The developer of chiropractic, BJ Palmer, owned the second-largest osteological collection in the world. In 1920, BJ claimed that scoliosis was the most common spinal deformity afflicting young children (a fact later echoed in the journal of Chiropractic & Osteopathy in 2006). It was his belief that fully 20-25% of the population were scoliotic; he may have been right.
According to recent estimates, there are approximately six million adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis in the United States. The incidence of scoliosis increases with age, with approximately 12% of college students, 20% of adults, and 68% of seniors being affected. It is roughly as common as asthma and diabetes, with approximately 100,000 new cases being diagnosed every year. More than $2.7 billion dollars are spent every year on hospital costs related to scoliosis, and significant nonsurgical costs are also incurred, with over 90% of adults with advanced scoliosis utilizing resources such as exercise, bracing, medication, steroid injections, and pain management methods in an effort to limit the effect of scoliosis upon their quality of life. According to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, 2.7 million visits to chiropractors are made each year for scoliosis or scoliosis-related complaints.
Scoliosis has been depicted in cave drawings, found in Egyptian mummies, and documented in the works of Hippocrates and others. In all likelihood, scoliosis has existed for as long as humans have walked upright. Considering this long history, our understanding of the cause of scoliosis remains fragmentary and inconsistent at best, with over 80% of the cases of scoliosis classified as ‘idiopathic,’ meaning the cause is unknown. If the cause of a disease is unknown, then by its very nature, all treatment cannot be aimed at truly curing the underlying forces driving the condition, but only at managing the outward symptoms of the disease. As we enter into the 21st century and our technology and knowledge continues to advance, little headway has been made in designing treatment methods for scoliosis aimed at addressing the potential causes of this deformity. Current treatment options remain based around addressing the expression of the disease, and the indication for and success of scoliosis treatment is based primarily around a two-dimensional measurement (Cobb angle) made on a radiograph, rather than functional, cosmetic, or quality-of-life indices.
In the 100-plus years since chiropractic’s founding, precious little effort has been devoted by the chiropractic profession as a whole in regards to developing a consistent and effective method of treating scoliosis. With the exception of a few notable and talented individuals, chiropractors have not attempted to assume a recognized role in the treatment of scoliosis. Yet scoliosis is undeniably a disease of the spine, and it is not unsurprising that members of the general public, who often view chiropractors as spine doctors, should turn to the chiropractic profession as a potential resource in dealing with this common, complex spinal deformity. Not every chiropractor may be interested in going through the full process of specialized training and obtaining the advanced technology that is necessary to become CLEAR certified; however, every chiropractor has an obligation to be educated about the most common, longest-extant spinal disease in the history of mankind. For this reason, CLEAR Institute believes that the individual chiropractor should seek out and receive education and training in how to appropriately manage cases of scoliosis.
Founded in 2000 by Dr. Dennis Woggon, who graduated with honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1974 and has run a successful evidence-based chiropractic practice for over 40 years, the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute represents a network of nearly 50 doctors from around the world, with over 570 years of combined clinical experience. The CLEAR organization is recognized and supported by accredited chiropractic universities and chiropractic organizations, including the World Federation of Chiropractic. Our seminars have been taught at Palmer and Parker colleges, among others, and have been a recognized part of Parker’s postgraduate education since 2003.
The CLEAR protocols are in use at dozens of chiropractic offices around the world, with consistently positive results. Patient care can easily be coordinated and communicated across multiple centers, and our network of ethical and professional doctors can count on each other for patient referrals, ongoing support, and clinical advice. Patient outcome measures are based around objective standards that are consistent with the highest standards of the chiropractic and orthopedic communities.
There is no shortage of people around the world who are seeking answers and alternative methods of treating scoliosis. CLEAR Institute has certified clinics in Canada, Singapore, Tokyo, and Panama. We have opportunities in Bulgaria, Romania, Jamaica, Mexico City, Poland, Dubai, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and many more countries across the globe. If you are interested in becoming an international scoliosis chiropractor, the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute has pre-established connections with opportunities for you!
We believe chiropractic has the potential to change spines -
to change lives -
and to change the world.
For those chiropractors who find themselves called to serve the scoliosis population, CLEAR Scoliosis Certification provides a comprehensive, effective, and evidence-based approach to achieving consistently excellent results in people suffering from this spinal disorder.