When it comes time to commit to a treatment path, choosing a specialist to work with is important. While any general practitioner can treat a patient ‘with’ scoliosis, actually treating a patient’s scoliosis is an important distinction to understand. The difference between seeing a general practitioner versus a scoliosis specialist means the difference between having your scoliosis treated as a symptom, or actually getting the underlying condition assessed and treated.
Scoliosis is a complex condition, one that is still not fully understood. This makes it even more important to seek the help of a specialist who has experience in assessing and treating the condition.
For a clearer understanding of who treats scoliosis and the difference between treating scoliosis as a symptom, or treating its underlying causes, continue reading.
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Firstly, scoliosis is a spinal deformity marked by an abnormally-curved spine coinciding with rotation.
Secondly, it’s possible for a person to have a curved spine for reasons other than scoliosis, such as chronic bad posture.
Effective treatment plans with the potential to address the underlying structural issue of the curvature and functionally reduce it acknowledge the condition’s nature as a 3-dimensional progressive spinal deformity.
One of the defining features of scoliosis is that it’s a progressive condition.
What that means is that there’s no known cure and it’s in the condition’s very nature to worsen over time. It’s the progressive nature of scoliosis that dictates how it needs to be treated.
The progressive nature of scoliosis is one of its more complex features as no one can tell exactly how much a patient’s scoliosis will progress and at what rate.
This is why it’s so important to seek the help of a scoliosis specialist that will give you the best possible chance of developing a treatment plan that addresses and accounts for the condition’s complexities.
Finding a scoliosis specialist who is certified in multiple modalities is the best way to be proactive with your chosen scoliosis treatment path.
Before exploring the different types of scoliosis-specific training and certifications doctors who specialize in scoliosis can get, let’s first clarify the big difference between treating a patient’s scoliosis as a symptom, or treating the underlying condition.
Understanding this distinction is important because it will ensure you know the types of questions to ask and the type of specialist to look for that will give you the best potential for successful treatment.
If a person with scoliosis were to seek treatment from a general practitioner, they would be receiving general treatment, not scoliosis-specific treatment. What that most often amounts to is a doctor who will treat the patient’s curvature as a symptom.
This can include pain-management with medication or injections, ordering X-rays to see how fast the curvature is progressing and how severe it is, and can also include a recommended exercise regime for strengthening the back.
These all sound like good things, and on one level they are, but they do little to address the structural issue of the curvature, and that’s where the treatment approach of a scoliosis specialist will differ.
While I acknowledge that pain management can be an important component of treatment, it’s not as important as addressing the structural issue causing the pain, as reducing the curvature through functional means will lessen any related pain and discomfort along with it.
Finding a specialist who’s certified and trained in scoliosis-specific treatment options will give you, or your loved one, the best chance of achieving a curvature reduction.
As previously discussed, there’s a significant distinction between a doctor who treats a patient ‘with’ scoliosis and one who treats that patient’s scoliosis. Any general practitioner can treat a patient with scoliosis, but if you’re looking for someone to treat the underlying condition, a scoliosis specialist trained in multiple modalities is the best choice.
When going through the process of choosing a doctor, it’s important to understand that even a specialist can have experience with only one form of treatment. Patients with scoliosis benefit from treatment given by a specialist with the knowledge and experience to combine multiple therapies for the most customized and best possible treatment plan.
Specialists who are trained in multiple modalities and have experience with different treatment forms have the best results when it comes to managing progression.
Never be afraid to ask just how qualified a doctor is; this is the best way to advocate for yourself or a loved one, and knowing the types of certifications and training options available for scoliosis specialists is the best way to be proactive with your condition.
There are many different scoliosis certifications MDs can receive.
Finding a doctor with multiple certifications has numerous benefits when it comes to treatment efficacy.
If a doctor’s certified in multiple modalities, they can draw from each of those modalities to customize the best possible treatment plan for their patients.
As a leading scoliosis expert, I can honestly say I’ve never treated two patients with the same treatment plan; this speaks to the huge variance that exists from one patient’s condition to the next.
The fact that two patients of the same age and condition form can start out with a 15-degree curve and progress at wildly different rates shows how complex and unpredictable a condition scoliosis can be. This is why choosing a specialist with scoliosis-specific training, certifications, and experience is so important.
While any MD can treat a patient with scoliosis, often the primary focus of general treatment is pain medication and passively observing the condition to see if it gets worse.
This represents the traditional treatment path, one that focuses on treating scoliosis as a symptom and funnels patients towards a spinal-fusion surgery recommendation.
Seeking the help of a scoliosis specialist certified in multiple modalities means taking a proactive approach that involves initiating treatment right away.
Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, we don’t want to waste time treating the scoliosis as a symptom and simply observing its progression.
Our scoliosis-specific chiropractic approach combines different forms of treatment to offer our patients the most customized and effective treatment plans available.
We know that treatment started earlier, before a condition has progressed in severity, has huge benefits in terms of ease and efficacy. If you’re looking for a doctor to treat your scoliosis and keep the aforementioned certifications in mind, you’re already headed down the path most likely to end in a functional curvature reduction.