Bending Over Backward: Chiropractic Help for Scoliosis

Bending Over Backward: Chiropractic Help for Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a spinal condition that affects many worldwide. Although definitive studies are lacking, several prominent case studies suggest that chiropractic treatment can help manage scoliotic curves. It is also widely accepted as being effective in alleviating the condition’s pain and discomfort in adults. We invite you to take a look into this condition and learn about the chiropractic methods used to combat it.

What Is Scolosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. While it can occur in people with conditions like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy (neuromuscular), the cause of most childhood scoliosis is unknown. It also can be caused by injuries (traumatic) or genetic defects (congenital).

Most cases are mild and may not require treatment, but they need monitoring because some curves worsen as children grow. Even mild scoliosis has an up to 20% risk of progressing. Once a curve passes a 20° angle, the progression risk more than triples (68%); if initially diagnosed at more than 25°, progression is very likely. If untreated, severe scoliosis carries a 90% risk of progression and can be physically disabling.

Complications of Scoliosis

At best, children with scoliosis are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain as adults, especially if untreated. But an especially severe spinal curve can press the rib cage against the lungs, which reduces the space within the chest and makes breathing difficult.

As scoliosis worsens, it also becomes physically noticeable because the spine rotates or twists in addition to curving to the side. This can manifest in uneven hips and shoulders, jutting ribs, and a shift of the waist or trunk to the side, making movement challenging.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Treatments

  • Observation: Children with mild scoliosis are observed closely, usually with x-rays, to see if the curve is worsening. This “watch and wait” practice carries no active treatment, but if rapid growth spurts occur, severe changes can make future treatments more challenging.
  • Traditional Bracing: Braces can slow or arrest scoliosis progression. Most commonly prescribed is the Boston brace, made from prefabricated molds; however, its effectiveness depends on modifications to the molds because a poorly designed device can negatively impact the condition.
  • Surgery: The goal of surgery is to halt scoliosis progression with spinal fusion; however, having the surgery does not mean creating a healthy person. Surgery can negatively affect physical appearance, pain levels, and quality of life; and it can limit options for future treatment.

Chiropractic Treatments for Scoliosis

While traditional chiropractic has mixed results in treating scoliosis, specific techniques and exercises have proven more effective than general physical therapy. The scoliosis-targeted chiropractic differs in frequency and duration as well as the actual methods delivered to the patient since the goal of this specific therapy is to passively mobilize the spine into a corrected position.

According to Dr. Rick Gross of Quality Care Chiropractic, “We approach scoliosis from a flexibility, motion, and function perspective. We adjust the spine to help it become more flexible, allowing the patient to feel less tension in their back, less pressure, and less pain. Instead of fighting their curve, we work with it to get amazing results. Even if the patient only has a slight curve, after the adjustment they tend to breathe better, have faster reflexes, get sick less often, stand taller and straighter, and feel like they can do more.”

Dr. Gross adds, “The adjustments are extremely comfortable, typically without any twisting or popping of the joints. We recommend specific exercises to help stabilize and support the spine during the treatment plan, and ongoing home care to maintain their progress.”

In general, these self-correction exercises are customized to every patient based on ability and curve type, and they consist of active-movement, isometric, and reflexive exercises.

Quality Care Chiropractic also offers the MLS Laser treatment option for patients in severe pain or pain with which the inflammation does not subside any other way.

Patient Experience Tells All

Heather N., a patient at Quality Care Chiropractic, shares about her experience with chiropractic treatment for her scoliosis: “I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Rick and Dr. Jennifer and their staff! Shown is an x-ray of my back. I have severe scoliosis that has caused me chronic back pain for a lot of my life. When I learned about their office, I was having a really hard time sleeping due to the back pain. I was a little bit nervous, but they immediately put me at ease, letting me know that my treatment was customized to my situation.”

She adds, “Almost right away I felt the compression ease in my spine, and I started getting better quality of sleep. They are compassionate and genuinely care about your aches and pains and how you are progressing. I highly recommend, if you have apprehension about chiropractic care, that you put it aside and give them a try!”

If you or someone you know may be affected by scoliosis, contact Quality Care Chiropractic at (630) 499-2225 to learn more about scoliosis-specific treatment options and what chiropractic can do to help.

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    I have found that being a doctor is so rewarding because every single day I see miracles happen in front of my very eyes. If I stick to basic principles, I notice the best results. I focus on effective, research-based therapies. I recommend only the therapies I believe my patients need, and only for as many treatments as I believe they need. I keep up with current research and educational seminars to improve techniques and treatments. I treat each person in my office like I would treat my own family – with respect, compassion, and understanding. When conflicts or problems arise, I expect honest, open communication to resolve any issues, and I promise to do my best to ensure satisfaction. I never take for granted the trust I have earned from my patients.