Comprehensive Scoliosis Care
for Children and Adults

The ScoliSMART Approach
Length 3:37

At ScoliSMART Clinics, we offer the most comprehensive scoliosis treatment program ever created — available to both children (6-17) and adults (18+) with idiopathic scoliosis. We strive to treat the whole scoliosis condition, not just the curve. For children, this means getting back to being a kid — not a condition. For adults, this means addressing the underlying causes of chronic scoliosis pain.

Get Information About the ScoliSMART Approach

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

Early Intervention and Scoliosis-Specific Rehabilitation Key for Best Outcomes

Braces, surgery, and observation until a curve measures over 25 degrees are the three most common scoliosis treatments, yet none of these actually stabilizes or reduces the condition. Neuro-muscle retraining, genetic testing, and nutritional support are more recent treatment options that provide measurable, long-term results.

Why, then, are bracing, surgery, and observational approaches most commonly recommended?

Doctors commonly opt to only observe children with early stage scoliosis — curves measuring less than 25 degrees — for at least the first six months. The idea is that doctors can tell if the mild scoliosis is progressive or not after this amount of time has passed. Yet, if the curve reaches 25 degrees, there is a 68 percent chance the scoliosis will continually get worse. The ScoliSMART doctors know it's best to intervene and start spinal resistance training as soon as scoliosis is detected.

Start Your Child's Scoliosis Treatment Today!

Get Information About the ScoliSMART Approach

No back braces · No surgery · No restrictions on sports or activities · Real improvement!

Giving the condition six months to worsen before taking action isn't logical or wise. Our innovative treatment approach improves curve flexibility, mobilizes the spinal joints, and trains the brain to learn a new spinal position automatically and permanently. This retraining program can slow or eliminate curve progression regardless of the stage of scoliosis, but the sooner your child starts it, the more likely it is the curve will never reach 50 degrees (surgical recommendation).

Improve Scoliosis Detection

Part of the problem with traditional scoliosis treatment is the way scoliosis is detected. Most doctors rely on the Cobb angle, which is a measurement of lateral bending visible on an x-ray. Although researchers agree that scoliosis is a three-dimensional spine deformity, most still use this two-dimensional measurement. Surface topography, 3D posturography, MRIs and spinal ultrasound all provide more relevant information about the scoliosis deformity than the 80-year-old Cobb angle measurement.

Doctors need to analyze your child's posture for a tipped shoulder, a high hip, a forward head posture, a sway back posture or poor alignment from the skull to the pelvis to identify smaller curves. A tool called a Scoliometer also helps us detect small curves. Early detection is especially important if scoliosis runs in your family. The earlier we detect scoliosis, the sooner we can start Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention treatment and work to stop scoliosis progression.


Why Early Scoliosis Intervention is Crucial

Scoliosis creates a twisting of the spine around its axis. This is caused by lateral bending and rotation of spinal movement patterns. Picture a rubber band being twisted. This twisting causes severe torque that makes the existing spinal curve twist and bend even more. We call this self-feeding loop the "coil-down effect." We can often see this spinal deformity in your child's torso or notice a rib hump before the Cobb angle measurement indicates a problem. When treatment begins while the curvature is minimal, we can halt this "coil-down" phenomenon and greatly increase the odds of reducing a curve to 10 degrees or less.

Treatment for Early Stage or Mild Scoliosis

Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning they have no known cause. Yet the progression of scoliosis is caused by a miscommunication between the brain and the muscles. The brain doesn't realize that your child's posture is out of alignment, so it doesn't send the messages telling the muscles to correct the spinal curvature.

ScoliSMART training focuses on correcting that neuromuscular miscommunication. Our Auto Response Training creates new muscle memory and coordination that helps the body stabilize. This exercise training lowers the chance that scoliosis will get worse and often reduces the curve to less than 10 degrees. No scoliosis treatment can "fix" the condition 100 percent. The intended result is to halt progression and reduce the curve as much as possible.

Genetic variant testing for scoliosis is becoming increasingly popular, in light of decades worth of published evidence on the role of specific genetic variations and the onset/progression of idiopathic scoliosis. This is an exciting new direction for scoliosis treatment, with the hopes that eventually scoliosis can be prevented altogether. For example, there are known genetic variations in scoliosis that affect estrogen metabolism, bone density, and neurotransmitter conversion. These changes all occur much more frequently in patients with scoliosis compared to the general population. ScoliSMART doctors can routinely check their scoliosis patients for these genetic variations and employ functional medicine treatment strategies to minimize the physiologic impact of these genetic variations. This, in turn, may lead to a reduced risk of scoliosis progression, especially into adulthood. Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of application of this knowledge into clinical practice; therefore, most scoliosis physicians are not yet taking advantage of this important information.

Scoliosis Brace Treatment

Scoliosis Bracing (Boston Brace)

Frenchman Ambrose Paré created the first metal scoliosis brace in 1575. Many others have been created since then, but patients tell us they still look and feel terrible. A scoliosis brace usually causes more harm than good. It's typically prescribed if your child's curve measures 25-40 degrees, the measurement of moderate scoliosis. This treatment squeezes the ribcage and the pelvis for up to 23 hours a day in an attempt to force the spine to straighten.

In some cases, it appears the brace is helping in follow-up x-rays. But the condition worsens as soon as the brace is removed. That's because your child's muscles are weakened and joints become terribly stiff when they are not allowed to move. A rib hump, breathing problems and other complications often occur within weeks of using a brace. Read more about the problems with scoliosis braces here.

The low success rates of scoliosis braces combined with the physical and psychological damage they cause make us question why anyone would prescribe them. Admitting traditional scoliosis treatment doesn't work is the first step toward innovative changes. Your child can beat scoliosis, even if his or her curve is 25 degrees or more.

ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit Success

Scoliosis Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis also has a long history of complication and failure. The surgery has advanced and yet two thirds of patients have complications. A scoliosis curve isn't life-threatening and people with a curve often live without pain. American Family Physician has stated that "there is no difference in the prevalence of back pain or mortality between patients with untreated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the general population."

Scoliosis Back Pain

A 2015 study showed back pain in 76% of patients ages 10-17 who underwent spinal deformity correction a minimum of five years prior. Surgery straightens the spine at the cost of mobility. Your teenager may look straighter and taller after surgery, but have pain and breathing problems that didn't exist before. Additionally, when two-thirds of the spine is fused, the remaining portion becomes hyper mobile. These areas degenerate much faster and develop issues as your child ages. And yet, doctors are eager to recommend spinal surgery for teenagers younger than 14 who are not done growing.

For more information on why long-term surgery risks may outweigh its benefits, read our page on surgery.

How Nutritional Support Boosts Treatment

European research is connecting scoliosis to low levels of certain hormones and the brain not responding to these hormones. These hormones include leptin, melatonin, calmodulin, serotonin and growth hormones.

Understanding how the brain communicates with itself and parts of the body helps explain this miscommunication. Nerve pathways are like city streets with junctions similar to intersections. Each intersection has a neurotransmitter, like a street light. When the brain sends a message, the neurotransmitter must tell the message to continue through the intersection and go throughout the nervous system. Neurotransmitters in the brain each have different functions, like slowing messages or accelerating them. When even a few neurotransmitters are deficient, the flow of messages is disrupted or too many are transmitted too quickly. Wrecks are the result in the street analogy.

Neurotransmitters are typically made from certain B vitamins and amino acids. We can test your child for neurotransmitter imbalances and restore the body's communication with supplements. For example, many scoliosis patients are deficient in serotonin. Serotonin-controlled nerve pathways are responsible for satiety, happiness and dynamic postural control. Serotonin is also converted into melatonin; and melatonin deficiency is tied to scoliosis.

Your child can take ScoliSTRONG nutritional support — specific amino acids that the body converts into serotonin, correcting both hormone imbalances. Fixing these imbalances helps your child experience greater, longer-lasting success with muscle memory retraining.

Choosing the Right Scoliosis Treatment for Your Child

Making the right scoliosis treatment decisions is difficult for you and your child — especially if you're not presented with all the options. You deserve to know that scoliosis is not simply physical. Treatment shouldn't be, either.

The Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) says there are many factors more important than correcting a Cobb angle. These factors should be considered before you make scoliosis treatment decisions:

  • Is your child disabled? Can the treatment cause disability?
  • Does your child suffer from back pain? Can the treatment cause back pain?
  • Does your child have a rib hump? Can the treatment cause one or make it worse?
  • How is your child's quality of life now? Will the treatment improve it or worsen it?
  • Are your child's breathing functions good now? Does the treatment pose a threat to breathing functions?
  • How is your child's psychological well-being? How will it be affected by the treatment?
  • Does your child face scoliosis progression in adulthood? How does the treatment address this?
  • Will further treatments be required when your child is an adult, regardless of the treatment?

We can help you learn about scoliosis and your treatment options. No matter what you've been told, you deserve a second opinion. We're not going to promise a quick fix or magic potion. We will give you treatment options to improve your child's condition and life — forever.

Start Your Child's Scoliosis Treatment Today!

Get Information About the ScoliSMART Approach

No back braces · No surgery · No restrictions on sports or activities · Real improvement!


Start Your Scoliosis Treatment

Step 1

Get More Information

Have treatment options sent to your inbox.

Step 2

Upload Your X-Rays

For evaluation prior to your no-cost consultation.

Step 3

We Will Contact You

Shortly after receiving x-rays, we will reach out to schedule your no-cost phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor.

Tips for Uploading Your X-Rays

Hold your film against a window and take a photo with your phone. Take a photo or a screenshot of your x-ray on your computer. If you are filling in this form on your phone, just use the 'select files' link to attach it. If you are filling out the form on your computer and took a photo with your phone, email the photo to yourself and then use that to attach to the 'select files' link and then complete the form.

Accepted formats: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .pdf, .wmf, .gif

Contact Information

Be sure to include your Area Code for phone numbers in the United States and Canada. For international numbers, please be sure to include your Country Code. All phone consulations are in English.

Return to Top