Weighing The Treatment Options For Scoliosis

In reviewing this weeks new articles on health and wellness, Came across this article which I wanted to summarize for you.

Weighing The Treatment Options For Scoliosis

Scoliosis, which affects about seven million Americans, can begin in infancy but most often is diagnosed in people between the ages of 10 and 15 – the peak years for growth and development. It can range from a mild curvature that usually doesn’t require treatment, to extreme deformities that can threaten the lungs and heart.

“At this point, we still don’t know who is going to get scoliosis, why they get it, whether it is going to progress, or how it will progress,” says Joseph O’Brien, president of the nonprofit National Scoliosis Foundation.

What Are The Best Treatment Options For Scoliosis?

Questions remain about the best treatment. While bracing has been used for decades, it doesn’t work for everyone; researchers are currently trying to identify when wearing a brace is most effective. Meanwhile, new surgical techniques that don’t require fusing are being developed to gradually straighten the spine as it grows.

It is also unclear when curvature caused by scoliosis is likely to get worse—girls tend to be at higher risk for this than boys, as are children who begin to develop scoliosis at a very young age. Some doctors are using a new genetic test to determine who is most likely to see the condition worsen.

Early Screening May Increase Treatment Options For Scoliosis

Schools once regularly tested for the condition, but the practice has fallen off since 2004, when a federal task force said there wasn’t enough evidence that showed the screenings were effective. I regularly see young children and adults with scoliosis who did not know they had it, even though they were screened at school. About 18 states still require schools to test children, but scoliosis is most often detected by doctors during regular checkups and sports physicals. Parents can also watch for signs, such as one shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other, uneven hips or a child’s body leaning to one side.

As you can see, this is a very confusing for parents, seeking the best treatment for their children.  Since I began practicing in Virginia Beach, near Mt. Trashmore in 1995, I have evaluated thousands of children and adults and helped them decide on treatment options for scoliosis. Sometimes we have to refer them to a surgeon, and sometimes with proper stretches, exercises and time phased physical therapy and chiropractic care we can reduce the curvature and keep the spine from worsening.

Advances In Technology Can Help Identify The Best Treatment Options For Scoliosis

In my field, chiropractic, we have a remarkable computerized instrument to determine if yours or your child’s scoliosis is related to joint challenges in the spine. The instrument is called the ProAdjuster (also called the Pulstar), developed by Sence technology. When vertebrae are not moving in their normal range of motion, it leads to nerve pressure, which causes isolated muscle spasms and muscle weakness. When the weakness and spasm occurs, it can lead to an imbalance in the axial frame (spine). This causes a person to slouch, lean to one side, have a high shoulder, or uneven hips, which all can lead to scoliosis.

The ProAdjuster is a computerized instrument that gently taps into the neck to determine if there is a lack of normal motion in the spine leading to scoliosis. The test is painless, accurate, and computerized, and it works great to see if the patient’s joint restrictions are a contributing factor to their scoliosis.

If the joint is not moving properly, the instrument will gently tap into the joint at a remarkable speed up to 90 times a second to establish proper motion and relieve pressure. This allows the muscles to relax, and in turn strengthen, which can reduce the scoliosis and even prevent it from worsening.

I am not saying that all scoliosis can be helped this way, but an evaluation including the computerized scan is a must to see if this effective and safe care choice is a viable choice for the patient.

Best Wishes,
Dr. Maggio

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