Several crucial components are universally lacking in nearly all forms of traditional scoliosis treatment today: the effect of the cervical spine in determining spinal pathology, gait, stance, and overall posture. The head controls all components of the spine below it, much like how the engine controls the direction of a train. Without regard for which direction the locomotive is heading in, how is it possible to control the boxcars behind it? Scoliosis patients almost always have ‘Forward Head Posture’ as seen on x ray, accompanied by dysfunctional spinal segments of the atlas and occiput, the back of the head and the first cervical vertebra. This is rarely considered in standard scoliosis therapy.
The second crucial ingredient in comprehensive scoliosis care, is correction of the frequently found, but overlooked is 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, the reality is that the pelvis frequently rotates in scoliosis causing it to ‘appear’ higher on one side. This rotation, the bottom region of the same spine must also be properly corrected to be able to make any permanent scoliosis correction. In our ‘Breakthrough’ Scoliosis Treatment, we always treat these vital components.
Precision x-rays are mandatory; a C0-C1 flexion malposition will manifest most readily with lateral cervical views in neutral, flexion, and extension. Follow-up x-rays should be performed roughly every three months as objective proof of improvement; should the patient’s progress plateau or regress, additional rehabilitation or alterations to the protocol may be required.
Photo above is Dr. Daniel Hersh reviewing a patient’s x-rays.
Obviously thoracic and lumbar views are necessary to measure the Cobb angle, but stay away from full-spine views!
The rate of distortion is too high to allow for consistency and accuracy when comparing measurements between pre- and post- x-rays.
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 generally 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, and scoliosis occurs when the spine doesn’t grow straight. A spine affected by scoliosis could resemble the letter C or the letter S depending on the severity. Some of the first noted instances of scoliosis appear in Indian religion 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 times 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 spine deformities. These barbaric practices were improved upon by the French, who initially used machines to contort bodies, but eventually created an iron corset that helped 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 devise 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 a head and chin rest 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, and 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 streamline 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 premade modules that were then modified to benefit the patient’s specific spinal deformities.
Today people with scoliosis commonly use braces that are worn at night. The unsightly appearance and ridicule turned patients off to braces that had to be worn for most of the day. Nighttime braces generally apply more pressure, and because of this they don’t need to be worn for the 18 to 23 hours like previous braces. The first nighttime brace was created in 1979, and it was known as the Charleston brace. The Charleston brace holds the spine in a position of overcorrection, andMilwaukee brace it commonly only has to be worn for 8 to 10 hours due to the extreme position that the spine is held in. In 1992 the Providence brace was created. It was different from other braces, because it didn’t bend the spine or apply pressure from the sides. Instead, it works on the body by providing lateral and derotational forces to help straighten a curved spine. The Providence brace contorts the body in such a way that it can only be worn at night. It creates a significant shoulder tilt, and this makes it nearly impossible to walk.
It’s nearly impossible to not 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. Bracing also comes with some long term side effects, and those who wear braces to correct scoliosis are more likely to experience premature disk degeneration. More importantly, it is believed that the use of braces doesn’t necessarily reduce the need for surgery, 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 treatment have lead many people to seek alternative scoliosis correction and non surgical scoliosis treatments.
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. None the less, nerve damage can cause devastated effects, like 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 lead many to seek alternative scoliosis treatments. Alternative scoliosis treatments may provide various benefits that can be found in the antiquated scoliosis treatments that are used today. Whether you’re looking for help with a mild case of scoliosis or seek non surgical 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 Center, we are continually researching and improving the latest innovations in successful alternative scoliosis therapy.
At the Scoliosis Correction Center 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.
|Using the Scoliosis Traction Chair||Patients Getting Scoliosis Treatment|
Pre & Post X-rays
|ML- Age 10 from Panama||SW- Age 50 from New Hampshire||Pre and Post X-Rays – Julia|
|Natalie H. Reduction in Several Days||Straightening & Centering the Scoliosis||Young Patient Undergoing Scoliosis Treatment without Surgery|
The Scoliosis Correction Center is proud to offer its patients the new genetic test from Axial Biotech. This saliva based, cutting edge, genetic test for scoliosis will accurately predict if your child’s scoliosis will be aggressive in its progression or more of a mild nature.
This test is part of our comprehensive non-surgical approach to the successful early detection and correction of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.
“….I would like to also say that you and your staff are amazing. I always felt that I was receiving the very best care. I also strongly believe that what you do is a gift from God.
“Once again, I thank you, sincerely and completely for your heart, your skilled mind, and your able hands for all of the healing that you do. I will pray for you and your center- that it continues to be such a wonderful place of healing and restoration of the mind, body and soul.” Tracy
“…thank you for everything. You have made a huge impact on the quality of April’s life, now and in the future, and given Ralph and me incredible peace of mind.”
|A recent successful Intensive Care Session||Intensive Scoliosis Treatment May 2012||Adult in Scoliosis Traction Chair (STC)|
|Adult in Scoliosis Traction Chair (STC)||Adult Using SLA for Scoliosis Treatment||Teen Using SLA for Scoliosis Correction|
|Patient with Severe Scoliosis Using SLA for Correction|
Why Scoliosis Bracing Doesn’t Work: Read an informative article by Dr. Hersh about the ineffectiveness of scoliosis braces.
I have read your website on alternative scoliosis treatment with interest.
I am now 30 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis aged 9, braced aged 14, when the curve reached 36 degrees. The only effects of the brace were the further reduction my lung capacity, the increase of my rib deformation and the creation of a second curve in my spine. Disappointed by the results (or rather the absence of them), I have been refusing to get X-rayed since then, because I was feeling that the medicine was helpless anyway.
I was wondering what sort of cost would your treatment represent, and whether there would be any closer location for me to benefit from it as I currently live in Mexico.
Thanks in advance,Mr GB.