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Effective Mild Scoliosis Treatment Guide


Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel


July 02, 2024

Table of Contents

Early stage or mild scoliosis is defined by the size of a curve, not the age onset. You or your child may have early stage spinal curve that measures less than 25 degrees at any age.

Scoliosis Causes and Risk Factors

The condition can be caused by various factors, with idiopathic scoliosis being the most common type. Risk factors include muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord abnormalities. Genetics also play a role, as the condition can run in families. In some cases, it may develop due to conditions like spina bifida or complications from other health issues. However, in many cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Understanding these causes and risk factors is crucial for early detection and effective treatment.

Scoliosis Diagnosis and Types

The condition can be diagnosed through a physical exam, medical history review, and imaging tests like MRI. The most common type is idiopathic scoliosis, affecting adolescents primarily. Other types include degenerative scoliosis related to aging and conditions like muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Understanding the specific type of scoliosis is crucial for determining the most effective treatment plan, making early diagnosis of scoliosis essential. Regular check-ups and early detection, through imaging tests such as X-rays, play a vital role in managing various types of scoliosis and ensuring appropriate care. Page last reviewed: 12 April 2023 Next review due: 12 April 2026

sid new to scoliosis

Treating Early Stage Scoliosis Curves Stops Progression & Reduces Curvature

Girls aged 9 to 14 with a slender body shape and delayed periods may develop small spine curves. The main symptom is the spine curve, but that is not the cause itself. Adolescent cases result from a mix of genetic and environmental factors. The curve worsens due to brain-muscle miscommunication during rapid growth in adolescence, which can cause abnormal curvature of the vertebrae.

Early stage intervention is crucial to prevent progression. Mild cases have a 22% chance of worsening if the curve is less than 24 degrees. The risk significantly rises to 68% when the curve reaches 25 degrees, possibly requiring a back brace for moderate scoliosis. Children face higher risks because their spines are still growing. Once the curve hits 50 degrees, the chance of progression goes over 90%. Understanding why the curve worsens rapidly is unclear, but experts link it to spinal rotation impacting brain and spine. The problem involves a twisting motion that intensifies as the curve progresses, causing significant torque and lateral bending. This continuous twisting effect is known as the “coil-down effect.” However, early treatment and management of mild cases of scoliosis can stop progression and reduce curvature, preventing the need for more invasive treatments such as surgery or braces.

A Proactive Approach for Mild Scoliosis Treatment

Many doctors tell parents to watch their child’s curve for six months or a year to see if it progresses. Rather than treat the mild curves, many health care professionals don’t even consider spine curves measuring less than 10 degrees to be a problem even if the patient has back pain. At ScoliSMART Clinics®, we focus on the high risk patterns of the curvature rather than the size of the curve, including mild curves in Americans. However, depending on the degree of curvature and the age of the child, doctors may recommend a physical therapy. A proactive approach for treating the whole condition, even in its early stages, can help prevent further progression and potential complications.

Scoli Fact-25

Click on the Scoli-Fact to see the rest of the Scoliosis Facts!

Traditional Scoliosis Treatment Options (old way leading to a back brace)

  • Abnormal spine curvature detected to be less than 25 degrees
  • Wait for six months
  • Re-evaluate to determine if curvature is worsening or remaining stable
  • If worsening, a rigid brace is prescribed 20+ hours daily until your child is done growing!
  • Recommend highly invasive spinal fusion when bracing is fails to stop curve progression.

Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention (new way without bracing)

Proactive mild scoliosis treatment:

  • Abnormal spine curvature detected to be less than 25 degrees 
  • A , pattern, and hormone testing performed 
  • Small Curve Camp (5 day in-office program)
  • Six months at-home Posture Memory retraining exercises and nutrient therapies
  • Re-evaluate to determine curve improvement and stability

Learn about how to treat the whole condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s problem, you may  with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

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Lifestyle and Home Remedies for Managing Scoliosis

Employ lifestyle modifications like regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight to manage mild scoliosis effectively. Additionally, focus on posture awareness during daily activities and incorporate back-strengthening exercises. Consider utilizing ergonomic furniture at home and work to support your spine. Explore alternative therapies like yoga or Pilates under the guidance of a professional. Incorporating general exercise and participating in sports may also have the benefit of improving overall health and well-being. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen to ensure it aligns with your specific condition.

At Home Genetic Testing for Juvenile and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Scoliosis is more than just a spine issue, according to most orthopedic specialists. It extends beyond the primary symptom of the condition, which is the curvature. In more than 80 percent of scoliosis cases, the cause is unknown — a condition called idiopathic scoliosis. Doctors call this idiopathic scoliosis as there is no known cause. It has been shown to be hereditary by centuries of family history. It has nothing to do with a specific gene. The consequence of certain patterns of genetic mutations is idiopathic scoliosis in teens.

Genes play a role in the origins of the condition. Many gene variations can affect spinal curves positively or negatively. Changes in hormones can cause a spine curve. Advancements in genetics and treatments offer prevention opportunities. Different types of scoliosis exist, requiring specific treatments such as bracing or surgery. Osteoporosis can also lead to spinal curvature.

Genetic Testing

Mild Scoliosis Treatment with Nutrient Therapies

Genetic testing may help us identify the most likely underlying causes of idiopathic type of scoliosis and its development. We may learn about the severity of the underlying problems through targeted clinical testing.

Nutrient therapies offer the opportunity to change the natural course of the condition by using this very particular information. Nutrient therapies are all natural and do not use medications help to support, rebalance, or replace neurotransmitters, hormones, and other activator molecules.

Patients with genetic changes may lack essential molecules like amino acids, enzymes, and metabolic products. These are often provided through nutrient treatments as patients struggle to produce them independently. This deficiency can result in severe scoliosis and arthritis in the future. Simple lifestyle adjustments like reducing gluten or dairy intake can support these nutrient treatments. Adolescents and adult patients can benefit from genetic testing and natural therapies instead of medicines. This comprehensive approach targets the metabolic issues associated with the condition beyond just the spinal curve.

Catch Early Stage Scoliosis with Home Evaluations

The treatment goal of ScoliSMART™ Early Stage Intervention is to keep the curve under 20 degrees during your child’s growing years and at most, 25 degrees at skeletal maturity. 

Detecting the problem early is crucial for timely treatment. The main spinal screening test may not catch small curves. During the test, your child bends forward as a doctor or nurse checks for rib cage bulges, typically on the right side of the body. Such bulges are hard to see until the curve reaches about 25 degrees when the upper spine starts rotating noticeably. The spinal assessment involves a physical check-up and spinal imaging to evaluate the curve in the backbone.

We call the Adam’s test the “too late test.” Using genetic testing is far more accurate and proactive. A simple home collected saliva test can determine your child’s genetic risk for the disease. The report even includes dietary and scoliosis supplement recommendations to lower their risk.

Other mild scoliosis signs:

  • Your child’s clothes hang unevenly
  • Their pelvis may appear tilted
  • One shoulder blade appears more prominent than the other
  • One of your child’s legs seems longer than the other
  • Your child’s head has a forward position when viewed from the side
  • lower back pain and headaches my become more frequent 

Mild scoliosis affects posture before a visible rib hump appears. Check for uneven eye, shoulder, and hip alignment. Look from both front and back. If you see these signs, have your child checked. A scolimeter measures spinal curve, but x-rays by a specialist are most accurate. A 72-inch full spine x-ray is ideal for detecting abnormal curvature.

Watching for these signs is especially important if the condition runs in your family, as it is hereditary. The more parents, gym teachers, coaches, and school nurses look for slight imbalances in these three lines, the more we will catch mild, early stage curve of the spine. You may actually notice that your child’s eyes, shoulders, or hips are a bit uneven, but not realize those are signs of scoliosis.

Don't let small curves become BIG curves

Do Not Wait and Watch Scoliosis Mild

doctors never recommend waiting and watching. All large curves begin as small curves. It is a chronic, progressive condition. It often progresses throughout childhood and into adulthood. We recommend starting “reflexive response” retraining through the Early Stage Intervention immediately. This should be started as soon as your child’s curve is discovered. The 5-day “Small Curve Camp” program is followed by a home exercise program for at least 4 – 6 months. Thousands of children have had their scoliosis curve reduced and progression stopped with this approach.

Scoliosis Complications and Long-term Outlook

Scoliosis complications can arise if left untreated, impacting the spine’s alignment and causing long-term issues like back pain or breathing difficulties. In severe cases, scoliosis can progress, leading to spinal deformities affecting daily activities. Early intervention is crucial to halt progression and prevent potential complications, including the need for scoliosis surgery, ensuring a better long-term outlook for individuals with mild scoliosis. Monitoring by healthcare providers and adherence to treatment plans can have a significant impact on improving outcomes and quality of life.

FAQs about Scoliosis

Scoliosis FAQs: What are the risk factors for scoliosis? How is mild scoliosis different from severe cases? Can back pain indicate scoliosis? Is physical therapy effective for treating scoliosis? What are the complications of untreated scoliosis? How often should regular checkups be scheduled for patients? What are the long-term outcomes of scoliosis treatment options like bracing or surgery? Explore these common queries surrounding mild scoliosis and its management.

Can mild scoliosis progress and become more severe over time?

Yes, mild scoliosis can progress and become more severe over time if left untreated. It’s crucial to monitor the condition regularly through medical check-ups and follow recommended treatments like physical therapy or bracing to prevent further curvature of the spine.

How Old is the Patient?

How Old is the Patient?

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