Scoliosis of the Spine: Chiropractic Management

            Scoliosis is defined as a lateral curvature of the spine of 10 degrees or greater measured by what’s called the cobb angle.¹ This is a measurement that is done when taking a spinal x-ray image which chiropractors can provide requisitions for. The most common type of scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis this type of scoliosis is seen in adolescents between the ages of 10-18 years old, has no known cause, similar incidence between male & female, however it is 10 times more likely to progress past 30 degrees in females.¹ Indications for an x-ray would be spinal pain in adolescence in combination with a positive forward bend test which can be done during a chiropractic initial assessment. Mild scoliosis (under 40 degrees of curvature) people may have back pain or may be asymptomatic, severe scoliosis (over 40 degrees of curvature) someone is more likely to have back pain, cosmetic disturbances, mental distress and rare but serious lung issues.¹ No high-quality studies have shown surgery to be more effective than bracing or observation so it should only be used in severe cases.¹ Many studies have shown benefit to the utilization of physical therapy and/or bracing to help limit progression in mild to moderate scoliosis.¹ Treatment provided by a chiropractor for scoliosis would include joint mobilizations, joint manipulations (chiropractic adjustments), and exercise prescriptions.

If there are any questions or concerns for someone of any age that thinks they may have scoliosis a spinal curvature, do not hesitate to contact the clinic and speak to our chiropractor.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nicholas Graham BASc. Kin, D.C.

Bibliography

  1. Kuznia, A.L., Hernandez, A.K. and Lee, L.U. (2020) Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Common questions and answers, American Family Physician. Available at: https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2020/0101/p19.html (Accessed: 07 October 2023).