In practice, I have seen that the detection of scoliosis in the early stage is key to making changes, in both symptoms and the progression, for many individuals. In many cases, slight curvatures in the spine are usually ignored by traditional medicine and no treatment is considered until the curvature is so significant that it starts to cause pain.
Chiropractors have been trained in the early detection of scoliosis by identifying minor curvatures or distortion by examination and spinal imaging. The evaluation is important because the goal is to detect scoliosis at an early enough stage to help slow down the progression of the condition and begin treatment before the symptoms negatively impact the patient’s quality of life.
While research is still ongoing into the overall effectiveness of chiropractic treatments in scoliosis, there are numerous case studies that suggest that it can decrease the scoliosis angle. Waiting for scoliosis to get worse before deciding to treat it can prolong your pain and can lead to a progression in spinal changes. This is why early detection is key and why they have scoliosis checks for children in school. Unfortunately, in many situations they don’t have any direction or a treatment plan for helping your child after it is detected. Conventional theory is designed to be reactive instead of proactive.
Chiropractic treatments are very effective in correcting functionality and relieving the pain associated with scoliosis, but it doesn’t do anything to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine. Therefore, we designed treatment plans to include a combination of specific chiropractic adjustments along with muscle strengthening exercises to help improve the success.
A study published in September of 2011, in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, showed the effectiveness of combining rehabilitative therapy along with chiropractic treatment. The report showed that not only was the disability and pain significantly reduced, there was an increase in lung capacity and a reduction in the Cobb angle (degree of scoliosis) for 22 of the 28 patients taking part in the study when they combined therapies.
In our office, your chiropractic treatment plan will be customized based on your spinal curvature and is designed to target the involved muscles to improve strength and stability in the spine. Treatment plans are most effective when it focuses on strengthening and lengthening muscles that are on the concave side of the curve and relax the muscles on the convex side. The muscles on the convex side of the curve have been under immense strain and with proper treatment, these muscles can finally start to relax.
If you suspect you or a family member has scoliosis, schedule an appointment for an evaluation with a chiropractor that specializes in the treatment of scoliosis and other postural distortions. Don’t wait any longer. Get the information and assistance with treatment you need because this is a great start to helping you have better results.
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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene, 208-966-4425.