Understanding Idiopathic Scoliosis

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The law of conservation tells us that matter cannot be created, nor destroyed. It's a law. No exceptions and, honestly, I don't think anyone is in dispute about it.

So why, then, isn't being applied to the concept of idiopathic scoliosis treatment which is a 3 dimensional (front to back....Aka: Sagittal dimension, side to side....Aka: coronal dimension, head to toe....Aka: vertical height) spinal deformity?

Think about it. The spine is straight on day and crooked the next. The bones haven't changed, the discs haven't changed, the ligaments and muscles don't change that quickly. In fact, there isn't anything wrong with the idiopathic scoliosis patient's spine, except for the fact that is crooked.

Everyone knows the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line and that is exactly what the non-scoliotic spine does when it connects the head to the pelvis. However, the scoliosis spine twists and curves a crooked path when connecting the head and hips, which requires more spinal matter to travel the longer distance demanded by taking the crooked path. This begs the question, "where does the extra spine to trave the longer distance demanded by taking the crooked path come from?" It is almost as if the patient has "gained" more spine in the front to back dimension that it can hold and it is buckling off to the sides.

Most people assume that it comes from the verticle dimension (height), but we don't see any coorelation between adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patient's curve progression and a loss of height. Some people think it is just a matter of rapid, uneven bone growth, but the time frame in which the curve progression advances is much too fast to be attributed to rapid, uneven bone growth and even then we don't see a large amount of vertebral body wedging during the early stages of rapid idiopathic scoliosis progression.

So where does this "extra" scoliosis spine in the side to side dimension come from? Well, it appears that it's being "lost" from the front to back dimension. The normal side view (called the "sagittal" dimension) of the human spine should have forward curves in the neck and lower back, with a backwards curve in the mid back. This normal side view profile is distorted and diminished in 100% of all idiopathic scoliosis patients. 100% of ALL IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS PATIENTS. This critical piece of information dramatically affects how one goes about treating the scoliosis spine, because its self-evident that one must create space in the normal side view of the spine BEFORE attempting to push the crooked spine out of the side to side crooked dimension.

Essentially, scoliosis treatment needs to focus on re-storing the sagittal spine back to normal, before it can start transferring the spinal gains out of the coronal dimension.

Otherwise, it would be like (metaphorically) trying to fit 7 cars into a 3 car garage.....Not going to work out very well.

Scoliosis treatment (and thinking) re-invented.

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