Can Chiropractic Help with Scoliosis?

by | Jul 22, 2022

Most people have heard of scoliosis and know that it’s an abnormal curvature of the spine. But many people do not know that having scoliosis can wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness. It’s not just about having uneven shoulders and hips and having clothes fit awkwardly, but it brings about serious dysfunction in many areas of the body. When the spine is twisted or curved in ways it shouldn’t be, the affected vertebrae can put pressure on the spinal cord and impede nervous system communication. This causes dysfunction throughout the body, creating digestive troubles, reproductive issues, chest pain, headaches, and more.

Causes & Prevention of Scoliosis

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. This is called idiopathic scoliosis, and it’s most commonly diagnosed in early adolescence. Once diagnosed, it’s all about preventing the curve from worsening. If a curve is too drastic, doctors often recommend spinal fusion surgery. This is absolutely not ideal and can bring about a whole host of other issues later on. If a curve is significant but not extreme, bracing may be encouraged. While this can minimize the progression of a worsening curve, it can cause other spinal and bone abnormalities, such as compressed or expanded ribs.

Chiropractic Care for Scoliosis

Thankfully, chiropractic care is an effective way of treating scoliosis, no matter the age of the diagnosed individual. Because most forms of scoliosis are progressive, meaning they will worsen over time, it’s important to get under chiropractic care as soon as possible. This can stop the progression in its tracks and get the spine back in proper alignment faster and more easily. Even adults with lifelong scoliosis can find relief and healing with chiropractic care. While a reduction of the curvature won’t happen overnight, neurologically-based chiropractic care can indeed reduce the curve over time and restore proper function to the nervous system.

Efficacy of Chiropractic for Scoliosis

Several studies have explored the efficacy of chiropractic care for the treatment and management of scoliosis. Most of these types of studies look at the Cobb angle, which is the measurement method for determining the severity of a spinal curve. A clear and obvious indication of curve reduction is found in a decrease of the Cobb angle.

One study looked at adolescents with scoliosis. They were under chiropractic care for four weeks, with adjustments occurring three times per week. After those 12 adjustments, all students involved in the study saw a decrease in the Cobb angle. After eight weeks of care, 80% of students had no evidence of scoliosis.

Another study explored scoliosis in adults. Most of those in the study had significant Cobb angles, in addition to complaints of pain and disability. Around 78% of participants in this study experienced a reduction in the Cobb angle, and 100% of participants noted a decrease in pain and disability due to treatment.

These studies are promising for those dealing with scoliosis, regardless of their age or level of curvature. If you or someone you love is living with scoliosis, contact Dr. Thomas Keogh at Bare Chiropractic in Billings and get started on your journey of healing.

Sources

Byun, S., Han, S. “The Effect of Chiropractic Techniques on the Cobb Angle in Idiopathic Scoliosis Arising in Adolescence.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 2016 Apr; 28(4): 1106-1110. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4868195/.

Morningstar, M. “Outcomes for Adult Scoliosis Patients Receiving Chiropractic Rehabilitation: A 24-Month Retrospective Analysis.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2011 Sep; 10(3): 179-184. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259989/.

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