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Thread: Chiropactic and Scoliosis

  1. #1
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    Question Chiropactic and Scoliosis

    I'm curious...

    I see quite a bit of negative sentiment toward chiropractic care and scoliosis, yet Rolfing and the Schroth method seem to be embraced, why do you suppose that is? Are they all not variations of a theme? Isn't the coveted SpineCor brace ordinarily administered by chiros?

    I ask this because there is a chiropractor in my town that has trained at the Clear Institute and seems to be well respected by both medical doctors (our family G.P., who is also a D.O., being one of them) and other chiropractors in the area. After many consultations with pediatric orthopedic surgeons, the general consensus is: bracing at night and see what happens. I'm not one to accept the status quo and am considering taking my daughter to the chiropractor. Not looking for a miracle cure, I understand the limits of all treatments, but perhaps just a different approach in conjunction with "standard" treatment.

    What struck me about this man was his passion and compassion. He was the only "professional" that looked my daughter straight in the eye and asked "So how are you doing through all of this?" None of the medical doctors even came close to this level of humanity.

    Stroke aside, what am I missing with respect to chiropractic care? If my daughter feels better and more hopeful with an additional approach, why not pursue it?

    I'd love to entertain your thoughts...
    Last edited by Syd'sDad; 02-20-2008 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
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    chiro

    Would that it would be so easy!!! Just go to the chiro and be fixed It's never worked for anyone here.
    Do a search on this forum about chiro treatments and learn about our experiences.

    Schroth involves bracing(Cheneau)/physiotherapy and exercises. Best results are with smaller curves in young adolescents. There is a large thread here discussing the Spinecore Brace. You can contact those parents and get help there.

    No one on this Forum here has presented with permanent curve reductions after the Clear Institute. You can also do a search of the Forum and contact others who have gone through it.

    Compassion is great in a health care provider but the proof is in the results.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  3. #3
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    Would that it would be so easy!!! Just go to the chiro and be fixed It's never worked for anyone here.
    Do a search on this forum about chiro treatments and learn about our experiences.

    Schroth involves bracing(Cheneau)/physiotherapy and exercises. Best results are with smaller curves in young adolescents. There is a large thread here discussing the Spinecore Brace. You can contact those parents and get help there.

    No one on this Forum here has presented with permanent curve reductions after the Clear Institute. You can also do a search of the Forum and contact others who have gone through it.

    Compassion is great in a health care provider but the proof is in the results.
    Ahh, I was hoping you would reply as you seem to be very anti-chiro, why is that? Why such a strong conviction against chiro? I'm looking for specific reasons as to why you dislike chiro as a SUPPLEMENTAL treatment. Give me arguments to talk me out of chiropractic. Are they all quacks or is there any merit to their practice?

    Again, there are no guarantees in ANY treatment. I can search this forum and find a negative aspect in any treatment discussed here. This Chiro has made no promises that he can "fix" my child and for that matter neither has any "real" doctor.

    Is it not realistic to assume that if any exercises and/or physiotherapy produce a curve reduction, they must be continued to maintain that reduction? Look at bracing; in many cases, once it is complete, the curves will still progress.

    Compassion is great in a health care provider but the proof is in the results.
    Thus far, my daughter's ortho has shown me no results either. Each provider must be given fair and ample time to produce results.

    I'm not chasing faith healers or snake oil salesmen. I'm performing my due diligence in exploring all alternatives so that years from now I'm not consumed with "what if's".
    Last edited by Syd'sDad; 02-20-2008 at 08:12 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sy's Dad,

    I agree with you that it seems many chiropractors have the nicest dispositions. The ortho who diagnosed Nicole was cold and unfeeling. The chiro who fitted her for the Spinecor was patient and kind. With that being said, we personally did not want anyone "adjusting" our growing child who had scoliosis. We did not feel comfortable with that. I believe that chiros can be wonderful for many things. However, for us, we used the chiros to only gently work on her muscles while the Spinecor was trying to hold her curves. As you can see from my signature, Nicole had surgery 5 months ago. No matter what you decide, be sure you continue to be monitored with an orthopedic. That would be my only advice. I do not believe that chiros can change scoliosis curves. I wish you all the best.
    Melissa
    From Bucks County, Pa., USA

    Mom to Matthew,19, Jessica, 17, and Nicole, 14
    Nicole had surgery with Dr. Dormans on 9/12/07 at Children's Hospital of Phila. She is fused T-2 - L-3

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MATJESNIC
    Sy's Dad,

    I agree with you that it seems many chiropractors have the nicest dispositions. The ortho who diagnosed Nicole was cold and unfeeling. The chiro who fitted her for the Spinecor was patient and kind. With that being said, we personally did not want anyone "adjusting" our growing child who had scoliosis. We did not feel comfortable with that. I believe that chiros can be wonderful for many things. However, for us, we used the chiros to only gently work on her muscles while the Spinecor was trying to hold her curves. As you can see from my signature, Nicole had surgery 5 months ago. No matter what you decide, be sure you continue to be monitored with an orthopedic. That would be my only advice. I do not believe that chiros can change scoliosis curves. I wish you all the best.
    Thanks for the reply Melissa. My Sydney is 13 like your Nicole and I completely understand what you are say about comfort levels where adjustments are concerned, that is exactly what I am wrestling with. I made it clear to both the ortho and chiro that I was interested in a partnership of all involved and would have it no other way. I would have run away fast had the chiro asked me to give up the brace. At this point I have not made a decision and have in no way committed to the chiro. While he studied the clear system, he doesn't seem to subscribe to it's principals in their entirety. He also work with MD's as part of his treatments.

    To compound the issue, My daughter is a good candidate for VBS (the way I'd like to go) but my wife and Sydney will have no part of it. It is for that reason that I began to seek local alternatives to SUPPLEMENT bracing.

    I too believe that chiro cannot permanently correct curves (33L, 30T) but perhaps it can improve comfort and joint flexibility. Where did I put that crystal ball??????

    I wish you all the best...

  6. #6
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    My first contact with a chiro was to fit my daughter in a Spinecor, I too was very impressed with the time he spent with us and his compassion/passion for what he was doing. He was confident that he could reduce her curves. He also implemented a therapy program and nutrition program. We went in 3x/week for 3 months, she wore the brace diligently and took the prescribed supplements, guess what? No improvement at all. I was very disappointed and upset at the time and money we spent, I took him at his word that he could help her. He used a variety of therapies, not nearly as rigorous as Clear, which I put my daughter through also with Dr. Woggon. That is all discussed on the Clear Institue thread which you may have already seen. I was also very disappointed with the results of the Clear method. Since we've been through it, I hear they're recommending bracing which was not part of the program before. We tried one other method with a different chiro., he was the only one who didn't make any promises. That didn't work either and I can't even recall the name of the therapy right now.

    I would agree that chiros seem to be warmer and more caring but in the end, it's the results that matter. My daughter was sure her curves were being reduced when she was in therapy, so it was an even greater disappointment when nothing happened. The one thing that I appreciate now is honesty, don't get my hopes up only to have them squashed, that's the difference between medical doctors and chirop. I've never had a medical doctor tell me he can cure my daughter's scoliosis.

    If you have the time, money and commitment to see this through for who knows how long, maybe years, then try it. I understand where you're coming from, I would have tried anything to prevent my daughter from having surgery and nobody could tell me otherwise, just prepare yourself if it doesn't have the results you're expecting. I like that your chiro. isn't making any promises, at least that's realistic. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Thanks so much Sherie.

    It is insight like yours and Melissa"s that is so valuable to me/us a we make our journey along this crooked (pun intended ) path.

    Joe

  8. #8
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    Just one more thing Joe, my daughter's curves actually increased during the time periods she was doing therapy. I feel certain that was the path the scoliosis was going to take anyways, but I had this uneasy feeling that maybe something we were doing was contributing to it. It's definitely something to think about, you don't need any additional guilt.

    I would have loved to explore the VBS option, but my daughter was already past that point when I first heard about it and it was much newer at that time too. If we could do it again and I had your crystal ball, I would have definitely gone that route.

    Take care.

  9. #9
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    My standard comment on chiro is to say that it is included in The Amazing Randi's $1 million dollar paranormal challenge. That is to say, you prove it works, you win the million dollars.

    In all the years the prize has been available, nobody has won it for anything including chiro.

    That said, my horse benefits from "chiro." My horse has pain on certain regions of his topline associated with his recovery from an injury. The vet does some quick push motion and the pain is instantly removed. Now this is obviously either freeing an impinged nerve or otherwise deadening the pain response because you canNOT produce a pain response on that portion of his back after the vet does the voodoo that he do.

    So although the vet is doing "something," I don't know on what basis he calls it chiro. It is NOT like the chiro I received when one of my discs in my back was dissolving and I was getting knife-like pain until the vertebrae fused on their own. There was no instant relief like my horse gets. And that chiropractor was honest with me that the pain would stop when the vertebrae fused. I think he was just basically massaging the muscles.

    And I'll note neither the vet nor I have won the million dollars.

    I wish you good luck with your child.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 02-21-2008 at 06:17 AM.

  10. #10
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    There are alot of different chiros out there, each with their own technique- some good, many bad.

    We started seeing a chiro after my daughter transitioned from a Boston brace to a Spinecor. Neither the brace fitter nor the chiro claimed that they could reverse her curve or cure her scoliosis. Both just wanted stablization and pain relief.

    The chiro did not do forcefull adjustments, instead helped with tired, tense, sore muscles - my daughers back had suffered a lot of muscle atrophy in the short time she wore her Boston brace. He also helped her with the exercises that the SpineCor provider recommended (better him nagging her to do her exercises every day than me). Her back is now very strong and pain free. So, for us it was a positive experience.

    I probably would not have taken her to a chiro if I had not had a similar positive experience myself. I too have mild scoliosis that has come back to haunt me now that I'm in my 40s. Without the natural curvature in my neck the bones were starting to degenerate and my neck could no longer turn side to side. After 3 months of traction, 3 times a week, I can turn my head and no longer have knife pains between my shoulder blades and headaches.

    Chiro is not for everyone. If you decide to see one - shop around first. Its a lot harder to find a good chiro than a good ortho.
    Mom to Haley, 13.5 yrs old
    Diagnosed at 6 yrs old - 18T.
    Boston Brace at 9.5 yrs old - 34T/18L
    Switched to SpineCor at 10 yrs old
    Stable at ~22T OBX until 12.5 yrs old
    Adolescent growth spurt was brutal - scheduled for surgery Dec 7th.

  11. #11
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    More great dialogue, thanks Pooka1 and HaleyMom.

    I wish I could get my wife on board with VBS, one problem here is the narrow window we have available and at this point we have no idea whether the curves are progressing or not. My daughter was just diagnosed on 01/14/08, so we have only established a baseline at this point. I'd hate to jump right at VBS if the curves are stable...

    I've allowed the chiro to do two gentle adjustments on my daughter during our initial consultations and I will say that my daughter felt much better afterward and wants to return, thus complicating the decision. I'm very analytical about things and don't necessarily believe in chiropractic; although I will say that chiro is the only thing that helped my sciatica from an injury in my early 30's.

    Does anyone have any experience with the MedX Core Torso Rotation Machine?

  12. #12
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    Dr. Woggon has one and uses it as part of the therapy. You're chiro. should be familiar with it if he's been to Dr. W's to train.

  13. #13
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    Thumbs down My experience with chiro

    Syd's dad:
    I was 11 years old, in the 6th grade. I went to the chiro 3 times a week that
    whole school year. He said he could help. My parents believed him. We had no medical insurance and my parents had little money. My curves became so severe that I ended up with a 100 deg curve.
    Do you understand why I have a "negative attitude" to chiro?

    Another thing to consider is never allow a chiro to adjust the neck. There is a documented case(Canada) of a child having neurological damage from the cervical spinal nerves getting sheared with the neck maneuver.
    This can also cause headaches and strokes in adults.
    I had one patient who could never swallow again after her "adjustment" because of nerve damage.
    My son's father-in-law went for back pain to a chiro. He ended up with such a headache/dizziness from the neck manipulation that they did a CAT scan from the head. It went away after stopping treatments. In adults arteriosclerotic plaque can be sheared off.
    As a medical professional myself I would never bring my child to a chiro.

    Rolfing is manipulating fasciasoft tissue and did help me with scar release and loosened areas where my muscles were contracted from long standing scoliosis. Those results lasted for me.

    I suggest you and your wife do a thorough search of the forum/archives to learn what works and why.
    My curves were 30 degrees once upon a time.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  14. #14
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    Do you understand why I have a "negative attitude" to chiro?
    ABSOULTELY! That fills in the gaps, thanks Karen.

    I too, am fearful of manipulating the cervical spine because of the risks but I suppose there are serious risks with surgery as well. I think the difference here is that surgery has a quantifiable risk to benefit ratio whereas chiro, at this point, does not... I saw a link you posted about the stroke risk and I think it was something like 1:5.4 million adjustments but it also questioned how many occurrences go unreported.. Serious food for thought...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syd'sDad
    To compound the issue, My daughter is a good candidate for VBS (the way I'd like to go) but my wife and Sydney will have no part of it.
    Hi Syd's Dad,

    You'll see from my signature that my son had VBS nearly 4 years ago. I am just curious - has your daughter been evaluated at Shriners, or elsewhere, with regard to her candidacy for VBS? I agree that at 33 degrees, provided she has some flexibility AND a decent amount of growth left to do, she could be a good candidate. But, as you say, at 13 years old, there's not a big window.

    It makes a lot of sense what you said about the fact that she was just diagnosed so you don't know if the curve is progressing or not. Hence, my curiousity about whether she was seen by an ortho who performs this procedure.

    I'd also like to let everyone know that a website was just put together (by parents of kids who've had VBS). The site is www.vertebralstapling.com. I think it offers some excellent information, personal stories and an opportunity to "chat" with those who have been through it.

    Good luck!
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

    http://pediatricspinefoundation.org/

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