What are Your Scoliosis Treatment Goals?
The success of any given scoliosis treatment varies depending on the type of scoliosis curve, the severity of the curve(s), as well as the age of the patient. Thus, setting realistic scoliosis treatment goals (posture corrections; curve severity; etc) and appropriate measurements of success are key.
Five common scoliosis treatment goals which may be applicable to you:
1. To stop curve progression.
Adolescent scoliosis tends to rapidly progress during growth spurts.
See example #1: Unfortunately, we see many of these progressions before they reach our office. This has to stop!
See example #2: Some of our success stories show scoliosis curves with big reductions, but sometimes just staying stagnant can be a big success depending on the patient’s age and current stage of growth, like going through adolescent growth spurts for example. Looking at the disaster with example #1, would you be happy with the example #2 over a 15 month period through the growth spurt?
See example #3: Scoliosis is reduced and stable. This is an obvious example of success.
2. To straighten the spine.
During growth, and shortly after the end of growth, it is often possible to straighten a scoliosis curve. With age and deterioration, the window of opportunity for reducing a scoliosis curve begins to close. Typically the earlier scoliosis is caught and treated, the better the possibilities for reducing the size of the curve and sometimes even attaining a cure (below 10 degrees). Since scientific studies have shown the straighter we make the spine in brace, the better the outcome, straightening the spine is always a good scoliosis treatment goal for skeletally immature patients.
3. To prevent or treat respiratory dysfunction.
When the scoliosis deformity begins altering the shape of the rib cage, pressure may be placed on the heart, and lung capacity significantly reduced.
The loss of lung function and pressure on the heart represents one of the more serious consequences of scoliosis. Its prevention is one of the more critical reasons to begin an exercise-based form of scoliosis treatment. Below is an image of a case where lung and heart function can be affected.
4. To prevent or treat spinal pain syndromes
Most adolescents with scoliosis do not experience significant pain, though some do. As adults, however, it is, unfortunately, more common to have spinal pain syndromes. Taking action now as a child or adolescent can help prevent major problems as an adult. The smaller you can keep that scoliosis, the less “maintenance” your child will have to do for their spine as an adult.
5. To improve aesthetics via postural correction.
Let’s face it, looking good is a very real goal with treating scoliosis. Many teens worry about their rib-bump being noticeable, or a shoulder that is forward or too low. Improving aesthetics can be a huge bonus of beginning scoliosis treatment as soon as possible.