FAQs About Scoliosis Treatment & Bracing
Scoliosis is a condition that affects that natural curvature of the spine, causing it to instead curve to the side in an "S" or "C" shape. The natural history of scoliosis is to worsen over time causing more severe symptoms for the patient. What causes scoliosis? Unfortunately, the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown. It may be the result of various genetic, neurological and environmental factors.
What impact does scoliosis have on patients?
That depends upon the severity of the curvature. Some patients have curves of only a few degrees and have daily pain that is severe, while other patients may have severe curves and have no pain at all, but they may have dysfunction in some organ systems. So how scoliosis impacts each patient is different for each patient.
What kinds of symptoms can someone with scoliosis suffer from?
Pain in the neck, back, shoulder, and buttock are common. Due to early onset of arthritis in spinal joints and degeneration of the discs and ligaments that hold the spine together. In more severe cases people suffering from scoliosis can suffer from heart issues, trouble with there GI system as well as breathing problems.
How is scoliosis normally treated?
Scoliosis treatment has come a long way over the last 20 years. Conservative methods are advancing by leaps and bounds with researchers discovering better methods of scoliosis specific exercises and better bracing methods. Surgical techniques are also advancing with more options now than just rods. Newer surgical techniques now use a system of tethers within the spine to effect spinal growth plates to maintain full range of motion in the spine yet straighten the spine. Our focus of course is on the conservative side of the equation, which focuses on scoliosis specific exercises and bracing.
There are several styles of scoliosis specific exercises. Two of the more popular styles are Schroth and S.E.A.S (Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis). Both styles are well researched and shown to be effective. We prefer SEAS style exercises because we believe them to be easier for patients to perform daily. The goal of all specific scoliosis exercise programs is to stabilize and in some cases reduce the size of the scoliosis. Scoliosis specific exercise programs have been shown to be more effective than general physical therapy programs for treating patient with scoliosis. They should be part of any scoliosis treatment program.
scoliosis bracing is also an important part of conservative scoliosis treatment. In the past the goal of bracing was stabilization of scoliosis curves. Scoliosis braces now can actually give a certain amount of correction of scoliosis curves using newer methods of brace design and construction. These braces are termed asymmetrical super over corrective braces. We provide a type of this brace called the ScoliBrace, here at Pivonka Health and Wellness.
Is surgery necessary in some cases?
Yes. But we believe that all conservative efforts should be exhausted before a surgery is undertaken to avoid the obvious negative aspects of undergoing a surgery of that magnitude is at all possible.
If you are suffering from scoliosis or have pain associated with your scoliosis, then you should make an appointment with us so we can figure out the best treatment options for you. We've found that many patients respond well to chiropractic adjustments, scoliosis specific exercise, and bracing to help correct their scoliosis and reduce the severity of their symptoms.