Frequently Asked Question's
Frequently Asked Treatment Questions
Q. Is this treatment program painful?
A. No. Our protocols are relatively painless, but patients may experience some mild stretching discomfort during the initial onset of treatment as the body adapts and heals into its newly corrected position. Some patients have reported mild muscle soreness the day after treatment.
Q. Am I to old or young for this type of treatment?
A. It’s never too late to correct a spinal issue. We have taken patients in their 80’s through this program with favorable outcomes. When it comes to kids and scoliosis, the younger its addressed the better. Curves can rapidly progress during growth spurts, so early prevention is always recommended.
Q. Can this treatment program help people with severe scoliosis?
A. We have achieved reductions in people with scoliosis as large as 100 degrees. However, reversing the course of any disease in its advanced stages is always more difficult, scoliosis is no exception. Timelines for treatment vary case to case and can only be determined after a complete evaluation. Never the less there is always hope with reducing your scoliosis and halting it from progressing.
Q. When should I start this treatment program?
A. We find that once discovered, the sooner a scoliosis can begin being reduced, the better the results will be. The medical standard of care in the United States is “observation only” until it reaches 20-25 degrees. This means that doctors will watch and wait until the curve grows too large. After 25 degrees, some form of bracing is typically recommended. If your curve has reached or is nearing 40-50 degrees, it is likely that surgery has been discussed and/or recommended. Wherever you fall in these ranges, this treatment program is designed to reduce the degree of your curve.
Q. How long is the treatment program?
A. Depending on the degree and severity of your scoliosis, you will either be recommended a Standardized 4-month program or an Accelerated customized one or two week correction program. After your initial treatment program is completed, you will be given a custom home rehabilitation program to make sure your correction holds. You will then be put on a maintenance program where you will be monitored by the doctor.
Q. How Do I know which program is best for me?
A. The Accelerated Scoliosis Treatment Plan will be recommended if you live more than 45 minutes from the office. This scoliosis program is a 1 week treatment plan for spinal curvatures 25 degrees or less, and a 2 week plan for moderate to severe curves. Accelerated care treatment for scoliosis generally provides great results in the least amount of time. It is characterized by 5-10 days of treatment with each day’s treatment time lasting anywhere from 4 to 6 hours a day.
The Standard Scoliosis Treatment Program is offered to patients who live close enough to the clinic to allow for frequent weekly appointments. This program is essentially the same treatment as the Accelerated Care option except the patient is seen 3 times a week over the course of a 4 month period.
After the end of both initial programs, patients will be given a custom home rehabilitation protocol designed to maintain the gains achieved during treatment and increase spinal stability.
Q. Does this scoliosis treatment program utilize bracing?
A. No. There is a lot of controversy about whether or not bracing works. The controversy over the effectiveness of bracing is somewhat misleading. You will be hard pressed to find a doctor claiming that bracing will reduce or correct scoliosis. The debate is over whether or not wearing a brace will prevent the scoliosis from getting worse. When doctor’s state that bracing “works”, what they are really saying is that it stabilizes the scoliosis, keeping it in its current position. Most doctors will insist that bracing does “work” with proper compliance. Recommended compliance is twenty-three hours per day, every day. In a study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics, 60% of the patients surveyed felt that bracing had handicapped their life, and 14% felt it had left a psychological scar. It is the opinion of most advanced scoliosis centers that the drawbacks of bracing far outweigh the benefits. More proactive advanced weighting systems are used in place of these braces during the treatment of our patients.
Q. Can this treatment program help with problems other than scoliosis?
A. Yes. This treatment program is designed to restore the normal lumbar and cervical lordosis as well. This can help with herniated discs in the neck and low back, carpal tunnel, sciatica, numbness and tingling and general pain.
Q. Why Should I seek scoliosis treatment from Dr. Barker? What does he know my regular D.C. doesn’t?
A. Typical chiropractic adjustments have been proven to be ineffective or even harmful to the scoliotic patient, due to the mobilization of fixated vertebrae by the adjustment. Though this may provide short term pain relief, the long term outcome is an increased progression of the Cobb angle. Our main goal is not to relive pain, although this is the end result. Dr. Barker is committed to achieving structural changes to the spine that will allow the body to de-rotate and begin to correct itself. We use very specific, reproducible x-rays that are analyzed to measure the change in your spine.
Q. Will my insurance company pay for my care?
A. Many patients do have success in obtaining some insurance reimbursement. Contact your insurance company for the specifics of your coverage.
Q. How much will my treatment cost?
A. Our programs and treatment provided is significantly labor and time-intensive. You will be given one on one time with the doctor during the course of your treatment. This calls for a great deal of time and attention to your case both in and out of our office. Each case differs depending on age, severity and other determining factors. After a complete evaluation has been completed, a custom treatment plan will be discussed with you.