Can I See a Maple Grove Chiropractor For Scoliosis Treatment?
Scoliosis chiropractor. Throughout the United States, around 3% of people have some form of scoliosis – an abnormal sideways arcing of the spine. For some, it is congenital; others develop it as they age. Just under 90% of those with scoliosis don't have a curvature severe enough to require surgery. However, most still need to be treated to relieve day-to-day pain and discomfort. For both non-surgical and surgical cases of scoliosis, chiropractic treatment can be a godsend.
Common Signs of Scoliosis
In most cases, scoliosis doesn't present any noticeable symptoms in its earliest stages. Many people aren't even aware they have scoliosis until a doctor tells them about it. However, when left untreated, the lateral curvature of the spine may become more pronounced over time. The more this curvature increases, the more likely it can lead to health problems, such as:
- Uneven shoulder blades – one blade sticks out more than the other.
- Uneven hips, waist, or rib cage – clothes hang unevenly; the upper body leans to one side.
- Awkward gait or stride – hip misalignment alters regular movement.
- Reduced range of motion – a lateral spinal curve exerts unnatural pressure on the back muscles and makes these tense up and, over time, become rigid and inflexible.
- Muscle weakness along the spine – reduced flexibility and range of motion makes sufferers less physically active, thereby weakening their back muscles.
- Breathing problems – reduced chest area inhibits lung expansion.
- Shoulder or back pain – bulged or herniated discs may pinch nerves and damage the spinal cord.
- Back muscle spasms – the twisting of the spine causes back muscles to contract and become difficult to relax.
Scoliosis may be something you're born with (that is, it's congenital), or it may be acquired after years of spinal wear and tear (that is, it's degenerative or injury related). Congenital scoliosis in children must be detected and treated as early as possible to inhibit its progression and enable them to live as normally as possible. Degenerative or scoliosis related to an injury more often occurs in older adults and needs to be managed to help them avoid pain and suffering in their later years.
Can Maple Grove Chiropractors Fix Scoliosis?
"Fix" is an imprecise term and can be misleading. Like Type I diabetes, scoliosis is not curable but can be managed. It's important to set proper expectations here: As of this writing, no healthcare provider can turn someone with scoliosis into someone without. For now, scoliosis can be managed via a range of chiropractic treatments.
Scoliosis treatment aims to do the following:
- Correct and prevent the progression of the sideways curving of the spine
- Relieve the pain caused by the twisting of the spine
- Strengthen the muscles so that these may support the chiropractic adjustments done to the spine
- Improve bodily functions in terms of mobility, flexibility, and stability
Studies have shown that sustained periodic chiropractic therapy can achieve all of the above. With proper treatment, people with scoliosis will face fewer limitations than if they let their condition progress unchecked.
How do Chiropractors Treat Scoliosis?
A chiropractic doctor treating scoliosis will usually start by taking x-rays of the spine to determine whether the patient's scoliosis is mild, moderate, or severe. Like most health conditions – the earlier scoliosis is spotted, the easier (and less expensive) it is to treat. Traditional treatment for scoliosis methods includes bulky spinal braces or, in extreme cases, surgery. Chiropractors take a different approach, avoiding many conventional treatments by treating the condition before it gets too far along.
Mild scoliosis – spinal curve is less than 25 degrees
When the curvature of the spine is less than 25 degrees, purely chiropractic treatment can minimize most symptoms. At Total Spine Health & Injury Center, we refer to this as conservative care, which includes:
Dr. Tieri uses his hands and adjusting instruments to correct the restrictions of the spine so that it may function more optimally. He may also loosen tight and restricted muscles, joints, and bones connected to the spine. This reintroduces range of motion to areas that are becoming rigid.
Scoliosis can lead to an awkward gait or stride that encourages patients to become less active and, therefore, weaker over time. Spinal adjustments will help with flexibility and range of motion, which in turn requires balance and strength training to rehabilitate weakened muscles.
Massage therapy and specialized stretches
Massage therapy relieves tension on the muscles and joints affected by the sideways curving and twisting of the spine. Mirror stretches and exercises decompress the spine, reducing pain in the back, neck, arms, and legs.
Moderate Scoliosis – Spinal Curve is 25 - 40 Degrees
When a patient's scoliosis is categorized as 'moderate,' chiropractic treatment may need to be accompanied by braces and other traditional tools. Many patients experience dramatic improvement in their condition when chiropractic therapy is combined with practices such as nighttime bracing.
It's important to note that chiropractors sometimes discourage bracing because it is often overprescribed and weakens back muscles. But in most moderate and severe cases of scoliosis, bracing can be essential. It can also be more effective when supported by chiropractic care. Bracing is most commonly provided by a patient's orthopedic doctor.
Severe Scoliosis– Spinal Curve Exceeds 40 Degrees
For patients whose lateral spinal curvature exceeds 40 degrees, internal organs can be affected, and more invasive treatment is often needed. While chiropractors try to help their patients avoid surgery whenever possible, that becomes less likely in extreme cases.
Rods may need to be surgically inserted to straighten the spine. But just because surgery is necessary doesn't mean that a Maple Grove chiropractor can't help. Chiropractic therapy may empower patients to rely less on pain medication, hasten their recovery, and retain post-operative progress.
Is Chiropractic Therapy the Best Option for Scoliosis Patients?
There is no cureall for scoliosis. In some cases, regular spinal adjustments may be all that's necessary to manage symptoms. In other cases, surgery may be unavoidable. What we can say with certainty is that chiropractic treatments are a natural and non-invasive way to relieve pain and improve flexibility in just about any case of scoliosis.
In cases where chiropractic therapy is sufficient, it is one of the best treatment options available. It is profoundly effective at relieving pain and minimizing further deterioration of the spinal curvature. In severe cases where bracing or surgery is required, chiropractic therapy is a critical complementary treatment for supporting recovery and maintenance.
Scoliosis Treatment in Maple Grove
Scoliosis is a lifelong condition that can become debilitating if left untreated. Fortunately, chiropractic therapy is effective in addressing scoliosis at any stage, provided that it is coupled with traditional treatments when necessary.
Total Spine Health and Injury Center is a trusted and celebrated chiropractic clinic for those in the Maple Grove area. Our proactive approach aims to prevent scoliosis from progressing and helps those in the moderate and severe stages to manage their condition. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one deal with scoliosis.