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Table of Contents


What is Scoliosis?

All spines have natural curves.  Scoliosis, however, is a progressive, abnormal sideways curvature of the spine.  When left untreated, it can cause severe spinal deformity.  Usually, it is first detected in childhood or the early teen years while the bones of the spine are still growing.  Because the spine and rib cage are connected, severe scoliosis also affects the position of the ribs, pushing them further apart on the outside of the curve, and closer together on the inside.  This causes the spine's "S" curve appearance typical of scoliosis.  Pressure from severe spinal distortion can also affect surrounding organs.  Health risks from severe spine curvature include neurological problems from pressure on nerves, arthritis, and even lung and heart problems.

Severe scoliosis not only harms the individual's appearance and self-esteem, but it can also compromise one's health and ability to function.  The ability to participate in sports or athletic activities is usually limited and difficult.  And limited physical activity can lead to a decrease in overall fitness.

What causes Scoliosis?

Because scoliosis tends to run in families, doctors believe that hereditary factors may predispose some individuals to this condition.  In other cases, it can be caused by spinal abnormalities present at birth.  Often, the body's attempt to adapt to some type of trauma or injury is involved.  Even birth trauma or minor childhood injuries, such as falling off a bicycle may trigger this abnormal spinal curvature.  Therefore many parents prefer to have their children checked by a chiropractic doctor at birth, and regularly throughout childhood. 

Scoliosis usually starts with problems in the lower back. In younger children such complaints are often dismissed as "growing pains", unfortunately delaying treatment.  Scoliosis also can be associated with certain neuromuscular disorders such as polio, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy.  While there are many different causes for scoliosis, in 70-80% of cases there is no identifiable cause.  Doctors call this "idiopathic" scoliosis.

Scoliosis is more common in females than males by almost 7 to 1.  It continues to progress into the early 20's'when the bones of the spine are fully mature.   And if scoliosis progresses beyond a certain degree of curvature during adolescence, it will continue to become increasingly severe in adulthood.  That is why early screening detection, and treatment can make a big difference.

Children should be examined before age 12 or 13, especially if there is a history of any spinal deformity in your family.  They should then be followed closely throughout the teen years to make sure a curve doesn't develop.

How is Scoliosis Treated?

Unfortunately, in medical management, the most common approach usually is to "wait and see."  While some cases may progress slowly, in others the curves may progress dramatically, creating significant physical deformity.  When the problem becomes severe enough, unsightly braces or even surgery is standard treatment.   

The chiropractic approach is to use specific spinal adjustments along with a program of corrective exercises.  Usually the doctor's hands are used to apply precisely directed force to the spine to return the vertebrae to a more normal position.  This force is adjusted according to the patient's age and size.  With careful monitoring, regular treatment, and exercise the spinal deformity of scoliosis can be minimized and more invasive procedures avoided.

With early detection and early treatment, chiropractic doctors have seen excellent results with scoliosis cases.  This safe, natural approach to treatment has helped many children find a healthier, happier life.

Patient Case Study

A 12 year old girl came to see Dr. Maloof.  She was checked for scoliosis at school and referred to an orthopedic doctor who took an x-ray and told her she had a 25 degree scoliosis curve.  She also had kyphosis (sideways curve), so she had very slumped shoulders. The orthopedic recommended wearing a brace for one year and then re-examining the results.  If the curve did not improve then surgery would be recommended.

Her parents gave her a choice to come to Dr. Maloof or wear a brace.  She decided to see Dr. Maloof who adjusted her spine.  Dr. Maloof found subluxations (vertebral misalignments pinching the nerves) and corrected her spine.  After only 2 months, her posture improved dramatically and the curvature improved and she did not need to wear a brace or have surgery.  She felt so much better, her health and spine improved.  Her self-esteem improved and now she stands up tall!!!

She continues to see Dr. Maloof for corrective care to ensure that her spine continues to stay healthy, especially during her growth spurts!!!!

10 Ways to Praise Children

Great Job

You are Terrific


Right On

You're Important

Outstanding Performance

I trust you

You're Beautiful

I knew you could do it

I'm proud of you.

September is Children's Month

Dr. Maloof is offering Free Chiropractic Spinal and Scoliosos Examinations in September so our kids can grow up to be healthy.  Do you want your child to grow up with the same health problems you are facing today?  Save them a lifetime of problems-

You can make the difference in their life TODAY!!!!

Don't wait... have your kids checked before it's too late.  Be sure to refer children in this month to be checked by Dr. Maloof.

Dr. Catherine Maloof
(949) 581-6543

You may view Dr. Maloof's website by clicking www.drmaloof.com

Dr. Maloof Online, 2008 

Disclaimer: All material provided in the Dr. Maloof Online newsletter is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.