The Physics of Scoliosis Treatment without Bracing
In achieving correction of the scoliotic spine, it is important to place emphasis on correcting the loss of cervical curve, also known as cervical kyphosis or hypolordosis. Loss of the curve in your neck will cause the spine below it to buckle. Traditional medical science views the spine as a bridge connecting the head to the pelvis. If a bridge begins to collapse, the correct approach is to try to hold it together by fusing its structure. Chiropractors, however, view the spine as an engine. If the engine in your car starts to run funny, and you fuse the cylinders together, this might not solve the problem. Motion is essential for proper functioning of the spine and the associated soft tissue components.
The reason your spine buckles as the curve in your neck disappears has to do with physics. When you carry your groceries into your house from your car, you carry the bags close to your body. Increasing the distance between your body and the bags of groceries causes an increase in the apparent weight of your burden. In the same way, holding your head forward puts a greater stress upon your spine. In fact, for every inch the head moves forward from your center of gravity, the apparent weight of the head increases by 10 pounds!
One of the easiest ways for the body to adapt to this increased load is to add another curve into the spine. If you are holding a heavy weight in your hand and flex your wrist forward, your elbow will swing out to the side to make it easier for your muscles to support the weight. With our alternative scoliosis treatment, you can correct the scoliosis without bracing by getting to the cause.
Normal Cervical Curve
Abnormal Cervical Curve
Why do you lose the curve in your neck?
There may be many different reasons. Sometimes it is a motor vehicle crash, or an incident of trauma. More often, however, it may develop slowly, over time, as we live day-to-day. Studying in school, working at a computer often requires that we hold our head downwards and forwards for long periods of time. Eventually, this causes the spine to slip, bit by bit, the muscles become tight and strong. The body then begins to use these stronger muscles more than the weaker ones, reinforcing the change in posture. With the loss of the curve in your neck, the nerves that travel from the brain to every single cell in our body begin to suffer. In a straight neck, with no curve at all, the spinal cord is stretched by 10%. If the neck buckles completely, this can increase to as high as 28%! If somebody pulled on your finger until it was 28% longer, you’d probably complain.
Why do the doctors at the Scoliosis Treatment Clinic know that restoring the curve in your neck can help to correct a scoliosis? Well, there is research that suggests scoliosis may correct spontaneously if the tension from the spinal cord is removed:
Can Hindbrain Decompression for Syringomyelia Lead to Regression of Scoliosis? European Spine Journal, June 2000; 9(3):198-201
“ patients underwent a hindbrain decompression, and… the scoliosis was seen to improve or arrest its progression in 6.”
Can a short Spinal Cord Produce Scoliosis? European Spine Journal, Feb 2001; 10(1);2-9 “A short, unforgiving spinal cord could produce the abnormal rotatory anatomy observed at the apex of scoliosis”.
Of course, restoring the curve in the neck is only one aspect of our unique approach to scoliosis. Rehabilitating the muscles, tendons, & ligaments is also important as is re-training the brain to use the postural muscles more evenly. For now, we hope you understand more about how what happens in the neck can affect the rest of the spine, and why it is important not to neglect the top of the spine in scoliosis correction!
Why our scoliosis treatment is different?
The work we are doing is based on the fact that scoliosis is not just a spinal curvature, but involves abnormal spinal curves in the neck, as well as hip rotation. Active scoliosis patients always present to the office with forward head posture and a loss of the cervical lordosis (as seen above on x-ray). In addition, there is also abnormal biomechanical malposition’s of the head and neck. Therefore, before the A-P dimension of scoliosis (the lateral curve you are concerned with) can be corrected, the cervical lordosis must be re-established first. Following this correction, the lateral curve (Cobb angle) is reduced to normal or as close to normal as possible. The scoliotic spine compresses and rotates three dimensionally, therefore it must be de-rotated, and de-compressed in order to achieve correction. At the Scoliosis Correction Center, we use a vibration platform and vibration scoliosis traction chair as well as specific techniques to pull the Cobb angle back into proper alignment. We find the causes of your scoliosis to achieve maximum results. As shown below, once we correct the curve in the neck we then begin to correct the scoliosis.