Scoliosis: Your Options for Pain Relief and Treatment

Chiropractic Adjustments in Sacramento

It is important to express the need for patient education regarding alternative options for the treatment of scoliosis in the Sacramento community. Pain resulting from scoliosis is primarily treated with medications by a vast majority of medical professionals. When the pain medications don’t work, a patient may be asked to consider a difficult and invasive surgery, requiring quite a bit of downtime after and adjusting to a new life. Many people in our community may be left to think scoliosis is nearly impossible to treat naturally. But this isn’t the case!

Traditional Western medicine has been working on specialized scoliosis treatments for quite some time, but the success-ratio has not been good. The standard medical approach is examination and X-rays followed by a three-point traction system, pain medications and, if all else fails, surgery. It was estimated in 2007 that approximately 38,000 people undergo spinal fusion surgery per year (National Scoliosis Foundation). However, the results of this surgery are not normally as successful as is preferred.

The common option of pain meds only cover-up symptoms, as opposed to treating the underlying cause. Surgeries can help stabilize a person’s back so it doesn’t get worse, but are often not necessary. I highly suggest researching alternative treatments, such as chiropractic, prior to considering surgery.

Let me share a little more information with you about the condition, because with knowledge comes solutions: Scoliosis is the abnormal lateral curvature and rotation or twisting of the spine. The curve must be at least 10 degrees off from center (I’ll save you the detailed medical jargon) for the patient to be diagnosed with the condition. Recent findings estimate scoliosis affects 2-3% of the American population or an estimated six to nine million people. Females are much more likely to have the condition progress to a curve magnitude that requires treatment (National Scoliosis Foundation).

Most patients’ conditions begin during childhood or adolescence, but correctly diagnosing scoliosis should involve also discussing a person’s physical development in its entirety - starting with infancy and following it through childhood and adulthood. Tracing back one’s abnormal spinal growth as far as possible is important and requires working with a chiropractor that offers specialized care for people living with scoliosis. I have been treating symptomatic spines and a wide variety of scoliosis patients as a chiropractor for 49 years.

About 80% of the time, doctors are still unaware why exactly scoliosis develops in a given patient and not all scoliosis cases are the same. For example, I have noticed that depending on the person, some scoliotic patients don’t experience pain initially. However, scoliosis is a degenerative condition that can ultimately lead to serious pain and discomfort if there is no treatment. This inevitably also leads to impairment in one’s livelihood and functioning.

I believe in the importance of educating my patients on what to expect from the condition and their chiropractic care before agreeing to start any type of program with them. The agreement of beginning a treatment program must be made openly between chiropractor and their patient, but should most definitely be based on the patient’s awareness and education regarding their own condition.

A basic chiropractic scoliosis treatment program often depends on the type and degree of scoliosis and the age of the patient. The major aspects of treatment are periodic X-rays, probably every three to six months, to check for improvement or degeneration of the spine, in addition to regular chiropractic adjustments. Stability must also be restored into the spine and we have great results in this area by utilizing chiropractic care, traction and special exercises to strengthen the weaker parts of the back. I have seen that the curvature of the spine that is the benchmark of scoliosis can often be improved with this type of chiropractic program.

I also find that different levels of chiropractic care are needed depending on the patient’s diagnosis and other individual factors. The first level is specific chiropractic adjusting. This helps the patient to feel less pain and also helps better align the positioning of the spinal vertebra. The second level of the correction is specialized “tractioning” of the spine, which works in an effort to bring the abnormally curved spine into more correct alignment. This special technique helps to un-twist the spine, bringing back “normality” as much as possible and alleviating temporary and future degeneration and pain. A final non-surgical option we have in our office is the application of special scoliosis braces. Again, this depends on the severity and need for the specific patient’s condition.

Based on patient satisfaction, I believe that chiropractic treatment for scoliosis has been the most rewarding treatment thus far. It is also completely natural. The team here at Keppler chiropractic is rated #1 in patient satisfaction in the Sacramento area and we have seen great results with our scoliosis patients. I welcome anyone who is in pain to come in to my office for a free consultation and bring whatever information, X-rays, CTs or MRIs that you may have. We’d love to discuss your options for treatment, even if you’ve been told that you don’t have many.

You don’t have to live with pain simply because you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis! These are options that are effective, much more natural and far less invasive or costly when compared to pain medications and surgery. You also don’t need to travel outside of the Sacramento area to receive great scoliosis treatment - for yourself or your child. Let us help you beat the pain and get ahead of the curve with natural, non-surgical, comprehensive care.

If you haven’t previously been diagnosed with a condition but are living in pain, I welcome you in to my office, and, again, the consultation will be free of charge.


Dr. James Keppler

Sacramento’s most trusted chiropractor

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