The Evolution of our Scoliosis Treatment
Scoliosis Care Centers’ Silicon Valley Method is a treatment program that has been refined over a 10-year span of trial and improvement and is now fundamentally different from the CLEAR methodology.
Initially, we were taught the CLEAR “Mix, Fix, Set” protocol. Mix was ‘loosening’ up the spine with traction and mobilization. Fix was a chiropractic adjustment and spinal weighting exercises. Lastly, Set was the Scoliosis Traction Chair. We were told that this 1-2 hour home treatment program would not only stabilize the spine but also offer reduction and correction of the scoliosis.
With the ultimate goal of helping our patients’ spines grow straighter without surgery, we practiced the CLEAR methodology of Mix, Fix, and Set over several years. During that time we realized that we were not obtaining the promised results that CLEAR spoke of, nor was anyone else in CLEAR. Through our documented experience as well as extensive research we were able to identify four ideologies of the CLEAR protocol that were inherently incorrect or had room for improvement.
Bracing is Necessary
There is one key “belief” which we acquired from our CLEAR training, and have since found is completely wrong. It was the CLEAR belief that “a brace should NOT be used to treat scoliosis”. Both our clinical experience and published research indicate exactly the opposite.
A scoliosis brace is the only non-surgical treatment proven without a reasonable doubt to significantly affect the course of scoliosis in developing spines. Leaving the spine uncorrected for 22-23 hours a day allows gravity to continue compressing the spine and the ligaments and it negates the Mix, Fix, and Set work initially proposed by CLEAR. Imagine an orthodontist saying you only had to wear your braces for 1-2 hours a day and your teeth would get straight in 2 years. Scoliosis studies have shown that bracing not only reduces the spinal curvature, but the reduction can be maintained for extended periods of time (20 + years). It is important to mention that although we believe bracing is critical for long-term curve reduction, not all scoliosis braces are equal. Some can make the curve significantly worse. For more information on our Silicon Valley Brace, please read our bracing page.
The other significant changes made, though not a change of belief, were in the use of chiropractic adjustments, the Scoliosis Traction Chair, and many of the CLEAR exercises for treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. We tested these tools and found them limited in their ability to help.
Scoliosis Traction Chair (STC)
The Scoliosis Traction Chair, in particular, had some significant limitations, as revealed by a study published by Stitzel, Dovorony et al1. While we fundamentally agree with the STC and its goal of loosening the spine, we found that CLEAR’s STC caused rotation and rib cage deformity to worsen when applied to larger C-curves and S-curves. Scoliosis is a 3-Dimensional spinal deformity. It is the lateral curvature of the spine and as well as a rotation of the spine. While the STC was addressing the lateral portion of the issue, little was being done to control and address the rotation. Our Scoliosis Flexibility Trainer was inspired by the STC but addresses the 3D rotation in a way the STC could not.
Scoliosis Root Cause Treatment
The CLEAR protocol attempts to treat the underlying effects of scoliosis but does nothing to address what is causing the spine to curve. The Silicon Valley Method takes into account Roth-Porter’s Hypothesis2–5 of nerve tension being a main root in the causation of Idiopathic scoliosis. For more information on the root cause of scoliosis please read how we target the root cause.
We at Scoliosis Care Centers agree with CLEAR in that strengthening the auxiliary back muscles and training the body to hold a correct posture is essential for lasting nonsurgical scoliosis treatment. However, the CLEAR exercises for scoliosis were lacking in that they did not address the more complicated S-curve and severe C-curves. The same generic spinal weighting model was used on every curve type, improving some, but making others significantly worse. The Silicon Valley Method elaborates on this portion of the treatment with a multitude of devices designed for a specific type and severity of curve.
Through these changes, we have made the Silicon Valley Method an entirely new comprehensive treatment program. You can view some of our treatment results here.