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Frequently asked questions: Page (1) 2 3
Can you please refer me to a doctor for my scoliosis?
Lists of some orthopedic doctors who are spine specialists are available for most states. The presence of a doctor's name on the list for any slot is not to be considered an endorsement or referral by the NSF. Please write to us and indicate which state list you would like to recieve. Your family physician, local hospitals or state medical societies are also sources for referrals.
My doctor told me not to worry about my scoliosis. What should I do?
If you are concerned about the diagnosis given to you, feel free to seek a second opinion.
Can you tell me what is the best treatment for Scoliosis?
The treatment prescribed for scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis varies with the individual patient. Severity and location of the curve, age, potential for further growth and general health of the patient all must be taken into account. A mild curvature (up to 20 degrees) generally needs only periodic observation to watch for signs of further progression. Bracing is the usual treatment for children and adolescent with curves of 25-40 degrees, and in other special circumstances.
I have a mild scoliosis curvature. Should I be concerned?
Four out of five people with scoliosis have curves of less than 20 degrees. Such curves are usually unnoticable to the untrained eye and are no cause for concern, provided they show no sign of further progression. However, in growing children and adolescents, mild curvatures can worsen quite rapidly (10 degrees or more in a few months ). Therefore, for this age group, frequent checkups by a primary care physician or orthopedist is well advised.
Will you please send me a description of exercises to help my scoliosis?
Orthopedists tell us that exercise alone will not prevent a curvature from progressing. Exercises are prescribed in conjunction with brace treatment to maintain muscle tone while the torso is immobilized by the brace. These exercises are prescribed individually according to the age of the patient and the location and degree of the curvature.
Do you think a chiropractor could help my scoliosis?
For moderate to major curvatures:
We do not know of any long-term study which shows that chiropractic treatment can stop a moderate (over 25 degrees) or major curve (over 40 degrees) from progressing in the bone growing years. It has been our experience that chiropractors who are knowledgeable about the development of idiopathic scoliosis in children will refer young patients with such curvatures to an orthopedist for a second opinion.

For minor curvatures:
It is still not clear whether spinal manipulation is effective in controling minor curves (under 20 degrees). Chiropractors do tell us that they have had success but they have not sent us controlled research data to support these claims. On the other hand, the data collected by orthopedists shows that without any form of treatment, 4 out of 5 minor curvatures will not progress beyond 20 degrees. For this reason, orthopedists no longer treat such minor curvatures but they do recommend periodic observation, especially in growing children.

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