Scoliosis Treatment:
New and better options for kids and adults!

Dr. Clayton J Stitzel
Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel
Last updated on
October 26, 2021

The three most common types of scoliosis treatment are braces, surgery, and observation. Yet none of these actually stabilizes or reduces the scoliosis curve or the underlying cause of the condition. Posture memory improvement, genetic testing for scoliosis, and the ScoliSMART Activity Suit are more recent scoliosis treatments that provide long-term results.

Early Intervention and Scoliosis-Specific Rehabilitation Key for Best Outcomes

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

Doctors commonly opt to only observe children with early stage scoliosis.  Curves measuring less than 25 degrees receive no treatment 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! ScoliSMART doctors know it's best to start  treatment that includes posture memory training as soon as possible. Get free recommendations on scoliosis bracing prevention sent to your email. 

Giving the condition six months to worsen before taking action isn't logical or wise. Our innovative treatment approach improves:

  • Curve flexibility,
  • Mobilization in the spinal joints,
  • The brain’s retraining to learn new and better spinal alignment on its own forever.

This scoliosis rehabilitation program can slow or reduce the curve progression. It is effective regardless of the stage of scoliosis, but the sooner your child starts it, the more likely it is that the curve will never reach 50 degrees (surgical recommendation).

Table of Contents [Hide]

"Early stage scoliosis intervention is a patient's best opportunity to stay ahead of the spinal curvature."

- Clayton J. Stitzel DC

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. Researchers agree that scoliosis is a three-dimensional spine deformity.  But, most still use this two-dimensional measurement called a Cobb angle. 

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 stop scoliosis progression.
Scoliometers are used for scoliosis treatments

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" process.  This increases 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. The progression of scoliosis is caused by a miscommunication between the brain and the muscles. It appears the brain doesn't realize that your child's posture is out of alignment.  Thus, it doesn't know to send the messages telling the muscles to correct the spine curvature. 

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

Genetic testing for scoliosis is becoming popular. Decades worth of published evidence on the role of specific genetic variations point to the onset/progression of idiopathic scoliosis. This is an exciting new direction for scoliosis treatment.  It offers the hopes that eventually scoliosis can be prevented altogether. 

There are known scoliosis genes that affect hormones, bone density, and neurotransmitters. These changes all occur much more frequently in patients with scoliosis compared to the general population. Patients can check their Scoliosis DNA and use nutrient therapies to reduce the impact of these genes. This, in turn, may lead to a reduced risk of scoliosis progression, even in adults with scoliosis. Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of application of this knowledge into clinical practice.  Most scoliosis physicians are not yet taking advantage of this important information.

Scoliosis Brace Treatment

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 20 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 taken off. That's because your child's muscles are weakened and joints become very stiff when they are not allowed to move. A rib hump, breathing problems and other complications often occur within weeks of using a brace. 

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.

The ScoliSMART Activity Suit is the next phase in Scoliosis Treatment

Scoliosis Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis also has a long history of complications 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, "...there is no difference in the prevalence of back pain or mortality between patients with untreated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the general population." 

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 part moves too much. 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 scoliosis fusion surgery.

How Nutritional Support Boosts Treatment

European research is connecting scoliosis to low levels of certain hormones.  These include leptin, melatonin, calmodulin, serotonin, and growth hormones. 

Neurotransmitters and hormones are how the brain communicates with the body.  These pathways are like city streets with junctions similar to intersections. Each intersection has a neurotransmitter, like a street light. The brain sends a message. The neurotransmitter must tell the message to continue through the intersection and go to the body. 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 or slowly. Car accidents are the result of the “street” analogy. 

Neurotransmitters are typically made from certain B vitamins and amino acids. We can test your child for neurotransmitter imbalances.  Imbalances can be treated 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 linked to scoliosis.

Choosing the Right Scoliosis Treatment for Your Child

Making the right scoliosis treatment decisions is difficult. It is especially challenging if you're not presented with all the options. You deserve to know that scoliosis is not just a curvature of the spine. Scoliosis treatment should focus on the whole condition. 

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. ScoliSMART doctors are not going to promise a quick fix or magic potion. We will provide you with non-invasive scoliosis treatment options to improve your or your child's idiopathic scoliosis condition.

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.

Need more information about the ScoliSMART Approach?

Pioneers of Scoliosis BootCamp

World's Only Scoliosis Activity Suit

Only Testing & Nutrient Therapy for Scoliosis

Doctors with Big Hearts for Scoliosis Patients

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