- WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?
- SCOLISMART APPROACH
- PATIENT RESULTS
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It's important to point out that your child's spinal curve is the most prominent symptom of scoliosis, not the cause. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) comes from a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental influences. Its progression is caused by miscommunication between the brain and the muscles supporting the spine. The brain's posture memory should tell your child's muscles how to respond to gravity while he or she grows to keep his or her spine straight. For reasons still not completely understood, these messages aren't sent when your child has scoliosis.
- Clayton J. Stitzel DC
Not all cases of AIS advance, but the chances of progression increase as the curve increases. A spinal curve measuring up to 24 degrees is considered mild scoliosis. These patients have the lowest risk of curve progression — a 22% probability. The probability of progression jumps to 68% once your child's spinal curve reaches 25 degrees. That statistic doesn't apply to adults. We only see the tripled risk in children whose spines are not done growing. The risk of progression further increases to over 90% when your child's curve reaches 50 degrees. That's why it's imperative to stop scoliosis in the early stages. Get free recommendations on how genetic testing is making early stage scoliosis intervention possible sent to your email.
No one knows why this dramatic rate of advancement occurs. Researchers suspect it's caused by spinal rotation driven by stretching the brain and spinal cord. Scoliosis causes a 3-dimensional curve. It actually twists the spine around its own center of gravity as it progresses. This twisting causes severe torque and more lateral bending and rotation of the spine, like a twisting rubber band. We call this self-feeding loop the "coil-down effect." As the curvature increases, the twisting worsens.
Many doctors tell parents to watch their child's curve for six months or a year to see if it progresses. Rather than treat the mild scoliosis. Many health care professionals don't even consider spinal curves measuring less than 10 degrees to be scoliosis. At ScoliSMART Clinics®, we focus on the high risk patterns of the spinal curvature rather than the size of the curve.
Six steps for proactive treatment of mild scoliosis:
The treatment goal of ScoliSMART™ Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention is to keep the curve under 20 degrees during your child's growing years and at most, 25 degrees at skeletal maturity.
Detecting scoliosis earlier is one of the most important aspects of early intervention. The most widely used scoliosis screening test, the Adam's forward bend test, often misses small curves. Your child bends forward at the waist while a doctor or school nurse looks for a bulge in the rib cage on one side, usually the right side. This bulging usually isn't obvious until the spinal curve has advanced to near 25 degrees because that's when the upper spine really begins to rotate. We call the Adam's test the "too late test." Using scoliosis genetic testing is far more accurate and proactive. A simple home collected saliva test can determine your child's genetic risk for scoliosis. The report even includes dietary and scoliosis supplement recommendations to lower their risk.
Other mild scoliosis signs:
Mild scoliosis creates asymmetrical and bad posture patterns long before the rib cage rotation is visible. You can detect these patterns by looking for an even line across your child's eyes, shoulders, and hips. Look from the front and the back. Have your child examined if you notice any of these signs. A tool called a Scolimeter measures spinal curvature. But, x-rays taken by a scoliosis specialist are the most accurate measure of a mild curve. A 72 inch full spine standing x-ray is most ideal for scoliosis evaluation.
Watching for these signs is especially important if scoliosis runs in your family, as it is hereditary. The more parents, gym teachers, coaches, and school nurses look for slight imbalances in these three lines, the more we will catch mild, early stage scoliosis. You may actually notice that your child's eyes, shoulders, or hips are a bit uneven, but not realize those are scoliosis indicators.
ScoliSMART™ Clinic doctors never recommend waiting and watching. All large curves begin as small curves. Scoliosis is a chronic, progressive condition. It often progresses throughout childhood and into adulthood. We recommend starting "posture memory" retraining through the Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention. This should be started as soon as your child's curve is discovered. The 5-day "Small Curve Camp" program is followed by a home exercise program for at least 4 - 6 months. Thousands of children have had their scoliosis curve reduced and progression stopped with this approach.
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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