Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Treated by Spinal Manipulation: A Case Study

by Dr. P. Carl Rafey 19. May 2014 14:28

Dr. Carl Rafey

There are two distinct types of scoliosis, adult and adolescent.  Adolescent scoliosis is much more important to monitor due to the potential for the curve to progress.  Treatment prior to skeletal maturity is targeting slowing curve progress and increasing flexibility.  

In a case study published in 2008, Chen & Chiu demonstrated a positive response to chiropractic care in adolescents with scoliosis after 6 months of conventional medical treatment.  The authors stated, "Chiropractic treatment was associated with a reduction in the degree of curvature of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in this case, after a half a year of conventional medical treatment had failed to stop curve progression" (Chen & Chiu, 2008, p. 749).

In regard to the safety of the procedure, the authors reported, "In this case, the patient did not experience any adverse events except tenderness of local musculature after manipulation." (Chen & Chiu, 2008, p. 751).  They summarized by saying, "This suggests that in at least some severe and progressive cases of scoliosis, chiropractic treatment including spinal manipulation may decrease the need for surgery"(Chen & Chiu, 2008, p. 751).

Treatment for any condition should be targeted for results and patient response.  Based on increasing evidence, it is appropriate for a trial of collaborative chiropractic care in scoliosis cases.

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