San Antonio Scoliosis Treatment

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If you or your child has been suffering with the pain, stiffness, and physical deformity associated with scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) and/or associated kyphosis (forward curvature of the spine), we’re here to help!

We understand that scoliosis can be a very scary condition to parents and kids alike.  Many questions and anxieties arise when the diagnosis of scoliosis is made.

For adults with scoliosis and the parents of kids with scoliosis, the most common questions tend to be:

  • How did this happen?
  • Is it going to get worse?
  • How much pain is it going to cause?
  • Will surgery be needed?
  • Can I afford the treatment?

For children and adolescents with scoliosis, while they are of course concerned about pain and the prospect of surgery, for most the big questions and fears tend to be a bit different:

  • Will I look “different”?
  • Will I have to wear a brace to school and when I’m around my friends?
  • Will I be able to play sports and have fun?
  • Will other kids make fun of me?

All of these fears and concerns are very legitimate, and we’ll try to provide at least a partial answer to all of them here on the site. 

The specific answers will depend on the individual patient, but to begin, we’ll discuss some general concepts.

The Results of Treatment Usually Depend On How Soon Treatment Is Initiated.

The first concept we want our San Antonio scoliosis patients to understand is the principle of “skeletal maturity”.  The spine can change shape dramatically up until the time when the spinal bones become fully calcified, usually about the age of 25.  Once this point of skeletal maturation is reached, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible to dramatically change spinal curvatures.  This is both bad news and good news for those with scoliosis who have reached skeletal maturity. 

The bad news is that is is extremely unlikely that the spinal curvature can be corrected without going to the extreme of highly invasive surgery.  The good news is that the scoliosis will typically progress very slowly over the remainder of one’s life after skeletal maturity is reached , so it doesn’t usually get a lot worse, particularly if appropriate preventive measures are taken. 

In addition, despite how it may look on X-rays and what other doctors may have told you, it is definitely possible to eliminate most of the pain and discomfort of scoliosis and kyphosis without correcting the curvature. 

The real importance of the concept of skeletal maturity is when dealing with children and adolescents who have scoliosis.  The sooner the problem is detected before the age of skeletal maturity, the more likely that the progression of the curvature can be stopped, and in many cases corrected without the need for surgery.   

For example, the X-rays below are of a recent case that show a relatively mild scoliosis that we’ve already largely corrected within a relatively short period of treatment:

One of Our Recent San Antonio Scoliosis Cases.

One of Our Recent San Antonio Scoliosis Cases.


The “Observation” Phase of Scoliosis Treatment Doesn’t Have To Mean Doing Nothing But “Observing”!

This principle of our San Antonio scoliosis treatment program is probably the main thing that sets us apart from most other scoliosis treatment facilities. 

For many years, the accepted protocol (for patients below the age of skeletal maturity) among health care providers who treat scoliosis is that once scoliosis is diagnosed, the patient is evaluated every 3 to 6 months to assess for curvature progression.  Once the curvature reaches 15 to 20 degrees, bracing is usually recommended.  If the curvature continues to progress, once it reaches 45 to 50 degrees, surgery is recommended. 

Many scoliosis treatment programs do not institute any type of corrective or preventive treatment prior to the bracing stage, and few do anything besides bracing prior to the surgery stage. 

“At the San Antonio office of Advantage Chiropractic and Scoliosis, we take a much more pro-active approach!”

In cases that are caught early, we have found that it is usually possible to halt the progression of scoliosis and kyphosis before even bracing becomes necessary.  Likewise, we have discovered ways to greatly improve the effectiveness of bracing when it is required. 

These same methods can also be used to alleviate scoliosis-related symptoms in patients who have already reached skeletal maturity.

The methods that we use are safe, effective, and comfortable for patients of all ages, and include (click on the links for more information):

In those cases where bracing is necessary to achieve optimal results, we utilize the Providence bracing protocol.

Scoliosis bracing used to require the patient to wear bulky, partially immobilizing braces all day, every day.  Some San Antonio scoliosis treatment facilities still require this bracing protocol. 

While effective, this older bracing approach creates some major disadvantages for the patient:

  • The bulky braces cannot be hidden effectively by clothing.
  • The braces restrict the movement and daily activities of the wearer.
  • The brace makes the wearer an obvious target for teasing and harrassment from other kids.

Because of these reasons, patient compliance with all-day, every-day bracing protocols is relatively poor and this ultimately interferes with achieving optimal results. 

With the Providence bracing protocol that we use in our San Antonio scoliosis treatment facility, the brace is used only at night when sleeping. 

Because our brace is only worn at night, it eliminates most of the problems of activity restriction and brace-related social awkwardness in child and adolescent patients that is caused by older bracing protocols.

In addition, the Providence braces are produced using computer-aided design and manufacturing techniques to allow for the most accurate curvature repositioning possible.   

Research has shown the nighttime Providence bracing protocol to be very effective for preventing progression of scoliotic curvatures for curves less than 35 degrees.

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