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5 myths about scoliosis

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SCOLIOSISMYTH #1: The watch and wait approach is a good approach. False!  Perhaps, this observational approach made sense back in the day when there was limited scoliosis treatment options available namely, scoliosis bracing then scoliosis surgery.  But, today, experts have a better understanding of idiopathic scoliosis. Better understanding leads to better treatments. To wait around and do nothing while the curve is progressing is probably the worst advice anyone could heed.  You want to own your scoliosis and be active as soon as possible so it does not get out of hand because more likely than not the curve will progress.

MYTH #2: Scoliosis hard bracing will reverse my child's curve. False! Under the conventional scoliosis method, bracing is prescribed once the observational phase has lapsed and the curve has progressed to 25 degrees. The bracing goal is to stop progression or slow it down. It does nothing to reduce/correct the curve. It also does nothing in the way of re-training your brain for proper alignment/posture.  Any curve improvement you may see is short-lived. When the child is done growing, the brace comes off. But, what is there to keep the spine in place?  Muscles? The brain? No. The muscles have atrophied after years of being in a hard brace. And, the brain is communicating in the same manner it has done so in the past. It was never re-programmed to send correct posture holding signals to the spine/muscles. Conclusion: Bracing will not reduce your curve.  Bracing will not halt or slow down its progression. 

SCOLIOSIS MYTH #3: Surgery is inevitable; so why bother doing anything?  False!  Catch your window of opportunity (curves below 25 degrees) and proactively work toward reducing your curve and retraining your brain through the use of specific neuro-muscular re-education exercises and see the difference that makes. Equip yourself with a specific and intensive scoliosis exercise program like Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention, for curves below 25 degrees or Scoliosis BootCamp for curves greater than 25 degrees. These programs acknowledge the role the brain plays in your scoliosis and focus on re-training the brain to communicate effectively with the muscles around the spine. 

SCOLIOSIS MYTH #4: Post growth stage scoliosis does not progress.  False!  Just talk to an adult with scoliosis and get their story.  Usually a curve can progress anywhere from 1 to 3 degrees a year depending on the degree or the spinal curvature, age of the person, and activity level.

SCOLIOSIS Myth #5: Swimming is a good exercise for children with scoliosis. False! The spine is 3 dimensional.  If one of the dimensions shifts out of alignment the other 2 will have to shift to compensate for it. The issue with swimming is that is causes the thoracic spine to become hypokyphotic (the spine looses it sagital or side curve).  If the side curves are lost this will cause the scoliosis to become worse.  Now swimming in the pool with friends on weekends will not cause this but competitive or swimming for exercise will cause this to happen. So be aware. 

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