Can Chiropractic Help with Scoliosis Pain?

by Dr. Travis Utter
March 29th, 2019

If you or a loved one suffer from scoliosis, you know that it can have a debilitating impact on your ability to live a pain free life with complete mobility. Chiropractic care offers a proven history of helping to improve spinal alignment and reduce joint and muscle pain, but can chiropractic adjustments help reduce the pain from scoliosis and improve quality of life?

First, let’s take a moment to examine what scoliosis is and the types of scoliosis which exist before talking about chiropractic as a possible remedy.

What is Scoliosis?

The human spine, while often described as straight, actually has a natural, slight-S shape to it; however, if that curvature becomes too pronounced, it can be diagnosed as scoliosis. To be officially diagnosed, the aforementioned curvature of the spine needs to be greater than 10 degrees. A curve of over 10 degrees is much more visible to the human eye, and if you were to observe the x-ray of someone with scoliosis, there would be a more noticeable S or C shape, depending on which way the spine is curving.

scoliosis posture

These curves of the spine are often visible, even without looking at an x-ray, simply by observing the posture of the scoliosis sufferer, as they will traditionally present with uneven shoulders, hips or waist, a hump in the rib area, or jutting of the lower back toward the side of the curve.

What are the Types of Scoliosis?

Scoliosis has several causes, some understood by science, and some still a total mystery. Learn more about the different forms of scoliosis below:

Congenital Curve

Congenital defects are abnormalities that are present at birth. A congenital curve case of scoliosis will be with you when you’re born and will usually be diagnosed at some point during childhood. These cases are relatively rare.

Idiopathic Curve

“Idiopathic” is defined as “of unknown origin,” so, an idiopathic case of scoliosis is one that forms seemingly out of nowhere with no explanation. Frighteningly, this type of scoliosis is the most common form, and will generally be noticed and diagnosed during puberty.

Paralytic Curve

Another, rarer form of abnormal spine curvature is the Paralytic Curve. These are most often the result of an injury to the spinal cord, which has caused the muscles surrounding the spine to not work. Without their support, the spine can begin to curve.

Similarly, muscles surrounding the spine can also atrophy due to cerebral palsy, polio, or muscular dystrophy, which can, in turn, cause the same types of spine curvature as a paralyzing injury.

Secondary Causes

There are a multitude of additional conditions which can negatively affect the spine, including osteoporosis and osteomalacia, both of which can lead to a weakening of the spine and cause a curvature. This can be referred to as secondary because the scoliosis comes after the primary cause, which acts to weaken the spine and surrounding muscles.

Chiropractic for Scoliosis

Now that you have learned a little more about what scoliosis is and the different varieties, let’s touch on if chiropractic adjustments can play a role in your care. While it is true that chiropractic adjustments alone cannot cure or reverse the curvature caused by scoliosis, there are still significant benefits to incorporating chiropractic appointments into your scoliosis healthcare regimen.

Chiropractic can help improve form, and offer additional mobility into the joints, which can lessen pain and improve posture. Also, other issues or symptoms can also be looked at during a chiropractic visit, which can be worked on to help prevent additional damage to the spine.

scoliosis chiropractor

Living with Scoliosis

Most scoliosis patients deal with both physical and emotional pain during their lives, as they have more than likely spent some portion of their adolescence wearing noticeable back braces, which can lead to a lifetime of insecurity, coupled with the physical pain and reduced mobility associated with unnatural spinal curvatures.

Because of this, even small to moderate posture improvements received from chiropractic manipulation can not only reduce some of the physical pain, but also offer a renewed self-confidence and improved self-image.

pain free woman

If you or a loved one have been dealing with the adverse effects of Scoliosis, please reach out to the experienced chiropractors at Preferred Injury Physicians to schedule an appointment. We’ll be able to examine the severity of your scoliosis and come up with a custom treatment plan specific to your needs.