The CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Protocols were inspired out of patient-driven demand. The push for alternative methods of treating scoliosis, other than bracing or surgery, comes from the people living with scoliosis. The CLEAR methods are based on clinical experience, solid scientific theories, and individual patient preferences.
The innovative approach that CLEAR has taken to non-operative AIS treatment is needed. CLEAR has made a commitment to evaluate these new therapies in a manner that will pass scientific scrutiny.
- Dr. James Ogilvie MD
Past President of the Scoliosis Research Society
Currently, the level of evidence regarding the chiropractic treatment of scoliosis is poor. The few studies that have been published demonstrate mixed results, with some reporting positive outcomes, and others showing very little benefit. The study by Lantz et al in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies in 2001 is one example, showing very little benefit to the procedures employed by most chiropractors, even in mild cases of scoliosis. It’s important to note, however, that the protocols studied by Lantz were not developed for scoliosis, but consisted mainly of the same treatments that chiropractors would provide to people without scoliosis as well. If something isn’t working, it makes sense to try something new. With this in mind, we set out to create a chiropractic treatment protocol that was developed specifically for people with scoliosis.
Developed over a period of 17 years, the CLEAR protocols combine the cumulative clinical experience of dozens of chiropractors around the world (with over 570 total years in practice combined). Research and data collection on the CLEAR protocols is ongoing. Our preliminary results are very promising, and we hope to generate the funds and the interest necessary to conduct independent, multicenter, high-quality studies on the CLEAR scoliosis treatment protocols. The studies we have conducted on the CLEAR protocols to-date are only the beginning of our ongoing commitment to elevating the level of science and evidence behind the chiropractic treatment of scoliosis.
The first research article describing a preliminary version of the CLEAR protocols, titled “Scoliosis treatment using a combination of manipulative and rehabilitative therapies,” was published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders in September of 2004, and was the Most-Highly Accessed Article of All-Time in this journal from 2006 until 2015.
Morningstar M, Woggon D, and Lawrence G: Scoliosis treatment using a combination of manipulative and rehabilitative therapies: a retrospective case series. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, September 2004, 5:32.
In 2006, we began collecting data on 140 consecutive patients that came in for CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment. Improvement in the Cobb angle was documented in all 140 cases. The average amount of reduction in Cobb angle was 37.7% after an average of 12.3 visits. 23 patients were no longer classified as having scoliosis after their treatment (e.g., the Cobb angle was reduced to below 10 degrees). This study was published in the following periodical (non-peer-reviewed):
Woggon D, Woggon A, and Chong S: Developing a scoliosis-specific chiropractic protocol: preliminary results from 140 consecutively-treated scoliosis cases. The American Chiropractor, Dec 2013; 35(12):16-22.
In addition to pursuing opportunities for independent research on its methods, CLEAR has been collecting data on the safety of its protocols, and surveying patients to determine the most commonly encountered side-effects of CLEAR treatment. Data from 3,198 unique patient visits at nine CLEAR Scoliosis Centers was recorded over the 2014 calendar year. This data has been accepted for publication in Scoliosis journal, and the full text of the published article is available for access.
The Safety of the CLEAR Scoliosis Protocols
Scoliosis, October 2015.
CLEAR Safety Study: Full Text
CLEAR supports the efforts of the Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic Rehabilitation Techniques (SOSORT), the leading international organization on conservative scoliosis management. CLEAR has presented at the 2012 SOSORT Congress in Milan and the 2013 SOSORT Congress in Chicago; abstracts of these presentations are available for viewing in the Scoliosis journal.
Changes in Clinical and Radiographic Parameters After a Regimen of Chiropractic Manipulation Combined with Soft Tissue Therapy and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation in 7 Patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Scoliosis, Milan 2012
Cobb Angle Changes After Standardized Chiropractic Intervention in 12 Females with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis with Double Major Curve Types: A Retrospective Review of Patient Records
Scoliosis, Chicago 2013
Chiropractic Treatment of Idiopathic Scoliosis with the CLEAR Institute Method: A Description of the Protocol
Scoliosis, Chicago 2013
One of the papers presented by the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute at the 2013 SOSORT Congress in Chicago, was a description of the CLEAR protocol and an explanation of the theory and science behind its application. Although the full text of the paper has not yet been published, you can access a preliminary full-text version by clicking on the link below:
CLEAR introduced its protocols at Association of Chiropractic Colleges - Research Agenda Conference (ACC-RAC), the leading international chiropractic research organization, at the 2013 scientific conference in Washington D.C., and in 2015 in Las Vegas.
These abstracts have not yet been published in a scientific journal.
Changes in Clinical and Radiographic Parameters After a Two-Week Regimen of Chiropractic Manipulation Combined with Soft Tissue Therapy and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation in 7 Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients
ACC-RAC, Washington D.C. 2013
Long-Term Chiropractic Management of Progressive Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Case Study
ACC-RAC, Las Vegas 2015
CLEAR presented at the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC-ACC) Congress in Miami, Florida, in October of 2014. This abstract has not yet been published in a scientific journal.
Changes in Cobb Angle in a Surgically-Fused Scoliotic Spine After Chiropractic Treatment: A Case Study
WFC-ACC, Miami 2014