Although researchers have not determined the specific causes of scoliosis, treatment with braces and surgery have remained the same for more than a century. Scoliosis is a very complex condition involving bone, muscles, ligaments and other body systems, and most cases are idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause. The traditional treatments have fallen short in treating all aspects, and these treatments have repercussions of their own. Amazingly, some doctors are even still using an outdated two-dimensional tool called the Cobb angle to measure spinal curvature. New 3-D methods like MRI or posturography are much more reliable.
Surprisingly, surgery is not even necessary in most cases of scoliosis. Very rarely is scoliosis a life-threatening condition; this is only seen in young children with severe spine deformation that interferes with the lungs and heart. Scoliosis sufferers sometimes have back pain, but beyond that, there are no physical consequences and adults with untreated scoliosis are usually very high-functioning. The surgery is largely done for cosmetic reasons alone.
In teenagers, surgeons typically recommend surgery with curvature over 40 degrees. Teens are the largest surgical population for this surgery, and teens as young as 14 have had the surgery, before they’ve stopped growing; that can cause serious consequences down the road. Surgery is often presented as an immediate need, and surgeons reassure parents that the surgery is so much better than it used to be.
But every surgery is invasive, creating a great risk of infection and other complications. Spinal fusion of vertebrae should only be a last-resort option.
The good news is that there is now a much better, non-invasive scoliosis treatment that involves teaching the brain to hold the spine in a straighter position. The treatment is effective for both children and adults with scoliosis.
It is a neuromuscular training technique that treats not only the bone in the spine, but also the corresponding supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments. Scoliosis’ cause is unknown, but research studies have shown that lack of communication between the postural control center in the brain and the body does make it worse.
Basically, there should be signals that the body posture isn’t balanced, but those signals never occur. This non-surgical approach uses exercises to retrain the brain to tell the body about postural imbalances. Over time, muscles are less resistant to the spine, and the body and brain learn how to hold the spine straight.
The method has been shown to reduce or stop pain, stop the progression of scoliosis and reduce the abnormal curvature of the spine. The technique is effective in both adults and children. Ideally, in children, if the treatment is started before a child has a 25-degree curve, that child will never have to have surgery.
The technique is non-surgical, and back braces are not required. There are no sports or activity restrictions either.
Contact us to learn about this technique before you try surgery. Although scoliosis surgery has become less invasive, it is nevertheless a surgery, and that comes with inherent risks. The surgeries have a high failure rate involving implant failure, and surgery often does not eliminate back pain or offer improvements like better breathing function. Many suffer nerve damage, infection and chronic pain as a result of the surgery, only to find they have no improvement in quality of life. And don’t forget about the scar that runs the entire length of the back.