Scoliosis is God’s way of giving us natural swagger.
This is the beginning of my story about how I learned more about scoliosis than any mother wants to know.
My daughter, Peyton, was diagnosed with scoliosis the summer before her kindergarten year. The medical profession does not know what causes scoliosis and there is no known cure for the problem. Therefore, although it is not a life threatening disease, I was devastated that my beautiful young daughter would have to undergo treatment at such a young age, with no guaranteed cure.
She was diagnosed at a young age for scoliosis. Most people are diagnosed during the health screening in middle school. Which, now that I know what I know about scoliosis and the progression of the disease, I question why we wait so long to do the screening. Why is this screening not done in the young elementary years?
The question I get asked a lot is how did we catch it so early? My husband and I have a knack for noticing the posture of others and the way they carry themselves. This is not limited to outsiders; we also notice it in our family. Sad, right?
One day that summer when she was in a swim suit, I noticed my daughter’s hips and shoulders looked uneven. We decided to take her to the chiropractor that we were seeing for x-rays. The DC confirmed our observation. We continued to have her adjusted by the chiropractor but decided to also get an opinion about treatment from a local orthopedic doctor who is known for treating scoliosis patients.
By the beginning of the school year, my daughter was wearing a Boston Brace 16 hours a day. As a mother I will let you know she was 100% compliant with her wearing of the brace. Thankfully, being a young child she was eager to wear it to school and show her classmates.
When she grew out of the Boston brace, the doctor recommended we convert to a Providence Brace, which is a night time only brace. His recommendation was based on the studies that show that one is not superior over the other; primarily due to compliance.
During the years she wore the brace(s), she was 100% compliant. We got a new brace every time she grew too big for the current brace. Unfortunately, at her checkups with the orthopedic doctor, her curves were not getting better but were actually getting worse.
Can you imagine the frustration that comes from knowing you have done everything the doctor asks of you and finding out it is not working? The sad truth is, this is common with scoliosis.
“Rarely does a brace permanently correct scoliosis, instead the goal of bracing is to allow the child to grow before a surgical procedure is done.” according to the Scoliosis Research Society website. What an injustice it is that the medical profession is basing their treatment on the idea that surgery is inevitable. That is unacceptable to me and my family. In the end, she did “Brace” therapy for four and half years until we decided to research our options.
My next post will outline our therapy that we found, but is considered alternative and not covered by insurance. [That is another topic entirely. I am so tired of insurance companies paying for items like the brace or surgery, but not an alternative therapy like vibration therapy, traction and chiropractic care. These therapies WORK. I will share her x-rays in my next post as evidence.]