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FAQs

  • If it's so harmful, then why is scoliosis implant surgery still being performed in the U.S.?

    First, many healthcare professionals are not aware of the scientific literature that details the negative side effects of the procedure. Also, very little follow-up with the patient is performed after the operation. Many surgeons believe that the surgeries they perform are beneficial to the patient because no one has returned to their office after the operation to inform them otherwise. Doctors are desperate to meet their patients’ demands for their scoliosis treatment but have no options besides prescribing bracing (which, at best, only slows progression and, at worst, actually worsens the scoliosis by weakening the postural muscles) or performing the surgery.

    Obviously, if surgeons stop performing this surgery, they stand to lose a great deal of money. Alternative scoliosis treatment methods are simply not explored by the established medical community because of the possibility that they may prove to be more effective and less costly, thereby eliminating the need to treat scoliosis surgically, as well as their source of income.

  • Why will my insurance company pay for the Harrington rod surgery, but not alternative methods of scoliosis treatment?

    Typical chiropractic adjustments have been proven to be ineffective or even harmful to the scoliotic patient, due to the mobilization of fixated vertebrae by the adjustment. While this may cause pain relief in the short term, the long term result is increased progression of the Cobb angle. Read: The Physics of Scoliosis – for better understanding why the curve in the neck plays a major role in causing scoliosis. We are not focused on relieving pain, although this is certainly the end result. Dr Hersh is committed to achieving structural changes to the spine that will allow the body to de-rotate and correct itself, and use specific, reproducible precision x-rays that are analyzed according to exact guidelines to measure and quantify the change.

  • Why should I seek scoliosis treatment from Dr. Hersh? What does he know that my regular D.C. doesn't?

    Typical chiropractic adjustments have been proven to be ineffective or even harmful to the scoliotic patient, due to the mobilization of fixated vertebrae by the adjustment. While this may cause pain relief in the short term, the long term result is increased progression of the Cobb angle. Read: The Physics of Scoliosis – for better understanding why the curve in the neck plays a major role in causing scoliosis. We are not focused on relieving pain, although this is certainly the end result. Dr Hersh is committed to achieving structural changes to the spine that will allow the body to de-rotate and correct itself, and use specific, reproducible precision x-rays that are analyzed according to exact guidelines to measure and quantify the change.

  • There's a lot of controversy on whether or not bracing works. What is your opinion about treating scoliosis with a brace?

    The controversy over the effectiveness of bracing is somewhat misleading. Most Doctors will not claim that bracing will correct scoliosis but can prevent progression as long as the brace is worn. Rather, the debate is over whether or not wearing a brace will prevent the scoliosis from getting worse. When doctors state that bracing “works,” what they’re really saying is that it stabilizes the scoliosis, keeping it at its current position. Most doctors will insist that bracing does “work” – with proper compliance. Recommended compliance is twenty-three hours per day, every day. If this seems a little extreme to you, you’re not alone. In a study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics, 60% of the patients surveyed felt that bracing had handicapped their lives, and 14% felt it had left a psychological scar. The Children’s Research Center in Dublin, Ireland, has not recommended bracing as a scoliosis treatment since 1991, stating:

    "If bracing does not reduce the proportion of children with AIS [adolescent idiopathic scoliosis] who require surgery for cosmetic improvement of their deformity, it cannot be said to provide a meaningful advantage to the patient or the community."

  • My scoliosis is termed idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Is it true that I inherit this condition from my mother?

    Scoliosis is not a genetic mutation, or a reaction to heavy backpacks worn in adolescence, or the result of an anatomical short leg. In fact, a recent study published in the scientific journal Spine in 2006 asserted that no specific gene has ever been linked to scoliosis. Scoliosis is the body’s natural and innate response to the loss of mechanical function provided by the normal curves of the spine. When these curves disappear, the body re-inserts them in another dimension. If scoliosis has a “cause,” then it can only be described by the laws of physics! It is easy to understand the concept of mechanical advantage for yourself. Find a heavy weight, about 10 to 20 pounds, and hold it in your hand. Most likely, your elbow will come close to your body, and your palm will be up, with your fingers facing away from you. This is very similar to how your spine supports the weight of your head with the curve in your neck. Now try removing the curve from your wrist; rotate it 180 degrees and bend it forwards with the weight still in your hand. Your elbow will swing out to the side to replace the lost stability. This is very similar to what happens in your spine when the curve in your neck is lost; the body develops scoliosis because a straight spine is extremely unstable.

    Essentially, scoliosis is a biomechanical reaction to forward head posture and the loss of the curve in the neck, and develops when the body cannot maintain symmetrical growth forces due to pressure & interference on the nerves from a misaligned vertebra; this is often caused by trauma during birth or shortly afterward.

  • Can Harrington rods break?

    Simply stated, yes. Many surgeons will refuse to operate on this condition, leaving the patient with few options to alleviate their pain & suffering.

  • Am I going to have health problems with a curve over 30 degrees? Is it necessary to get this looked at? I would like to correct this before it's too late.

    You are wise to be concerned at this point. Interestingly enough, it is common for a trauma to start a scoliosis becoming evident. That is because any such event traumatizes the cervical spine, which then can start the scoliosis process in developing. Yes, 30 degrees is significant. In fact, in the ‘medical model’ for scoliosis, the term is ‘watch and wait’ which means once the scoliosis is discovered, it is re-x-rayed until it passes a 30-degree curve, at which point it then becomes a candidate for either bracing (does not work) or surgery (also in the long run very detrimental). It likely will get worse as you age. You are young enough (and apparently wise enough) to want to correct this now, which is a good thing.

    Let me tell you that the two types of patients we have are the following types:

    1-youngsters, teenagers whose parents have discovered their child’s scoliosis and want it corrected while young, which of course, is best or

    2-Middle-aged and older persons, mainly females, who ignored their scoliosis since there was little or no pain and no interference in the activities of daily living until they reached their 40s or 50s or older. The same scenario is consistent with those persons who have had supposed ‘successful surgery’ when younger and are now in their middle years and have serious problems.
    It is imperative, in my opinion, that you proceed with proper scoliosis treatment as a 30-degree curve can be reduced down to a ‘normal’ ‘nonscoliotic spine’ at this stage

  • Can you give me some history on the development and use of the treatment devices you referred to?

    The protocol we use in our unique breakthrough scoliosis treatment is a compilation of various conservative yet effective methodologies, and when combined have created far and away the best results available. They are as follows:
    Scoliosis almost always involves ‘forward head posture’ loss of neck and low back lateral (saggital) curves, as well as hip rotation. Genetics is thought to be a component of scoliosis although no gene has been isolated proving this. The loss of the normal lordosis in the upper spine can affect the anterior corticospinal tract, and the dorsal spino-cerebellar tract (in the brain) which affects postural muscles. What follows is a ‘lateral shift of the spine.
    Therefore, some of the the first areas of correction are the cervical spine and head relationship, as well as pelvic rotation and restoration of the saggital curves in the neck and lower back the rest will follow, and of course we are dealing with the entire spine at the same time.
    It therefore is no accident that your daughter’s major curve is in the lumbar spine, and there is no doubt that she will have a loss of the normal neck curvature with forward head posture seen on x-ray.
    The use of specific weights worn on the head, hips, shoulders which are dependent on the specific scoliosis curves are worn, to bring the curves back into a normal bio-relationship.
    The medical model is ‘observe’ followed by the suggestion of bracing (psychological and functional disability) then surgery, which does not address the problem whatsoever.
    The Whole Body Vibration, coupled with various other methodologies, bypasses the normal proprioception of the body allowing for faster re-alignment. Go to “Adaptive Responses of Human Skeletal Muscle to Vibration Exposure”-Bosco et all, Clinical Physiology 19(2):183-187
    A specialized scoliosis traction table is used and allows both lateral scoliosis (sagittal) correction to occur while axial traction (top to bottom, head to foot) occurs, while at the same time dealing directly with the ligaments which are primary to affect the permanent scoliosis changes.
    Spinal Adjustments specific to the abnormal ‘lever arms’ created by a scoliosis. They are:
    ● The head related to the top of the spine● The neck in relation to the upper thoracic spine● The upper thoracic spine as it levers with the lower thoracic spine (The mid thoracic spine at the T-8 level is the functional base of the spine)● The lower thoracic spine lever as it relates to the upper lumbar spine (lower back)● The lower lumbar spine as it relates to the pelvis, hip rotation, and sacral balance
    All these ‘lateral deviations’ of the spine must be corrected individually to fix a scoliosis.

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Our patients visit us for our Breakthrough, specialized scoliosis intensive treatment from, most of the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Central America, and Africa. 

We’re happy to assist you with any questions you may have and are available to discuss your case by telephone or email moc.liamg%40noitcerrocsisoilocs .