Doctors often recommend spinal fusion surgery for people with severe scoliosis (50 degrees or more), but surgery is generally not your best long-term option. If your child has moderate or severe scoliosis, it may seem like it's too late to correct the scoliosis curve without drastic measures like surgery or bracing. Yet, Auto Response Training can stabilize the spine and reduce pain quickly.
More than 80 percent of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning of unknown cause. In its early stages, scoliosis is called mild because the curvature is less than 25 degrees. A person of any age may have early stage scoliosis. It's considered moderate scoliosis if the condition progresses and your child's curve reaches 25-50 degrees. Curves measuring over 50 degrees are defined as severe scoliosis.
Scoliosis spinal fusion surgery may be recommended when a curve is moderate or severe, depending on the doctor. The recommendation for surgery is only a guideline and is often subjective, which is a major concern for patients making decisions about scoliosis treatment. Surgery is primarily intended for cosmetic improvement because even a severe curve is rarely life-threatening and surgery has many long-term complications. Many people don't experience scoliosis pain until after surgery. That's one of many reasons ScoliSMART doctors don't recommend scoliosis surgery until all non-invasive treatment options have been exhausted. We believe it is especially dangerous when your child is not done growing.
Scoliosis bracing will likely be recommended if your child has moderate scoliosis. We do not support bracing for many of the same reasons — it is only attempting to treat the curve, not the scoliosis condition. Also, it often causes muscle degeneration and pain, in addition to psychological stress. Scoliosis is typically detected in children ages 10-14, although it may start earlier. Your child could have moderate scoliosis before the condition is detected, though, because mild curves often go unnoticed. So, a doctor may recommend your child wear a hard brace 23 hours a day before you have the time to research scoliosis treatment options.
We have the greatest success with the ScoliSMART Auto Response Training program before curves reach 30 degrees (since progression skyrockets at that point), but the program helps people with curves of all severity. During our week-long programs, we create a unique treatment plan for your child.
The goal of individual programs is to:
Our specialized equipment and exercises reduce the rigidity of scoliosis so your or your child's curve is more flexible. This painless process allows us to untwist the spine and reduce its curve. Exercises that create new muscle memories are the most important aspect of your child's treatment because the spinal curve is a symptom of scoliosis, not the condition itself.
Although idiopathic scoliosis is defined as having no known cause, we know that the condition's progression stems from miscommunication between the brain and muscles that support the spine. The brain should send signals that tell these muscles to react to gravity and keep the spine straight as your child grows, but either the brain doesn't send the messages or they get jumbled by the brain's neurotransmitters, never reaching the muscles.
ScoliSMART auto-response retraining exercises correct this miscommunication and cause the spine to change permanently. These exercises are not like sit-ups and pushups, which are active exercises. Instead, we add weight to your child's head, torso, and pelvis, which causes his or her body to re-establish balance with gravity. These exercises trigger the subconscious reactions needed to correct brain-muscle miscommunication.
In addition, we do nutritional testing to find hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances that contribute to this neurological miscommunication and scoliosis progression. Basic supplements can correct imbalances so that muscle retraining is more efficient and lasting.
We urge you to consider all of your options before accepting a recommendation of bracing or surgery if your child has moderate or severe scoliosis. Spinal surgery is risky and causes long-term pain, as well as complications because it doesn't "cure" scoliosis. Stiff scoliosis braces lead to muscle deterioration and rapid scoliosis progression once that treatment ends. (Your child cannot wear a brace forever.)
Talk to a ScoliSMART doctor about reducing your child's scoliosis curve without painful, invasive treatment. You both deserve a second opinion.
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