The SEAS method is an individualised exercise programme adapted for medium-degree scoliosis, to reduce the need for a brace or to be used in combination with a brace to prevent the risk of the progress of scoliosis. The SEAS method helps stabilise the spine and reduce any functional disabilities. It trains a person to adopt a corrected posture during daily activities.
It is an individualised exercise programme, scientifically adapted to all aspects of the scoliosis conservative treatment, based on the most recent research and continuously evolving with the introduction of new knowledge of the scientific bibliography. For mild-medium curvatures in the active period of development, SEAS is used either to reduce the need to use a brace or in combination with a brace to slow, stop and eventually reverse the curvature evolution and also to prepare the patient for the period following the use of the brace. Once the brace is removed, the patient is in a position to maintain the corrected posture thanks to the increased muscular strength of the trunk, the improved vital capacity and the maximum intake of oxygen.
SEAS trains the neuromotor system to activate the reflex to autocorrect posture during daily activities.
It is based on the active autocorrection achieved without external aid and falls within the framework of functional exercises.
Autocorrection is personalised for each person, according to the type of deformity and is set only by a trained physiotherapist. Each exercise if absolutely adapted to the specific characteristics of each trainee.
Should a person need to correct more than one deformity, the autocorrections are gradually taught until they are in a position to control and stabilise the whole spine.
The person is therefore trained to actively autocorrect and the following exercises are always effected maintaining the required correction.
The ultimate goal of developing the neuromuscular mechanisms is to enable the person to consciously adopt a correct body alignment and to automatically maintain it.
Once a person is aware of the deformity and of the required changes, he/she is in a position to consciously adapt the body posture (active autocorrection) and to find the best possible alignment of the spine within 3D space levels.
The advantage of the SEAS method, just as for the Schroth method, is to succeed in addressing effectively the tri-dimensional nature of scoliosis, on all three levels.
Another very important element aspect of the SEAS method is the “group approach” which includes the physician, the physiotherapist, the orthotist and the patient’s family. This approach is based on the conviction that group work produces better success and improves the person’s compliance to exercise, leading to an improved outcome. Family counselling, with the intense participation of all family members, throughout the therapy, constitutes also a significant aspect of the SEAS therapy programme.
Procedure: at the first session, the clinical assessment is effected, using also X-rays and clinical decisions are reached as to the corrections which must be achieved but also to the autocorrection which must precede.
The number of sessions needed depends on the type of spine deformity. At each session, the set of exercises is varied until all the necessary exercises are effected. The interval between sessions is 6 to 8 weeks. In between, the trainee must repeat the pattern daily for 20 minutes at least.
As is the case with other methods, the indications for scoliosis treatment by the SEAS method are based on the SOSORT guidelines.
According to the SEAS method, the brace must not put any restrictions on the personal and social life of a young person. It must indeed encourage an active way of life and promote a positive image of the body.
SEAS, (Scientific Exercise Approach for Scoliosis), is the acronym for the scientific exercise approach for scoliosis, the result of the ISICO institute research, (Istituto Scientifico Italiano Colonna Vertebrale). ISICO consists of a network of Italian scientists, specialising in spine deformities. It was established in 2002 by Stefano Negrini, for the conservative treatment of spine deformities.