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How A Chiropractor Can Help With Scoliosis

Pointing at spineIf you have been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may be wondering about treatments to help straighten your spine. This may be especially true if you have begun to suffer from complications of scoliosis, like back or shoulder pain.

As a chiropractor in the Chesapeake area for more than 20 years, I have extensive experience successfully treating people with scoliosis. In this article, I will explain what scoliosis is, and how chiropractic care can help to treat the condition.

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve in the spine that impacts up to 3% of the population. The abnormal spinal curve can occur anywhere in the spine, most commonly occurring in the mid-back (thoracic) spine.

In a normal spine, the vertebrae are stacked vertically on top of each other, like a stack of blocks. However, in scoliosis, the vertebrae tilt to the side, making the spine curve in a way it is not designed to do.

Several scoliosis subtypes exist, including:

  • Idiopathic scoliosis: This is the most common type of scoliosis, in which the cause is unknown.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis: In these cases, scoliosis is caused by underlying neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, or polio
  • Congenital scoliosis: This type of scoliosis is present at birth and occurs when a baby’s ribs or spine do not form properly.

Often, scoliosis has no symptoms. For this reason, a person may not be aware they have scoliosis until a doctor tells them about it. Unfortunately, even if the person does not have symptoms, the spinal curvatures in scoliosis may worsen over time if left untreated. This can lead to complications like:

  • Back or shoulder pain
  • Weakness in the spine
  • Muscle spasms in the back
  • Uneven hips or shoulders
  • Breathing problems
  • Spinal or nerve damage
  • Spinal fluid leakage

Does Scoliosis Worsen With Age?

Scoliosis can worsen with age and over time, especially without treatment. About 40% of adult scoliosis patients experience worsening of their condition with time.

As a person gets older, they may develop degenerative scoliosis. In this condition, the spinal curvature is often in the lower back. Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, often occurs alongside degenerative scoliosis. A person with degenerative scoliosis may experience gradual pain, especially with activity.

Can Scoliosis Be Cured?

Scoliosis is a treatable condition. However, it is not curable. Much like other chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, scoliosis can be managed. Chiropractic care is an alternative to traditional medical scoliosis treatments, which include bulky spinal braces or spinal surgery.

Typically under 20 degrees of curvature can be managed conservatively with chiropractic or just monitored.  20-40 degrees can combine conservative care (chiropractic) and bracing or other interventional treatments.  Advanced scoliosis over 40 degrees if affecting internal organs may require surgery which uses Harrington rods to force the curvature straight.

Can A Chiropractor Straighten Your Spine?

Studies have shown that chiropractic treatment can improve pain, spinal curvature, and disability from scoliosis in adults over the long term. This is especially true when chiropractic care is combined with other scoliosis treatments like exercise and special stretches. By combining spinal realignment from chiropractic care with muscle-strengthening exercises and stretches to support your new spinal alignment, scoliosis can be managed.

Studies in adolescents with scoliosis have also provided promising results with chiropractic care. This is especially true when chiropractic care has been combined with other treatments like nighttime bracing. Additional studies are being conducted.

Scoliosis Treatment At Precision Spinal Care

If you are seeking care for scoliosis, it is important to choose a doctor who is an expert in scoliosis treatment. A doctor who is specifically credentialed in spinal biomechanics will be able to perform a biomechanical spine assessment and give recommendations on how best to treat your condition.

My experience and expertise in spinal biomechanics allow me to competently and safely address your scoliosis. I am a trauma and hospital-qualified spine management physician. I have credentials in MRI spine interpretation, spinal biomechanical engineering, and orthopedic testing through the Academy of Chiropractic. I am also a fellow in Spinal Biomechanics and Trauma which is recognized through the SUNY Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.

At your first visit, I will review your medical records and perform a thorough examination. After your exam, we will discuss my findings and I will answer any questions you have.

If we decide that chiropractic care is not the best treatment for your scoliosis, I will refer you to the appropriate provider to best meet your needs.

At Precision Spinal Care we are happy to help you determine the best way to treat your scoliosis. Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak with me or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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