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Study on Chiropractic Care for Adolescent Scoliosis is
Charles "Skip" Lantz, DC, PhD: "This was a
very significant project. This was the first large-scale research ever to study
chiropractic care and scoliosis."
Children with mild scoliosis treated with chiropractic
adjustments have shown a reduction in their spinal curvature, according to the
findings of a three-year, $143,000 study funded by the Foundation for
Chiropractic Education and Research.
This cohort study was conducted by Charles "Skip"
Lantz, DC, PhD, director of research of Life Chiropractic College West, and his
associates. The researchers were studying the effects of chiropractic
full-spine adjustive procedures, heel-lifts, and postural counseling on
children 9-15 years old with mild idiopathic scoliosis (less than 20 degrees of
curvature, with no complicating conditions).
Dr. Lantz released his team's findings in a presentation to
the International Conference on Spinal Manipulation this past November in Bournemouth, England.
"This was a very significant project," explained
Dr. Lantz. "This is the first large-scale research ever to study
chiropractic care and scoliosis. It was also one of the few studies ever to
look at chiropractic management in a pediatric population."
Analysis and Procedures
The study was conducted at Life Chiropractic College West's
public clinic in Hayward, California. X-rays were taken of the
children standing, from posterior to anterior, using a rigorous positioning
protocol. The participants were given full-spine adjustments, typically once to
three times a week over a one year period. Particular attention was on the
sacroiliac joints, the lowest segment in the curve, the apex of the curve, and
segments above the curve that reacted compensatorily to the primary curve,
including the cervical spine.
Prior to the adjustments, muscle work was done to the
paraspinal muscles of the curve. Additionally, if the x-ray analysis found
pelvic tilt, heel-lifts were provided to level the pelvis. The children were
encouraged to exercise regularly, including hanging by the hands to flex the
spine to open the concavity of the curve.
Of the 150 children who qualified for the study, 40
completed the one year course of care and had follow-up x-rays. Preliminary
results indicate an average reduction of 1.4 degrees in the curvature of the
subjects' spines; the children less than 10 years old showed an average
improvement of 2.6 degrees; those over 10, showed an average improvement of 0.9
A preliminary observation was made of a high incidence of
pelvic tilt to the side of convexity in children with lumbar curves; however,
there is no quantitative data on this observation.
The researchers noted that their lack of a control group
"hampers an interpretation," but their intent was to study the effect
of chiropractic care on the "curve itself, and the results are very
The researchers pointed out that the medical community does
not offer treatment for spinal curves of less than 20 degrees, and indeed often
doesn't even consider such variance as scoliosis. While the researchers assert
that many questions remain to be answered about chiropractic care and
scoliosis, they note: "Chiropractic appears to offer a distinct advantage
in the management and monitoring of early stage scoliosis."
"The next step," says Dr. Lantz, "is to
conduct a randomized, controlled clinical trial. One of the best options is to
study children in braces with larger curves. This would require a collaboration
with orthopedists in a major medical facility."
Dr. David B. Pearson, Chiropractic Physician 50 Leanni Way (Unit A-5) Palm Coast, Florida 32137 (386) 246-0739
Palm Coast Chiropractor. Dr. David B. Pearson, DC is a chiropractor in palm coast who provides care for Back Pain, Auto Injury, Neck Pain, Massage Therapy, Headache, Pain Management, back pain relief, neck pain relief to the following locations: Palm Coast, Bunnell, Ormond Beach, Flagler Beach.