About Scoliosis

Simply stated Scoliosis is an abnormal bending of the spinal cord causing nerves to create pain and discomfort that can manifest throughout the whole body. If left untreated it can cause deterioration, and permanent disability.

According to wikipedia.org, Scoliosis is defined as a spinal curvature of more than 10 degrees to the right or left as the examiner faces the patient (in the coronal plane). Deformity may also exist to the front or back (in the sagittal plane).

Patients who initially present with scoliosis are examined to determine whether the deformity has an underlying cause. During a physical examination, the following are assessed to exclude the possibility of underlying condition more serious than simple scoliosis

The patient’s gait is assessed, and there is an exam for signs of other abnormalities (e.g., spina bifida as evidenced by a dimple, hairy patch, lipoma, or hemangioma). A thorough neurological examination is also performed, the skin for café au lait spots, indicative of neurofibromatosis, the feet for cavovarus deformity, abdominal reflexes and muscle tone for spasticity.

During the examination, the patient is asked to bend forward as far as possible. This is known as the Adams forward bend test and is often performed on school students. If a prominence is noted, then scoliosis is a possibility and the patient should be sent for an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

As an alternative, a scoliometer may be used to diagnose the condition.

When scoliosis is suspected, weight-bearing full-spine AP/coronal (front-back view) and lateral/sagittal (side view) X-rays are usually taken to assess the scoliosis curves and the kyphosis and lordosis, as these can also be affected in individuals with scoliosis. Full-length standing spine X-rays are the standard method for evaluating the severity and progression of the scoliosis, and whether it is congenital or idiopathic in nature. In growing individuals, serial radiographs are obtained at three- to 12-month intervals to follow curve progression, and, in some instances, MRI investigation is warranted to look at the spinal cord.

The standard method for assessing the curvature quantitatively is measurement of the Cobb angle, which is the angle between two lines, drawn perpendicular to the upper endplate of the uppermost vertebra involved and the lower endplate of the lowest vertebra involved. For patients with two curves, Cobb angles are followed for both curves. In some patients, lateral-bending X-rays are obtained to assess the flexibility of the curves or the primary and compensatory curves.

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Our Scoliosis Approach

Dr. Rocco Pellegrino AKA the scoliosis doc or just the scolio doc for short has been practicing Chiropractic medicine since graduating from in 1982. Dr. Pellegrino uses a wellness approach to relieving the cause and treatment of problems in the spine, skeletal systems, and the muscles that surround them.

The main difference between wellness care and standard medical care is that wellness care seeks to turn on the natural healing ability of the body, not by adding something to the system, but by removing anything that might interfere with its normal function. This allows the body to heal itself. Standard medical practice, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside. This is usually medication, but it can also be a surgery or procedure.

Inside Out vs. Outside In
If a patient has high sugar, the standard medical approach would be to ask the patient to take a drug that lowers blood sugar. This may achieve a lowering of the blood sugar, but ignores the underlying cause. It more often than not also runs the risk of unwanted side effects.
The Wellness Approach
The wellness approach is to look for underlying causes and create the conditions needed for normal function. This allows natural healing, and minimizes the need for invasive treatment, which should be administered only when absolutely necessary. When the body is working properly, it tends to heal effectively, no matter what the condition. When the body heals, what also occurs is another level of health that goes beyond being “pain-free”. Instead of unwanted side effects, what occurs is vitality, vibrant health, and an enhanced experience of life.