Scoliosis  is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side. The spine of an individual with scoliosis may look more like an "S" or a "C", rather than a straight line.

The above is the title of a research case study published on April 11, 2013 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.  The author of the study describes Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) as,  "a spinal curvature that presents from the age of 10 until skeletal maturity."  It is more common in girls than in boys.  

In this case a fourteen year old girl came to the chiropractor concerned about her right hip being higher than her left. She was not experiencing any pain. An initial chiropractic examination showed that her range of motion was within normal limits. A postural analysis showed that her head was rotated to the left and tilted to the right.  She also had a right high shoulder and hip and her left foot was rotated outward.

Palpation of the girl's spine showed multiple areas of increased sensitivity as well as muscle spasm along her spine. X-rays of the girls spine were taken which confirmed the presence of a scoliosis. Using a standard measuring system called the "Cobb" it was determined that the girl had a scoliosis with a Cobb angle that measured 17.2 degrees in the mid back area of her spine.

A series of specific chiropractic adjustments were given over the next 13 weeks. The girl was also given home spinal exercises to aid in the corrections.  Assessments were done twice during the course of the 13 week period and improvements were noted each time.

The author noted that the first reassessment showed obvious postural improvements with the head and neck. There was still muscle spasm noted, but it had decreased. Her head rotation had improved and the head tilt had totally corrected. The author notes that the girl was pleased with the changes she was able to notice.

On the second assessment, further improvement was noted in posture and positioning.  A second set of x-rays was taken that documented an improvement in the spinal curvature from a Cobb angle of 17.2 degrees down to 13.5 degrees. This improvement represents only the 13 week time frame of the study as published.

In her discussion the author comments, "Conservative methods of treatment for scoliosis should continue to focus on the prevention of the progression of scoliosis until the etiology is known." She continues and elaborates on the chiropractic approach by noting, "Regardless of the technique used, the majority of chiropractors are focused on detecting and removing vertebral subluxations to reinstate normality to function."




Published in the January 12, 2006 issue of the scientific journal, Chiropractic & Osteopathy from Australasia, comes a report of a series of case studies documenting chiropractic helping multiple cases of idiopathic scoliosis. In this report three documented case studies are followed and the results reported after chiropractic care.

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most prevalent form of scoliosis and occurs to some degree in approximately one half million adolescents in the US. Scoliosis is a bending or curvature of the spine. The term idiopathic means that the origin is unknown.

In this report the three subjects each had uniquely different situations. The first subject was a 37-yr-old female who came to a private spine clinic with a chief complaint of neck and back pain. Her history included surgical spinal fusion and implantation of a Harrington rod against her spine. The second subject was a 30-yr-old male who also went to a private spine clinic with a chief complaint of chronic mid thoracic pain. His history included scoliosis and a previous diagnosis of Scheuermann's Disease. The third subject was a 23-year-old female who presented with neck and mid-back and shoulder pain.

The subjects in this study were noted as having curvatures measuring 35°, 22°, and 37° respectively. These curvatures were measured using the "Cobb angle" which is a standard technique used to measure the severity of a spinal curve - in degrees - from spinal x-rays.

The chiropractic care consisted of a 12 week period of adjustment and home care treatments. These were followed up by post-treatment x-rays and examinations in order to evaluate the progress. The results were measured using the Cobb angle method and the measurements were compared to the Cobb angles recorded at the beginning of care.

The results in these cases all showed improvement. The patient with an initial 35° Cobb angle showed a 13° reduction after the 12 week period. The patient with the initial 22° Cobb angle showed an 8° improvement, and the patient with the 37° initial Cobb angle, showed a decrease of 16° over the 12 weeks. The researchers noted that this study was small, and they said that the findings suggest the need for a larger controlled study. They concluded, " Given the perceived results of the cases outlined here, it is worthy of future investigations in such cases."