Rib Hump Correction in Idiopathic Scoliosis

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Idiopathic scoliosis has puzzled scientists for decades and still we are left without an answer as to what causes scoliosis. A recent study published in a respected spine journal discovered that ribcage rotation actually takes place prior to the development of x-ray deviation from normal. This means that the body initially has twisting and not a bend in the spine. Researchers do not know why this twisting shows up initially and some speculate that it is somehow related to the cause of scoliosis.

The “rib hump” was initially thought to be a secondary adaptation to the crooked spine along for the ride so to speak. This appears to be false and the muscle asymmetry could in fact be guiding this torque mechanism early on since bony rib malformation is not present at this stage. If the ribcage is not structurally deformed at this stage but yet the rib hump is present due to posterior torso twisting and muscle hyper tonicity on the convex side of the spine, typically the right, then this would imply that something is telling the muscles what to do and the message isn’t normal.

Early stage scoliosis intervention was created by Dr Stitzel and I based on our experience working with postural abnormalities in children and mainly from working with more severe cases of scoliosis. We theorized that the same principles used to reduce larger curvature applied to early stage cases would potentially alter the natural course of the condition. We based this theoretical model on our knowledge of nervous system control of muscle symmetry in the human spine and therefore the nervous system must be sending faulty messages early on to the torso in scoliosis patients and that was directing the asymmetry and torsion picked up early on in postural screening.

The potential cure for rib hump deformity is early stage correction of muscle firing patterns that are asymmetrical by retraining the postural system in the transverse plane. Since we can easily cause postural learning and long term correction in the side view as well as the front view, when applied to the transverse plane we could prevent progression of this imbalance and ultimately change the natural course of scoliosis .

Alternative scoliosis treatment that only applies reduction of the lateral flexion component of scoliosis (the Cobb angle) will ultimately fail with halting progression and reversing the condition. Scoliosis brace treatment has proven this by not effectively decreasing the number of scoliosis surgeries performed in the U.S. since their inception and the need for a new model of alternative scoliosis treatment has arrived.

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