Scoliosis

Scoliosis: What It Is and The Latest Treatment

What Is Scoliosis? Is It Treatable?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. If you are viewing someone’s back, the spine forms a straight line from the back of the neck down to the buttocks.

However, when viewing the back of someone with scoliosis, the spine won’t form a straight line. Instead, it will curve into a C-shape or sometimes twist into an S-shape.

Some types of scoliosis are not viewed unless the person bends over, and then the scoliotic curve becomes very obvious.

Scoliosis isn’t just a cosmetic problem that makes it difficult to find clothes that fit or clothes that minimize the curvature. Scoliosis causes pain and often disability, especially in the case where it occurs later in life.

Scoliosis may be treatable, and this is good news to those who suffer from scoliosis pain.

Who Gets Scoliosis?

Most often, scoliosis is found in children, and in adults who suffer trauma from car accidents or osteoporosis. Some studies have discovered that most people have a slight curvature of the spine, but the curvature isn’t enough to cause scoliosis pain. As the curvature increases, there will be more scoliosis pain, as the internal organs will be compressed and their ability to function reduced.

No one knows why scoliosis occurs in children or why some children are born with it. One hypothesis is that nutrient deficiencies such as with manganese and vitamin C, which are important in the development of collagen, bone, muscle, and connective tissue, causes it. The studies supporting it were performed in animals. The animals deficient in these nutrients developed scoliosis.

When scoliosis develops as a result of a collapsed vertebrae from trauma or osteoporosis, the scoliosis pain is usually severe. This is because of the sudden increased activity in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which become strained and overworked. The muscles, tendons and ligaments have pain receptors that notify the body when there is inflammation, damage to the tissue or excessive electrical activity in the muscles.

Traditional Scoliosis Treatment Versus The Latest Scoliosis Treatment

Those with scoliotic curves of 20-40 degrees are usually treated with back braces and scoliosis exercises. Once the curve exceeds 40 degrees, surgery is often warranted.

Both these traditional scoliosis treatments have their disadvantages. Studies have found that self-esteem issues can develop in children out of the use of a back brace. And because the brace may not stop the curvature – or the scoliosis pain – it’s questionable whether this treatment was worth all the pain and suffering during such a critical time in the child’s life when friendships are formed!

Home exercises are always included in the protocols given to those who have scoliosis.

The next step in scoliosis treatment is surgery, (Link to surgery page) where steel rods are inserted next to the spine in an attempt to hold the spine straight. Many scoliosis sufferers don’t need surgery, but it’s an available option for those with scoliosis pain and curvatures of more than 40 degrees.

Again, medical scientists are doing their best to come up with alternative scoliosis treatment because disability can result within five years of the surgery. Some studies show that up to 40% of those who have the surgery ended up severely handicapped. If the rods are removed, then the curvature returns.

The latest type of scoliosis treatment is offered at the CLEAR Institute. Developed by Dr. Dennis Woggen, the method depends on a combination of traction, derotation, and vibration which are applied to the patient who sits in a specially-designed chair. The derotation is an essential part of the process because as the spine curves into the curve of scoliosis, it also rotates.

The CLEAR Institute treatment was the subject of a research study whereby researchers discovered that the scoliosis curve decreased 17 degrees on average after only four to six weeks of treatment. All 19 subjects in the study significantly reduced their scoliosis. You can read more about it at www.clear-institute.org