Categories Scoliosis

Chiropractic Therapy for Scoliosis: Is It Safe and Efficient?

Scoliosis represents an abnormal curvature of the spine. It starts in adolescence when the main bones in the skeleton experience the most significant growth spurt. Doctors estimate that at least 7 million Americans suffer from this condition. However, the number may be larger, because people who only have a slight degree of curvature of the spine do not go to tests and are not diagnosed. In this article, our doctors will explain the benefits of chiropractic therapy for scoliosis, as well as some relevant facts about living with this condition.

When and Why Does Scoliosis Appear?

As we stated above, the first signs of scoliosis appear in adolescence. In most cases, the curvature of the spine is mild and barely visible. In other cases, there is a marked difference between the level of the shoulders and the overall posture of the patient.

It is not clear why scoliosis appears. However, many cases present the following medical history:

  • Neuromuscular conditions, such as muscular dystrophy (underdeveloped muscles, unable to maintain a straight posture)
  • Birth defects that affect the spine as it develops
  • Injuries to the spine
  • Surgery on the chest wall during early infancy.Also, the condition appears to be genetically inherited, and it usually affects girls in a higher proportion compared to boys.

What Are the Risks of Living with Scoliosis?

The lateral curvature of the spine changes the entire position of the ribcage. This means that the ribs may press on certain organs, causing:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Chronic pain.

Also, as the condition worsens, the person’s appearance is visibly different from the normal posture. This leads many patients to develop extreme shyness and self-consciousness about the way they look, becoming recluse and asocial.

Is Chiropractic Therapy for Scoliosis a Good Choice?

In our clinic, we strive to help patients with scoliosis enjoy a better quality of life. First of all, we wish to clarify one aspect: a chiropractor will not straighten your spine. This requires surgery, and it is only recommended in very severe cases, when the angle of the spine exceeds 50 degrees.

What chiropractic therapy for scoliosis does is this:

1. Prevent the Spine Curve from Getting Worse

We recommend starting chiropractic care for scoliosis at the earliest signs of the conditions. Our chiropractors are trained to work with different categories of patients, including teenagers. 

We will adapt our adjustment techniques to each patient, taking into account their tolerance to pain and other relevant information from their medical history. Our aim is to delay as much as possible further deformation of the spine, until the spine reaches its full length and becomes more stable.

2. Help Relieve Pain

Chiropractic therapy for scoliosis includes massages, which help relax tense and overstretched muscles in the back. For patients, it makes all the difference in the world – they are no longer living with back pain on a daily basis and can focus on their education, hobbies and life plans.

We are aware that pain is not only a cause of fatigue, but also a constant source of stress for patients with scoliosis. Thus, we are trying to give them not only pain relief, but also a positive outlook on life.

3. Educate Patients to Lead a Healthier Life

People with scoliosis tend to be withdrawn, stop practicing sports and enjoying their hobbies. This usually leads to an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle, combined with resorting to comfort food, which is usually rich in sugar or fats.

A big part of chiropractic therapy for scoliosis is talking to the patient and explaining them that this withdrawal from active life creates a vicious cycle: weak muscles and excess weight generate more pain and speed up the evolution of scoliosis.

At our clinic, we specialize in chiropractic therapy for scoliosis adapted for people of all ages. We will treat you with care and make you feel safe and comfortable. Call us now to set an initial appointment with us!

Categories Scoliosis

Scoliosis: It is a Problem for All Ages, From Young Teens to Our Elderly Population.

In our office, we see a lot of patients with this condition called scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature in the spine when looking side to side, rather than being perfectly straight. These abnormal curves cause problems because they pinch on certain nerves that go to vital organs. Scoliosis also causes abnormal muscle contractions, which can cause pain throughout the body. This is a common condition that can be very, very detrimental.

Unfortunately, the medical approach to scoliosis is not very promising. They start off with bracing, attempting to bring the spine back to normal. Rarely does this help. Eventually, scoliosis gets worse and worse, to the point where medicine recommends surgery. Surgery entails a big scar down your back and iron rods going through your spine, and, unfortunately, it does not have the best long-term results.

Why do those with scoliosis come to us? We get to the cause of their scoliosis. We locate the cause, correct the cause, and scoliosis eventually goes away. We have found that almost 100% of the time, the cause of scoliosis is a misalignment in the top of the neck. A misalignment of the top bone in the neck throws the head off-center. When that happens, the brain is not level, so the brain tells the spine to compensate in order to balance the head. What these compensations look like overtime is a dropped shoulder, a raised hip, tight hamstrings, and a short leg, with abnormal curves in the spine (scoliosis).

When we catch this in adulthood, usually the patient has shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, and/or foot pain. We start correcting the misaligned bone and that pain usually goes away. However, if scoliosis starts in the pre-pubescent years, or 11, 12, or 13 years old, we must remove the misalignment urgently because once the child goes through puberty, they grow very rapidly, and scoliosis gets rapidly worse. This is called childhood scoliosis. If it is not corrected at a young age, you see these people with “hunchbacks,” or with a severe antalgic lean.

Hopefully, now you realize that it is imperative to get our kids into an upper cervical doctor, so we can see if they present with scoliosis or its precursors. We can check the entire spine, see if scoliosis is starting to form, and correct the cause at the top of the neck before it gets any worse. If you are an adult with scoliosis, we can take care of you as well.

Categories Scoliosis

Natural Treatment for Scoliosis in Adults

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects about 2-3 percent of the population and may continue to worsen over time. Many treatments for scoliosis focus on helping the patient cope with the symptoms that come with it.

These treatments may range anywhere from physical therapy, medication, and surgery. However, there is one specific kind of treatment that has helped patients not only cope with the symptoms of scoliosis in adults but could in fact help your body in fighting against it for the best outcome.

What are the Signs of Scoliosis in Adults?

Noticing the signs and symptoms of scoliosis in adults can help you spot the beginning signs of scoliosis. If you have had scoliosis for a while, keep in mind there is a natural treatment that can still help improve your condition. As always, the earlier you can begin treatment for scoliosis in adults, the better.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of scoliosis in adults:

  • Head not centered – The head may not be centered above the pelvis if you have scoliosis.
  • Body leans – The body may tend to lean to one side due to scoliosis.
  • Change of skin appearance or texture – Changes in skin appearance or texture can include abnormal color, hairy patches, or dimples.
  • Height of rib cage – Scoliosis in adults can cause the rib cages to be leveled at different heights.
  • Height Loss – Due to the curvature of the spine, scoliosis may cause you to become shorter in height.
  • Uneven shoulders – Scoliosis causes a tilt, which can cause your shoulders to become uneven (one lower than the other) or cause one or both shoulder blades to stick out.
  • Back pain – When your spine changes to an abnormal position, it is common for discomfort or pain to happen.
  • Trouble breathing – Scoliosis can reduce the area of your chest leaving less room for your lungs to expand.
  • Rotating spine – The spine can twist and turn as it moves its position.
  • Raised hips – Both hips may be raised unusually high. The same could happen to only one hip.

If you have noticed you have one or more of these signs or symptoms, there is a chance you may have scoliosis. It is best to see a professional right away to make sure you have the best outcome possible in treating your scoliosis. Scoliosis in adults can worsen over time, so it is important to not wait too long.

Causes of Scoliosis in Adults

The cause of scoliosis in adults can vary and depends on the type of scoliosis. Sometimes, there is no known cause – known as idiopathic scoliosis. Other times, it could be due to the natural aging process, or degenerative. Scoliosis in adults could also be a case of pediatric scoliosis that was not discovered until reaching adulthood. 

A Natural Treatment for Scoliosis in Adults

While medication and surgery are options for most people who suffer from scoliosis, an all-natural treatment should be tried first to avoid unwanted changes to your body. Medication and surgery both come with side effects as they work to forcing your body to change a certain way to “ignore” the discomfort that comes along with scoliosis.

Upper cervical adjustments are effective treatments for scoliosis in adults. Upper cervical adjustments also try to correct your body from the inside by allowing your brain stem to support the proper brain to body communication and healthy spine health.

The upper cervical spine is located in your neck area, beginning at the base of your skull. What is unique about your upper cervical spine is that the rest of your spine will follow its lead. If your upper cervical spine is out of place, the rest of your spine will begin to twist, bend, and turn in ways to keep your head level.

While you may want to fix the lower part of your spine, it is your upper cervical spine that holds most of the influence over your spine’s alignment.

Unlike general chiropractic, upper cervical adjustments focus on the top two bones of your body and use very precise, gentle movements to correct the area. When an adjustment is made, pressure from any misaligned vertebrae will be taken off the brain stem allowing the proper brain to body communication to send signals back and forth properly again.

These signals help tell your body what to do in order to repair any muscles, ligaments, nerves, or soft tissue that was damaged during the misalignment.

In addition, the adjustment corrects the placement of your upper cervical spine and can help influence the positioning of the rest of your spine over time. Patients have reported feeling the rest of their spine shifting and moving into a better position after upper cervical adjustments.

Because of the entire spine being affected by the adjustments, it is quite common for the body to feel sore and is recommended to drink plenty of water.

If you or a loved one is currently battling scoliosis, upper cervical adjustments can help not only improve their symptoms but improve the overall health of the body and help it from the inside.

Categories Scoliosis

What is Scoliosis?

It’s basically a curvature of the spine. Our spine is designed, looking from front to back, to be straight up and down, giving us stability this way, with gravity pushing down. It’s supposed to be curved from front to back, three major curves, which from that angle gives us some flex, some give, and some shock absorbency fighting off gravity. Well, when we get curves where we’re not supposed to have curves, going this way, then that creates weaknesses.

It also creates a loss of symmetry, which, over time, can cause faster degeneration, can cause back/neck pain, hip pain, it can affect the nerves that come out the spine that go down the legs, down the arms, can cause headaches, and can create severe musculoskeletal problems. Where does Scoliosis come from? Well, 99% of Scoliosis comes from a misalignment at the top of the neck. That other 1% can come from a deformity, which is very rare, like I said, 1%, where you have a partial vertebra that’s formed, and so your body has to bend accordingly.

It’s very rare. Majority of cases start at the neck and work their way down. What happens is it could be as early as birth trauma, but something can cause one of the upper bones in the neck to get just a little bit out of aligned, which, in turn, forces the head to tilt. It has to go with it. The head sits on top of those bones. Anywhere those bones go, the head goes with it and can force it to lean to one side or the other. The brain is designed to be level always. It has its own reflex. It’s called the righting reflex, and the purpose of that reflex is to make sure the brain’s level or parallel to the ground.

If one of these bones, like in this case, moves out a little bit to one side, that takes the head with it. The brain doesn’t like it. This bone gets stuck. The body can’t unstick it. What it does instead is it starts a chain reaction. For example, if it went to this way to get the brain level, it might cause you to pull down one shoulder, and pull up one hip. Thus, making one leg shorter than the other. This creates this potential bend of the spine. Over time, it can increase, depending on how far out of alignment the bone is in the neck. As a result of that, you end up with a low shoulder, high hip, and one leg shorter than the other.

As a result, because of the curvature, you end up with stretched contracted muscles in the neck, the upper back, and out to the shoulders. It can affect the hips. It can affect the hamstrings. It can affect your feet because now, instead of your feet walking like this, you have one leg shorter than the other, so now everything walks off kilter. It can affect your knees, your hips. If you can catch Scoliosis early enough while they’re still growing, then you can actually reverse it so that the spine can straighten out. If it happens later in life, then all you can do is keep it as balanced as possible, whatever the potential is.

I have plenty of patients with 40, 50-degree curvatures in their spine that can live a perfectly normal, asymptomatic life, but you have to manage it. You have to keep their body tuned up. You have to keep the upper bone in the neck aligned so that the spine doesn’t keep compensating, and then that’s going to pull as much stress as you can off the spine, and the body should be able to adapt. If you have Scoliosis, or if you have some degree of curvature in the spine, we don’t know how much we can straighten it, but straightening it isn’t necessarily the key. The key is to take the stress off so the body quits trying to bend and contort itself so that the spine can actually relax and not keep turning and keep dropping shoulders and raising hips.

If you can keep the head level, then the spine will level itself as much as it can level itself. In that case, most of the time, you can live a perfectly normal, pain-free life. If you have a curve in your spine, or if you have some degree of scoliosis, find an Upper Cervical doctor near you. Let them check to see if you have a misalignment in your neck that could have created the curve. If so, they’re going to restore the misalignment, getting the head level so the body quits trying to fight itself to keep that head balanced.

Categories Scoliosis

Scoliosis and Chiropractic Treatment

Today, I want to talk to you about scoliosis. You’re probably familiar with the term scoliosis. It’s basically a curvature from side to side through the spine. A traditional medical approach is they have a brace, Milwaukee brace. You wear it for oftentimes many years. It’s very uncomfortable, puts a lot of abnormal stress on the spine, and the idea is it’s trying to force the spine and try to level itself out. The results on this Milwaukee brace are not that great. Most invasive is surgical Harrington rods where they basically go in and run steel rods up the spine and tie it around the spine to force the spine to move back, which again, obviously, can’t be very comfortable for the patient. At the same time, you lose all your mobility because you have these steel rods running down.

What we have experienced is almost 100% of the time scoliosis actually comes from the upper part of the neck.  Imagine a flower trying to get to the sun. Your spine tries to keep the head level at all times.This is what we have found is that if one of the bones in the upper part of the neck get out of position the head that sits on top of those bones   Anywhere those bones go the head goes with it. If the bone moves to the left in this example, looking behind this person it forces the head to go with it. It doesn’t have any choice because the head just sits on top of that bone. It got misaligned. It could have been the birthing process. It could have been a fall, an injury, a sports injury, car accident … there’s many common ways that this bone can move.

What happens is it takes the bone to the right or left, taking the head with it, and the brain doesn’t like it. The body will try to balance the brain, bending and contorting itself until it levels the head. Many times, that’s why those with scoliosis often have a low shoulder. They’ll often have a high hip, and they’ll have one leg shorter than the other. The difference between this in an adult versus when it happens while you’re still growing is, in an adult, what will happen is you will just have the low shoulder high hip, short leg, and as a result you could end up with neck pain, back pain, hip pain, leg pain, foot pain, etc. If this happens while the spine is still growing what will happen is it will actually grow in a curved fashion in an attempt to bring the head back to level.

If we can catch the scoliosis while you’re still growing, or while the child is still growing, then if we can correct it a lot of times.  What will happen is as it continues to grow it will straighten out, but if it’s after the fact.  If you’re an adult and your spine is already completely finished growing what you need to do is still maximize whatever potential is there. Will you ever have a perfectly straight spine again? Probably not, but there’s a really good chance that you can take most of the stress out of the spine by keeping the body as balanced as possible and that means correcting whatever initially started the curve in the spine by getting the head finally leveled back out. That’s going to take a lot of the tension, a lot of the muscle that are tight and contracted that are creating a lot of muscular skeletal problems, it’s going to take that extra stress out, keeping the body balanced, down in the lower back and the legs level and that’s going to allow the spine to be as erect as possible, as straight as possible. Whatever potential’s there we can maximize.

If you’ve had scoliosis or if you have a child with scoliosis, most importantly, get them checked by an upper cervical doctor. Find out if there’s something wrong at the top of the neck that could have created the scoliosis. Most of the time that’s the case. If we can correct that maybe there’s still a chance we can reduce or even completely take out the curve in the spine. If you’re an adult, we can still maximize what potential is there. Make you feel as good as you possibly can, which I’ve had people come in with 43-degree curves that can completely be asymptomatic, live a perfectly normal life, have no back pain, no discomfort and be as active as they want to be.