Scoliosis and
Acupuncture Treatment
in Tribeca

While the spine normally has a curve, sometimes the curvature of the spine is too great. Scoliosis is typically classified as congenital, syndromic, or idiopathic. Congenital scoliosis means that a child is born with a spinal deformity and is further categorized in problems related to formation, segmentation, or both, but it can also be syndromic—that is secondary to another problem, such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. Scoliosis is diagnosed when an X-ray image shows spinal curvature greater than ten degrees, but in reality scoliosis can vary from mild to severe and can be C-shaped or S-shaped. Scoliosis can be caused by injuries, muscle spasms, diseases, or simply not paying attention to one’s own posture, but the truth is in majority of cases the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Fewer than 2% of all adolescents have scoliosis, although, for some reason, it is much more common among girls than boys, but more than half of all people with scoliosis are over age 60. In women, scoliosis can progress because of osteoporosis and arthritis, which has a tendency to appear in women after the menopause. Scoliosis appears to run in families. It is estimated that about 3% of the United States population have scoliosis—that’s about eight million people!
gray pattern
Health care professionals say and research findings concur that the key to managing scoliosis is early detection. Only a small percentage of individuals with scoliosis may need a surgery. Surgical intervention is usually recommended to adults who suffer from a front-to-back imbalance of the spine. The rule of the thumb is when the curvature of the spine is greater than ten degrees, it is diagnosed as scoliosis; when the angle of curvature is greater than 20 degrees or more, then it should be treated with braces; finally, when the angle is 45 degrees or more, then scoliosis is treated with surgery. The majority of persons’ scoliosis, however, can be successfully treated with physical therapy, chiropractic or acupuncture treatments. Latest research studies have demonstrated that combining several methods can have greater success than using only one modality. A lot depends on the exact location and shape of scoliosis, because of the ease of access with different methods and modalities. The severity of scoliosis plays a decisive role in best-suited treatment options. Children, whose bodies are still growing, may best benefit from wearing specially designed braces that improve the curvature of the spine. At the same time, if scoliosis is mild, then, for example, combining exercises and tui na may be enough to correct the problem.
At the Advanced Holistic Center, at our Tribeca location, we consider all latest and most effective treatment options, but we prefer recommending holistic approaches whenever possible, and we also prefer recommending simpler, least invasive solutions before turning to anything even slightly drastic. While research has shown that acupuncture can often help, either alone or in combination with other treatment methods, the traditional Chinese medicine is comprised of other modalities, some of which, particularly tai chi and qigong and in some instances cupping and gua sha, can improve scoliosis even more. Many people suffer not so much from scoliosis itself, as its symptoms, such as back pain, which can be managed and reduced independently of scoliosis. One study, for example, showed that acupuncture combined with other traditional Chinese medicine’s modalities “can prevent the progression of scoliosis” in adolescents. Besides looking at health issues holistically, the experts at the Advanced Holistic Center’s Tribeca location also consider each patient and his or her problems individually. It means that possible treatment recommendations may vary significantly among patients who seem to have similar or even identical diagnoses.