Scoliosis Prevention May Be Possible with DNA Testing for Scoliosis

Dr. Clayton J Stitzel
Last updated on
November 1, 2021

Idiopathic scoliosis appears to be the result of genetic predisposition and other factors. If we can identify children at higher risk, we can begin using scoliosis specific nutrient therapies to prevent it. Kids and adults with an existing scoliosis curve can halt or slow progression with reflexive response training that improves posture memory.

"The key to preventing scoliosis is genetic testing. The secret to stopping scoliosis progression is improving posture memory."

- Clayton J. Stitzel DC

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Types of scoliosis that can or can not be prevented.

Before getting into idiopathic and degenerative scoliosis prevention let's discuss two types of scoliosis that can not be prevented. 

Congenital scoliosis is a birth defect that occurs early in pregnancy and is usually not noticeable at birth. It often shows up when children are toddlers, but might not be noticeable until adolescence. It is more difficult to treat than idiopathic scoliosis because the vertebrae are actually misshaped. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it. 

Neuromuscular scoliosis results as a consequence of another condition like cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, about 75% of these patients will develop scoliosis as a result with no known method of prevention. 

Idiopathic scoliosis makes up over 80% of all scoliosis cases.  It is by far the most common form of the condition.  ScoliSMART has identified 28 scoliosis genes associated with the condition. Research is being conducted to determine which kids are at high risk for developing scoliosis or are already diagnosed with it. Early stage scoliosis intervention nutrient therapies and scoliosis exercise programs have been developed for "at risk" kids with scoliosis. Get information on genetic testing for idiopathic scoliosis sent to your email

De Novo scoliosis, or degenerative scoliosis, can often be prevented because it is caused by trauma or bad posture over time. You cannot prevent trauma, but you can take good care of your posture. Years of carrying heavy bags on one shoulder and other repeated lopsided actions can lead to degenerative scoliosis. We are seeing more cases of it because people are living longer and putting more wear on their spines. It is also possible that you had pre-existing scoliosis that is progressing in adulthood. This process can be addressed and even prevented with appropriate bone health testing and nutrient therapy.  This is especially recommended for adults 40+ with scoliosis.

We Need Improved Scoliosis Screening

Improved worldwide scoliosis screening and testing would help prevent scoliosis from advancing undetected. Early intervention is crucial with scoliosis, but you won't seek help for your child if you don't know there is a problem.

Mandated Scoliosis Screening in Schools

Less than half of the states in the US perform scoliosis screenings at school.  Scoliosis screening remains rare within schools, yet early intervention is key to staying ahead of the curve.

scoliosis prevention - mandated screening

Adam's Forward Bend Test

Most school screenings only include the Adam's forward bend test, which fails to spot scoliosis until the curve has developed. In the Adam’s forward bend test, a school nurse looks for symmetry of both sides of the body and signs of scoliosis like a raised shoulder blade or rib hump.

scoliosis prevention - Adam's foward bend test

Who is likely to get scoliosis?

You can detect scoliosis earlier if you know the profile of a typical scoliosis patient and what to watch for in your child's posture.

  • Girls and boys age 8 to 14
  • Girls are eight times more likely to get scoliosis
  • Children with a thin or lanky body shape
  • A child whose parent or sibling has scoliosis

What are the signs of early stage scoliosis?

  • Your child's eye line tilts
  • Your child's shoulders don't hang even
  • One hip seems higher or more pronounced
  • Your child's inner ear is forward of the shoulder
  • A line from the head center to the hip center isn't aligned

Any one of these signs, or a combination of them, warrants a posture evaluation by a specialist. Your child can also have a scoliosis DNA test to determine the likelihood that a small scoliosis curve will progress. Neurotransmitter, bone metabolism, hormone, and genetic tests also allow us to treat the underlying deficiencies that contribute to progression.

Posture Memory Improvement Prevents Scoliosis Progression

With this information, we will know if your child needs to start posture memory retraining. Many doctors still recommend that you simply observe mild scoliosis for six months or more to see if it's progressing. The ScoliSMART doctors don't give scoliosis six months or a year to get worse if genetic tests say it will. We begin the Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention Program immediately. If tests say scoliosis isn't likely to progress, we teach you about activities that can trigger progression so your child may avoid them. Starting posture memory retraining in the early stages of scoliosis, will prevent the need to consider braces or surgery later.

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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Meet the ScoliSMART Doctors

Click the images below to get more information about the ScoliSMART Doctors.

Dr. Clayton J Stitzel

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

504 W. Orange Street
Lititz, PA 17543
Dr. Mark Morningstar

Dr. Mark Morningstar

8293 Office Park Drive
Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Dr. Brian T Dovorany

Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

26940 Aliso Viejo Parkway, Suite 105
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

34 w 119th st
New York, New York 10026