Frequently Asked Questions about Scoliosis
From the list below choose one of our frequently asked scoliosis topics, then select an FAQ to read. If you have a question which is not in this section, please contact us.
Since we are treating scoliosis before it has had a chance to progress, there is no need for bracing with the Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention program. Also, research has shown that both rigid bracing and soft bracing have been shown to be ineffective in preventing the progression of 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.
Scoliosis is commonly associated with pain, but not always. And even if patients don't suffer from physical pain, heart and lung function is often compromised, and 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.
In the past it was believed that scoliosis did not continue to progress past the age of 18. Unfortunately, newer research has proven this to be untrue. The rate of spinal curve progression will more than likely progress regardless of whether scoliosis developed early in life or in adulthood.
To evaluate the biomechanical integrity of your spine we take a series of small, specifically targeted x-rays. In total, these smaller x-rays are equivalent in radiation to one full spine x-ray, but we are able to get better, more precise measurements from the smaller series. A full spine x-ray requires a much stronger beam and produces greater tissue damage in comparison to our targeted views. With the information gained from these x-rays we can apply specific corrective adjustments, prescribe exercises, and design rehabilitation and weighting protocols. The end result is a measurable reduction in the severity of your scoliosis.
The severity of scoliosis is understood by measuring the amount of abnormal curve in the spine. This measurement is referred to as the Cobb Angle Measurement. We find the angle measurement by drawing lines across specific areas of the x-ray and evaluate the curves. First we identify the first and last vertebras associated with the curve. A line is then drawn across the top, or superior, plate of the first vertebra in the curve, and a second line is drawn across the bottom, or inferior, plate of the last vertebra in the curve. Measuring the angle between the two lines gives the reading known as the Cobb Angle Measurement.
Many patients do have success in obtaining some insurance reimbursement. Please contact your insurance company to inquire about the specifics of your coverage. You can find a helpful insurance questionnaire here that will help you and your insurance company determine what aspects of this scoliosis treatment are covered by your policy.
The most effective time to begin treating scoliosis is as soon as it has been detected. All large spinal curvatures start out as smaller curvatures. Given the likelihood of further curve progression, the current medical approach of 'observation only' for curves under 25 degrees puts you at risk of future deformity and discomfort. Your best chance for preventing the progression is to begin a non-invasive, pro-active scoliosis treatment program as soon as possible. It's never too late to start, and never too early.