FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Scoliosis


Scoliosis is a 3 dimensional deformity of the spine with a curve greater than 10 degrees. It affects between 1% and 3% of the population.

The most common type of scoliosis is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Recent research into causes of scoliosis seems to suggest that there is often a genetic factor which affects the growth of the spine.

Scoliosis affects adults and children. In children it can be more serious because it can progress rapidly as the child grows.

No, female adolescents comprise more than 70 percent of all childhood cases.

No single treatment has proven to be effective in every case or suitable for every patient. A special understanding of spinal biomechanics and rehabilitation is required to achieve the best results.

Braces


Most bracing protocols are for two years, although they can be as short as one year.

Typically, most braces are worn twenty plus hours per day, however in some cases they are worn only at night and for as little as one year.

Most braces have a range that will allow for some growth, however in cases of rapid growth, a new brace must be made.

There is some room for tolerance, however if the changes are extreme, a new brace must be made.

Treatment


The key to successful scoliosis treatments is recommending the RIGHT treatment at the RIGHT time.

Bracing has proven to be the most effective form of treatment. There are two major categories of scoliosis bracing:

  • Dynamic Bracing (SpineCor)
    This is a soft fabric brace which allows for movement and applies corrective forces to the spine.

  • Ridged Bracing (ScoliBrace)
    This is a hard plastic brace that is 3D fitted to the patient and acts as a mirror image to reduce the deformity.

The third option is surgery. Approximately 15% of idiopathic scoliosis end up in surgery if unattended. Bracing reduces this percentage.

A great deal of the information that we rely on is from AP and Lateral x-rays of the spine. These x-rays must be taken in the weight bearing posture. In addition to x-rays, we use 3D scanners, body measurements, a scoliometer, postural photographs, and range of motion testing.

This is the method of determining the degree of the lateral curvature. The actual angle is measured by a universal system based on weight bearing x-rays.

There is no research supporting using complementary and alternative therapies to halt progression on scoliosis curves.

Complementary treatment may play an important role though in addressing the ongoing health needs of a patient with scoliosis, however there are limitations. These approaches may give pain relief, improve movement and help general posture and strength. These treatments should be encouraged if they help an individual patient deal with specific pain, posture or mobility issues.

Generally speaking, it is a poor choice as an exclusive treatment. Corrective movements, core exercises such as Dead Bug and exercises specific to each scoliosis classification will support primary treatment programs such as bracing.

Chiropractic is not a specific component of the bracing care, however we have found that Chiropractic care increases mobility and assists in the adaptation to the brace.