Dr Coburn's Blog

Thoughts and advice from chiropractor, Dr Wendy Coburn

Scoliosis and Chiropractic



The undulating curves of the spine that are not naturally there.  They can twist and turn in different areas of your spine.  For some it can cause great pain for many they don't even know they have it. In fact they may have allergies to food or have a diagnosis of carpal tunnel while all the while the cause is the scoliosis underneath that has gone undetected impacting ones neurophysiology.


Sorry for the big words. I am here to simplify - If you have questions about anything I ever write or post please don't hesitate to email or call to ask.


Scoliosis:  A normal spine houses the spinal cord and when an individual stands looking directly at you the spine should be straight up and down the shoulders level and the head centered over the shoulders.


From the side there should be three flowing curves and then a curved sacrum.  Extension occurs normally in the neck and low back with flexion in the thoracic spine and sacrum.


Why does scoliosis happen?


It can run through the family - often on the female side. So genetic


It can be idiopathic - meaning no idea


It can happen due to learned posture or adult onset i.e. carrying something heavy on one side all the time can create a curve to that side or the way you sit at your desk.


It can happen due to growing and developing one leg actually structurally being shorter whereby lifts in shoes depending on the length discrepancy can help reduce the curvature or prevent it from developing too big if caught early.


Then there is traumatic:  Traumatic from pregnancy or the birth process.  For example a C-section, traction injury from vacuum or the use of forceps creating a neurological injury and soft tissue injury that is not detected right from the start and the body grows and adapts to the trauma.  It potentially can first show up as torticollis, reflux or gerd, constipation or some other functional symptom that is not looked at through the neurology and corrected by a chiropractor - it can then progress into abnormal motion and alignment of the spine.


Scoliosis is usually detected first in our early teens or tweens when bodies are growing quickly.  It often is detected through a high or winging shoulder blade.  Sometimes it is detected with chronic headaches happening without known cause and not giving way.


Scoliosis too can be seen in children when they first start walking - more often age 3-4 if the curvature is going to progress quickly.  These ones sometimes, I say sometimes can be more severe.


Early detection before growth plates fuse is best when having chiropractic assist in the detection, slowing, or managing the scoliosis.  In adulthood change can still happen - it is more painful to create change as an adult due to the muscular patterning developed over time.


There is greater neuroplasticity and adaptability whilst younger.  As a chiropractor I have seen scoliosis stop progressing, seen it reverse through structural care and consistency, I have seen it too still progress.  In ones that have progressed, the more severe cases chiropractic was able to help keep more flexibility in the spine and tissue so if surgery was required the actual surgery went smoother and the individual had a easier recovery due to less soft tissue strain.


Do have you family checked - especially your little ones early on to ensure no interference - no stress or injury to the neurophysiology to help the body grow and develop as it should.  The interference to the system in chiropractic is known as "Subluxation."


I have written about Subluxation before here on my blog, on Facebook and Twitter.  I'll review it again - next time!


Best in Health



Dr. Wendy Coburn

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