Scoliosis is a condition that causes a spiral curvature of the spine. It can sometimes cause a visible slumping or uneven back and it can be present from birth. In general, scoliosis is not necessarily a serious condition, but it can lead to discomfort and back pain.
However, in some situations, scoliosis can become more severe and significantly affect the patient’s quality of life. In these situations, patients may need to wear a back brace or, in some cases, have spinal surgery performed.
The Risks of Spinal Surgery
A spinal fusion is a surgery that is not without risk. In addition to it’s significant cost, there’s no guarantee that a fusion will offer relief. In some cases, the surgery may help straighten the spine and fail to relieve pain. If there are severe issues, it can be challenging to reverse. Often, once performed, there are side-effects that last a lifetime such as limited range of motion, pain, or nerve damage. While a spinal fusion should be reserved for only the most severe cases of scoliosis, some doctors unfortunately recommend them prematurely.
If you or someone you know was recommended a spinal fusion, it may be in their best interests to exhaust other options before proceeding.
Alternative Scoliosis Treatment
While the traditional medical opinion is that scoliosis is not reversible, there are case studies and some scientific evidence that indicate this may not be true.
For example, younger patients may benefit from a procedure known as myofascial manipulation. This procedure is based off the believe that scoliosis is caused by a defect in the fascia system – a complex structure of tissue beneath the surface of the skin. By correcting this defect at an early age, the child and their spine can straighten and grow at a normal length.
Other scoliosis therapies that have shown to be effective include chiropractic adjustments and stretching like Yoga. In addition, patients suffering from pain may find relief from natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric.
Vacuum Manual Therapy, or “Cupping” May Also Help
Vacuum manual therapy, also known as “cupping” is another form of therapy that may have the potential to relieve scoliosis pain. While there are no scientific studies on this treatment, the manipulation of the soft tissue may be the reason why some patients with scoliosis find the treatment effective.