If your teenager has been diagnosed with the abnormal sideways spine curvature known as scoliosis, you may feel discouraged about the possible need for surgery in the future. Consider seeking therapy from a chiropractor if the scoliosis is still considered mild or moderate.
With adults who have scoliosis, chiropractic care typically is intended to reduce pain and increase mobility. However, in a person with a growing spine, certain types of therapy may correct some or all of the abnormality.
Traditionally, rigid bracing has been the preferred course of treatment to halt scoliosis progression. More recently, flexible bracing has become available.
A flexible brace is advantageous for two primary reasons. First, it's more comfortable, as the individual can move freely. That means he or she is more likely to wear it regularly. Second, the musculoskeletal system can work in tandem with this type of brace.
A rigid brace can stop or delay further spinal curvature as long as the person continues wearing the brace regularly. In contrast, the flexible brace helps correct the individual's patterns of posture and motion, and the flexibility stimulates the neuromuscular system. It strengthens the musculoskeletal muscles while helping the body gradually correct the abnormal curve.
A rigid brace cannot do this. In fact, wearing a rigid brace can actually weaken muscles, since mobility is reduced. And as soon as the person stops wearing it, the curvature tends to progress.
This therapy involves sitting in a specialized chair while undergoing spinal decompression through traction. Spinal decompression therapy is often used by chiropractors to treat patients with a herniated disk, although the equipment is somewhat different.
Corrective traction for scoliosis addresses all parts of the spine from the neck through the lower back. The patient simply relaxes while the equipment does the work. You may bring your teenager to the clinic for regular treatments or acquire a specialized chair to use at home with detailed instructions from the chiropractor.
Chiropractors also may use specialized weights in a program custom-designed for each patient. The patient wears these weights on the head and shoulders while performing a specific exercise, such as walking on a treadmill for a certain length of time. He or she may be instructed to use the weights at home as well.
If your child's doctor has recommended a "watch and wait" approach -- which is quite common in mild cases of scoliosis -- contact a chiropractor, like Brementowne Chiropractic, for more information on treatment. Unfortunately, many people diagnosed with mild scoliosis later discover their disorder has worsened and they were not given the opportunity to stop the progression.Share