Q: Do I wear a scoliosis brace with this treatment?
A: Considering we are treating scoliosis before it has had a chance to progress, there is no need for bracing with the Early Stage Scoliosis treatment plan. Also, research has shown that both rigid bracing and soft bracing have been shown to be ineffective in preventing the progression of a scoliosis curvature. A study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics found 60% of patients surveyed felt that bracing had handicapped their lives, and 14% felt it left a psychological scar. No wonder, since the typical bracing protocol recommends the patient wear the brace for twenty three hours per day.
Q: What are the effects of scoliosis on my body?
A: Commonly scoliosis is associated with pain, but this is not always the case. And even if patients don’t suffer from physical pain, heart and lung function is often compromised. According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, scoliosis has even been associated with reduced life expectancy. Due to the strain on the heart and reduced amount of oxygen, people suffering from scoliosis average a 14-year reduction in their life expectancy. While scoliosis is generally associated with the spine, scoliosis patients can also suffer from headaches, shortness of breath, digestive problems, chronic disease, and hip, knee and leg pain.
Q: What are the effects of scoliosis?
A: Scoliosis is not always accompanied with pain, although it commonly is. Even in people without pain, however, the function of the heart & lungs is compromised. According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, scoliosis is associated with reduced life expectancy. On the average, people with scoliosis suffer a 14-year reduction in their life expectancy due to the strain upon the heart & the reduced amount of oxygen supplied to the body. Scoliosis is also associated with symptoms including headaches, shortness of breath, digestive problems, chronic disease, and hip, knee, & leg pain.
Q: Will my scoliosis get progress as I age?
A: For a long time and even till this day, doctors have told patients that their scoliosis would not progress after the age of 18; unfortunately, research has proven this to not be the case. Whether scoliosis develops earlier in life (Type A) or in adulthood (Type B), the chances of progression are high; the real question we need to be asking is how fast. Studies have also shown that as the curve increases, the amount of chronic pain goes up, with ranges of motion & the quality of life going down.
Q: What is meant by Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS)?
A: AIS is how your child’s scoliosis is categorized. Idiopathic merely states that there is no known cause, such as an injury, or some sort of birth trauma that led to the curvature in your child’s spine. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, therefore, is just another way of saying that the scoliosis first occurred at or near puberty, with an unknown cause.
Q: When should I start treatment for my scoliosis?
A: It is likely that you have been told that until the scoliosis reaches 20-25 degrees there is nothing you can do, except watch and wait (and, no doubt, worry). Then at 25 degrees, typically some form of bracing is usually recommended. If your curve is or is nearing 40-50 degrees, it is likely that surgery has been discussed with you and/or recommend. At CLEAR™ Institute, you can start addressing your scoliosis at any time, with any degree of curvature. It is never too late to start—and it is never too early. Being proactive is always the best approach; you have options despite what you have been told. It’s never too late—and it’s never too early.
Q: Why should I seek treatment for my scoliosis from a chiropractor certified by CLEAR Institute? What do they know about scoliosis that my regular D.C. doesn’t?
A: Typical chiropractic adjustments have been proven to be ineffective and sometimes even harmful to the scoliotic patient, due to the mobilization of fixated vertebrae by the adjustment. While this may cause pain relief in the short term, the long term result often is increased progression of the Cobb angle. CLEAR™ practitioners are not focused on relieving pain, although this is certainly the end result. Chiropractors specifically trained by CLEAR™ Institute are committed to achieving structural changes to the spine that will allow the body to de-rotate and to correct itself, and they use specific, reproducible precision x-rays that are analyzed according to exact guidelines to measure and quantify the change.
Q: How much will the scoliosis treatment cost?
A: Typically a visit to your local chiropractor may be anywhere from 5-15 minutes, with the price ranging between $35 and $50. CLEAR™ practitioners provide treatment & therapy that is significantly more time-consuming; one visit could be an hour, or even longer. Additionally, a great deal of time & attention is devoted to your case, in the office and out of the office, to ensure that we can deliver on our promises. For this reason, our fees are higher – it may range from anywhere from $100 to $200 per visit, not including exams & x-rays. Each clinic is responsible for setting their own prices & fees, so the cost of treatment will vary from clinic to clinic. The best option would be to contact the clinic directly and ask for more information. There are lots of places to save money; healthcare should not be one of them.
Q: Why do you recommend avoiding the Harrington rod surgery for scoliosis?
A: Surgery will not correct the posterior rib arch; in addition, it has been shown that the function of the heart and lungs is unchanged after the procedure has taken place. Also, the long-term effects of the procedure can actually be worse than the effects of living with an untreated scoliosis. Movement is essential for a proper functioning spine, and surgery reduces all spinal ranges of motion, even in areas that may not be fused. Medical science views the spine as a bridge that connects the upper and lower halves of the body. However, chiropractors see the spine as an engine, which to function properly must have movement. If you’re care has 6 cylinders and it’s not working properly and you fuse 3 cylinders together it will not correct the problem! Many healthcare professionals are not conscious of the scientific literature that explains the negative side effects of the surgery. Also, very little follow-up with the patient is performed after the operation is complete to see how their state of health is doing. Many surgeons believe that the surgeries they perform are beneficial to the patient because no one has returned to their office after the operation to inform them otherwise. Doctors are desperate to meet their patients’ demands for the treatment of their scoliosis, but currently have 2 options; prescribing bracing (which, at best, only slows or stops progression, and at worst, actually worsens the scoliosis by weakening the postural muscles), or performing invasive surgery. It is important to mention that CLEAR™ Institute is not attempting to disparage the efforts of the medical profession in regards to scoliosis treatment. There are thousands of excellent surgeons who are seeking only to help people with scoliosis, and several orthopedic surgeons and medical physicians have been incredibly supportive of the CLEAR™ method of non-surgical scoliosis correction. It is our honest belief that eradicating scoliosis from planet will require the combined efforts of every member of the healthcare profession. As doctors, it is our ethical and moral obligation to work together for the benefit of our patients.
Q: What is a Cobb Angle Measurement for scoliosis?
A: The degree of scoliosis is understood by measuring the degree of curvature of the spine. One of the best ways we are able to capture, and measure this is through a measurement referred to as the Cobb Angle Measurement. The measurement is attained when 2 lines are drawn across specific areas of the x-ray to properly evaluate the curves in the spine. On the x-ray, the first that is present when the curve starts and last vertebra when the curve ends are involved. Then, a line is drawn across the top of the first vertebra involved in the curve and a second line is drawn across the bottom of the last vertebra in the curve. The angle between the two lines is measured, and this angle is referred to as the Cobb Angle. While the Cobb angle is a very typical and useful measurement tool for scoliosis, it does not gauge every aspect of the spine’s form. Rotation of the spine and spinal balance are not addressed with Cobb Angle Measurements, and therefore, the degree of spinal deformity may not be entirely appreciated with this measurement alone.
Q: There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not bracing works. What is your opinion about treating scoliosis with a brace?
A: The debate over the effectiveness of bracing is rather deceptive. You will at no time find any doctor in the world claiming that bracing will decrease or correct scoliosis; but rather, the debate is over whether or not wearing a brace will actually prevent the scoliosis from becoming worse. When doctors state that bracing “works,” what they’re really saying is that it stabilizes the scoliosis, keeping it at its existing position. Most doctors will insist that bracing does “work” – with proper compliance. Although recommended compliance is twenty-three hours per day, every day. If this seems a little extreme to you, you’re not alone.
In a study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics, 60% of the patients surveyed felt that bracing had handicapped their life, and 14% felt it had left a psychological scar 1. The Children’s Research Center in Dublin, Ireland, has not recommended bracing as a treatment for scoliosis since 1991, stating, “If bracing does not reduce the proportion of children with AIS [adolescent idiopathic scoliosis] who require surgery for cosmetic improvement of their deformity, it cannot be said to provide a meaningful advantage to the patient or the community.”
CLEAR™ Institute does not recommend using any type of brace in our treatment protocols.
Q: Why will my insurance pay for part of my scoliosis surgery, but not alternative methods of scoliosis treatment such as chiropractic?
A: The answer is simple, and unfortunately is based upon the laws of economics, rather than what is in the best interest for the patient. Each clinic is in control for setting their own policies regarding insurance billing. Many clinics do have success in obtaining insurance reimbursement for patients who are undergoing treatment for their scoliosis; contact the clinic that you are interested in receiving treatment at directly for more details.
Q: How long will I require treatment for my scoliosis?
A: Treatment duration will depend on the location and severity of the Scoliosis.
Q: Am I too old to obtain scoliosis treatment?