.
After hunting for an alternative, they came across a set of exercises developed by the London-based Scoliosis SOS.
Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has scoliosis herself, the clinic follows the ScolioGold method, which is the combination of internationally renowned non-surgical treatments, which have been practised separately in Europe for several decades.
After attending an initial consultation, Valentina’s parents immediately booked her in for a four-week course of treatment.
She found it gave her almost instant relief from the aching she felt across the top of her back on a daily basis.
Valentina also noticed a dramatic change in her appearance and gradually noticed other changes including reduced pain, improvements in her breathing capacity and a more symmetrical appearance.
Back to sport
The 13-year-old, who goes to Brighton and Hove High School, is now concentrating on activities like swimming and pilates and eventually aims to get back to running and netball.
Her mother Elizabeth said: “It has certainly made a lot of difference. There is a lot less curving of the spine and she has responded well.
“There is a still a chance she will have to have surgery but hopefully it will be less intensive but at the moment we are waiting to see.”
Valentina said: “My scoliosis was stopping me from playing sports and I was not able to run because of the pain.
“It used to give me awful headaches which have now completely disappeared.
“I am so excited about getting back to sports and I cannot wait until the summer to start playing netball again.”
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