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Scoliosis Prevention May Be Possible with DNA Testing for Scoliosis


Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel


November 1, 2021

Idiopathic scoliosis appears to be the result of genetic predisposition and other factors. If we can identify children at higher risk, we can begin using specific nutrient therapies and monitoring prevent it. Kids and adults with an existing curvature can halt or slow progression with reflexive response training that improves spinal alignment memory.

"The key to preventing scoliosis is genetic testing. The secret to stopping scoliosis progression is improving posture memory."

– Clayton J. Stitzel DC

Table of Contents

Types of scoliosis that can or can not be prevented.

Before getting into idiopathic scoliosis and degenerative scoliosis prevention, let’s discuss the cases of scoliosis that cannot be prevented; Congenital and Neuromuscular scoliosis. 

Congenital scoliosis is a birth defect that occurs early in pregnancy and is usually not noticeable at birth. It often shows up when children are toddlers, but might not be noticeable until adolescence. It is more difficult to treat than idiopathic scoliosis because the vertebrae (bone of the spine) deformity. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it.  Mehta casting or a back brace may be recommended.

Neuromuscular scoliosis results as a consequence of another condition like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. Unfortunately, about 75% of these patients will develop scoliosis as a result with no known method of prevention. A brace or spinal fusion may be recommended for severe cases. 

Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type and makes up over 80% of all scoliosis cases. It is by far the most common form of the condition. The scientist at Back Genius™ have identified 28 scoliosis genes associated with the idiopathic scoliosis condition. Research is being conducted to determine which kids are at high risk for developing scoliosis or risk of curve worsening and spinal deformity if they are already diagnosed with it on x-ray. Early stage scoliosis intervention nutrient therapies and scoliosis exercise programs have been developed for “at risk” kids with scoliosis. Get information on genetic testing for idiopathic scoliosis sent to your email.


To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis 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 scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

De Novo, or degenerative scoliosis, can often be prevented because it is caused by trauma or bad spinal health over time and affect older adults. You cannot prevent trauma and arthritis, but you can take good care of your posture. Years of carrying heavy bags on one shoulder and other repeated lopsided actions can lead to degeneration scoliosis and lower back pain. We are seeing more cases of adult scoliosis because people are living longer and putting more wear on their spines. It is also possible that you had pre-existing scoliosis that is progressing in adulthood. This process can be addressed and even prevented with appropriate osteoporosis screenings and nutrient therapy. It is recommended for adults 40+ with a curve of the spine to have an upright x-ray or MRI screening every 5 years.

Who is likely to get scoliosis?

You can detect a spinal curve earlier if you know the profile of a typical patient and what to watch for in the way your child stands.

  • Girls and boys age 8 to 14
  • Girls are 7 times more likely to get scoliosis
  • Children with a thin or lanky body shape
  • A child whose parent or sibling has scoliosis

What are the signs of early stage scoliosis?

  • Your child’s eye line tilts
  • Your child’s shoulders don’t hang even
  • One hip seems higher or more pronounced
  • Your child’s inner ear is forward of the shoulder
  • A line from the head center to the hip center isn’t aligned
  • Back pain is typically NOT a sign of mild scoliosis

Any one of these signs, or a combination of them, warrants an x-ray evaluation by a specialist. Your child can also have a scoliosis DNA test to determine the likelihood that a small scoliosis curve will progress. Neurotransmitterbone metabolismhormone, and genetic tests also allow us to treat the underlying deficiencies that contribute to progression. 

Possible Genetic Causes of Scoliosis

Scoliosis appears to be hereditary, according to substantial evidence. A family history of scoliosis is seen in nearly a third of adolescents who have the juvenile idiopathic variety. A parent with scoliosis has a 11% chance of passing it down to their first-degree relatives. This suggests that estrogen-related genomic variation groups might be implicated. Estrogen production, metabolism, and breakdown will all be affected as a result of this. This may cause an estrogen imbalance called “Progesterone to Estrogen.” As the patient approaches puberty, this is concerning since menstruation typically starts during pre-teen growth spurts.

“It is possible that genetic factors may be involved in specific aspects of scoliosis, including the shape of a scoliosis curve and the risk for curve progression,” said scoliosis specialist Christopher R. Good, MD, in the Journal of the Spinal Research Foundation. 

“Many studies have documented that scoliosis runs within families. There is a higher prevalence of scoliosis among relatives of patients with scoliosis than within the general population.” 

Scoliosis is hereditary, according to the statistics, and may be passed down through generations. So does that mean it’s in your genes? It’s crucial to recognize the distinction between genetic and hereditary in order to answer that question. They are frequently used interchangeably by most individuals, although there are nuances. Hereditary traits and genetic traits are not the same thing. Genetic traits are not always hereditary, and cultural characteristics, for example, are passed down through families but are not connected to genes. For example, cancer develops from altered genes, but it is not passed down through generations in the majority of cases.

Environmental Factors Influencing Curve Worsening

Curve progression is not related to weak muscles. Genes and environmental factors seem to influence curve worsening. Specific nutritional deficiencies, particular physical activities, chronic poor nutrition, or “leaky gut syndrome” all can play a role in making a curvature of the spine worse.

Your child may have the genetic combination for severe scoliosis (curves that progress to over 50 degrees). Or they may have a mild case of scoliosis that is not likely to advance. A recently published genetic study on scoliosis found patients with 14 or more of the 28 genomic variant functional groups were 33% more likely to develop severe scoliosis. 

The spine is twisted and bent around its own core as scoliosis worsens. More twisting and bending occur as a result of this extra torque. When you twist a rubber band and it kinks in the middle, imagine what it looks like. Since it is a self-feeding loop, we must halt the torque to prevent the spinal abnormality from occurring. The genetic mutations should be addressed first, followed by resetting the spinal alignment memory (rebalancing neurotransmitter levels) and retraining the spine to learn how to untwist it with a “reflexive response” scoliosis exercise program. 

Posture Memory Improvement Prevents Scoliosis Progression

With this information, we will know if your child needs to start spinal alignment memory retraining. Many doctors still recommend that you simply observe and x-ray patients with mild scoliosis for six months or more to see if it’s progressing. The ScoliSMART doctors don’t give scoliosis six months or a year to get worse if genetic tests suggests it will. We begin the Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention Program immediately. If tests say scoliosis isn’t likely to progress, we teach you about activities that can trigger progression so your child may avoid them. Starting spinal alignment retraining in the early stages of scoliosis, may prevent the need to consider a brace or spinal fusion later.

Non-Invasive Treatment Options for You or Your Child

For almost 450 years, doctors have used scoliosis supports, and for almost 150 years, they’ve performed spinal surgery. Scoliosis progress is not completely halted by either treatment. Back pain and severe complications may be both caused by both!  Scoliosis surgery can result in major handicap after only two decades.

Apart than bracing and surgery, there are other treatment options. Whether you’ve attempted old therapies or your youngster’s scoliosis was simply detected. ScoliSMART physicians know how to treat the whole scoliosis condition, as well as the spine curve, which is why they are able to understand the cause of scoliosis advancement.

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We Need Improved Scoliosis Screening

Improved worldwide scoliosis screening (visual and x-ray) and testing would help prevent scoliosis from advancing undetected. Early intervention is crucial with scoliosis, but you won’t seek help for your child if you don’t know there is a problem.

Mandated Scoliosis Screening in Schools

Less than half of the states in the US perform scoliosis screenings at school. Scoliosis screening remains rare within schools, yet early intervention is key to staying ahead of the curve.

Adam’s Forward Bend Test

Most school screenings only include the Adam’s forward bend test, which fails to spot scoliosis until the curve has developed. In the Adam’s forward bend test, a school nurse looks for symmetry of both sides of the body and signs of scoliosis like a raised shoulder blade or rib hump.

Don’t know where to start?  Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.”  (No x-ray required)

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

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