In the May 16, 2011, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a case study documenting the improvement through chiropractic of a 14-year-old girl with idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis is described as a lateral curvature of the spine with vertebral rotation. According to the study author, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis affects between 2 to 9 percent of the population.
Idiopathic scoliosis means curvature of the spine from an unknown origin. The results of this can include such problems as back pain, postural problems, self-image issues, and in more severe cases, even breathing difficulties.
In this case, a 14-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor for evaluation of her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It was also reported that her chief complaint was mild mid-back and hip pain made worse by running cross-country at school and sitting in a chair for prolonged periods of time. She also reported that she did not have the same level of stamina as other girls on her cross-country team.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included postural x-rays. The curvature was measured on the x-ray to be 24 degrees on the primary curve and 17 degrees for the secondary curvature. Chiropractic care was initiated at a frequency of twice a week for 2 months then decreasing to weekly for a while before eventually being seen on a monthly basis. During this time the patient was given chiropractic adjustments along with rehabilitative exercises.
After 17 months of care, her scoliosis had improved from angles of 24°/17° down to angles of only 15°/6°. Her breathing improved as did her chest expansion ability. The range of motion for her torso also improved. All the indicators continued to improve on follow-ups over a 4 year period.
In his discussion, the author summed of this case by stating, "Chiropractic rehabilitation, when correctly applied to patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, can have a significant, longstanding effect on the structure of the spine and related symptoms."