Colorado Chiropractor Offers New Early Stage Scoliosis Treatment Option; Outpatient Treatment Is an Alternative To Rigid Back Bracing
Dr. Michael Farrell of Spine Correction Center of the Rockies in Fort Collins, Colorado announces a new, effective treatment for early stage scoliosis intervention (ESSI). The new treatment offers an alternative to rigid back bracing and surgery.
July 14, 2010 (Newswire.com) - FORT COLLINS, CO - Dr. Michael Farrell of Spine Correction Center of the Rockies at 1101 Oakridge Drive, Suite A in Fort Collins, Colorado announces a new, effective treatment for early stage scoliosis intervention (ESSI). The treatment protocol utilizes a non-surgical, all natural collection of therapies to straighten the abnormal spinal curves in the back called scoliosis. The new treatment addresses the muscular and spinal pathology characteristic of scoliosis and offers an alternative to rigid back bracing and spinal surgery.
Scoliosis is a significant condition affecting 4.5 percent of the population and causing symptoms of back pain, headaches, fatigue, and in severe cases digestive symptoms and breathing difficulties. The condition affects women more than men and is often first diagnosed during the teen years. The spine of the back in a normal patient goes straight; the spine of the back in a scoliosis patient has a sideways curve that starts either in the upper or mid back forming a C or an S shape. Depending on the severity, the abnormal curve of the spine can cause disability due to pain and trouble with proper inflation of the lungs during breathing.
This new treatment for early stage scoliosis intervention was developed by the Clear Institute, a group of chiropractic physicians that have extensively studied and developed treatments that are available in a clinic to treat scoliosis. Patients can receive treatment in Northern Colorado and then go back to work, school, or home.
There are many advantages to treating scoliosis early in the course of the disease and the CLEAR Institute is one of the few organizations that provide guidance for health care providers in early stage scoliosis intervention. Dr. Michael Farrell explains, "One thing I know from treating large curvatures is they started out as smaller ones. The earlier a curvature is caught, the higher the likelihood the curve can be reduced and stabilized effectively. Once a curve approaches 25 degrees, the spine begins to have severe rotational deformity. The deformity makes treating the curvature more challenging. Average curve reduction rates are 30 to 50 percent and by doing some quick math you can see the clear advantage to catching curves early. For example if the curvature is caught at 15 degrees, there is a high likelihood that the patient may achieve a reduction that would allow them to be classified as non-scoliotic."
X-rays are an important tool used to evaluate the patient before treatment begins. Dr. Farrell elaborates, "Each patient begins their evaluation with seated x-rays that allow the spine to be analyzed in 3 dimensions. An architectural analysis is done on these initial x-ray films. A diagnostic x-ray is performed on their second day of the patients' exam process to determine if they are a candidate for care and to give a clinical indicator of how their spine will perform with the therapy."
The variety of techniques (modalities) that accomplish the Mix, Fix, Set of the therapy work together to straighten the spine of a scoliosis patient. Dr. Michel Farrell explains, "Mix, Fix, Set is an easy way to understand the process of what the spine must undergo to reduce a scoliotic curvature. Mix is where we loosen up the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the spine in preparation for other treatments. The Fix portion of the program is involves utilization of the spinal adjustment. The Set portion of the therapy is where we utilize rehabilitative technologies to lock the spine into its new position again."
Because scoliosis is often first diagnosed during a patient's teen years, parents of patients are frequently involved in the treatment decision process. The CLEAR Institute's scoliosis treatment can begin at any stage of the disease or curvature of the spine. "I would advise a parent to examine all of the treatment options carefully and consider the implications that each one would have on their child. Many surveys of children who have been braced report psychological harm as a result of treatment. Patients who undergo surgery have a high likelihood of permanent disability as well as a very high liklihood of having future surgeries. By having an early stage intervention, the patient can skip the implications of the other treatments. Because the current medical model for a scoliosis of 10 to 25 degrees is to watch and wait while the curve gets worse," said Dr. Farrell.
The Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention (ESSI) treatment offered by the CLEAR Institute
gives parents the option of treating patients earlier than the current medical model recommends and gives patients better success at reducing their spinal curvatures. "Often times kids are diagnosed with scoliosis and then parents have the frustrating current medical model of watch and wait while the curvature gets worse. Parents know the watch and wait approach is flawed, but did not have other treatment options till now. With an early stage scoliosis intervention, we have a much higher success rate of preventing progression of these curvatures nullifying the need for other treatment strategies," said Dr. Farrell.
Although the early stage scoliosis intervention treatment is for newly diagnosed patients typically in their teen and twenties, there are still successful scoliosis outcomes in older patients. "While catching scoliosis earlier in life may allow for easier correction, fantastic results can be obtained by patients in their forties and fifties. The effectiveness of this new procedure is profound. To date, there has not been a scoliosis patient that we have not been able to make a positive impact on their ability to function," comments Dr. Farrell.
The results seen with the new treatment are psychologically rewarding to the patients and chiropractic physician. "The ability to provide this new treatment for scoliosis has a very significant meaning to me as a physician. It is fantastic to see patients able to resolve their conditions without the invasiveness of surgery or bracing, which often times results in a severe disability. The impact that these new treatment protocols have on patients and their families lives provides inspiration to me that allow me to reach new heights not only in my clinic, but in my personal life," remarks Dr. Farrell.