Chiropractic Rehabilitation of a Scoliosis Family: Results from a 9-Year Follow-Up

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   Journal of Therapy and Rehab 2017 (Jan); 5 (1): 29–35

Mark W. Morningstar, Aatif Siddiqui,
Clayton Stitzel, Brian Dovorany

Natural Wellness & Pain Relief Center,
Grand Blanc, MI, USA

Scoliosis bracing is typically prescribed when the curvature reaches to between 30°–50°. Although there has been a vast amount of bracing literature published, the results remain equivocal. Many patients face issues of compliance, comfort, and decreased self-esteem due to social stigmas with bracing. This has caused many patients to seek non-bracing options. Although these treatments are plausible, they lack the research background that bracing has. Therefore, many physicians are reluctant to prescribe exercise-based rehabilitation for their scoliosis patients.

This study reports on 3 patients who sought non-bracing, exercise-based chiropractic rehabilitation for their scoliosis. Their results before, after, and at long term follow up are included.

Key words:   Chiropractic, Scoliosis, Spine, Rehabilitation

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Scoliosis and Chiropractic Page

In the United States, the three-dimensional spinal deformity known as scoliosis is typically treated using surgical intervention when the degree of curvature exceeds 50°. [1] When the scoliosis is between 25°–50°, rigid or dynamic spinal orthosis is typically recommended as a way to prevent curvature progression. [1] While these treatments have a long history of publication, exercise-based therapies have offered far less published data. [2] Of these, chiropractic treatment of scoliosis has only been published in a handful of case reports or series. [3] In a recent article by Weiss [4], it was recommended that all scoliosis treatment articles that evaluate various methods contain some essential key points, including a minimum of 5–year follow-up on adult patients, a minimum of two-year follow-up on adolescent patients after they’ve reached skeletal maturity, and a calculated incidence of progression of at least 40%. [4] According to his literature review, no exercise-based physical therapy has been published to date that incorporate these criteria [4], nor has any paper outlining a chiropractic method. [3]

This case series reports the results of 3 females, a mother and her 2 daughters, following a chiropractic rehabilitation treatment intervention. This family was selected due to the fact that they all participated in the same exercise-based scoliosis treatment, and each had a different scoliosis curve pattern. All of the patients began treatment as a result of pain caused by their respective scoliosis. At the time of initial presentation to the chiropractic clinic, the scoliosis in each case had already reached or surpassed the typical surgical threshold. However, the mother elected to avoid surgery for herself and for her daughters. The objective of this paper is to outline the results of this family, all with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, who have been treated and then followed for nine years. This paper reports their changes in radiographic, pain, and daily function parameters obtained over this time period. All 3 patients gave their written permission to use their non-identifying outcome and demographic data.

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