Treating scoliosis often means forcing the spine into alignment with invasive measures such as a back brace or surgically inserted rods.

But what many patients don’t know is that there’s a third option: improving communication between the brain and muscles through scoliosis physical therapy.

When doctors treat scoliosis curves with bracing or surgery, they’re not actually addressing the source of the problem. While the root cause of idiopathic scoliosis is unknown, the disorder’s progression occurs because the brain doesn’t respond properly to gravity, causing the spine to become incorrectly oriented.

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When seeking relief from scoliosis pain, many of today’s patients turn to yoga.

Although this ancient practice doesn’t make any significant impact on the progression of spinal curves, the strengthening and structural alignment developed through yoga poses (known as asanas) can reduce pain and help patients live more comfortable lives.

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Adolescent scoliosis is one of those tricky conditions that can evade detection for a long time after it develops. Its subtle symptoms are often dismissed until a rapid growth phase causes the spine’s abnormal curve to suddenly worsen.

Even then, scoliosis can continue to fly under the radar while the curve progresses. In one study, patients with moderate to severe scoliosis went undiagnosed more than 10 percent of the time.

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Fusionless scoliosis tethering (otherwise known as vertebral body tethering or VBT) is a less invasive surgical procedure that has been used for the past 7 years by a select number of Orthopedic surgeons. While still a highly invasive surgical procedure, as all spinal surgeries are, it does offer some significant advantages over the more widely used spinal fusion for scoliosis procedures.

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As many as one in 10 scoliosis patients will ultimately get a referral for spinal fusion surgery. Each year, nearly 40,000 choose to endure this invasive procedure.

But just because a doctor recommends spinal fusion doesn’t mean it’s your only — or even best — option.

Before you commit to having your spine fused, it’s important to fully consider the risks of scoliosis surgery. To reach the spine, a surgeon must cut through five layers of spinal muscles, including surrounding ligaments, tendons and the spine’s entire posterior joint system. Stabilizing the curve involves running a solid metal rod through a column of 3-inch screws and hooks inserted into the bone along the entire length of the curve. It’s a highly invasive surgery that requires months of recovery time.

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A scoliosis diagnosis can be scary, especially when doctors start talking about back braces and spinal fusion surgery. The good news is that informed parents are far more likely to achieve a positive outcome for their children.

It all starts with understanding what scoliosis is — and what it isn’t. Scoliosis is a complex neuromuscular condition that causes the spine to curve. Although most people think of the curve itself as the problem, it’s actually just the symptom of a deeper defect: a neuro-hormonal imbalance that prevents the brain from detecting and correcting the spine’s abnormal posture.

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Detecting and treating scoliosis is as much an art as a science. The spine is an elegant structure, with complex curves that interact to form a delicate balance.

Now that computer-assisted techniques have shed new light on the intricate workings of the spine, doctors are looking for more advanced ways to measure and evaluate scoliotic curves.

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Doctors have been treating scoliosis for millennia, yet they’ve made little progress in understanding what provokes the condition. Most cases arise from unknown causes, and most treatments consequently take one of three forms: Watch and wait, wear a brace or get surgery.

Scoliosis braces have long been the primary method for preventing surgery in young patients whose spines are still developing. Some adults also wear them to counteract the painful effects of adult scoliosis. However, the use of this treatment differs dramatically between the two age groups.

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Those who are diagnosed with scoliosis often shudder at the fact that they need to wear braces to support their spine and correct the curvature before it worsens. A brace forces your spine to stay rigid, in order for the curve to be corrected. This prevents you from being as flexible as you want and keeps you from doing activities that normally wouldn’t have been a problem. Thankfully, wearing a brace is no longer the only option for scoliosis reduction. This means that you don’t have to force yourself to wear a brace and limit the activities that can be done. With the Scoliosis Activity Suit, you can treat your scoliosis condition at the same time still while doing the activities that you’re fond of doing.

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Scoliosis is a condition that people really don’t know much about.  Most people only know that it is the curving of the spine in a manner that is definitely not normal.  Beyond that, people know next to nothing about it, including the possible causes of the condition.

This is partly the reason why so many children live with scoliosis today, as their own parents know very little about the condition, including early detection and possible early treatments for it.

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