Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that focuses upon the diagnosis and treatment of problems that affect the neuro-musculoskeletal systems. There are many varied and numerous techniques and therapies that chiropractors use to achieve this goal. This diversity could be considered both a strength and a weakness of the chiropractic profession.
It is a strength, because it leads to innovation and creative thinking in areas of healthcare where this is needed. It can also be a weakness, because it can lead to a lack of consistency in how different chiropractors manage the same problem, which leads to mixed results depending upon the individual chiropractor’s clinical approach.
Traditionally, chiropractic has had limited success in the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. One study, published in 2001, found little benefit to the practices commonly employed by most chiropractors to treat scoliosis. If something doesn’t work, it makes sense to try something else.
CLEAR developed a chiropractic treatment protocol that is specifically designed for patients with scoliosis. We train doctors of chiropractic in how to implement this protocol in their clinics. CLEAR has a Certification Process to ensure that every scoliosis patient treated by a CLEAR Certified Doctor of Chiropractic receives equivalent care and thus equivalent results.
Since scoliosis is a multifactorial condition, the CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Protocol is designed to address many different factors simultaneously. It includes scoliosis-specific physiotherapeutic exercises, specialized chiropractic adjustments, and neuro-muscular re-education therapies. It does not involve the chiropractor using his or her hands to turn or twist the patient’s head.
CLEAR recognizes that scoliosis is a complex spinal disorder, and the evaluation and treatment protocols we have developed reflect this fact. The CLEAR process for evaluating a scoliosis patient is based around 77 different objective radiographic measurements and a detailed, scoliosis-specific physical exam. Also, whereas a typical chiropractic visit may last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, one CLEAR treatment session typically lasts around two hours. Re-examinations are scheduled at least every 12 visits or six months (whichever comes first), and regular x-rays are taken to monitor the scoliosis and the results of care.
The CLEAR Scoliosis Institute and its doctors take scoliosis very seriously. Each patient undergoes informed consent procedures to ensure they understand that they are choosing to receive care that is outside of the published guidelines for scoliosis treatment. Active commitment and participation is a requirement, and patients who are non-compliant or fail to show improvement within the pre-established time frame are immediately referred to an orthopedic scoliosis specialist. Patients are pre-screened, and not every patient is eligible to receive care; conditions which are outside the scope of chiropractic care are handled with due diligence, and appropriate co-management with an orthopedic scoliosis specialist is encouraged with every case.