By Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor
I recently returned from a four-day seminar on scoliosis rehabilitation in Boise, Idaho. I had the honor and privilege of being instructed by one of the leading teams in scoliosis management in the world. This team of individuals comes from Sydney, Australia, and included chiropractors, physical therapists, exercise physiologists and individuals skilled in a wide range of scoliosis rehabilitation therapies like Schroth and SEAS. These latter techniques are used to help counterbalance, strengthen, and stabilize spines with scoliosis curvatures. This program, which is both interdisciplinary and incorporates the most successful and cutting-edge nonsurgical treatments for scoliosis, is known as,”ScoliBalance”. I am happy to say that I have now achieved a level I certification as a ScoliBalance practitioner. What this means in a practical sense is that I now have additional skills that I can bring to bear to help you, your friends and family who might be suffering with or concerned about scoliosis and also kyphosis.
To clarify, a scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine (when seen from the front or back) in excess of 10° with associated rotation of the rib cage or the low back. When we refer to “kyphosis” what we are referring to is a postural deformity wherein the person has a hunched back when we view them from the side. Both of these conditions are spinal deformities which means that the bones have actually changed shape or will change shape over time. Both of these deformities also involve imbalances of muscles, loss of flexibility and movement, and shortening of ligaments and connective tissue that support the spine.
Since all of the above components are part of scoliosis, then solving such deformities, or at least improving them, requires that we address all the above components; bones and joints, muscles, ligaments and discs. The ScoliBalance program recognizes that both of these conditions, but particularly scoliosis, are a three dimensional deformity and therefore require three-dimensional solutions involving all of the affected tissues.
In this seminar we had extensive hands-on training in how to formulate and train patients in scoliosis corrective posture and exercises. To give you an example, the most common location for a scoliosis curve is in the mid back. Usually such curves are to the right and create a rib hump on the right side. Scoliosis can also commonly occur in the low back (lumbar spine) and those curves tend to go to the left creating a bulge or hump of the muscles in the lower back on the left side. In addition, many people have significant alterations in their posture and may have double and even triple curves involving a number of areas in the spine. Every patient presents with specific challenges and problems that need to be solved on an individual basis. Patients can be taught to activate muscles and assume postures and create movements which minimize and sometimes correct scoliosis and kyphosis deformities. These exercises can be done as a standalone therapy or can also be combined with in-office traction and sometimes scoliosis and kyphosis bracing.
After studying all of this information and assessing what else is available in the marketplace for the conservative treatment of scoliosis, and by that I mean nonsurgical, I can confidently say that we are providing a comprehensive, effective, and cutting edge approach to the management of scoliosis. If you or someone you know suffers with or is concerned about scoliosis or kyphosis, do not hesitate to contact me at Chiropractic Health and Wellness in Edina, Minnesota. We are here to help you be your very best.