The second crucial ingredient in comprehensive scoliosis care is correction of the frequently found, but overlooked hip rotation.
While it may appear on x ray that one hip is ‘higher’ than the other, and doctors routinely tell patients this erroneous fact stating that one leg is longer than the other, the reality is that the pelvis frequently rotates in scoliosis causing it to ‘appear’ higher on one side.
This rotation must also be properly corrected to be able to make any permanent scoliosis correction. In our Breakthrough Scoliosis Treatment, we always address these vital components.
Balance and proprioception also play an important role in the rehabilitation of the scoliotic patient.
A neurological short leg will always be found at first; this imbalance should be corrected with specific spinal adjustments. Once the patient is balanced, proprioceptive retraining exercises can be prescribed to maintain the correction. One method of reducing forward head posture and retraining postural muscles is deceptively simple: by blocking the superior half of the lens on a pair of glasses, and instructing the patient to wear them for at least twenty minutes, the postural muscles of the neck are retrained to better hold the cervical lordosis in place. Various spinal weights may be placed on the head and/or hips to activate the weakened postural muscles. Also, whole-body vibration therapy (WBV) has been scientifically proven to be extremely effective at proprioceptive re-education. Do NOT make the mistake of trying to “push” a scoliosis out of the spine!
This type of adjustment is foreign to the body, and will be resisted. Most scoliosis braces are ineffective or even harmful because they do exactly this. A scoliotic spine must be visualized and corrected three-dimensionally; the lateral curve will not reduce until the spine has been de-compressed and de-rotated. Adjusting the apex of the curve, whether into the concavity or the convexity, will inevitably make the situation worse. Traction – pulling – is far more effective because it is a subtler, gentler force, and one that is less readily resisted by the body.
For many people, scoliosis conjures images of their teenage years when the school nurse would quickly check their spine while other students looked on. Although many people don’t hear about scoliosis until they are checked in school, it has existed for millennia. Scoliosis doesn’t immediately strike fear in people, but it does come along with a number of negative effects. Those who have scoliosis may have a reduced life expectancy, poor respiratory function, and their growth can be stunted. Modern treatments for scoliosis have improved very little over the past 500 years, and they are met with poor results and frequent failure. Because of this many people have started to look for alternative scoliosis treatments and non-surgical scoliosis correction.
Scoliosis affects many people across the world. A spine affected by scoliosis could resemble the letter “C” or the letter “S”. Some of the first noted instances of scoliosis appear in Indian culture and folklore that date back to 350 B.C. The Indian god Krishna is believed to have healed those afflicted with scoliosis by simply pulling their chin up and in turn straightening out the spine. Scoliosis is a Greek word that literally means crooked, and Hippocrates is believed to have first used the term scoliosis. Hippocrates is among the first to extensively study the spine and the deformities that often accompany it. He also came up with some of the initial scoliosis treatments, which included a change in diet and frequent spine extensions.
During the 1500s the treatment for scoliosis appeared to be torture. Scoliosis correction used a combination of body extensions mixed with outside pressure applied to the torso. Another common practice during this time was suspension, and it was believed that gravity could slowly correct any spinal deformities. These barbaric practices were improved upon by the French, who initially used machines to contort bodies, but eventually created an iron corset to hold the body in a position that was believed to help correct the curvature of the spine.
The ‘iron corset’ created by the French was the first step towards modern scoliosis treatment, and, besides the advent of surgery, scoliosis treatment has remained very much the same. One of the first braces widely used in America was the Milwaukee brace, which was created in 1946. It was initially designed as a post operative treatment but gained use outside of surgical recovery in the late 1950s. The Milwaukee brace truly looks like a device out of a science fiction novel. It straps around the pelvis and rods extend up to the middle of the back, holding it in a straight position. More rods extend up to the neck where the head and chin rest and hold the spine in a straight line. The history of the Milwaukee brace was marred by noncompliance due to the physical discomfort and horrific appearance that its users experienced. Children who wore this brace were often met with ridicule.
Following the Milwaukee brace, the Wilmington brace was designed to be a more incognito option. It was a molded plastic brace that ran in a more streamlined fashion to the body, and it didn’t have the visible metal rods holding the back and head in place. Following this, the Boston brace was created as a more efficient brace in 1972. It was designed and molded to the specific patient, but it also utilized pre-made modules that were then modified to benefit the patient’s specific spinal deformities.
The first nighttime brace was created in 1979, and it was known as the Charleston brace. The Charleston and Providence braces are worn only at night. However, all these braces, are what are known as ‘3-point’ TSLO (Thoracic Lumbar Sacral Orthosis) braces. They can cause muscle weakness and do not have permanent corrective outcomes long term. We have routinely treated patients who wore a Boston Brace religiously for 24 months and within days of not using the brace, the scoliosis returned to its original degrees or more.
It’s difficult not to notice the lack of growth in scoliosis treatments over the past 500 years, and today we know that the majority of typical standard bracing commonly fails to offer any help for scoliosis. A 2007 study that was published in SPINE showed the limited ability that braces had to help scoliosis, and in some people bracing actually increases deformity. We have found a newly designed 3 dimensional ‘over correction’ bracing system that we find complements our ‘Breakthrough’ Scoliosis Treatment. It can be recommended in certain severe scoliosis cases. Along with our non-surgical intensive care treatment we create permanent curve reductions and spinal corrections.
It’s difficult not to notice the lack of growth in scoliosis treatments over the past 500 years, and today we know that bracing commonly fails to offer any help for scoliosis. A 2007 study that was published in SPINE showed the limited ability that braces had to help scoliosis, and in some people bracing actually increases deformity. Standard bracing also comes with some long-term side effects, and those who wear standard braces to correct scoliosis are more likely to experience premature disk degeneration. More importantly, it is believed that the use of typically prescribed braces doesn’t necessarily reduce the need for surgery and increase the rib deformity, which brings on another set of detriments. Surgeries for scoliosis insert rods into the spine that help to straighten it. Surgery for scoliosis commonly leads to more surgery, and it isn’t uncommon for people to experience up to four surgeries. The rods may also greatly reduce flexibility within the spine, and lead to stiffness in the back. These negative aspects of modern scoliosis treatments have led many people to seek alternative scoliosis correction and non-surgical scoliosis treatments. The surgeon will not tell you about these side effects!
Scoliosis treatments can be successful, but many times, conventional medicine falls short of curing scoliosis. Even worse is that conventional treatment may bring on a number of other issues. The usual traditional scoliosis treatment is to brace the spine during the night. The brace holds the spine in a position of correction, and it may help to straighten the spine. In some patients, they are told to wear their brace 23 hours per day. If bracing doesn’t work, surgery is usually the next option.
Unfortunately, surgery can reduce the range of motion in the back, and multiple surgeries are often times necessary. Surgery can cause a number of complications, like rod displacement. Surgery for scoliosis uses rods to bind two or more vertebrae together, and when one of these rods comes loose, another surgery may be needed. Rod displacement happens in about 5% of patients, so it is by no means uncommon. Infection can also happen, and it is believed to occur in about 1 to 2 % of patients. Pseudarthrosis may also occur when the bones don’t react as expected to the surgery, and this may happen in up to 5% of cases. Nerve damage also happens, although much less frequently. Nonetheless, nerve damage can cause devastating effects, such as paraplegia or numbness in the legs. Scoliosis is a condition that has existed throughout history, but despite this, the treatment options are limited and can be met with failure. Because of this, alternative scoliosis treatments and non-surgical scoliosis correction are often sought to help straighten the curved or rotated spine.
Modern scoliosis treatments are commonly met with pain, ridicule, discomfort, and – most importantly – a complete lack of results. These factors, combined with a lack of growth within the scoliosis field, have led many to seek alternative scoliosis treatments. Alternative scoliosis treatments may provide various benefits that can be found in the antiquated treatments that are used today. Whether you’re looking for help with a mild case of scoliosis or seeking nonsurgical scoliosis treatments, an alternative scoliosis correction could help. Click HERE for more information about alternative scoliosis correction methods.
With our unique ‘Breakthrough’ Intensive Care Treatment at the Scoliosis Correction Centers, we are continually researching and improving the latest innovations in successful alternative scoliosis therapy.
At the Scoliosis Correction Centers, we utilize a specialized scoliosis traction chair that incorporates cervical decompression with lateral thoracic and lumbar traction and also addresses the rotational aspect of the scoliosis simultaneously. This passive exercise therapy can be performed by the patient at the clinic or at home. This chair is a required home treatment for some patients.