Intensive Postural and Motor Activity Program Reduces Scoliosis Progression in People with Rett Syndrome

Alberto Romano, Elena Ippolito, Camilla Risoli, Edoardo Malerba, Martina Favetta, Andrea Sancesario, Meir Lotan, Daniel Sender Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: A scoliosis prevalence of 94% was reported in the population with Rett syndrome (RTT), with an annual progression rate of 14 to 21 Cobb which may result in pain, loss of sitting balance, deterioration of motor skills, and lung disfunction. This paper describes the efficacy of an intensive conservative individualized physical and postural activity program in preventing scoliosis curvature progression in patients with RTT. Methods: Twenty subjects diagnosed with RTT and scoliosis were recruited, and an individualized intensive daily physical activity program was developed for each participant. Each program was conducted for six months by participants’ primary caregivers in their daily living environment. Fortnightly remote supervision of the program implementation was provided by an expert therapist. Pre-and post-intervention radiographs and motor functioning were analyzed. Results: An averaged progression of +1.7 ± 8.7 Cobb, over one year (12.3 ± 3.5 months) was observed in our group, together with motor function improvements. A relation between curve progression and motor skill improvement was observed. Conclusions: The intervention prevented scoliosis progression in our group. The achievement of functional motor improvements could enable better body segment control and muscle balancing, with a protective effect on scoliosis progression. The intervention was effective for individuals with RTT across various ages and severity levels. Individual characteristics of each participant and the details of their activity program are described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number559
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Home exercise program
  • Motor skills
  • Physical therapy modalities
  • Rett syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Telerehabilitation


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