Chiropractic care can provide relief for people with scoliosis

According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, around 2 to 3 percent of Americans now live with scoliosis.1 That corresponds to around seven million people in this country alone. What is scoliosis, what causes it, and how is it treated? Now let’s examine each of these questions.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition characterized by “a sideways curvature of the spine or spine.” 2 This curvature is typically in the shape of a “C” or “S” and can usually be diagnosed from a person’s family history by a physical exam and x-rays of the spine.

While anyone can develop scoliosis, most cases start with children in their teens or ages 10 to 12. In addition, this condition is diagnosed more often in girls than in boys. A number of factors can determine whether a person, whether adolescent or otherwise, develops scoliosis.

What Causes Scoliosis?

Most diagnoses of scoliosis are classified as idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. But there seems to be a genetic component to it. Therefore, it is generally recommended that family members be tested when a parent or sibling has a test.

However, some causes can be identified and these cases can be classified as either non-structural or structural. Non-structural scoliosis refers to scoliosis that is unrelated to the structure of the spine and that can be alleviated by finding and correcting the source

Structural scoliosis, on the other hand, is related to the structure of the spine and can be caused by injuries or infections, diseases or defects.

How is Scoliosis Treated?

If the curvature is slight, a doctor can simply watch the patient to make sure it doesn’t get worse. However, with moderate or severe curvature, the best course of treatment for a scoliosis patient is usually determined by four factors:

  • Scoliosis type
  • The age of the person
  • Expected growth that the person has yet to go through
  • Degree and pattern of scoliosis curvature

A moderate curve could warrant a bracket. This helps stabilize the spine so the curvature doesn’t worsen. An alternative form of treatment is chiropractic treatment, and research confirms that this particular remedy offers many positive results.

For example, in a study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 28 people were diagnosed with scoliosis.4 Each person received chiropractic care for approximately six months. Your Cobb angle (the angle of curvature), degree of pain, and degree of disability were all assessed at the start of the study, after completing treatment, and 24 months after the study.

The researchers found that chiropractic treatment for scoliosis resulted in patients having less pain and disability, as well as an improvement in the angle of curvature. Therefore, this type of treatment offers many predicted benefits to people with scoliosis.


1 National Scoliosis Foundation. “Information and support.” Published August 13, 2003. Accessed June 8, 2015.

2 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. What is Scoliosis? “Fast facts: An easy-to-read series of publications for the public.” Http:// Published November 2014. Accessed June 8, 2015.

3 WebMD. “Scoliosis – Treatment Overview.” Http:// Updated March 12, 2014. Accessed June 8, 2015.

4 Morningstar M. Results for Adult Scoliosis Patients Receiving Chiropractic Rehabilitation: A 24 Month Retrospective Analysis. J Chiropr Med. 2011; 10 (3): 179-184.