Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting the neuro-musculoskeletal systems. Due to the public perception of chiropractors as doctors of the spine, many people seek out chiropractic care for scoliosis. Nearly 3 million people visit chiropractors for scoliosis or scoliosis-related complaints in the United States every year. Chiropractic is sometimes beneficial in reducing the symptoms associated with scoliosis, such as headaches, neck pain, and back pain. However, traditional methods of chiropractic have had mixed results in reducing the severity of scoliosis as measured by Cobb angle.
An adjustment (sometimes also referred to as chiropractic manual therapy or spinal manipulation therapy) is a procedure applied by a chiropractor, either by hand or with the aid of a table or hand-held device, that is intended to correct problems with the muscles, bones, and joints of the body. There are many different types of chiropractic adjustments, and not all chiropractors use the same approach to adjusting the spine and other joints of the body. Some types of adjustments should not be used with cases of scoliosis.
As an example, scoliosis is often associated with a loss of the normal backwards curve in the middle back (called the thoracic kyphosis). Some chiropractic adjustments, where the chiropractor pushes on the middle of the patient’s back (P-A thoracic adjustments), can make this worse. Similarly, many people with scoliosis have joint hypermobility (ligament laxity), which can sometimes include ligaments in the neck. If the ligaments in the neck are unstable, chiropractic adjustments that involve twisting or turning a patient’s head should not be applied.
The CLEAR Approach
CLEAR created a scoliosis-specific chiropractic treatment protocol. This approach involves specialized adjustments and therapies that have been developed and refined over years of experience in working with scoliosis. We train doctors of chiropractic in how to implement this protocol in their clinics. CLEAR has a certification process to ensure that every scoliosis patient treated by a CLEAR Certified Doctor of Chiropractic receives equivalent care and excellent results.