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 go 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 intensive 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. Will my curve get worse with age?
A. For a long time, doctors told patients that their scoliosis would not progress after the age of 18. Unfortunately, extensive research has proven this incorrect. Whether scoliosis develops earlier in life or in adulthood, it will most likely progress due to gravity. As the curve worsens, the physical deformation, pain and stress to the lungs and heart will also progress. For kids, curves can drastically worsen in a short amount of time due to the fact they are growing. If you suspect your child is going through a growth spurt, monitor their curve for progression.
Q. When should I start this intensive 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, the intensive program is designed to reduce the degree of your curve.
Q. How long is the intensive treatment program?
A. Depending on the degree and severity of your scoliosis, a one or two week program will be recommended. Treatment ranges from 6 to 8 hours a day with a lunch break in between. 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. What are the health effects of scoliosis?
A. Scoliosis is not always associated with pain, although it commonly is. Even in patients without pain, heart and lung function is often compromised. According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, scoliosis is even associated with reduced life expectancy. On average, people with scoliosis suffer a 14- year reduction in their life expectancy, due to strain on the heart and reduced amount of oxygen supplied to the body. Scoliosis is also associated with digestive problems, headaches, shortness of breath, reproductive problems, chronic disease, hip pain, knee and leg pain.
Q. Does this intensive 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. Why do you recommend avoiding the spinal rod implantation surgery?
A. Scoliosis is detrimental to the body because of the stress it places on the central nervous system, heart and lungs. Research has shown that the function of the heart and lungs is unchanged after the spinal implantation surgery. The long-term effects of this procedure can actually be worse than the effects of living with untreated scoliosis. Spinal motion is essential for proper functioning of the spine and central nervous system, and surgery reduces spinal range of motion, even in un-fused areas. Additionally, many patients seek surgery for the physical deformations of a “curved back” or “rib hump”, and spinal surgery will generally not correct either of these.
Q. Can the intensive problem help other issues 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. 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.
Q: How many other doctors do this type of treatment?
A: There are 12 intensive offices