Scoliosis and Chiropractic Care: Common Questions and Answers

Scoliosis and Chiropractic Care

According to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, nearly three million visits to chiropractors in the United States each year are from patients seeking help with scoliosis. Despite this commonplace occurrence, we’ve found wide-spread misunderstandings about scoliosis and chiropractic treatment in the general population.

To learn the answer to the question, “can a chiropractor fix scoliosis?”, check out our previous blog post on the topic. By answering some additional common questions that we hear from new scoliosis patients, we hope to broaden your understanding of scoliosis and chiropractic care.

What Techniques Might My Chiropractor Use to Treat My Scoliosis?

There are over 200 different chiropractic techniques. With so many different approaches to spinal rehabilitation, even chiropractors themselves are rarely experienced or familiar with them all. According to a telephone survey of chiropractors, the majority of chiropractors use diversified adjustments and general spinal exercises to treat scoliosis. However, according to one study published by Lantz et al, these methods were ineffective at preventing progression in mild cases of scoliosis. Nearly a third of those surveyed also responded that they would use electrical muscle stimulation. This is concerning because, according to research, electrical muscle stimulation is NOT an effective method of treating scoliosis.

This is one of the reasons why the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute was founded. We believe that chiropractic care does have the potential to help people with scoliosis, but only if specialized procedures are applied by a doctor with advanced training in scoliosis.  Just like with physical therapy, the chances of success in scoliosis treatment increase drastically when they are designed specifically for treating scoliosis by a professional with specialized training in scoliosis.

Is Chiropractic Treatment for Scoliosis Safe?

Addressing concerns about the safety of CLEAR chiropractic scoliosis treatment is very important to us. In 2015, we published a research article on the most common side effects of scoliosis and chiropractic treatment. In this study involving over 3,200 patient visits, there were no serious side effects reported by any of the patients at any of the participating clinics. The most common side effect reported was muscle soreness, similar to what one might expect after a good muscle work-out.

The most common concern people have about chiropractic adjustments is the risk of stroke associated with adjusting of the neck. While numerous studies have confirmed that this risk is extremely small, it’s important to note that the CLEAR protocols do not involve any adjustments where the doctors use their hands to twist or “pop” the scoliosis patient’s neck.

The ligaments and joints of people with scoliosis are often more flexible than average, and there are important sensors of position and movement in these joints. When the joints become unstable, they can interfere with the communication between the brain and the body. To avoid placing any stress on these ligaments, the CLEAR protocols involve the use of a hand-held mechanical adjusting instrument. This device allows for greater precision in achieving a three-dimensional re-alignment of the small bones in the neck.

How Do I Find a Chiropractor Who Can Treat My Scoliosis?

Visit our list of CLEAR Certified Doctors and use the search function to enter your city, zip code, or country to see if there are any doctors near you. If there’s not a CLEAR doctor nearby, you can travel to receive Intensive Care, encourage doctors in your area to become CLEAR Certified and share our resources with them, or contact us for additional help.

There Aren’t Any CLEAR Doctors in My Area. Can CLEAR Recommend a Different Chiropractor to Me?

If you are searching for a chiropractor who can help you with your scoliosis, please keep in mind that CLEAR can only recommend doctors whom we have personally evaluated and certified in our methods. We will not recommend chiropractors who are in the process of training or have only completed some of the certification process.

Our reputation is built upon our results, and this is something we take very seriously. CLEAR is the largest and longest-running organization dedicated to the chiropractic treatment of scoliosis, and our courses are recognized by and taught through an accredited chiropractic university. As a Non-Profit, our commitment is to you, first and foremost!

When you visit a CLEAR chiropractor, you can be assured that this doctor has completed hundreds of hours of classroom and clinical training. They have access to our CLEAR Online Classroom Community, where they can communicate with over 100 other doctors and scoliosis specialists as well as stay up-to-date with the latest scoliosis research and advances in treatment. If you’re ever dissatisfied with your results or the care you receive, reach out to us, and we’ll work with you and the certified doctor to address your concerns.

If there is no CLEAR doctor near you, and traveling to receive care isn’t an option, you can use our List of Questions to Ask Your Doctor to help you find a physician. Once you find a doctor that can answer these questions to your satisfaction, please tell them about us. In addition to numerous free resources, we offer an Online Seminar which can be taken by anyone — chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists and members of the general public. With over 30 hours of content, including webinars by noted scoliosis specialists from around the world, the information in this seminar will help your doctor to provide you with the best possible results.

Do you have any other questions or comments about scoliosis and chiropractic care?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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5 comments on “Scoliosis and Chiropractic Care: Common Questions and Answers”

  1. Hello!
    Please forgive me for the long-winded comment. Back in 1994, I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis (80 degree curvature). I was 13 years old. I had two nickel rods fused to my spine as well as part of my hip bone. Then, after numerous tests, they determined I was allergic to nickel. Long story short, I've ended up with titanium rods and another bone out of my other hip. I am currently 36 yrs old. I've recently had a nasty fall and it certainly caused head trauma, but more importantly, neck/back trauma. I have been to the ER twice since the incident (nerve damage, etc.) I have also seen an orthopedic specialist..(awaiting an MRI). It seems this procedure (Harrington Rod) is an obsolete operation that no one is familiar with. I am self-pay, so naturally I am concerned. Are there any options for me? Thanks for your time.

    1. Hello,
      Back in 2015, I had the honor of presenting the first case report on a post-surgical scoliosis patient who experienced a temporary reduction in their Cobb angle and significant improvement in their symptoms after undergoing CLEAR treatment (you can access the paper here). While it is not possible to directly treat the fused areas, it is possible to influence the forces acting on the fusion & instrumentation by addressing asymmetries & mis-alignments in other areas of the neck, hips, & spine. While I cannot make any promises, I would definitely encourage you to reach out to a CLEAR doctor and schedule a consultation to find out if you might be able to experience similar results!

    1. Hello, Helen,

      Without knowing where you're located, I'm afraid I can't answer that. You can search for the CLEAR-certified doctor nearest you here.

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This website is for informational and general purposes only. Information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site. 

CLEAR Scoliosis Centers are privately owned and operated chiropractic clinics. Doctors at CLEAR Scoliosis Centers are personally responsible for all clinical decision making. CLEAR Scoliosis Institute, a nonprofit organization, does not have any authority over the clinic, make any clinical recommendations, or dictate patient care.
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