A patient recently asked me if a chiropractor could help her child with her scoliosis.
Great question and the answer is a big yes. Many children develop scoliosis while beginning or going through puberty. Years ago the school nurse would check young boys and girls for scoliosis. This was always a brief examination done by eye. The child would be asked to touch his or her toes while bending at the waist. Often this examination was enough to catch the scoliosis. Sometimes the test would not. This practice is still done by many schools today, however some schools are not offering this simple examination.
So what is scoliosis? It simply is any aberrant curve to the spine. Often it is of an unknown nature; sometimes there are factors such as trauma, or weight bearing issues that cause this. Scoliosis can often be very painful. This has always been my clinical finding. I have a slight scoliosis, mine is 8 degrees located in my mid thoracic spine, right behind my shoulder blade.
I can go for weeks and it not cause me an ounce of pain; I take a long car ride and bam, my back aches to the devil. I manage mine with chiropractic care and exercise. My scoliosis on x-ray has not increased since my 23rd birthday. As a chiropractic student I was always the first to lay down on a table and have any adjustment practiced on me, those were the great days when I was able to get adjusted every day. I really didn’t need that much care but my back loved it.
Management of scoliosis is one of those rare times that a child needs to get x-rayed (X-rays are still radiation and just x-raying for the sake of x-raying, during puberty, is without merit). The scoliosis films gives us a base line measurement of the scoliosis. This is done by in our office by a medical doctor that is a radiologist. The radiologist will use a computer to grade the scoliosis by a measurement of degrees. I have always preferred to have my x-rays read by a medical radiologist for the benefit of the patient and to share the information with the patient’s primary care doctor. Are chiropractors well equipped to measure scoliosis on x-ray? Absolutely. I just prefer working with great radiologist.
Once a base line is set and we understand the scoliosis treatment begins. Specific chiropractic adjustments are performed to reduce the scoliosis. This is coupled with exercise and stretches that are done at home. In a few cases the patient is referred to a specialist to have a scoliosis brace made for the patient. This brace is worn the majority of the day and it helps align the sign, very similar to wearing braces on your teeth. Modern braces are light weight and easy to wear. It beats practice 19 years ago when they were hard and ridged. Believe me fifteen year old girls did not want to use these.
Initially I prefer to have the patient x-rayed again at 6 months to see how the scoliosis is improving. After this x-ray it can be done once every year for a few years to monitor the scoliosis.
Chiropractic care is very safe and effective for treating scoliosis and it beats the alternative of doing nothing or worse butchering your child’s spine with surgery. At Moreland Chiropractic clinic we want to work with the patient and the pediatrician. All of notes are sent to child’s pediatrician, unless in the rare occasion that the parent does not want us to.
The goal is to manage and reduce the scoliosis and the pain. Then educate the patient on how to help themselves as much as possible throughout their lives, avoiding surgery and drugs.
Your children are precious and scoliosis should be treated seriously. Choose your treatment wisely; look for experience when choosing care. Find a chiropractor that is not just licensed but also board certified with at least ten years’ experience treat scoliosis. Unfortunately few chiropractors ever get to treat a patient with scoliosis while in school.
Treating scoliosis should not be a scary thing, it is common but when caught early treatment outcomes are very good.
Choose the drug free, surgery free natural method of treating and managing your scoliosis. Choose chiropractic care.
Feel free to contact our office located in the same great location for the last 19 years in Rolla MO. Moreland Chiropractic Clinic.
David J. Moreland, DC, CCSP.
Certified by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians