Scoliosis Prevention:
How to Stop Further Progression

Dr. Clayton J Stitzel
Factually accurate & verified by
Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel
Last updated on
November 9, 2018

Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning of unknown cause. Idiopathic scoliosis is caused by a combination of genetic pre-disposition and environmental influences, so you can identify children at higher risk, but you can't prevent it. You can, however, stop scoliosis progression with brain-muscle retraining and nutritional support through neurotransmitter rebalancing.

Stopping Scoliosis Progression with Auto Response Training

Before getting into scoliosis prevention, let's discuss the other two types of scoliosis before explaining the muscle retraining. Congenital scoliosis is a birth defect that occurs early in pregnancy and is usually not noticeable at birth. This condition gets worse in about 75 percent of children. 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.

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 effectively addressed and even prevented with the Scoli Strong Bone Formula product especially recommended for adults 40+ with scoliosis.

If you have adult scoliosis, the brain-muscle retraining we do at ScoliSMART Clinics® can halt the progression and improve posture.

Improved Scoliosis Screening is Needed

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

Less than half of the states in the US require scoliosis screenings at school.

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 it is advanced. 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

Scoliosis screening remains controversial within schools, yet early intervention is key to keeping curves to a minimum and reducing future discomfort.

Getting the Jump on Scoliosis

Controversy aside, 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.

Who is predisposed to scoliosis?
  • Girls and boys age eight 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 is tilted
  • Your child's shoulders don't hang evenly
  • 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 prognostic 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.

Brain/Muscle Retraining to Prevent Scoliosis Progression

With this information, we will know if your child needs to start auto response 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 start 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.

Scoliosis progresses because the brain doesn't tell muscles that the body is out of alignment like it should. Voluntary exercises don't fix this miscommunication because the brain's responses are subconscious. The ScoliSMART Auto Response Training uses involuntary exercises to create new subconscious muscle memory and involuntary habits.

Retraining Helps Children (and Adults) with Scoliosis

Early intervention is the closest you can get to scoliosis prevention. We can prevent progression in idiopathic scoliosis by teaching the brain to react and correct your child's posture. As mentioned above, we can also correct nutritional imbalances to boost the function of neurotransmitters in the brain. This accelerates and enhances the Auto Response Training.

If your child begins this neuromuscular retraining in the early stages of scoliosis, you will prevent the need to consider braces or surgery later. Children who start ScoliSMART exercises before their curve measures 30 degrees often experience a curve reduction to less than 10 degrees.

Your child's curve may already exceed 30 degrees because standard screening misses so many cases in the early stages. Possibly you are already an adult with a sizeable curve. Don't worry, though; we can still stop progression and reduce pain. We see the best results in curves less than 30 degrees because progression typically escalates and becomes more complicated after that. Yet, this program can help you regardless of your stage of scoliosis.

Need more information about the ScoliSMART Approach?

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Meet the ScoliSMART Doctors

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Dr. Clayton J Stitzel

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

Dr. Mark Morningstar

Dr. Mark Morningstar

Dr. Brian T Dovorany

Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

Dr. Aatif Siddiqui