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Thread: The Curious Case of Martha Hawes

  1. #1
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    The Curious Case of Martha Hawes


    http://www.scoliosisjournal.com/cont...-7161-4-27.pdf


    Synopsis of her results:

    Increase in height: 2 cm between 1990 and 2005

    Improved pulmonary symptoms: Vital capacity in 1996 = 1.6 liters (71% predicted), 2005 = 3.99 liters (115%). Relief from respiratory symptoms including dyspnea and recurrent respiratory infection was maintained.

    Improvement in torso symmetry: In 1992, there was a 12+2 cm difference between the left and right hemi-thorax at maximum inhalation, and a 10+1 cm difference at maximum exhalation. By 2005, reduction to 2+2 cm and 1 +1 cm, respectively. Rib prominence reduced from 18 +3 to 11 +2 degrees.

    Increase in sagittal plane Cobb magnitude: Cobb angle of the sagittal thoracic curvature increased from 17+2 degrees in 2001 to 33+3 degrees in 2005.

    Decrease in coronal plane Cobb magnitude: From 1990 through 2005 the magnitude of Cobb angle for the primary thoracic curve declined by >10 degrees.

    Table 2 which shows cobb measurements (using three comparative methods) from 1990-2005 clearly shows a progressive reduction in curvatude - hdugger reports from a recent email to Martha, that she continues to maintain her correction with 1 hour of exercise daily (as is outlined in her memoir).

    Table 1 outlines her methods of treatment - none of which involve 4 hours a day of exercising for years and years - a myth that I'm glad to see set to rest in this report. From 1964-1974 she used calisthenics for about 30 minutes daily; 1974-1991Calisthenics, stretching, plus aerobics (biking, jogging) 60 min daily; 1991 Deep tissue massage 60 min daily; 1992-2001 Daily home mobilization exercises (no strengthening or aerobic) + some other intermittent therapy; 2001-2005 daily mobilization, strengthening & aerobic exercise 40-50 min daily.

    The work of Martha Hawes not only demonstrates that contrary to past opinion, adult curves can be reduced significantly through non surgical methods - and that reduction can be maintained.




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    Until this can be reliable reproduced and verified, it's just anecdotal.

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    I don't think we can say it never reverses on its own. It may have done so in the Hawes case. Just because she happened to be doing all that stuff doesn't mean it was causal. This is why controls are necessary to have complete confidence in the conclusions. It may happen but this may be the first documented case.

    Also the fact that she has never done any "targeted" exercise like Schroth is simultaneously consistent with a spontaneous reduction and that Schroth is ineffective.

    Also, the perennial question of permanence and getting incapacitated if the reduction is PT dependent.

    Can you list out the other three data points?

    One is a chiro claim of a teenage girl who is also wearing a brace, yes? I think the jury is WAY out on that one and it is too early to say at this point.

    The yoga woman... does she have radiographic evidence or do we just have her word?

    Who is the fourth person?
    Last edited by Pooka1; 12-17-2009 at 06:26 AM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hdugger View Post
    It is proof that scoliosis *can* be reversed through non-surgical means, even though there is not enough information yet to show exactly how it was reversed.
    It is well known that scoliosis can appear to be reversed under various definitions of "temporary" through bracing and standing funny, among other things.

    I'm, wondering if there is something funny about the business of taking in a deep breath that Hawes was instructed to do. I wonder if the earlier radiogragh didn't have her do that whereas teh later ones did.

    Again, I would like to hear what surgeons say about the case.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Until this can be reliable reproduced and verified, it's just anecdotal.
    Okay I'd like to hear from the pre-surgical people on this site... after having read that testimonial, is anyone jumping on that bandwagon expecting the same result?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  6. #6
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    Data Points

    Quote Originally Posted by hdugger View Post
    But, anecdotal is good enough for a disorder which never reverses on its own. It is proof that scoliosis *can* be reversed through non-surgical means, even though there is not enough information yet to show exactly how it was reversed.

    Four data points so far. Still looking for more.
    I would agree that anecdotal information should not be dismissed in the search for answers.

    I keep looking for data points myself. I wear the Spinecor orthosis - this is what is called a dynamic brace, or one that effectively acts as physical therapy when wearing during normal daily activities (as I understand the design as explained by the inventors).

    I am experiencing progressive small reductions, at the age of 60, and now nine months into treatment. So far, there is only one published study regarding adult use: http://www.scoliosisjournal.com/content/2/S1/S23

    Conclusion:
    These findings suggest the use of a flexible strapping orthosis (Spinecor) is an effective tool in the management of adult scoliosis. Long term studies are necessary to determine the sustainability of these early positive results.

    Results:
    Patients were separated into three groups based on curvature location: Thoracic (T), Thoracolumbar (TL) and Lumbar (L). T-tests were performed using the initial and follow-up Cobb measurements of AP radiographs for each of the three groups. The maximum (T) reduced from 94 degrees to 77 degrees (-12.2%) following a minimum of three months of treatment. The maximum (TL) measurement reduced from 31 degrees to 23 degrees (-13.4%), and the (L) minimum reduced from 17 degrees to 11.1 degrees (-15.3%). The patients in the "Thoracic" group (n = 20) had a mean average change of -5.27 degrees. The "Thoracolumbar" group (n = 3) had a mean average change of -6.0 degrees. The Lumbar group (n = 15) had a mean average change of -4.40 degrees.

    Data Points for me: The work of Martha Hawes shows that adult curvature reduction and stabilization can be achieved through non surgical means using exercise as defined by the AMA, and physical therapy does fall under said definition - the Spinecor orthisis is dynamic and by this definition according to the inventors, can act as a form of physical therapy. There exist published accounts of adult reduction using the spinecor orthosis, I'm experiencing this myself - hence, data points relative to the work of Hawes, non surgical means, and exercise.



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    Those are all in brace.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Those are all in brace.
    No they are not.

    Study design
    Twenty-three adults between the ages eighteen and sixty-five years, seeking treatment for adolescent onset idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) were fitted with the Spinecor Orthosis [1] after being exposed to an anterior-posterior (AP) full spine and lateral full spine radiograph, with a minimum of three months between exposures and a maximum of one year. Measurements of the radiographs were performed using a digital inclinometer in order to reduce error and all projections were exposed without the orthosis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    No they are not.

    Study design
    Twenty-three adults between the ages eighteen and sixty-five years, seeking treatment for adolescent onset idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) were fitted with the Spinecor Orthosis [1] after being exposed to an anterior-posterior (AP) full spine and lateral full spine radiograph, with a minimum of three months between exposures and a maximum of one year. Measurements of the radiographs were performed using a digital inclinometer in order to reduce error and all projections were exposed without the orthosis.
    When they don't state how long they were out of brace I assume it's 5 minutes. If it was a few days they would have said so.

    Those are essentially in brace measurements as far as can be determined.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  10. #10
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    Data Points

    Data Points for me: The work of Martha Hawes shows that adult curvature reduction and stabilization can be achieved through non surgical means using exercise as defined by the AMA, and physical therapy does fall under said definition - the Spinecor orthisis is dynamic and by this definition according to the inventors, can act as a form of physical therapy. There exist published accounts of adult reduction using the spinecor orthosis, I'm experiencing this myself - hence, data points relative to the work of Hawes, non surgical means, and exercise.

    Not to quote myself :-) but ... a data point, is a data point, is a - data point.

  11. #11
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    Is martha hawes a one time, one person thing? has this ever occurred with even ONE other person? cause...in the lyme disease community, there was a woman named linda, out in minnesota, who recovered from severe lyme disease with one round of antibiotics..she wrote a BOOK about it!! we used to call her "the miracle cure"...we were in awe that anyone really really ill with lyme in their brain could get better that easily!

    maybe martha hawes is the scoliosis "miracle cure"..that does not mean it works for anyone else...until it does, what else do you call it? an anomaly? a freak occurrence...just darn good luck?
    i read about this woman for pages & pages on forum...but dont understand where the repetition of the results is...it is as if some people cling to this one situation as if it means anyone or everyone could be "saved" in the same manner...i think it is kinda sad...

    jess

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    when "documented" is stated...documented by whom? is there an impartial agent who can assess such things...cause i just dont trust the self described cures...some days i actually think my scoli is getting better...the next day i dont...i am not saying people are not truthful..i am saying that one cannot be objective about one's own body...especially when hoping for an improvement....

    just asking...is there objective measurement somewhere of these "changes" or "improvements"? must one be under 21 years old for it to work?

    jess

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    Quote Originally Posted by hdugger View Post
    I think I've scattered the links hither and yon, but the Hawes report has several xrays read by several practioners, as does the SEAS study.
    Can you post the link to the SEAS study please?

    I don't have much info on Elise - Linda would know more, as she's been in contact with her.
    We don't know if she has radiographic proof. Linda would know.

    The forum member was measured both before and after by her orthopedic surgeon.
    I believe that is incorrect. I think a chiro said that. I don't think any orthopedic surgeon confirmed any decrease. But anyway, she is wearing a brace so nothing can be said of PT until she is well out of it.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 12-17-2009 at 10:11 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hdugger View Post
    We're talking about different people. I think you're talking about Kid15 (I think that's her name). She saw a reduction in brace, I believe. I'm not including any bracing results in my data points - just exercise - so I haven't counted her.

    I'm talking about the daughter of swimmergirlsmom. She's not in a brace and is under the care of an orthopedic surgeon.
    Oh yes I forgot.

    I agree she fits the criteria.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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    o.k., you guys..i guess maybe you can tell from the few posts...but i have no patience for this! until & unless reduction of curve is proven in dozens, nay hundreds, of patients, i'm calling martha hawes, in my book, "the miracle cure"....that is just my opinion, but i'm stickin' with it!

    now, i had to study statistics three times for 3 different graduate degrees (done back when i had energy & no pain!).....though it has been awhile! if i recall, statistical significance is something that is required of formal studies..are you saying these 4 cases are informal studies...? mere anecdotes? i cant believe they even merit this attention!!

    it makes me so sad...there is some expression about "pulling at straws" or something like that, when people are stretching to find an answer where it aint really...dont remember the exact words...but it makes me sad that people are so desperate to see a solution....where it doesnt seem to be there...if 4 people have a curve reduction with exercise, what would a real scientist call that, besides anecdotal...

    i wish you all luck..i hope you can exercise to beat the band & get rid of your curves..i, on the other hand, know if i dont have the surgery, my curves will be here with me, til the beyond! too bad we really dont like each other!!

    happy holidays
    jess

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