Scoliosis - Watch & Wait No More!
The x-ray is reviewed, and the doctor reveals your child has scoliosis. What do you do? Many parents probably don't know exactly how to react when those words first collide with their ears. Naturally, a flood of questions build in their minds, while concern and worry elevate. What is it? How is this going to affect my child? And the question at the top of the list is most likely- How do we treat this? What can we do to help our child? You may be surprised at the answer many parents are given, even still today--- which is basically "do nothing,” or in other words - Watch & Wait. Watch and Wait to see if the child's curve progresses to a higher degree. If it does progress - bracing or surgery may be recommended.
According to the book “Scoliosis and the Human Spine” by Martha C. Hawes, Ph.D., The Principles and practice of current treatment options recommended through established U.S. medical channels are as follows: for Scoliosis of Ten to Twenty degrees ‘observation only’ is recommended. “This means the child is brought in to see an orthopedic surgeon every three to six months or so to be radiographed until growth stops, even if that means a period of several years.” If no significant increase in curvature is observed or the curve never increases past twenty-five degrees, then the child is no longer observed, and no treatment is given.
For Scoliosis of Twenty-Five to Forty Degrees, “the child is treated with what is called the ‘conservative’ or ‘nonoperative’ approach which in the scoliosis literature means treatment with an ‘orthosis’ or brace.” Braces are typically worn around 23 hours a day until the end of growth. This is done in an attempt to stop further progression. Scoliosis of Forty to Forty-five Degrees, “if the curvature in a growing child progresses to forty degrees despite bracing, spinal fusion surgery is recommended.”
We at ScoliosisKC believe there's a better way! Why should one wait to treat a condition until after it worsens; as when a condition worsens it gets harder to treat. A condition is typically easier to treat at onset.
Dr. Nick Weddle (ScoliosisKC & Certified Doctor with the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute) says, "Parents who have been advised to watch and wait may prefer to take a more proactive approach and treat the curve while it's still small to reduce the chance of progression. Scoliosis can progress quickly during periods of rapid growth which can cause a small curve to increase to a very large curve (to a size which many surgeons would like to fuse) in a short span of time. Being proactive can help one stay ahead of the curve."
According to CLEAR Scoliosis Institute, "any misalignments of the spine, even small ones, interfere with the normal function of the body. The nerves that connect the brain to your organs run through your spine; problems with the spine can affect these nerves. While orthopedic doctors typically recommend watching and waiting to see if the scoliosis gets worse, CLEAR believes that this is the best time to be proactive about your spine. If there is a way to prevent mild scoliosis from getting worse, it is worth investing the time and the effort."
THE GOOD NEWS - today there are exercise based treatment options available to get ahead of the curve and start fighting immediately to reduce and stabilize curvature.