Can a chiropractor treat scoliosis?


Scoliosis is a disease where the spine twists and curves to one side. It can affect anyone at any time in their life, from babies to adults, but symptoms most often begin to show in children aged 10-15. According to the American Associated of Neurological Surgeons, the disease affects 6-9 million people throughout the United States every year. Effective back pain treatment, including chiropractic care, can significantly improve the quality of life for those affected by scoliosis.

Symptoms of scoliosis include:

  • A visibly curved spine
  • Tendency to lean to one side
  • Uneven shoulders
  • One hip or shoulder protruding more than the other
  • Ribs on one side that stick out more than the other
  • Clothes that never fit well

Adults with scoliosis also experience back pain. The best scoliosis treatment depends on your age, how bad the curve is, and the likelihood of it becoming worse in the future. Thankfully, surgery isn’t always necessary. In many cases, a chiropractor can treat your symptoms and provide you with pain relief. 

A chiropractor can treat scoliosis

One 2011 study concluded that chiropractic treatment helps people with scoliosis in the short- and long-term. In the study, 28 patients underwent a chiropractic rehabilitation program designed to help adult patients with scoliosis. These patients suffered from respiratory problems, physical disabilities, and pain.

At the end of their 6-month treatment program, patients reported experiencing fewer respiratory issues. They also had lower disability ratings and weren’t in as much pain as before the treatment. Through x-rays, doctors could even see a definitive improvement in the curvature of their spines.

These positive outcomes weren’t just short-lived. Patients reported feeling better 2 years after the treatment program ended.

Chiropractic treatments for scoliosis

Surgery is the only way to fully straighten your spine if it’s developed a curve due to scoliosis. This type of treatment is often reserved for patients who have a significant curve of 50°+.

Chiropractic care for scoliosis is designed to stop your spine’s curvature from getting worse. It can also help you better cope with your symptoms so you can improve the quality of your life.

Holistic care

Chiropractic care is holistic. This means your chiropractor considers how your entire body functions as a whole when they treat you. Chiropractic care is designed to restore proper alignment to the joints and spine — this allows your body to heal itself. A chiropractor who specializes in scoliosis treatment can put together a drug-free, non-invasive treatment plan to address a number of symptoms.

Spinal adjustments for Scoliosis

A spinal adjustment is a procedure in which a chiropractor uses their hands to apply a sudden, controlled force onto one of your spinal joints. This helps improve spinal motion and your body’s physical function. Spinal adjustments can stretch out thinned parts of your discs, improving your flexibility and alleviating your pain at the same time.

Flexion-distraction therapy

Flexion-distraction therapy is similar to spinal adjustments, but the treatment is carried out on a special segmented table. When your chiropractor treats you, parts of the table will drop and move. This will change the position of your body, allowing gravity to enhance the treatment and give you better results.

Neck adjustments

Scoliosis gives hypermobility to the joints around the neck. This makes the joints unstable and puts the person with scoliosis at a high risk of injury. To recenter your head, your chiropractor will use an adjusting instrument on the bones of your neck. Through the use of gentle force, they’ll coax your neck back into its ideal position.

Massage therapy

A therapeutic massage can be a great way of relieving the pain and tension that builds up in tight muscles as a result of scoliosis. Abnormal curves in the spine can cause increased tension and pressure in your back.

The longer this goes untreated, the more accustomed your muscles become to their new, unnatural positions. This can make them form trigger points or become stiff and inflexible, underscoring the importance of seeking timely and effective back pain treatment to prevent further complications and promote overall well-being.

When you have chiropractic massage therapy, your chiropractor will use a number of techniques, such as neural relax therapy, deep tissue massage, and cranial-sacral massage. These will help you relax your muscles, relieve your trigger points, and improve your circulation.

Chiropractic care may help

Finding a suitable treatment for scoliosis which provides pain relief but doesn’t come with any negative side effects can seem like an impossibly difficult challenge. But it could be as simple as making an appointment to see your chiropractor.

Chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic massages are two great ways to ease pain caused by scoliosis. By correctly aligning your spine, stretching your muscles, and loosening your compressed discs, your chiropractor may help you feel better without surgery or drugs. 

Ready to experience it for yourself? Schedule an appointment with your closest Veeva chiropractic clinic. You can discuss your options with a trained professional and may even discover some choices that you never considered before. 

About the author

Matt has been helping providers within the healthcare setting for over a decade. He realizes how best to solve a patient’s problem by understanding the individualism of each patient. Therefore knowing what their true needs are.  To focus on the patient and the “Why” they need their particular service that goes beyond the initial reason for them to seek treatment.

Matt has been with Veeva since 2018. He also has access to over 75 years of combined real-life hands-on experiences from the many doctors within the Veeva Chiropractic landscape.

Read more about Matt here >>