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Smouse Chiropractic & Scoliosis Center

 

Scoliosis Wellness Practitioner

281.494.5144

Scoliosis
 


WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?


According to the Greek definition: It is a "crooked or twisted" spine. There are many forms of scoliosis but this book is written in reference to idiopathic rotatory scoliosis. This form of scoliosis is the most prevalent (85%) that effect society. Modern day medical literature tells us that scoliosis is carried on the X chromosome, thereby comes the term genetic predisposition. This means that mother can give it to both daughter and son and that dad can only give it to the daughter. This explains why girls are effected 9 to 1 over boys. The disease is known to skip a generation or two before showing up.

Scoliosis is believed to effect as much as 4% of the population. Scoliosis is referred to by many as the "silent epidemic".

We know that the spinal curvature rapidly develops between the ages of 11 and 15. The idea that scoliosis stopping at age 18 (skeletal maturity) is not true. Modern research shows progression of spinal curvature continues even into adult hood, just at a slower rate.

The modern day approach has always been to wait and watch as the curve progressed until it reached 38-40 degrees and then do surgery.

Today there is an alternative to the wait, watch, and surgical intervention. This alternative is the SYSTEM used by our office. Read on as we discover the alternative to surgery.


FACTS
Scoliosis is a disease that goes far beyond just a curvature of the spine, it affects many different systems in the body. Because scoliosis affects so many different things in your body, it requires a treatment approach that encompasses diet, exercise, professional chiropractic care and a revolutionary dynamic bracing technology.

In this area of our website, we address the different areas that scoliosis affects, what happens if you choose to ignore it, the risks associated with surgery, the effects of bracing and the long term prospects for the scoliosis patient.

We hope this information is helpful, and if you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail us so Dr. Smouse can answer your questions.


Affects

WHAT DOES SCOLIOSIS AFFECT?

Scoliosis is a multifactorial disease that is now known to affect the entire body and not just the spine. This book will help you put together the pieces of the puzzle known as scoliosis.

Most scoliosis goes unnoticed during our teenage years unless found by the school nurse during a scoliosis check. Many comments such as "why is your shoulder so high or why is one pants leg always dragging" may still not alert someone to the fact that these are the early postural signs of scoliosis. With the fast pace of modern day society and since scoliosis in young adults may show no signs of pain other than "it’s just growing pains", we again miss the opportunity of detection until adulthood when back pain begins to occur.

X-ray is the final determination of scoliosis. A full spine x-ray should be taken and a measurement of the curve is than done to calculate the number of degrees the spine has curved from normal. Ten or more degrees are than classified as scoliosis. Usually there will be more than one curve and each needs to be measured. If you look closely at the x-ray you should notice that the ribs on one side look different than those on the other. You will also see that the spinal bones look as if they are twisted and they are. You may notice that the vertebrae do not set on top of each other in a straight line and that the spaces between them are wedged or pie shaped. These spaces are where the disc is located. They cannot be seen on x-ray because they are not made of bone. A special machine called an M.R.I. is needed to look at them. The M.R.I. does reveal problems with the discs. You should at this time begin to realize that if all this is going on with the bones of the spine, what else that is related to the spine is not being shown on this x-ray.

A little study of the body will make you realize that there are muscles and ligaments holding this spine in its proper alignment. Are these also affected? The answer is yes. If the muscles and ligaments are affected, should not the treatment address them as well as the bones of the spine? Again the answer is yes.

We know there are spinal nerves that emit between the vertebrae (31 pair) and that these are also effected. This is why we feel pain. We learn that everything in the human body is directly or indirectly controlled by the nervous system. This is why we know that many of the other symptoms that the scoliotic is experiencing are due to the scoliotic curve. For example, mood swings, digestive problems, hormone dysfunction among others. We also know that the body works in a chain reaction way, always trying to stay in homeostasis, that is to stay healthy. Certain tests can be performed to check out these functions also.

We also know that all the signals from the body are relayed back to the brain for interpretation. If the brain is getting confused signals and decides that this must be the normal, can we teach it a new normal after we address all these problems. Thankfully the answer is yes.

I hope by now you understand that scoliosis is not just a spinal curvature but that it effects the entire body and must be looked at as a whole. The disease of scoliosis is multifactorial in nature and all parts must be addressed, not just the spine.


Ignoring It?
IGNORE IT, THAN WHAT?

We know that scoliosis is progressive and that the spinal curvature can progress very rapidly between the ages of 11 and 15. We also know that it effects girls 9 to 1 over boys and is genetic in nature. Most people think that it will stop at the age of 18. This is not true.

We know that scoliosis continues to progress .4 to 1 degree per year for the small curves and 2 to 5 degrees per year for the more advanced curves.

We also know that progression occurs with each pregnancy. Depending on the location of the curve, progression can be from 13-25 degrees.

During teenage years there is little to no pain associated with the scoliosis. As an adult, pain becomes the motivating factor. After consulting your specially trained chiropractor, you may find that many of the other health problems you have been experiencing is related to your scoliosis.

There is good news for the adult scoliotic patient also. The Scoliosis program also works for the adult. Not only in reference to pain, but also in reduction of curve and better health.

Early detection and treatment is best for recovery but any age can be helped.


Bracing
BRACING, HELPFUL OR NOT?

Scoliosis is a multifactorial disease that effects the entire body including the spine. Usually the curvature of the spine is the first concern of a scoliotic patient. In the past (since 1940’s) bracing was used before surgery. The original idea was to hold the spine from progressing until surgery could be performed.

The literature showed that bracing would hold the spine from progressing 50% of the time. Later on the literature said that bracing had no effect on scoliosis. The most recent literature now shows that bracing is effective.

The next question is which one and why. The particular brace used by our office not only holds the spine from progressing but also reverses. (Depending on usage and compliance to the System)



Table 1 : Initial Characteristics of Idiopathic Scoliosis Patient Population


Initial Cobb Angle (Deg) Cobb Angle Minimum During Treatment Percent Reduction
n Mean Stdev Mean STdev Mean STdev
All Patients
Thoracic
Thoracolumbar
Lumbar
Double
195
72
58
22
43
29
30
25
24
32
8
8
8
6
7
18
20
13
16
23
10
10
8
7
11
38
35
50
36
31
26
24
26
25
26
Less than 30°
Thoracic
Thoracolumbar
Lumbar
Double
115
37
44
18
16
23
24
22
22
24
5
4
4
4
5
13
15
10
15
15
8
7
7
7
9
45
41
54
36
42
28
26
27
27
32
Greater than 30°
Thoracic
Thoracolumbar
Lumbar
Double
80
35
14
4
27
36
36
36
33
37
4
4
4
2
4
26
26
23
21
28
8
8
6
6
8
28
28
35
37
23
20
21
19
18
18

195 Patients - 8 went to surgery

We have discovered that by doing the protocol in conjunction with the brace can reduce the time of the program needed by 1/3. Bracing, chiropractic care, nutrition, exercise and therapy are all needed for the best results.

Surgery
WHY NOT SURGERY?

All surgery should be avoided whenever possible. It is not a cure all as we have been led to believe. Some of the surgical risks listed in "pre-admission information" from a surgeon’s office given to his patients are as follows:

a. No one ever obtains complete correction…

b. Anesthesia poses certain risks…

c. Infection is a possibility…

d. Paralysis has been reported…

e. Fusion will fail to develop completely and will be deficient in one or more areas.

f. Rods inserted for scoliosis correction will occasionally break and become dislodged.

Recent literature tells us that 75% of the curve may return within 17 years.

Let's review the earlier chapters and remember that we are dealing with a multifactorial disease that effects the entire body and not just the spine. Surgery at best only addresses the spine and does not do a good job at that.

Surgery may seem like the quickest and easiest way out, but with the knowledge you now possess you can make an educated decision.

Long Term
LONG TERM RESULTS

Your next question should be, if I decide to do the scoliosis treatment program, what are the long-term results?

To answer this question, you first must remember that you are dealing with a multifactorial disease that not only affects the spine but the entire body. The protocol addresses the entire spectrum of the disease along with re-educating the brain to a new normal. We know that the brain is capable of learning this new normal and thereby adapting to this.

With the changes in the nervous, muscular, ligamentous, hormonal, digestive and other systems of the body, along with the brain, the body can now function as it was intended too.