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Scoliosis - Should We See a Chiropractor?
Pray for us. Nearly six months ago our eldest son, then aged 16, was diagnosed with scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine. He’s a physical boy – at school he’s studying sport and recreation, he spends a lot of time at the gym, and his dream is to become a personal trainer - and it has caused him a significant degree of anxiety.
The orthopedic surgeon who did the diagnosis told us that there’s no cure for scoliosis, short of surgery, which is only undertaken in fairly extreme cases.
What about a chiropractor, we asked.
Forget it, he said. A chiropractor might be able to manipulate the bones to make it seem that the spine has become straighter, but everything will soon settle back into the former pattern.
He told my son that he doubted his condition would worsen, and he expected him to be able to lead a completely normal life. He told him to come back after six months for another check.
I went straight to the internet, and the mainstream websites seemed to confirm the surgeon’s counsel: that alternative therapies such as chiropractic manipulation can’t heal scoliosis. For example, see here, here, here and here.
But search further and you find websites that tell a different story, of successful treatment – sometimes of quite serious conditions – with alternative therapies. An example is here, and the same site has information about a research scientist who has written about her own success in reducing her spinal curve by 40%, claming that “long-standing basic and clinical research results documented in reputable medical journals are consistent with the hypothesis that scoliosis can be reduced if not eliminated using nonsurgical approaches.”
And there’s this site, which says that “the chiropractic approach is very effective at stabilizing the spine, preventing the curve from progressing. At least 70% of the patients achieve some degree of reduction in the size of the curves. Approximately 15% of scoliosis patients achieve total correction, like I did!”
We didn’t take the surgeon’s advice. Friends recommended a chiropractor, and our son has been seeing him fortnightly for several months. This man claims that our son’s spine is becoming straighter. My son says he feels better. I’m not sure.
In two weeks, my son has more x-rays and sees the orthopedic surgeon, to review his condition. We’ll know then whether things are better or worse.
Pray for us.
September 23rd, 2005