Idiopathic Scoliosis has long been viewed as a spinal condition. While the affects of scoliosis are certainly most prevalent in the spine itself, the condition that causes scoliosis is actually neurological in nature.
This understanding is a crucial one and is rapidly changing the way we treat scoliosis.
Traditional scoliosis treatments like surgery and bracing address only the symptoms of scoliosis, but not the cause. They force correction of the spinal posture, yet do nothing to reorient the neurological stimulus that created the misalignment in the first place. Therefore, their results are only temporary.
We now know that changing the spine begins with changing the brain.
The scoliosis patient’s spine is confused. It does not know where it is in space. The brain has been sending wrong messages to the spine and its surrounding muscles for a very long time and needs to be reprogrammed. We do this in a variety of ways which are actually not that complicated or laborious.
Through specific weighting techniques tailored to the individual, we guide the patient’s brain to relearn what it means to align properly.
Here is one simple example:
Almost every idiopathic scoliosis patient has forward head posture. This positioning of the head creates an overall instability in the patient’s body that can increase over time if left unchecked. In this case, we make the patient’s head artificially heavier on the front by way of a weighted hat. What at first may seem contrary to correction is actually exactly what the brain needs to start sending proper messages. The weights on the front of the patient’s head signals to the brain that the head is out of alignment. The brain communicates this to the body and the body responds by pulling the head back where it belongs.
This works 100% of the time.
This same method can be applied to all other areas of the body affected by scoliosis. After carefully studying the patient’s alignment, we can provide him or her with a variety of weighted exercises that combine to gradually teach the body its new posture.
Our bodies are highly sensitive. They are always at the ready to react to the signals our brains give them. The future of scoliosis treatment lies not in bracing or in surgery, but in recognizing that when given the proper stimulus, the scoliotic spine can naturally right itself.
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