Seattle Chiropractor, Blair Chiropractic and Scoliosis
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral spinal curve of at least 10 degrees (though 20 degrees is a more appropriate criterion).[i]
The most common forms are Juvenile and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), which account for 90% of all people with scoliosis. AIS is so named because it develops in children 10-16 years of age (90% female); it is not linked to any other medical disorder; and because its cause, from a medical viewpoint, is unknown.
The traditional solutions for AIS are either bracing or surgery. Surgery involves grafting stainless steel rods into the vertebrae and pelvis in order to anchor the spine and prevent further curvature.[ii]
The pictures above show the reduction of scoliosis in a juvenile patient after receiving Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic.
For all the medical research into AIS, critical questions remain unanswered: What is the cause of scoliosis? How can it be prevented? And is there a non-invasive and non-surgical option to correct, or reduce the problem?
Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Blair Upper Cervical chiropractors seek to achieve a natural scoliosis solution with safe, effective, and surgery-free methods. Although this approach does not “cure” scoliosis, current research (iii), and our clinical experience, shows mounting evidence that Upper Cervical Chiropractic may slow the disease process, reduce associated symptoms, and in some cases reverse the disease process.
The premise of Blair Upper Cervical Care is that the human body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. Key components of these self-regulating mechanisms are controlled in the brain-stem, the lowest part of the brain, just above the upper neck.
The brain-stem contains a vast number of nerve pathways that are critical to basic life functions; and can be effected by misalignment (or malfunction) of the top two vertebrae in the neck, the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2).
The Blair Upper Cervical doctor asserts that physical injury to the spine can disrupt the normal alignment and/or function of the atlas and axis, which then exerts pressure or causes tension on the lower brain-stem, disrupting normal neurological function.
Blair Upper Cervical chiropractors call this dysfunctional state of the body, a ‘ vertebral subluxation.’
Blair Chiropractic and Scoliosis
The body does not tolerate neurological interference at the brain-stem well. The misalignment/malfunction at this level creates neuromuscular imbalances that result in postural distortions. The body loses its ability to adept appropriately to gravity, and there is a “dis-coordination” of the muscles on the right and left side of the body.
Blair doctors call this state ‘body imbalance,’ which is often perceived as being a muscle or a ‘posture problem.’ The problem, however, is a neurological one. If this body imbalance progresses far enough, the spine twists and buckles under the force of gravity, which in turn causes numerous health problems—not the least of which can include scoliosis.
Why does Scoliosis affect Children? – A Blair Chiropractic Perspective
Medical researchers have identified a hereditary component to AIS. However, they have yet to identify the epigenetic (ie, environmental) factors that trigger its onset. Blair doctors hypothesize that this trigger is linked to subluxation/misalignment of the upper cervical spine.
Consider the types of spinal trauma that children experience before they reach 10 years of age. Falls as children learn to crawl, walk, run and ride a bike can be more than sufficient. How about trampoline, playground and sports injuries (eg skating, skateboarding, gymnastics)? Add to it repetitive strains that comes from sitting in school desks, watching TV, playing video games, and using iPads and iPhones.
Even the birth process itself may be responsible. Caesarian deliveries, forceps or vacuum extractions, or even constriction inside the womb may all disrupt normal spinal tone and development. Then when it is time for a growth spurt, the imbalances finally come to light.
The Blair Chiropractic Method
There is a big difference between a spinal manipulation, a general chiropractic adjustment, and a Blair Upper Cervical correction. The Blair adjustment is only administered after in-depth x-ray analysis of the upper cervical spine (neck), and specific diagnostic procedures are performed to confirm upper neck misalignment/malfunction, and neurological imbalance. Once the problem is properly analyzed, then a specific, low force correction is designed uniquely for each patient. There is no twisting, turning or “popping” in a Blair adjustment, and relatively few adjustments are needed to affect an improvement.
A Blair Upper Cervical chiropractor does not claim to fix or cure scoliosis, or even treat the spine the way that medical practitioners do. A Blair doctor focuses and on correcting subluxation of the atlas and axis in order to restore the body’s normal ability to heal itself.
Included here is the body’s ability to correct imbalance and scoliotic curves. It is the hope and expectation of Blair doctors that the progression of AIS can be slowed, halted or even reversed naturally from the inside-out by using the body’s innate healing and balancing mechanisms.
Unfortunately, most people have never heard of Blair Chiropractic care—let alone as a method to assist people with scoliosis. In order to bring this form of care to people’s attention, the Blair Chiropractic Society is undertaking a 2½ year pilot study through McGill University in Montreal, Canada (2015) to demonstrate the effectiveness of Upper Cervical chiropractic care as a non-invasive, non-surgical option to correct juvenile and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at the source.[iii]
For more information, but also to determine if Upper Cervical care may be able to assist you, please contact Health First Chiropractic at www.health1stchiro.com
We have four Western Washington offices to serve you: Puyallup, Seattle, Marysville, Sedro-Woolley.
[i] Marchiori D. Clinical Imaging with Skeletal, Chest and Abdomen Pattern Differentials. 2nd Ed. Elsevier Mosby. St Louis (MO). 2005:956.
[ii] Scoliosis Australia. http://www.scoliosis-australia.org. 8 Jun 2015.
[iii] Juvenile and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Occipito-Atlanto-Axial Neurobiomechanics (JAISON). It is a randomized controlled double-blind pilot study of juvenile and adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis using a precise Blair upper cervical adjustment intervention. The principal investigator on the study is Jean Brunette, Peng,MSc,PhD and co-investigators Luc Gelinas, DC and Jean Ouellet, MD.