Are you ready to learn there are other options for you or your child’s scoliosis that you might not even be aware of? Whether you are looking for the best option for yourself or your child, it is possible to change the course of your scoliosis and your life. YOU have the power to take action and make a difference for the better.
The 4 Most Commonly Misrepresented “Facts” about Scoliosis
These “facts” lead to unnecessary pain, increased rates of disability and uncontrolled progression of the curves in your scoliosis or the scoliosis of your child.
These so-called “truths” regarding scoliosis result in increased pain, which could have often been prevented, or significantly reduced, and long-term disability and loss of function for thousands of scoliosis sufferers. When people take these truths at face value and don’t ask enough questions, it prevents them from seeking a solution or investigating further before the scoliosis has progressed so far that surgery and disability are not too far behind.
Fact #1: Mild scoliosis curves typically don’t progress after skeletal maturity.
It is a commonly held belief that scoliosis does not progress and is unlikely to degenerate as people get older, especially in the case of “mild” curves (less than 15 – 20 degrees). Recent studies have shown this to be categorically UNTRUE. There are a great number of variations in the type of scoliosis and some are statistically more likely to increase with age AND these changes can even happen at an accelerated rate because of their unpredictability. Regardless of which type you have, your curve(s) are more likely to continue degenerating as you age as opposed to remaining stable.
This deterioration is just as true even if your curves began later in adolescence and you’ve experienced minor increases as you’ve aged. Curve degeneration can accelerate to over 5 degrees a year as you pass your 40’s and 50’s. More than a couple years at that accelerated rate and you’re a candidate for surgical intervention.
Fact #2: Curve progression in Scoliosis is linear and predictable.
If a significant amount of time has passed since you or your child’s scoliosis was diagnosed, you might be under the impression the curves will always progress at the same rate. Your rate of progression can never be counted on to be constant. For children, growth spurts can lead to MAJOR progression of curves in a matter of a couple months. As most children typically have 2 larger growth spurts as they progress through puberty, their curves can balloon up dramatically if no action is taken. For others, changes in hormones, especially those associated with menopause, can lead to large jumps in curve progression. While the type of scoliosis you have does factor in, many patients experience drastic and unpredictable progression of curves at various timeframes in their life.
Fact #3: If your scoliosis doesn’t cause you pain now, it never will.
As found in the research and as heard from the testimonials of many patients who have come to our office, pain is VERY likely to develop later in life, even if you didn’t experience any pain as an adolescent or young adult. One study on scoliosis and pain indicated as high as 92% of adult scoliosis sufferers reported experiencing pain related to their scoliosis.
Fact #4: The only option available for my scoliosis is major surgery involving fusion of my spine and titanium rods.
Medical “experts” in scoliosis perpetuate this last fact. Patients have often told me they were informed, “there is nothing you can do to change the progression of your scoliosis, you can only ‘watch and wait’”. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Here are the facts:
Mild curves less than 30 degrees may have a higher chance of getting worse during adulthood than they did during adolescence
Many scoliosis sufferers are at a higher risk of progression than others.
Curves typically do not progress predictably while older adult scoliosis sufferers are more likely to experience unpredictable, rapid progression of their curves.
There is a high chance of pain developing because of your scoliosis later in life even if you haven’t experienced any pain early on. This fact holds true even if you only have a mild curve now.
Regrettably, much of this progression of curves and pain is preventable and manageable WITHOUT resorting to surgery.
Much of what we have been told or “know” about scoliosis is completely wrong. There are definite risk factors contributing to pain and disability even though you’ve never experienced pain. Many women, post-menopause, experience significant and severe progression of scoliosis as they age. There are many measures that can be undertaken to prevent the progression of your curves and the rapid deterioration of your spine. It is possible to reduce or eliminate pain entirely without subjecting yourself to risky surgery, relying on pain medications or using old, outdated ineffective back braces.
If you’re ready, you can take action today to improve the quality of your life and give yourself for a brighter, more enjoyable future.
Below are what you’ve been told are your only options to experience relief from your scoliosis. As you can see, none of them are satisfactory because they do not address the root cause of scoliosis. Additionally, they are risky, uncertain, and in some cases, downright dangerous.
If you knew something bad was going to happen to you or someone you loved, would you be willing to sit and wait for it to happen? Of course not! This philosophy is exactly what “watch and wait” means.
Option #1: “Watch and Wait”
The further you travel down the road of progression and degeneration, the harder it is to create improvements. It is preferable to prevent further progression and pain instead of waiting. You can still achieve results after progression and pain occur but it is more challenging as time progresses.
Besides having negative impacts on your physical health, the uncertainty of “watch and wait” can have serious implications for your mental health and well-being. Traditional medicine does not factor in the affect the lack of direction caused by this option. Taking action is the best method for eradicating fear and hopelessness. If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis, we can help you develop a plan that protects you and changes the trajectory of your health.
Option #2: Risky and Dangerous Surgery
Almost every scoliosis sufferer has considered surgery as an option. Patient who feel helpless to improve their condition have been led to believe it is the only way to gain control of their situation. Facing daily pain and disability, it makes sense to pursue even the smallest sliver of hope if surgery might help them rather than continue down the path of “watch and wait.” The prison of inaction is far scarier than surgery because we are not meant to let things happen to us. Who wants to wait for things to worsen especially if surgery is the only option at the end of the road anyways?
Understanding Scoliosis Surgeries
Corrective surgeries for scoliosis typically involve stabilizing rods anchored to the spine by pins or bone grafts. These types of surgery are called fusion surgeries. Not only are the spinal bones linked together by rods but also, spinal bones are grafted together, destroying the joints in your spine.
A long, deep incision along the spine is opened up to allow the surgeon to access the spine and attached ribs along the spine. The surgery leaves an unmistakable scar and requires a painful and long recovery period.
Risk of Complications
A 2002 study from Germany reported the long-term effects of surgery on idiopathic scoliosis caused nearly 50% “operated patients with idiopathic scoliosis were legally defined as handicapped persons” after installation of stabilizing rods and screws.
The following forums: Orthopedics Forum, National Scoliosis Foundation Forum, CareCure Forum, Spina Bifida Connection Support Forum all contain heart-breaking testimonials about failed surgeries. Can surgeries be effective? Yes. Are necessary and the best option in some cases? Also, yes. Are they the ONLY option available for ALL cases? Absolutely not.
Rods and hardware break, grafts don’t heal properly, increased discomfort and pain occur, massive losses of motion and function occur. Surgery is not a first resort; it’s a last resort AFTER other more conservative methods have been tried.
Option #3: Ineffective and uncomfortable braces
Back braces for scoliosis have been used for decades, even longer. Unfortunately, until recently, there has been no evidence they were effective. In the past, scoliosis bracing was used to stabilize the curved NOT correct them. And quite often, these braces failed at even providing stabilization. Boston braces, Milwaukee braces, Providence braces, Charleston braces and many TLSO braces provided at hospitals are poorly fitted and lock the scoliosis into its abnormal position with no hope of correction. Previous bracing attempts were actually more “watch and wait” with a bit more discomfort added.
The risk of postural collapse is real as spinal distortions increase. New advances in computer technology and modeling have led to design improvements that have been proven to, at the very least, stabilize curves and in many cases, actually correct them. This brace, the ScoliBrace, is a 3D corrective brace that creates mirror image corrective forces to move your spine into a more normal position. The brace can be used for 27-33% of the cases for adult patients and up to 51% of cases for adolescent patients.
This brace was first released in 2012 and utilizes a combination of analytical tools to create a 3D correction. 3D scanning, digital posture analysis and specific x-ray protocols are combined to give a highly detailed and accurate presentation of your scoliosis. The first step to correcting any problem is to fully understand it.
Significant postural changes can be achieved in a majority of the cases, improving the shoulder level and overall appearance of the body. The brace is so low profile, it can even be worn under clothes and is pretty much undetectable unless you know what to look for. The use of the ScoliBrace is also combined with custom-designed home exercise programs to get the best results. Brace use can be as little as 4-6 hours a day and, in combination with the home exercise program, can give significant symptomatic relief and major improvements in postural position.
Bracing is not always necessary and patients are always given all the options before making any decisions.
There is something you can do for the progression of your scoliosis. Our office is ready for your call and you don’t have to sit and wait for something bad to happen. Don’t subject yourself to surgery or ineffective bracing unnecessarily. Call us today and learn what steps you can take to start moving in the right direction.
The Choice Is Yours
Are you ready to start feeling better? The pain, uncertainty and fear that have followed your diagnosis of scoliosis don’t have to be permanent. You can do something about it that doesn’t require surgery AND has been shown to get results. Have the life you always thought you would, give us a call today to get started.
BY: Abbey Hudetz
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