Idiopathic Scoliosis has been proven to cause significant physical and emotional stress as it continues to progress well beyond skeletal maturity, and commonly for the remainder of the patient’s life, (Natural History of Progressive Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis, Spine 2007, Jul 15, Catherine Marty-Poumarat, MD; Luciana Scattin, MD; Michele Marpeau, MD; Christian Garreau de Loubressse, MD; Philippe Aegerter MD, PhD).
The physical complications of idiopathic scoliosis can be quite serious, ranging from spinal and extremity pain, to organ stress and loss of function, even cardio-pulmonary distress. “The average life expectancy of individuals with scoliosis is decreased by 14 years” (Idiopathic scoliosis; long-term follow-up and prognosis in untreated patients, J Bone Joint Surg Am 1981 Jun;63(5):702-12). Some of the other complications include headaches, chronic fatigue, digestive problems including constipation & diarrhea, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, loss of concentration, and chronic muscle tightness & spasms.
The emotional effects of idiopathic scoliosis can be every bit as real and serious as the physical effects. “Juvenile patients with idiopathic scoliosis were unhappier with their lives. They reported more physical complaints, had lower self esteem and higher depression. Adults patients reported more psychological and physical impairment”(Quality of life in women with idiopathic scoliosis, Spine 2002 Feb15; 27 (4): E87-91 Freidel, Petermann, Reichel, Steiner, Warschburger, Weiss, Askelepios Katharina-Schroth-Klinik Bad Sobernheim, Germany). Children with this condition often suffer from jokes and teasing by their classmates due to the deformity associated with idiopathic scoliosis. They are commonly unwilling to be involved with school activities that require them to wear a swimming suit or other clothing that might easily reveal the curvatures in their spine, all of which leads to social isolation. To complicate the issue, many of these children are told to wear bulky and uncomfortable braces for up to 23 hours a day, further limiting their physical activities and involvement with other children. Long term studies also show these patients to be more susceptible to depression & alcoholism later in life, (Spine. 1997 Jun 15:22(12): 1380-4).
To date, the bulk of the information you will find related to Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) on the Internet supports the use of bracing and surgery. Initially, treatment from a medical doctor consists of “observation only”, until the Cobb angle progresses to 25 degrees, at which point the patient is placed in a brace. If bracing is unsuccessful in stabilizing the progression of the disease, which is frequently the case, surgery is the only other option that the medical community has to offer. Due to the complicated nature of scoliosis and the difficulty in understanding and treating this condition, the development of a surgical method of treating idiopathic scoliosis by Dr. Harrington was understandable. However, science, & long term research agree that this procedure does not cure idiopathic scoliosis, but rather replaces one deformity (a flexible, curved spine) with another (a straighter, fused spine). In 1963, Dr. Harrington stated that “metal does not cure the disease of idiopathic scoliosis, which is a condition involving much more than the spinal column”.
A majority of people we see, who have been treated surgically, report after the operation that their pain levels either stayed the same or worsened, leading to long term use of stronger and stronger pain medication. “On average, 16 years after surgery, 40% of surgery patient are permanently handicapped for the rest of their lives” (Long-term results of quality of life in patients with idiopathic scoliosis after Harrington instrumentation and their relevance for expert evidence. Gotze C, Slomka A, Gotze HG, Potsl W, Liljenqvist U, Stienbeck J. Z Orthop Ihre Grensgeb 2002 Sep-Oct, 140(5): 492-8). We believe that surgical intervention, while potentially necessary at times, is only symptomatic treatment for a much more complex condition. Hardware failure does occur, and poses a very serious health risk for the patient and results in the obvious need for further surgery. Furthermore, after looking at the hardware removed from patients, it has been revealed that two out of three demonstrate significant corrosion, (Corrosion of spinal implants retrieved from patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Akazawa T, Minami S, Takahashi K, Hanawa T, Moriya H. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan. J Orthop Sci. 2005; 10(2):200-5. “Corrosion was seen on many of the rod junctions (66.2%) after long term implantation”), which can cause heavy metal toxicity, depression of the immune response, and chronic inflammation.
After understanding these facts and considering the other complications involved with this procedure, you can see why we at CLEARTM Institute believe that surgery should be a last resort for the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis, to be considered only after every other option for treatment has been thoroughly exhausted.
CLEARTM Institute is dedicated specifically to the non-surgical treatment and correction of Idiopathic Scoliosis in patients of all ages. We offer an effective alternative to the traditional orthopedic options of bracing & surgery. Our methods have consistently shown improvement with and correction of the scoliosis curves in patients of all ages, from eight to eighty. For years, conservative treatment had little additional hope to offer the idiopathic scoliosis patient. Results were varied, and successes inconsistent. Today, we can state confidently that this is no longer the case. We can offer real hope to people with idiopathic scoliosis who are committed to avoiding drastic surgical procedures, and confidently achieve consistent, positive outcomes for this condition.
Our treatment includes physical & massage therapy, cutting-edge vibration therapies, advanced spinal manipulations, and dynamic spinal traction, as well as a home exercise program which is customized for each patient’s specific needs. Idiopathic Scoliosis is a disease involving much more than just the spine, and our treatment methods reflect this complexity. In addition to spinal manipulation, we rehabilitate & strengthen the muscles, and “re-program” the brain’s patterns of walking, standing, & living. We encourage you to learn more about how our approach goes far beyond typical conservative idiopathic scoliosis care, and why we believe we can demonstrate a measurable reduction in the severity of Idiopathic Scoliosis on an x-ray in as quickly as 4 to 6 weeks.
Based on the results achieved from previous patients over the past several years, we believe that the methods for treating idiopathic scoliosis developed and used by the CLEARTM Institute is the safest and most effective conservative treatment for the correction of idiopathic scoliosis in existence today, and can be an effective adjunctive treatment for your idiopathic scoliosis patients.
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