scoliosis

Correcting Your Child’s Scoliosis

We know it may be tempting to use what seems to be a quick fix, such as back surgery, for your child’s scoliosis, but we would like to make an argument for correcting any misalignments in their upper two vertebrae before you consider scoliosis surgery.
Scoliosis Surgery
In order to make that argument, it’s important to understand the two types of spinal fusion surgeries that may be performed on your child.
Scoliosis and the Posterior Surgical Approach
The first type of surgery is the Posterior Surgical Approach, which is making a long incision along the back, the length of the Thoracic Spine. This approach consists of:

Removing the muscles from the spine
Inserting screws and rods to reduce the curvature
Using the bone from a parent, the child’s hips, or a cadaver to fuse the spine together

In children 10 to 12 years of age, the surgeon may also recommend an anterior release of the disc space. This involves the removal of the disc from the anterior column, which is the part of the spine facing the front of the body, so the child can continue to grow. The bone can then be added to the disc space to be fused together.
Scoliosis and the Anterior Surgical Approach
The other approach is to make the incision in the front, but this is only an option for those who have scoliosis at the thoracolumbar junction, which is the junction between the mid-spine and the lower-spine.

This involves an open incision in the front and the removal of a rib
The diaphragm may also be released from the chest wall and spine for a better view of the thoracic and lumbar spine
The discs are removed to loosen the spine
Screws are placed in the vertebral bodies
Rods are used to […]

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Your Child and Scoliosis

So, your child was just diagnosed with Scoliosis, and you want to know more about what it is. Well we put together some facts about it that you will want to know, as well as how you can care for it.
Scoliosis Facts

It’s the sideways curvature of the spine
It mostly occurs during prepubescent growth spurts
It can result from Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy
Most often, no one is sure what the cause is
Severe cases can be disabling
It can lead to respiratory problems

Cause of Scoliosis
Well, medical doctors struggle to define what causes the most common type of Scoliosis, Idiopathic Scoliosis. It occurs from the ages of 10 to 16, during growth spurts, and usually does not continue into adulthood. But there are three other types.
Types of Scoliosis

Congenital – This is caused by an abnormality of the bones during birth
Neuromuscular – This is caused by abnormal muscles or nerves. It is common in people with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or other conditions that result in or are accompanied by paralysis
Degenerative – This is possibly the result of bone collapse, back surgery, or Osteoporosis

Correcting Scoliosis
Now, chances are you were given the options of having your child wear a brace or have back surgery. A brace may be suggested for adolescents who have a curvature of 25º to 40º. This is a possible option for adolescents with two or more years of growing, and its purpose is to halt the progression of the curvature of the bones during growth. Though, once the brace is removed, curvature will continue.

Another option is back surgery, which is an option for those with a curvature of 40º to 50º, and is meant to permanently fuse the vertebrae (spinal fusion) by using metallic implants to […]

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Medical approach to Scoliosis is Primitive

Several media outlets are reporting that King Richard III may not have been a hunchback as portrayed by Shakespeare, but he did suffer from the spine-curving condition scoliosis, and he may have undergone painful medical treatments to straighten it out.

The Huffington Post reports, some of the scoliosis treatments available during the late medieval period would have been painful. For instance, one such treatment, traction, relied on the same principle as the so-called Rack used in torture. For this treatment, rope would be tied under the patient’s armpits and around his legs; these ropes would then be pulled at either end to stretch the person’s spine.

Unfortunately, today the medical treatment of scoliosis is still rather primitive and barbaric. Forcing a child to where a brace 23 hours a day or surgically installing steel rods in a child’s spine. Especially since safe and natural alternatives exist such as NUCCA care.

If the weight of the head is not balanced over the spinal column due to accidents and injuries to the upper neck this will result in postural changes including head tilt, shoulder tilt, uneven hips, and leg imbalance. The earlier the child develops this upper neck misalignment the more likely it is for them to develop a scoliosis when they grow.

Early detection is the key to stopping the progression and possibly correct the scoliosis completely. All children should be evaluated after birth and regularly throughout childhood for the presence of an upper neck misalignment that could start this process in their spine. If a curvature is detected than the misalignment should be corrected as soon as possible. If the scoliosis is already very advanced due to lack of evaluation, than the misalignment should still be corrected and maintained […]

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Scoliosis can Start when you Fall Down the Stairs

When a 2-year-old little girl falls down the stairs what is the typical response? The parents would pick her up and check on her see if there are any notable injuries. If they were concerned about her in any way the parents would take that little girl to the emergency room and get her checked out medically. They may perform X-Rays, a Cat Scan, and other testing. If all those tests come back negative then they would release her back to her parents and tell them that she is going to be okay.

But what if she wasn’t okay?

What if when she fell and hit her head the ligaments and muscles that connect the head and neck were damaged. Creating a slight misalignment at the atlas (the top bone in the spine). Once that bone is misaligned and locked out of it’s normal position it creates a weakness. This weakness allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position. In this stressed position frequently one of the legs will appear shorter than the other when laying flat on your back. And one hip will be lower than the other when in the standing position.

Now in this new stressed position the body begins to grow. With the head slightly tilted to one side and the hips uneven that little girl hits her growth spurt at the age of 8 and a curvature begins to develop. By the time that little girl is 13 she has a 12 degree Scoliosis like the one you see in the picture.

Now lets look at a different scenario.

This time the Mom of that 2-year-old little girl is a patient of a NUCCA chiropractor. So after the fall the […]

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Can you Protect Your Children from Scoliosis? Part 2 of 2

Scoliosis and the Upper Neck Connection
Last time we looked at a condition called scoliosis. Today we are going examine an underlying factor in the development and treatment of scoliosis. Specifically looking at the connection to the upper neck.

Two medical doctors from Europe have done extensive research into upper neck problems in newborns and how that relates to the health of children. Dr. Gutmann was researching the connection all the way back to the 1960’s… in 1987 Dr. Gutmann published his research linking the upper neck to problems ranging from scoliosis to ear infections, torticollis, colic and many other common childhood conditions.

Dr. Biedermann also has published extensively on this subject and published his findings in 1992. Between the 2 medical researchers they have studied over 1000 newborns and have observed a very high incidence of upper cervical misalignments on x-ray. Gutmann found over 80% in his study had problems in the upper neck that needed to be addressed! Birth trauma was the most common cause. Forceps delivery, vacuum extraction and even just normal birthing methods with a woman flat on her back rather than in the standing position where gravity can work, can be an extremely traumatic experience for the head and neck of a newborn.
A Hidden Scoliosis
It is reported that within the general population the incidence of Scoliosis is about 2.5% or about 25 per 1000 people. However, that is only the people who are identified as having scoliosis and it only includes those that have a 10 degree curvature or more. A 7,8, or 9 degree scoliosis can still have dramatic affects on the health of a person’s spine and body. Also many individuals have no idea that they have a curvature in […]

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Can you protect your child from scoliosis? Part 1 of 2

What is the cause of Scoliosis?
“Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front.”

“In about 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known.”

Generally, the scoliosis is found when a child is examined for scoliosis in middle school. But frequently scoliosis is undetected until adulthood. Regardless, the earlier the curvature can be found the better. If it is identified at 13 years of age and it is already 15 degrees…it would have been much better to find it at 7 years of age when it was 8 degrees don’t you think? Especially if the underlying cause can be corrected and the progression of the scoliosis can be stopped. Also the earlier the scoliosis is identified the more likely the condition can be reversed.

Scoliosis has psychological consequences as well as physical consequences. Self image can be negatively impacted, especially in the formative adolescent years. Scoliosis can be so mild that an untrained eye cannot see the curve, or it can be severe enough to cause deformity. Children are often made fun of as a result of these deformities.

The physical consequences are much worse though. People with scoliosis are a greater risk of developing heart problems, breathing problems, osteoporosis, accelerated disc degeneration and spinal pain, reproductive function and pregnancy problems can be just some of the consequences associated with untreated scoliosis.
The Medical Approach
The medical approach has 3 main strategies. Wait until it gets worse! Put a brace on the entire trunk for up to 23 hours a day! Or dangerous surgery! Doesn’t sound like fun to me! Which of these […]

What is the cause of scoliosis?

The Cause of Scoliosis
Look at the picture above of a 16 year old girl with Scoliosis. Notice the position of her head…tilted over to the left…then the curve begins to compensate from there….first one way and then the other until the pelvis is seen as being lower on the left in the standing position. This is a very common pattern that develops after an upper neck misalignment at an early age that begins a cascade of events. When the top bone of the neck (the atlas) is misaligned…it will tilt the head off to the side…and just like standing on the side of a hill your body must compensate for the change in head position. If the misalignment occurs early enough in life, then an idiopathic scoliosis will develop. Idiopathic means that the medical profession does not know what causes it. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis…approximately 80-85 % of all scoliosis is idiopathic. I prefer to call this an Atlas Misalignment Scoliosis.

Proprioceptive Problems
Disturbances of postural equilibrium (or what is called proprioception) have been found in idiopathic scoliosis, and several researchers have suggested that this is a result of brain stem disturbances. It has been shown experimentally that stress on posterior nerve roots can also cause spinal deviation.
Following a head or neck trauma, one area that is commonly damaged is the proprioceptive system of the neck. Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive your position is space. The upper cervical spine has the most dense collection of proprioceptors in the body. When these proprioceptors are damaged people tend to have an all sorts of different problems. An Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure is designed to correct this underlying cause in order to restore proper neurology and physiology to the body. This underlying proprioceptive imbalance could […]

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  • Stop scoliosis progression
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    How to Stop Scoliosis Progression without Bracing or Surgery

How to Stop Scoliosis Progression without Bracing or Surgery

Can You Stop Scoliosis Progression?
“Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front.” (see picture) www.emedicine.net According to WebMD

“In about 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known.”

80%! Wow that is a lot! In 8/10 of the people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or curvature in the spine the medical profession have no clue what causes it.

Generally, the scoliosis is found when a child is examined for scoliosis in middle school. But frequently scoliosis is undetected until adulthood. Regardless, the earlier the curvature can be found the better. If it is identified at 13 years of age and it is already 15 degrees…it would have been much better to find it at 7 years of age when it was 8 degrees don’t you think? Especially if the underlying cause can be corrected and the progression of the scoliosis can be stopped. Also the earlier the scoliosis is identified the more likely the condition can be reversed.
Consequences of Scoliosis
Scoliosis has psychological consequences as well as physical consequences. Self image can be negatively impacted, especially in the formative adolescent years. Scoliosis can be so mild that an untrained eye cannot see the curve, or it can be severe enough to cause deformity. Children are often made fun of as a result of these deformities.

The physical consequences are much worse though. People with scoliosis are a greater risk of developing heart problems, breathing problems, osteoporosis, accelerated disc degeneration and spinal pain, reproductive function and pregnancy problems can be just some of the consequences associated with untreated scoliosis.

The medical […]

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  • Torticollis, scoliosis, and birth injuries
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    Torticollis, Scoliosis, and Birth Injuries: The Upper Neck Connection

Torticollis, Scoliosis, and Birth Injuries: The Upper Neck Connection

Torticollis and Scoliosis
Today we are going examine an underlying factor in the development and treatment of scoliosis and torticollis, and the connection to birth injuries to the upper neck.

Two medical doctors from Europe have done extensive research into upper neck problems in newborns and how that relates to the health of children. Dr. Gutmann was researching the connection all the way back to the 1960’s… in 1987 Dr. Gutmann published his research linking the upper neck to problems ranging from scoliosis to ear infections, torticollis, colic and many other common childhood conditions.

Dr. Biedermann also has published extensively on this subject and published his findings in 1992. Between the 2 medical researchers they have studied over 1000 newborns and have observed a very high incidence of upper cervical misalignments on x-ray. Gutmann found over 80% in his study had problems in the upper neck that needed to be addressed! Birth trauma was the most common cause. Forceps delivery, vacuum extraction and even just normal birthing methods with a woman flat on her back rather than in the standing position where gravity can work, can be an extremely traumatic experience for the head and neck of a newborn.
Birth Injuries, Torticollis, and Scoliosis
Many people with scoliosis will have a history of torticollis, as a baby.  It is reported that within the general population the incidence of Scoliosis is about 2.5% or about 25 per 1000 people. However, that is only the people who are identified as having scoliosis and it only includes those that have a 10 degree curvature or more. A 7,8, or 9 degree scoliosis can still have dramatic affects on the health of a person’s spine and body. Also many individuals have no idea […]

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How Can Acid Reflux, Scoliosis, and Headaches Be Related?

Acid Reflux, Scoliosis, and Headaches
The Brain stem is an extension of the brain itself that extends down into the upper neck area (upper cervical spine).  The brain stem is susceptible to injury if the Atlas or Axis the top two bones in the spine are twisted or tilted as a result of traumatic accidents or injuries.  Most of these injuries are to the head or neck.  Examples would be car accidents, falls, diving accidents, surfing injuries, snowboarding falls, childhood falls from trees, off bikes, changing tables and more.

The common denominator is an injury that has torn loose the tissue that holds the spine in place in the upper neck which creates a weakness, which will allow the weight of the head (10-14 lbs) to become displaced from it’s normal position.  This misalignment of the head and neck relationship can be as little as 3/4 of degree and the brain will have to adapt to this new position.  Our eyes and ears are created to be balanced.  When the head is not balanced properly compensations will develop in order to rebalance the structure of the body and the eyes and ears through the righting reflex in the brain.  Without this compensation we would just fall over when we stood up in a gravity environment.

The longer this compensation exists the more our body must adapt to this structural misalignment. This can lead to conditions like scoliosis or abnormal curvature of the spine.

Eventually we will develop symptoms as a result of nerve dysfunction.

Which symptoms?

That depends on the person and the nerves that are effected.

For instance the brain stem through the Vagus nerves controls the digestive system.  Dysfunction here can lead to conditions like Acid Reflux, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colic in kids.

And what about headaches?

Headaches can […]

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