Scoliosis and Acupuncture
Treatment in
Sunny Isles

Scoliosis is a condition in which the backbone is curved more than it typically would. In fact, that is the main diagnostic criterion: if an X-ray of a person’s spine shows curvature of more than 10 degrees, than this person has scoliosis. Scoliosis can be either C-shaped or S-shaped, but its shape becomes important only when specific therapeutic elements are being considered. From an orthopedist’s point of view, if the curvature angle is beyond 20 degrees, then braces are recommended; and when the curvature is greater than 45 degrees, then surgery is considered. Only about three percent of Americans have scoliosis—but it means that about eight million people have it! Scoliosis, however, is not evenly distributed throughout the population, far from it. Only two percent of adolescents have scoliosis, for example, and the majority of them, for some unknown reason, are girls. More than half of all people with scoliosis are older than sixty, and in post-menopausal women scoliosis tends to become worse because of osteoporosis. In theory, scoliosis is classified according to three categories: (1) congenital, (2) syndromic, or (3) idiopathic. In reality, classification of scoliosis is somewhat blurred. For example, congenital scoliosis—which is classified further into abnormalities of formation, segmentation, or both—can be of unknown cause, making it idiopathic, or it can be secondary to such conditions as spina bifida or cerebral palsy, making it syndromic.
gray pattern
Luckily, in addition to braces and surgery, there are a number of other treatment options. For mild and moderate scoliosis, physical therapy or chiropractic can often be effective treatment options. Another treatment approach, however, can be traditional Chinese medicine. While acupuncture treatment for scoliosis alone can be effective, traditional Chinese medicine has other modalities, some of which, such as cupping, gua sha, tui na, tai chi, and qigong, can show high success rate. At the same time, due to its flexibility and versatility, acupuncture treatment and other modalities of traditional Chinese medicine work very well alongside other methods, of western medical as well as other origins. For children, whose bodies are still developing, exercises and in some cases braces often can be enough to improve or even resolve scoliosis, even when their spines have significantly greater curvature, but for adults with severe scoliosis, particularly whose spine has a front-to-back imbalance, surgery may be the best treatment option. At the same time, adding acupuncture treatment or another modality can speed up the recovery process and reduce side effects, such as a pain management alternative to pain relieving medications. Acupuncture treatment also works well in conjunction with physical therapy, to facilitate the recovery process even further.
As the name implies, the therapists at the Advanced Holistic Center’s Sunny Isles location use holistic approach to treatment wherever and whenever possible. On the other hand, many patients suffer not so much from scoliosis itself as from its side effects, most of all back pain. Acupuncture treatment, for example, can relief the pain, while scoliosis may be address separately. And even though traditional Chinese medicine is our primary area of expertise, we keep up with the latest developments in modern medical discoveries and best practices in our as well as neighboring fields. We also usually have western medical practitioners among our staff members, and we collaborate with each other in order to identify the best-suited treatment option, which often involves more than one method, to ensure our patients receive the best possible care. For this reason, our sessions, particularly during the initial visit, involve a lot of information collection and then modification. As the treatment progresses, we modify the elements of treatment to match the needs of each individual patient and his or her progress.