Can chiropractic help with scoliosis?
This is a fairly common question we hear in our chiropractic centres.
Well, the answer is yes and no. It really is difficult to answer it simply as one or the other. This is because the health of our spine is affected by various aspects of our lives, and as such, improving spinal alignment depends on a number of factors.
But it is a fact that chiropractic has a strong track record in helping people with scoliosis. To further this discussion, it’s important to fully understand the factors that may complicate your healing.
Let’s explore this important topic a little more deeply.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a specific type of spinal misalignment condition where a person’s spine curves to the side when you view them from behind. A healthy spine from behind should be straight and our pelvises should be level. This ideal alignment allows for the optimal amount of stability, flexibility, strength, and resilience in our spinal structure.
This ideal alignment allows us to withstand all of the stresses and traumas of life.
With scoliosis, a sideward curve of the spine is present and this vastly alters the mechanical properties of a person’s spinal structure. People with scoliosis are often more prone to injuries and spin-related aches and pain.
Here’s an example of scoliosis on an x-ray taken from behind:
From behind, this person’s spine should be straight, as represented by the green line, and their pelvises should be level.
You can see how their low back (lumbar spine) is curved towards the right, and their pelvis is tilted downwards on the right side as well.
This type of misalignment is very severe as it will lead to a high degree of stress to this person’s nerve system in the lumbar region. Their whole body will tend to shift to the right and bear more weight on the right side as well.
Why is this important?
What are the effects of Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is serious because this type of spinal distortion will lead to asymmetrical stresses and loads on a person’s spine. The abnormal or out-of-balance continual force present in this person’s spine may cause a number of related problems.
This person’s muscles will become tight, stiff, and will likely ache when they are under stress. The stiffness and pain may spread to other areas of the person’s body as their stress builds up.
Their posture most likely will be visibly distorted. Usually, we will see an obvious imbalance in this person’s shoulders and a rotation or some kind of distortion in their pelvis.
Their walking (known as gait) may be altered as they are compensating for the significant misalignment in their lumbar spine.
It is possible that one could even see this type of spine distortion with the naked eye through their clothing.
The most critical reason that scoliosis is so serious is because the misaligned spinal bones will lead to a high degree of stress to a person’s nerve system.
Interference to the nervous system is why scoliosis is so serious. Chiropractors specialize in the health and function of your nerve system.
Your nervous system is the master power system of your body. Any stress or interference to this critical communication network will weaken your health from the inside out. Spinal misalignments can have a far-reaching, negative impact on your health and vitality.
When should I do a check-up for Scoliosis?
Early Detection is Essential
As with most types of health problems, the earlier we can catch scoliosis the better the outcome.
This is another reason why children are the best people for chiropractic care: we have the greatest opportunity to make a positive impact in their lives if we catch a small problem before it becomes a major crisis.
If we can catch a spinal distortion like scoliosis at a young enough age, often the goal is complete correction of the misalignment. Many types of scoliosis are reversible if caught early enough and addressed properly.
If the problem is caught later in life, this will radically affect the goals of care. The goals change from full correction to more of minimization or management of the problem approach.
This is common sense. If you have a more severe, longer-term problem, then more work is required to improve it and the outcomes may be more varied or unpredictable.
When an adult has scoliosis, the goals for chiropractic care are:
- Improve the person’s spinal alignment. The degree that a person with scoliosis can improve their alignment is determined by a number of individual factors. The most important ones are the magnitude of the damage and how hard they work at their care to make the improvements.
- Reduce the stress on the person’s nerve system that the misalignment causes.
- Improve and maintain as much movement, flexibility, and function in their spine as possible.
- Reduce the stress on the person’s structure; like their hips, knees, pelvis, and lower body.
- Stop the misalignment problem from worsening over time.
- Help the person feel better.
In many cases, a small improvement in spinal alignment can lead to a dramatic improvement in the quality of a person’s life.
How to treat scoliosis without surgery?
Chiropractors are the only healthcare providers that specialize in correcting spinal misalignments. Spinal realignment is our speciality. If a person’s spine is physically out of alignment, then a physical approach is required to improve it.
Chiropractic offers a three-pronged approach to managing scoliosis:
- Spinal exercises, stretches, and spinal rehab protocols
- Correcting your bad habits
Chiropractic adjustments realign your spine. They help you feel better, perform better, and live better.
Scoliosis can be a challenging pattern of misalignment to improve. Every person has a different healing process, so results are highly individualized.
In some cases the goal is full correction. In other, more advanced cases, the goal may be to simply stop the problem from worsening and retain as much function as possible.
Reclaim Your Health!
So can chiropractic help with scoliosis? Well, the answer is yes and no. It depends on what you are looking for. If you are worried about a young person or a child in your life, we can very likely help.
Let’s Take Your First Step to a Pain-Free Life.
Schedule a Spinal Check Up Today!
If you are an adult with scoliosis and have had this problem for a number of years, it’s likely that we cannot make your spine perfect.
BUT, we can very likely help to IMPROVE the situation. It may take some work, but there is hope.
Many people under chiropractic care experience:
- Less aches and pain
- Improved flexibility and movement in their spine
- Improved posture
- Less stress and tension in their body
- More energy
- A greater sense of ease
- Improved immune system
- They often become more active
By improving the health and function of your nerve system, chiropractic can improve all aspects of your life.
It all starts with a spinal check-up!
Get your spine checked today.
I would like to sign up for my spinal check-up!
submit to select your centre location