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The Big Problem With Conventional Scoliosis Treatment in Springfield, IL

When it comes to scoliosis, the conventional medical treatment is to watch and wait. That’s a great strategy for a rainy Saturday watching old episodes of Barefoot Contessa on Hulu, move over Netflix-

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-but it’s not the best strategy for managing and treating scoliosis. In fact, it’s a dangerous one.

As a chiropractor for scoliosis in Springfield, IL, I know that watching and waiting for scoliosis to go from 10° to 25° and then 40° is just a slow march to the inevitable – surgery.

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To me, and hopefully any other person with a functioning brain, it makes sense to take advantage of the time when scoliosis is still mild to avoid bracing and surgery. As I tell all my patients, including the ones that wait years to address their issues, it is always better to take care of a problem sooner rather than later to avoid it getting worse and harder to treat.

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Spinal Bracing for Scoliosis

As scoliosis progresses to around 25°, many medical practitioners recommend bracing to manage it. While braces attempt to prevent scoliosis from getting worse, they don’t actually change the course of its progression or fix the underlying problem in the curvature of the spine. When patients tell me their doctor advised them to wear a brace for 23 hours a day, which is often the requirement by the way, that routinely fails to do its job, this is usually my response:

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Bracing attempts to force the spine into a straight position but does nothing to actively correct the cervical and lumbar lordosis. This means that proper correction is not possible. Plus, a 2007 study found that 23% of brace-wearing patients still ended up undergoing surgery. Compared with 22% of patients who didn’t do a dang thing!

It would also be remiss of me not to discuss the emotional damage that braces can do. Scoliosis presents in the adolescent years, a particularly cruel time in life. Being forced to wear a brace can cause body image issues, pain, skin and bone problems, and impair normal functions. 60% of patients said a brace handicapped their lives, and another 14% said the experience left psychological scars.

This would be a good place for a GIF, but it’s just not that funny, so I won’t make light of it. And it’s certainly not my idea of how to provide the best scoliosis care possible.

Spinal Surgery for Scoliosis

There are so many inspiring life quotes about taking risks.

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It makes risks look romantic, but when it comes to surgery on your spine, the risk is almost too much to bear. Surgery is aggressive and irreversible. Scoliosis surgery involves inserting steel rods and screws to fuse the spine and keep it upright. Our bodies aren’t really meant to house steel.

Our spine is not a bridge that shouldn’t move, it is our body’s life force that should be capable of taking us in all sorts of directions.

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Exactly. Inserting a steel rod causes permanent inflexibility and loss of certain functions while not retraining any of the compensating muscles and failing to solve the underlying problem. Many people report that a fused spine is worse than a curved one, with 40% of people being legally disabled 16 years after the surgery is performed. Not to mention the neurological damage and incidents of failed fusion that can happen just a few years after surgery.

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Natural Scoliosis Treatment

I’m sorry, I’ve made it sound all doom and gloom, but there is a bright spot in all of this – a huge, flaming, blinding, bright spot. Scoliosis can be a vicious cycle of progression involving biomechanical and neuromuscular factors, that’s why it needs a holistic approach. Treating and preventing scoliosis becomes a question of nutrient intake, hormone imbalances, and mechanical defects in joints, muscles, and tissue.

Scoliosis also comes with several side effects that we can’t ignore:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Risk of pulmonary hypertension and respiratory failure
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mental health problems and poor body image
  • Loss of function
  • Pain
  • Decreased quality of life

More and more, the medical community is turning to a multi-faceted chiropractic approach that considers the various issues that scoliosis presents. Doing the right kinds of scoliosis exercises, chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulation, and changes to diet and lifestyle can help reduce scoliosis pain, lower inflammation, speed up the body’s healing capabilities, and improve overall health.

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The goal of chiropractic care for scoliosis is to restore biomechanics safely to avoid the need for surgery or the side effects of medication. The precise adjustments to a misaligned spine and ongoing scoliosis exercises will strengthen the spine to hold its proper position longer than a brace ever could.

At the Springfield Wellness Center, this issue is incredibly important to us. We understand the sensitivity and lasting effects this condition can have on a person’s life, and we are committed to caring for scoliosis naturally, in a way that has lasting positive results rather than lasting negative ones. Call us or schedule a time to meet with one of our amazing doctors. Scoliosis doesn’t have to be the end of normal life as we know it, but rather an opportunity to give our body exactly what it needs to improve our overall health and quality of life.

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