Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Genetic Testing for Curve Progression

Children with idiopathic scoliosis have non-invasive options for treatment. Genetic testing can predict possible curve progression, and give hope to families dealing with this health condition.

If your child has been recently diagnosed with scoliosis, there may be many questions going through your mind. Why us? What does this mean for my child and my family? Will this ever go away? Does my child need back surgery? 

The latest genetic research shows new ways to treat idiopathic scoliosis. This can stop curve progression, and avoid surgical treatment. Get recommendations on how genetic testing is helping early scoliosis intervention, sent directly to your email.

What is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and what causes it? 

Idiopathic scoliosis makes up more than 80% of all scoliosis. It occurs in children aged 10 to 14, and affects females 7 times more frequently than males. Scoliosis is identified when the spine exhibits a bent or curvy “S” or “C” shape, called the Cobb angle, when viewed on an x-ray. 

Most experts agree on the following general types of scoliosis:

  • Idiopathic is the most common type of scoliosis. The cause is unknown and/or there is no single factor that contributes to the development of the disease. 
  • Congenital forms of scoliosis result from a spinal defect present at birth. 
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis is spinal curvature that develops because of some kind of other disease, including muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. This form of scoliosis tends to progress more quickly than others.
  • Degenerative scoliosis is common in older adults. As their bones and muscles weaken, the spine can take on a slight or dramatic curvature.

The cause of scoliosis is still unknown. But, targeted scoliosis research provides new information.  

What does recent genetic research say about scoliosis? 

The latest genetic research proves that there are certain genetic markers that determine if you are likely to develop scoliosis. In fact: 

  • 91% of scoliosis patients had at least 7 out of the 28 genetic variants correlated with idiopathic scoliosis
  • The average patient had 10 of the 28 genetic variants correlated with idiopathic scoliosis
  • Patients with 14 or more of the 28 genetic variants for scoliosis were 33% more likely to develop severe scoliosis

Knowing which genetic variants are part of your child’s DNA can shed light on the possibility of curve progression. This information affects what nutrient therapies would work best to prevent it. Private genetic testing allows you to collect your own genetic data. Like genetic tests from 23andme and Ancestry, the ScoliSMART genetic test asks for a saliva sample collected from the comfort of your home.

How scoliosis-specific genetic testing shares important information

Results from the ScoliSMART genetic test are converted into a scoliosis-specific report. The report highlights what areas of your body need an extra supplemental “push.” The ScoliSMART report identifies the genetic deficiencies your child has related to scoliosis.

ScoliSMART experts recommend a specific nutrient therapy program catered to your personal needs. Perhaps it’s an increase in your bone health. Or additional enzyme or neurotransmitter support.  

Once the test is complete, ScoliSMART experts will work with you to develop a personal treatment plan. If you already have results from a genetic test, ScoliSMART can review and interpret the data. They will provide you with information that is specific to your scoliosis diagnosis.

Targeted supplementation, ScoliSMART BootCamps and the ScoliSMART Activity Suit may be recommended. These non-invasive options treat the whole scoliosis condition, and not just the curve.

How traditional medicine treats this genetic condition

Most likely, your healthcare provider or orthopedist has given you minimal choices. Children take part in a screening for scoliosis at each well-child check-up. If the pediatrician notices a slight curvature or imbalance in a child’s posture, they refer to an orthopedic surgeon.

Scoliosis is viewed as a “cosmetic deformity” by the medical community. Outside of a “watch and wait” recommendation, rigid bracing, or spinal surgery, they believe that nothing can be done. 

Scoliosis research funding often reflects this low priority attitude towards treating the condition. The vast majority of scoliosis research has not focused on the prevention of curve progression. Research conducted by orthopedists focuses on better ways to use bracing and surgery.

Also, the lack of research into the causes of scoliosis, creates a large (and growing) gap between what is known about scoliosis and its treatment. The term “idiopathic,” means  “unknown cause.” Yet, scoliosis is the number one Google-searched childhood condition and affects 3-5% of the population. 

ScoliSMART’s Dr. Mark Morningstar talks about genetic research in his “Scoliosis World” video blog. You can view that here.

The benefits of genetic testing for idiopathic scoliosis

The most important benefit of genetic testing for idiopathic scoliosis is information. Once you have scoliosis-specific information you’re able to take control of your child’s scoliosis. The experts at ScoliSMART are here to help:

  • Provide scoliosis-specific genetic testing kit taken from the comfort of your home
  • Read and interpret the results of your child’s genetic test
  • Provide direction on the best next steps, based on your specific results. 

When you partner with the experts at ScoliSMART, you receive targeted solutions that treat the whole scoliosis condition, and not just the curve.

Learn more about your child’s scoliosis. For the month of January, receive a $15 store credit with the purchase of a ScoliSMART DNA Test Kit*. Valid January 1-31, 2022. Order yours today!

*DNA Test Kits available worldwide, except the following countries: Afghanistan, Belarus, Burundi, Crimea Region of Ukraine, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, South Sudan, Antarctica, Brazil, South Korea, Japan

Don’t know where to start? Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.”  (No x-ray required)

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.
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Dr. Clayton J Stitzel

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

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Dr. Mark Morningstar

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Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

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Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

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