Research team seeks volunteers to join scoliosis project

Bareket Falk, left, and PhD student Izabella Ludwa demonstrate the equipment they use in scoliosis research in Falk's Welch Hall lab.

Bareket Falk, left, and PhD student Izabella Ludwa demonstrate the equipment they use in scoliosis research in Falk's Welch Hall lab.

A Brock professor, a physician and a bracing specialist are teaming up on research to expand our knowledge of bone strength as well as re-think how we design back braces for people with scoliosis.

And they’re inviting women across Niagara to take part in the project.

The researchers are seeking women aged 18 to 30 who have or have had scoliosis, and who used a scoliosis brace during their adolescence. Scoliosis is a medical condition characterized by curvature and rotation of the spine.

Bareket Falk, a Kinesiology researcher, is undertaking the project with partners Alan Rigby from Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics, and Dr. Matt Greenway of the Michael DeGroote School of Medicine.

The researchers want to study how bracing may affect bone during the growing years, and whether flexible scoliosis braces are more effective than the rigid braces traditionally used by patients with scoliosis, Falk said. The researchers are interested in examining how nutrition and exercise can be used to alleviate some of the potential effects of bracing.

“What we learn in this project could help people be at less risk of developing osteoporosis later in life,” she said.

The researchers would like up to 50 women to undergo a one-time examination lasting about 90 minutes. Besides receiving a $50 honorarium, Falk said participants will also benefit by learning more about their own bone strength, and, if appropriate, being counseled by the research team as to any further options they may want to pursue.

The project is funded under the federal government’s Applied Research and Commercialization (ARC) program, which helps Brock researchers partner with small and medium enterprises on projects that help the businesses compete nationally and internationally.

Read more stories in: Gallery, News, Research
Tagged with: , ,

15 comments on “Research team seeks volunteers to join scoliosis project”

  1. Kim R says:

    My sister was diagnosed with scoliosis at 15, and underwent surgery a few months later. She is now 18, and is interested in this study. Are people who have had surgery eligible? Or is it only people who were treated with a brace?


  2. My 15 year old daughter has scoliosis. She has not been braced but she receives physiotherapy weekly. She is too young for this study, but I would appreciate you letting me know if you are doing future research with younger females.

  3. diana durand says:

    i had surgery in 1966-have two harrington rods-just turned 60 years of age. I have never had any problems with my back since.

  4. nasreen says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    We would be sure to inform you of any future studies for which your daughter may be a candidate. In the meantime if you of any other females who were braced in their adolescence please let them know about our study.
    Project Coordinator

  5. Rick says:

    If you want males with scoliosis for future research, I will be more than glad to volunteer.

  6. Julie says:

    I was diagnosed at age 14 with a 52 degree curve.

    I had surgery shortly after in 1974 to correct this as it was determined at the time that I had stopped growing so too late for a brace.

    I was in an MVA in 1990. As a result of a Harrington (sp?) rod & future of my upper back my lower back took the brunt of the force I have had several surgeries since. My back is almost completely fused & I am disabled.
    I am 52 years old.

    It is doubtful that I could come & give you an interview b/c of my situation.

    I don’t know if this is of any interest to you or not, but I thought I could offer my experience if that helps you any.

  7. Kelsey Carragher says:

    Hi, I am currently a Brock student enrolled in Kinesiology. I am 19 and have scoliosis in my lower back. My curvature is to the right and I have not been doing physio for it for many years although it is still agrivating. If you need any more people for researching I am available through e-mail.

  8. nasreen says:

    Hi Rick,
    Thank you for your interest and support. We will keep you in record for future studies males. If you have any friends or know of any females with scoliosis and were braced please let them know about our study.

    Hi Julie,
    Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story with us. At the moment we are in the process of recruiting and testing participant. I am sure you have much more to share with us and will be sure to keep in touch. At the moment if you know of any girls/women who had scoliosis and were braced please let them know about our study.

    Thank you everyone for your posts and please continue to post any information that may want to share with others.


  9. Denise Mahoney says:

    My 15 month old son has scoliosis, and we plan to treat with everything but surgery. If any future research is being done on infantile scoliosis, please let me know, as I would gladly participate with him. Im glad to see scoliosis research continuing.

  10. nasreen says:

    Hi Denise, I wish you and your son all the best and if there are any future for infantile scoliosis studies I will surely let you know.

  11. Julia S says:


    I am 23 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 13/14. My parents decided not to take the surgery route; I wore a back brace for about 2 years that was constructed for me at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. I went for follow ups even after I had to wear the brace to ensure my spine stopped curving. Since I stopped growing at around 18 my spine has stayed at the same level of curvature. My spine is curved to the right causing my right shoulder blade to be uneven with the left and slightly elevated. I don’t have many problems with it today other than getting sore and stiff after sitting in the same position for too long (long car or plane rides, etc).
    I will be happy to participate in this study.


  12. Hello my name is Cindy and I have had severe scoliosis since I was in grade 9 so roughly 10years. I believe You and myself would really benefit from his and I’m really looking forwarding to speaking with you further regarding it. Thank you for your consideration!!

  13. Amy D says:

    I am a Brock student, am 33, and was diagnosed with scoliosis of the lower spine about five years ago (maybe longer). Besides chronic back pain I have not had any surgeries and I am not in braces. I have herniated discs in my neck (T5, T6)that touch my spinal cord and cause severe back pain, neck pain, occasional blurred vision and migraines as well…Doctor is not sure this is the cause of the onset of my spinal curvature or not. Also my mother has spina bifeda. If my experience could benefit your research I would be happy to participate.

  14. Magda says:

    I am 54 years old but I had and still have a cevere scoliosis and very much back pain I have not had any surgeries and I don’t know if I am in braces,
    If my exprience could benefit your research I would be happy to participate

  15. Nicole says:

    I am a 40 year old women with scoliosis. I was diagnosed when when I was about 16. Dr. told me I wouldn’t be able to walk by 40…… still walking, much pain though, now have RA. they all seem to cause me pain in tandem with eachother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *