Your child has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis and now you find yourself trying to learn as much as you can on the internet to make intelligent choices.
A recent article in US News & World Report entitled “My Child Has Scoliosis. Now What?” advises not to panic but instead get informed.
Here are the 3 most common recommendations made by conventional medicine to treat your child’s scoliosis and alternatives you may wish to consider:
- Watch & Wait – In many cases a mild scoliosis may not worsen so doctors often advise to do nothing to treat your child’s scoliosis and instead take a wait and see attitude. While that might be good advise if your child’s curve doesn’t progress in that time frame between X-ray evaluations, there are risks to that strategy that you should consider. First is if you child is in the midst of a growth spurt that is when they are at the greatest risk for progression of their scoliosis. Also a scoliosis is most correctable in the early stages. The larger the curve gets the more challenging it becomes to correct, so waiting to start treatment can make it more difficult to improve later down the line. Alternative Treatments in Early Stages – The Schroth Method of Scoliosis Specific Exercise
- Bracing – The “Standard of Care” in scoliosis treatment remains bracing but many question the efficacy of it because it tends to immobilize the spine, much like a body-cast, which can cause muscle atrophy in much the same way a cast on your arm causes the muscles to weaken. While you can get some reduction in scoliosis while your child is being held in the brace, once the brace is removed the spine often goes right back to the starting curvature or gets even worse since the muscles have been weakened. Also hard braces are only designed to stop progression of the scoliosis and not improve it. Alternatives to Hard Bracing – SpineCor Dynamic Orthosis
- Scoliosis Surgery – While in most cases scoliosis surgery should only be considered as a last resort, in the US there appears to be an increase in the number of scoliosis cases going to surgery. This appears to be due in a large part to the stopping of standardized scoliosis school screenings. Since children are no longer being routinely evaluated for scoliosis their curves are often going unnoticed until they are much larger and more difficult to correct. Intervention at early stages is the key to success. Monitoring Your Child’s Scoliosis – Parent’s Guide to Scoliosis