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.
Normally, a doctor would begin monitoring the curve while it’s still mild and recommend taking action only after the condition reaches the moderate threshold. If the curve becomes severe while the child’s spine is still growing, surgery might be suggested. But for parents of children whose scoliosis isn’t detected until it has already become moderate or severe, the shock of the initial diagnosis might immediately be followed by pressure to put their children in an around-the-clock back brace or consider highly invasive spinal fusion surgery.
Parents whose heads are still reeling from a diagnosis of severe or moderate scoliosis — as well as those who have watched helplessly while their children’s spines rapidly deteriorated — need to understand that bracing and surgery aren’t the only options for treating moderate to severe curves. In fact, it bears repeating:
It’s not too late to treat your child’s scoliosis without resorting to bracing or surgery.
What is Moderate Scoliosis?
Once a scoliosis curve has reached the 25-40 degree range, it’s considered moderate. Moderate scoliosis treatment usually involves wearing a rigid brace that forces the spine back into alignment in an attempt to prevent the curve from progressing further.
If it sounds like a drastic treatment option, that’s because it is. Bracing can be traumatic and painful for a growing teen — and what’s worse, it’s a cosmetic fix that often fails to prevent severe scoliosis from developing.
What is Severe Scoliosis?
A curve measuring over 40 degrees qualifies as severe scoliosis. This is when many doctors will urge parents to consider spinal fusion surgery, a highly invasive procedure that poses many risks, rarely achieves any long-term improvement, and usually leaves patients with a poorer quality of life than that with which they started.
Many parents who consent to surgery do so because they feel they have no other option. But severe scoliosis treatment doesn’t have to involve surgically altering your child’s spine. In fact, there are cutting-edge treatment options that have proven more effective than both bracing and surgery at halting scoliosis progression and reducing spinal curvature.
Moderate to Severe Scoliosis Treatment
One of the problems with bracing and surgery is that they attempt to correct the main symptom of scoliosis — the curve — rather than addressing the underlying factors that propel the condition.
While scientists don’t know what initially causes scoliosis to develop, we do know what causes it to progress. The problem stems from a miscommunication between the brain and the muscles that support the spine. When these signals misfire, the body fails to correct the spine’s postural imbalance and the curve continues to advance.
Through unique exercises, nutritional support and a combination of other treatments, ScoliSMART’s neuromuscular retraining program helps patients with even severe or moderate scoliosis create new muscle memory and permanently reduce their curvature. The weeklong program aims to:
- Stabilize and reduce the spinal curve
- Reduce soft tissue resistance
- Reposition the spinal column
- Reprogram the brain’s muscle control centers
Although the program works best when scoliosis is detected early, it can still have a significant impact on severe or moderate scoliosis. Treatment doesn’t have to be painful or invasive, regardless of how advanced your child’s curve is. Contact ScoliSMART today to learn more about stopping scoliosis in its tracks.