June Is Scoliosis Awareness Month

Slide 1 Mother and Son

Scoliosis is the medical term for a sideways curve in one or more segments of the spine becomes abnormally rotated and develops a sideways curve. Often there is no discernible cause for this type of deformity and it will be diagnosed as idiopathic scoliosis.

Typically, idiopathic scoliosis is categorized by the age at which the deformity developed:

1. Infantile idiopathic scoliosis: develops from birth to 3 years old
2. Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis: develops from 4 to 9 years old
3. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: develops from 10 to 18 years old

Children with mild scoliosis treated with chiropractic adjustments have shown a reduction in their spinal curvature, according to the findings of a three-year, $143,000 study funded by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research.

Analysis and Procedures

The study was conducted at Life Chiropractic College West’s public clinic in Hayward, California. X-rays were taken of the children standing, from posterior to anterior, using a rigorous positioning protocol. The participants were given full-spine adjustments, typically once to three times a week over a one year period. Particular attention was on the sacroiliac joints, the lowest segment in the curve, the apex of the curve, and segments above the curve that reacted compensatorily to the primary curve, including the cervical spine.

Prior to the adjustments, muscle work was done to the paraspinal muscles of the curve. Additionally, if the x-ray analysis found pelvic tilt, heel-lifts were provided to level the pelvis. The children were encouraged to exercise regularly, including hanging by the hands to flex the spine to open the concavity of the curve.


Of the 150 children who qualified for the study, 40 completed the one-year course of care and had follow-up x-rays. Preliminary results indicate an average reduction of 1.4 degrees in the curvature of the subjects’ spines; the children less than 10 years old showed an average improvement of 2.6 degrees; those over 10, showed an average improvement of 0.9 degrees.

A preliminary observation was made of a high incidence of pelvic tilt to the side of convexity in children with lumbar curves, however, there is no quantitative data on this observation.

The researchers noted that their lack of a control group “hampers an interpretation,” but their intent was to study the effect of chiropractic care on the “curve itself, and the results are very promising.”

The researchers pointed out that the medical community does not offer treatment for spinal curves of less than 20 degrees, and indeed often doesn’t even consider such variance as scoliosis. While the researchers assert that many questions remain to be answered about chiropractic care and scoliosis, they note: “Chiropractic appears to offer a distinct advantage in the management and monitoring of early stage scoliosis.”

Source: Dynamic Chiropractic