Scoliosis is an incredibly complex condition involving much more than just the Spinal column. There is no one magic adjustment or therapy or treatment which will work in every case. This is the reason why understanding our Advanced Scoliosis protocols & especially the science behind them is important. Scoliosis treatment must be customized to the particular, specific needs of each individual patient. However, there are certain key aspects of Scoliosis treatment protocols which are integral to achieving consistent, measurable success in Scoliosis treatment.
It is important that the patient understand the science behind these protocols to take full advantage of their benefits. Below are the different parts involved in our Scoliosis Treatments in Denver.
Part I: Precision X-Rays
The first step in the Scoliosis Treatment involves gathering information about the bio-mechanical function of the entire Spine – not just the area(s) affected by scoliosis. It is an axiom that you can control the middle of a cord by moving the top and the bottom. By the same token, it is important to understand what is occurring in the neck and with the hips in order to affect the middle of the spine. To obtain this information, seven small, precise x-rays are necessary, totaling 292 mR of radiation (by comparison, according to the American Nuclear Society, www.ans.org, the amount of naturally-occurring, environmental radiation we are exposed to every year is 360 mR, and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements states that the risk of abnormality to an unborn fetus is considered negligible at 5,000 mR or less). A scoliosis x-ray is also mandated if a recent film is not available. These seven views should include three side views of the neck (one with the eyes looking down, one with the eyes looking up, and one with the eyes straight ahead), a side view of the low back, two frontal views of the neck (one with the eyes straight ahead, and one with the eyes looking up), and one frontal view of the low back.
Part II: MIX (warm-up or “Prehab”)
Prior to receiving Chiropractic adjustments, the patient is required to warm up their spine using devices and tools such as the Active Rehabilitation Chair (which sits upon a ball-and-socket joint and flexes in every direction to put the spine through a full range of motion), the Cervical Traction (which is used actively by the patient to achieve gentle, repetitive spinal traction), and the Vibrating Traction (which uses a slow, relaxing vibration which has been scientifically proven to relax the ligaments & soft tissues of the Spine). A special motorized table with belts that pull (not push!) the Scoliosis curves out of the spine, called the Eckard Flexion/Distraction table, achieves the goal of re-structuring & re-modeling the ligaments after they have been relaxed. It is important to understand that if the MIX protocols are not followed, the intervertebral discs will be rigid and inflexible, and it will be difficult if not impossible to effect structural changes to the spine.
Part III: FIX (specific instrument-assisted adjusting)
Mechanical adjusting instruments and specialized drop pieces enhance the precision & effectiveness of our Chiropractic care, while simultaneously reducing the amount of force required to correct the spine. According to CLEAR protocols, almost all adjusting of the neck should be performed with the use of such instruments, and the application of these adjustments should be correlated with the information obtained from the patient’s precision x-rays. Follow up x-rays should confirm correction of these areas, neck from the side (lateral cervical x-ray which should include a stress x-ray), front x-ray of the upper body and head (nasium x-ray), and top of the head x-ray (Base Posterior x-ray of there is 4 degrees or more of atlas rotation).
Part IV: SET (rehab stage)
Immediately after the adjusting is completed, the spine needs to be “set” in its corrected position to ensure the permanency of the changes. This involves spinal weighting protocols (typically on the head & hips), whole-body vibration therapy such as the Vibe and the Scoliosis Traction Chair, and Gait Training therapy which re-trains patterns of moving & walking. In addition to the aggressive home exercise program, exercises should be done in the clinic on an exercise ball and on the whole-body vibration platform (which has been shown through research to increase the effectiveness of exercise by 2-3 times). If the SET protocols are not followed, any corrections achieved in the Spine will be temporary in nature.
Part V: Follow-up exams
After the initial scoliosis treatment plan, we will take a series of post x-rays to validate the effectiveness of the treatment protocol. The specific x-rays which are necessary are limited as much as possible to the patient’s specific condition. For example, if the initial x-ray demonstrated that the patient’s low back was in pretty good shape prior to beginning care, a sideways view of the low back might not be necessary. It’s important to keep in mind that not every patient will show a reduction in the severity of the scoliotic curve, as measured by Cobb angle, within this time frame. This is due to the fact that Cobb angle is a measurement of only one dimension of the spine, and scoliosis is, in fact, a three-dimensional condition. Before the sideways curve can be reduced or corrected, the spine must be de-rotated and de-compressed in the other two dimensions. Treating a complex spinal disorder such as scoliosis is a little like reversing the path of a runaway train. It takes time to first slow down the momentum, then more time is needed to change the course of the disease.
Part VI: Home Spinal Rehab Program
It is imperative that every Scoliosis doctor emphasizes to their patient the importance of their active participation in the treatment program. As stated by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, “The patient must combat the disease along with the physician.” Results are not guaranteed – they are earned, by patients who are willing to work alongside of the doctor. The traditional methods of scoliosis treatment, bracing & surgery, are considered “passive” therapies, in that the patient has the procedures done to them; the doctor designs the brace, the doctor performs the surgery. CLEAR Institute’s method, by comparison, should be considered an “active” process – that is to say, the doctor teaches the patient how to do the procedures, and the patient does them. A small part of our protocols could be considered passive modalities, but the effectiveness of these treatments on their own is limited without the involvement of the patient. In other words, your degree of participation determines the degree of improvement.
CLEAR Institute’s Position on Bracing Treatment:
It is important to state that CLEAR Institute does not formally endorse any type of bracing. In fact, the cumulative clinical experience of the doctors on our Board of Advisors demonstrates that attempting to utilize a brace while the patient is undergoing CLEAR treatment may have an adverse effect, in that our protocols attempt to strengthen the same postural muscles which are made weaker by relying upon the brace. On the other side of the coin, however, we readily concede that our specialty is not in orthotics, but in spinal biomechanics & postural rehabilitation. It is for this reason that, while we do not advocate bracing, we also do not condemn it. What matters most is that the patient is satisfied with the outcome of treatment.
Call Denver South Chiropractic & Rehab for a Complimentary Consultation today at 303-757-7272
Your Denver Chiropractor is located near I-25 & S. Bellaire St.