What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is the name given to a specific spinal deformity that is most often characterized by having side-ways curves in the spine, with rotation — when it should be straight up and down. Imagine looking at someone’s spine from behind them. Their spine should be absolutely straight up and down, with their head sitting directly on top of the spine.
The video below is a computer generated illustration of someone with a severe progressive Scoliotic curve.
In addition to having abnormal side-ways, Scoliotic curves, nearly all patients with Scoliosis will have a decrease in the normal curves in the neck and low back from the side-view. This can be characterized well by someone who has ‘poor posture,’ and slumps forward with their head, with straightening or even reversing of the neck curve.
Although it’s good to have the spine straight up-and-down from the front and back views, the spine NEEDS TO HAVE 3 SPECIFIC CURVES FROM THE SIDE VIEW. This isn’t always noticeable just simply by observing someone — it will often require specific xray views of the spine to identify and measure the postural problem. Examples of this can be seen below.
In the BEFORE/AFTER xray images below, notice the change in the curve of the neck in this 11-yr old female patient (the patient is looking toward the left - you can see a small part of the jaw/teeth)
The image on the left shows a complete loss of the normal curve at the beginning of care, while the image on the right shows a complete restoration of the cervical curve after treatment. In any patient with Scoliosis, this correction must take place before the abnormal Scoliotic curves can be corrected.
In the CONTRASTING xray images below, notice the difference in the Low Back curve of these two patients (they are facing towards the left).
The image on the left shows a normal, healthy low back, with a good Lordotic curve. In contrast, the image on the right has a dramatic decrease in the normal low back curve, typical of someone with Scoliosis. Additionally, this is common also in patients without Scoliosis who have a history of poor posture (for example those who spend a significant amount of time in a seated-position, due to a job or being a student).
Therefore, the physical manifestations of Scoliosis are very apparent, causing significant postural abnormalities and deformities. However, these and other symptoms, such as nerve damage, respiratory problems, spinal pain, headache/migraines, abdominal pain, etc, are just the SYMPTOMS, and ultimately not the ACTUAL PROBLEM. The ‘actual problem’ is the damage to the Central Nervous System (CNS), which controls everything in the human body.
"Scoliosis is more accurately a neuro-hormonal disease of the Central Nervous System (brain & spinal cord), that manifests itself in the spine."
Due to damage to specific tracts of the Spinal Cord (most often those dealing with the control of posture, balance, proprioception) and disruption of normal neurotransmitter activity, the body loses it’s ability to fully regulate and maintain normal posture, balance, and proprioception… all which keep the spine straight up and down, and our body able to run, jump, and play under the constant force of gravity.
Consequently, if the real problem is not the Scoliotic-curves, then it makes good sense to focus on correcting the damage and removing the interference from the Central Nervous System, and not solely trying to force the curves straighter. By correcting this, the Scoliotic curves can then be stabilized and reduced by specific adjustments and therapies.
Remove the interference, and the body can heal.