What is Wrong with In-School Scoliosis Screenings?
PART ONE: THE BASICS
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine, usually with the convex to the right in the upper back and to the left in the lower back, although various curve patterns are seen. Most individuals have very slight scoliotic curves, which are not a threat to their health. However, in approximately five percent of youngsters aged 10-14 (60 percent to 80 percent of whom are female), these curves are severe enough to be classified as clinically significant.
Scoliosis predisposes patients to back pain, headache and other posture related disorders. In severe cases, scoliosis can affect the functioning of organs, including the heart.
Why Is Early Detection So Important?
Dr. Denniston is often asked why it is so vital to detect scoliosis so early?
Early treatment may prevent progression of scoliosis, leading to a less severe curve and fewer related health problems. Some studies show that early chiropractic care, like that provided by Dr. Denniston, may even reverse scoliosis. In addition, early treatment may prevent the need for scoliosis surgery (instrumented spinal arthrodesis).
Dangers of Scoliosis Surgery
Like any surgery, scoliosis surgery has serious risks, including those from anesthesia. Recovery is painful, and the procedure permanently alters delicate dynamics of the spine.
As part of scoliosis surgery, stainless steel rods and screws are drilled into the spine. By itself this is a horrifying thought. But it gets worse: the stainless steel implants may expose patients to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals, say scientists (Spine 2010)
Researches recently conducted blood tests on three groups of people. Group one included 30 patients who underwent spinal arthrodesis surgery for scoliosis. Group two included 10 individuals with scoliosis who did not have surgery. Group three included 10 people with scoliosis.
Results revealed above normal serum chromium levels in 11 of 30 (37%) of group one participants. In contrast, elevated serum chromium levels were detected in none of the 10 participants in group two and in 1 of 10 in group three.
The article concludes that this finding has relatively unknown health implications, but potentially may mutate DNA, trigger cancer and cause birth defects. “This is especially concerning with most scoliosis patients being adolescent females with their reproductive years ahead,” write the study’s authors (Spine 2010)
Why Does A Chiropractor Need to Check My Child’s Posture?
Rather than a quick in-school check, more comprehensive spinal checkups are essential for detecting scoliosis in its early stages. Chiropractors, like Dr. Denniston, are an ideal choice for conducting these important evaluations. What makes doctors of chiropractic so adept at identifying scoliosis?
- Chiropractors know the spine
- Chiropractors spend years of their lengthy education focused on mastering spinal disorders. As a result, doctors of chiropractic are thoroughly versed in the alignment of the spine
- Just think: How do doctors of chiropractic spend most of their days? Examining patients’ spines and correcting postural misalignments. Because of their constant exposure to spines, chiropractors are extremely sensitive to subtle spinal abnormalities, including those associated with scoliosis.
- Chiropractors are comprehensive
- At our office, a chiropractic posture check up includes much more than a couple quick tests. The doctor conducts extensive evaluations and follow-up assessments to ensure that patients are in top form.
- Chiropractors Check For More Than Just Scoliosis
- Scoliosis is not the only spinal condition commonly seen in young people. Unlike a quick in-school scoliosis check, a chiropractic posture check up examines patients’ spines for a vast array of disorders.
- For instance, the doctor will check your child’s spine for an extremely widespread spinal condition known as vertebral subluxation. This malady occurs when spine bones (vertebrae) become restricted or move slightly out of place. Research links vertebral subluxations in children with a myriad of health problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, ear infections, trouble suckling, bed wetting and asthma.
- It is extremely common for youngsters with scoliosis to also have vertebral subluxations.
- The doctor corrects vertebral subluxations with gentle and effective maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments (a.k.a. spinal manipulation).