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Severe Scoliosis

Symptoms, Treatment, and Surgery? WE DO KNOW THIS: Further Progression IS CERTAIN

image assetWhile more commonly diagnosed in adolescence, scoliosis can develop at any age. As a highly-complex condition, it can take many forms and range from mild to moderate, and severe. Keep reading to find out how we classify a patient’s condition on its severity scale and determine what makes scoliosis ‘severe’.

When scoliosis is first diagnosed, it’s classified on the condition’s severity scale; this is done via a measurement obtained during X-ray known as the ‘Cobb angle’. If a patient’s Cobb angle measures at 40+ degrees and includes rotation, it’s classified as ‘severe scoliosis’.

There are so many factors that play into a person’s experience with scoliosis. From diagnosis to symptoms, potential complications and treatment, no two patients will have the same experience. This is due to a large number of variables, one of which is the condition’s severity level. Before we look at ‘severe scoliosis’ specifically, let’s first take a look at how a condition is diagnosed and classified.

Diagnosing Scoliosis

As we are specifically talking about severe scoliosis, I first want to be clear that when I see a patient with severe scoliosis, these are extreme cases. While seeing a 100+ degree curvature is familiar to me, it’s never a simple treatment approach.

An extreme case is an extreme case, regardless of how many times I have treated similar forms of the condition.

Also, the patients who come to me, already in the severe stage of progression, have consulted with a spinal surgeon and refused to undergo the spinal-fusion surgery recommended to them.

When these patients come to me, we work proactively to move forward in their treatment with our alternative functional treatment approach.

When it comes to diagnosing scoliosis, the majority of my patients are adolescents; this is because the condition’s most common form is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), and these cases account for 80 percent of known diagnosed cases.

The remaining 20 percent have known causes, such as congenital, neuromuscular, degenerative, and traumatic.

When a patient is first diagnosed with scoliosis, this is based on two main characteristics: rotation and Cobb angle.

For scoliosis to be considered structural, the spine has to bend abnormally to the side, but it also has to coincide with rotation; this tells us it’s more than just a postural issue.

The spine’s abnormal curvature also has to measure at more than 10 degrees, and this brings us to what’s known as the ‘orthopedic gold standard’ for assessing scoliosis: Cobb angle.

If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, might have scoliosis, don’t be afraid to reach out; answers and treatment are only a click away.

Exploring Severe Scoliosis

Cobb Angle

Cobb angle is one of the most commonly-used assessment methods for scoliosis.

A patient’s Cobb angle is obtained via X-ray images and tells us just how far out of alignment a patient’s spine bends and twists.

If we see that a patient’s spine not only bends abnormally to the side, but also rotates, the next step is to classify the condition on its severity scale; this helps guide our treatment approach moving forward and also indicates likely symptoms and rates of progression.

That being said, this only gives us an ‘idea’ of likely symptoms and progression rates as there are numerous factors that play into just how fast, or slow, a patient’s condition will progress.

A patient’s symptoms can also vary greatly across the board as there are multiple variables that go into determining how a patient experiences their condition: overall health-and-fitness level, condition form, age, location of the curvature, and condition severity.

Following are the Cobb angle measurements that determine condition severity:

  • Mild scoliosis - cases where the Cobb angle measures at 25 degrees or less
  • Moderate scoliosis - cases where the Cobb angle measures between 25 and 40 degrees
  • Severe scoliosis - cases where the Cobb angle measures at 40+ degrees

Now that we have discussed Cobb angle and how it helps us classify the condition as mild, moderate, or severe, let’s move on to discussing some of the common symptoms of scoliosis.

What is Severe Scoliosis, and What does it Look Like?

We have discussed the stipulations that have to be met for a person’s scoliosis to be classified as ‘severe’, and we know that this must include a spine that bends abnormally to the side, rotates, and has a Cobb-angle measurement of more than 40 degrees.

This leads us to what I’m sure many of you are wondering: what does severe scoliosis look like?

To see what scoliosis actually looks like, you can refer to Mary’s X-ray image and see the abnormal bend to the side that characterizes the disorder.

Again, Mary is an example of a severe scoliosis patient who refused surgery and came to us seeking an alternative form of treatment.
mary severe scoliosis curve xrays
When I first saw Mary and her parents in 2019, they had decided to forgo active treatment. It wasn’t until they returned in 2020, after seeing Mary’s condition progress significantly, that they chose to commit to my treatment approach.

You can see, from looking at the images, how much progression can occur when left untreated.

Mary is a great example for showing that it’s never too late to seek out improvement through active treatment. While treatment might have been more successful if it had been started earlier, we were still able to impact the condition in a positive way.

While no two people with scoliosis will look and feel exactly the same way, let’s take a look at some of the common scoliosis symptoms that factor into just how visually noticeable a person’s condition is.

What Is Severe Scoliosis?

Common Scoliosis Symptoms

I always feel a little off using the term ‘common’ because when it comes to scoliosis, every patient is different, as are their symptoms.

That being said, there are some symptoms that are characteristic of the various scoliosis levels to watch out for.

Awareness of symptoms is important for parents and caregivers as early detection is as challenging as it is beneficial. There is a big connection between early detection and treatment success, assuming proactive treatment is started as close to the time of diagnosis as possible.

Before we move on to the specifics of severe scoliosis, let’s first discuss the different severity levels and related symptoms for mild and moderate scoliosis.

Mild Scoliosis

When scoliosis develops in the mild stage of the progressive line, this is the best time to start treatment, but that is only possible if it’s spotted and diagnosed during this stage.

In most cases of mild scoliosis, early detection is very difficult because likely symptoms are subtle and not noticeable to average people; a scoliosis specialist might be able to spot some of these subtle signs.

When it develops in adolescence, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is not known as a painful condition, and as I’m sure we have all experienced at one point, pain tells us something is wrong.

In adolescents or patients who have not yet reached skeletal maturity, scoliosis is rarely a painful condition. This is because the spine is constantly lengthening during growth, which counteracts the compressive force of the scoliosis.

In addition, it’s not uncommon for adolescents who notice subtle scoliosis-related changes to their body early on to hide them and not tell their parents/caregivers.

This might seem difficult to understand, but if you think of the typical teenager; they want to blend it. They don’t want to stand out, and sometimes, if they notice something about their bodies that makes them different, they conceal it.

Baggy black clothes and hoodies are particularly effective at concealing postural changes related to scoliosis.

Without pain that can be harder to conceal, there is the chance that mild scoliosis can be easily hidden by those who are frightened of the changes they are seeing in their own bodies.
in adults with scoliosis pain
In adults with scoliosis, pain is the most common reason people come in to see me. Most often, they are experiencing back and/or neck pain, and equally common is radiating pain felt in the arms, legs, and feet.

As scoliosis progresses (gets worse), symptoms also get more extreme and noticeable, unlike the subtle signs present when the condition first appears in the mild stage; this is why it’s somewhat rare to be able to start treatment very early on because in many cases, the patient and their families are simply unaware there is even a problem.

Once a condition progresses into the moderate and severe stage, this is when symptoms tend to become more overt, to the point where the condition produces noticeable visual changes.

Before we move on to severe scoliosis, let’s make a stop at the stage before: moderate scoliosis.

Moderate Scoliosis

When a patient has moderate scoliosis, their Cobb angle measures between 25 and 40 degrees, and this is typically when people start to see what scoliosis actually looks like, as it can produce some noticeable postural effects.

The majority of my patients are in this stage as, most likely, their mild symptoms were missed, and their condition progressed into the moderate stage.

It’s in the mild and moderate stage that I find treatment to be most effective. With active treatment, we can work towards preventing a patient from ever reaching the severe stage; this is why I’m opposed to the watch-and-wait strategy of the traditional approach, which we’ll return to later

It’s in this stage that symptoms start to become more obvious. At this point, the reality is that abnormal spinal curvatures are virtually guaranteed to progress.

Even if the progression isn’t fast, it’s still progressing and will enter into the severe stage eventually, if left untreated.

To me, this is the time to be proactive: strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. Start treatment as early as possible while the opportunity to reduce the curvature in its mildest form is still there, as is the chance to avoid the hardships of severe scoliosis down the road.

Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, our ultimate treatment goal is to give our patients the best possible quality of life, and to us, a huge part of that is avoiding spinal-fusion surgery, which we’ll talk more about in the ‘severe scoliosis’ section.

For now, let’s look at some of the common symptoms of moderate scoliosis as these help us to better understand the next stage.

Common Moderate Scoliosis Symptoms

While every condition is different and will produce different symptoms, there are some telltale signs to look out for.

Awareness of these pertinent signs and symptoms can mean the difference between having a loved one diagnosed later in the conditon’s progressive line, or earlier, and this variable greatly affects treatment outcome.

The signs of moderate scoliosis can be easier to see, providing you know what you are looking for:

  • The spine’s abnormal curvature and rotation can be seen with the naked eye
  • The characteristic rib arch associated with scoliosis is more pronounced
  • Shoulders can take on an asymmetrical appearance with one sitting higher than the other
  • One shoulder blade might protrude more on one side than the other
  • Arms and legs can appear to hang at different lengths
  • Changes to gait
  • Balance issues

At this stage, these changes are more noticeable because there can be an overall asymmetry to the body. These asymmetries are most easily noticed when the person is in a forward-bend position.

As the majority of scoliosis patients are adolescents, you can imagine how these changes could affect the psyche of a teenager already facing a time filled with change and uncertainty.

An additional treatment benefit to our proactive approach is on the emotional side. I’ve noticed that taking a proactive approach can be highly beneficial in keeping the patient engaged with their condition and feeling in control.

Feelings of powerlessness and loss of control are some of the biggest emotional responses to a condition diagnosis, and being proactive with treatment can lessen those feelings.

This is especially true once a patient sees the benefits of active treatment and takes this as motivation to continue.

Patients don’t have to be passengers on the ride of their scoliosis-journey; they need to take the wheel, see what they can accomplish, and that they haven’t lost control over their bodies and, by extension, their lives.

Because of the progressive nature of scoliosis, in order to fully understand its severest form, we need to look backwards at the stages that come before it; this is why we have spent time exploring mild and moderate scoliosis.

Now that you can clearly see the condition’s path that leads to severe scoliosis and the common symptoms that characterize it, we can move on to the specifics of severe scoliosis.

Severe Scoliosis

As each case of scoliosis is as unique as the person, the condition affects different people in different ways.

Add to that the fact that scoliosis develops across a wide severity spectrum, and you have a condition whose very nature necessitates a customized approach.

The farther along a patient gets on the progressive line of their condition, the more likely they are to significantly progress. In fact, cases of severe scoliosis carry a 90-percent risk of progression.
as a condition progresses
As a condition progresses, so does the likelihood of developing adverse symptoms and related complications.

It’s this high likelihood of progression that guides the recommendation, in the traditional treatment approach, for spinal-fusion surgery, and this is why every effort should be made early on to prevent reaching this stage.

Spinal fusion is invasive, costly, and comes with no guarantee that it will stop scoliosis from progressing. In addition, patients are often disappointed with their post-surgical pain levels, with some reporting an increase.

Once a person has reached the severe-scoliosis stage of progression, the symptoms mentioned for moderate scoliosis are even more pronounced and noticeable.

Let’s break the list of common severe scoliosis symptoms down and address each one individually.

Severe Scoliosis Pain

As mentioned earlier, mild and moderate forms of scoliosis are not known as painful in the condition’s most common form (AIS); however, around 20 percent of adolescents do report scoliosis-related muscle pain.

Adults, however, experience scoliosis-related pain very differently. As they have reached skeletal maturity, their spine is no longer lengthening, and as an abnormal curvature gets worse, there is no way to distribute that adverse spinal tension.

The spine then faces compression, along with its surrounding muscles, vessels, and nerves; this can negatively affect the body’s central nervous system and lead to persistent and chronic pain in the neck, back, arms, and/or legs.

Severe scoliosis hip pain is another common complaint as pain develops due to stretched ligaments caused by the misshapen spine.

The pelvis can also become tilted due to the abnormal curvature, and as one hip takes on more weight than the other, pain results from the misuse of the area’s muscles and tendons.

It’s important to remember, however, that focusing scoliosis treatment on addressing pain with pain medications or injections, instead of treating the whole condition, is not addressing the symptom’s underlying cause.

Here at the Center, we don’t focus our treatment on addressing symptoms, but on treating the underlying condition; that way, as a structural change is produced through active treatment, related symptoms like pain are lessened/eliminated throughout the process.

This is why there is a big difference between treating symptoms of scoliosis and treating scoliosis, the condition.

If you are experiencing severe scoliosis pain, don’t suffer needlessly. Reach out to us using the button below to see just how much of an improvement our treatment can make.

Postural Changes

The postural changes associated with severe scoliosis include more extreme forms of the changes common in moderate cases.

As an abnormal spinal curvature progresses, the body does its best to adjust. The larger a curvature gets, the more noticeable related postural changes can become.

Postural changes associated with severe scoliosis would include those mentioned for moderate scoliosis in a more extreme form, plus some additions:

  • An overall asymmetry to the body
  • Head appearing not centered over the body
  • Shoulders that don’t sit at the same heights
  • One shoulder blade protruding more than the other
  • A more noticeable rib arch
  • One hip that sits higher than the other, or appears more rounded/flat
  • An uneven waistline
  • Arms and legs that hang differently
  • More noticeable changes to gait
  • Balance issues


Living with scoliosis can produce a number of painful symptoms, especially in adult forms.

While headaches aren’t guaranteed to be a symptom of someone’s severe scoliosis, they are a common complaint.

Tension headaches can arise for patients with an abnormal curvature located in their cervical spine (upper back and neck); this can be caused by tight neck muscles placing tension on the head.

Scoliosis can also interfere with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow, and this can result in a drop of CSF pressure in the brain.

These types of headaches, associated with scoliosis, can be debilitating and reach migraine levels.

Sleep Problems

When discussing the symptoms of progressive and incurable conditions like scoliosis, the focus is often on the more extreme examples of physical changes, but scoliosis can cause a domino effect within the body that can produce a wide range of symptoms.

When a person is struggling with sleep due to an inability to get comfortable, back pain, or another scoliosis-related complication, this can greatly impact treatment efficacy, in addition to quality of life.

If a patient is not well-rested, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy mindset and keep up with the rigors of treatment.

If sleep problems are an issue for a patient, we will spend time discussing sleep habits, sleep position, and measuring them for a customized pillow that can help keep the spine in a neutral and aligned position during sleep.

Sleep problems can also be exacerbated by another potential severe scoliosis symptom: lung impairment.

Lung Impairment

Now, I should be clear, again, that the symptoms of severe scoliosis can range with some people experiencing them, and others not.

When it comes to lung impairment, for an average person living with scoliosis, even if there is lung impairment, it doesn’t commonly cause functional deficits, with many patients unaware as to how/if their lungs have been affected.

For professional athletes or people who place extra demands on their bodies and respiratory systems, this symptom can be more noticeable and cause some functional issues.

As is particularly the case with abnormal curvatures of the thoracic spine (middle-upper back), the curvature can push against the space used by the lungs to expand and contract. This can make it difficult to inhale/exhale deeply for prolonged periods of time.

As mentioned, lung impairment in severe cases can also impact a person’s ability to get a good night’s sleep as the natural breathing patterns during sleep can be disrupted.

Digestive Issues

It’s often the presence of scoliosis-related digestive issues that surprise people the most.

At first thought, what does the spine have to do with digestion? While the two might not seem overly connected, as the spine works with the brain to form the central nervous system (CNS), it can affect virtually every system at work within the body.

Scoliosis-related digestion issues can include difficulty with digestion and impairment of bowel function.

An abnormal curvature does have the potential to affect the digestive tract as much as it can affect the muscles closely surrounding the spine.

Balance and Equilibrium Issues

Most people can close their eyes, maintain balance, and recognize their body positioning.

For people with scoliosis, ‘proprioception’ can be a challenge; this is the body’s ability to understand its own position without visual cues.

As an abnormal curvature produces postural changes based on an asymmetry of the body, this asymmetry can throw off a person’s ability to balance and maintain equilibrium.

Like all potential scoliosis-related symptoms, there is no guarantee that a patient will experience balance and coordination issues, but it is a fairly common symptom of severe scoliosis, considering curvature size during this stage.

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

The menstrual cycle is another of the body’s systems that can seem unrelated to scoliosis.

As the nerves that run through the spine connect the brain to the rest of the body, scoliosis can affect sleep, digestion, a person's overall comfort level, and more.

The impact of scoliosis on the body can also disrupt menstruation cycles, making them irregular.

Before we move on to how to treat severe scoliosis, let’s take a minute to talk about how it is to live with severe scoliosis, in general terms.

Living with Severe Scoliosis

We have talked about how a condition becomes severe and the characteristics that define this classification, but what is it actually like to live with severe scoliosis?

Again, every case is different, but generally speaking, severe scoliosis makes life more challenging for people and can affect them in a number of ways.

As severe scoliosis can cause persistent and daily pain, especially in adults, this can be disruptive to every-day life.

Pain can make it difficult to sleep, which can cause residual issues such as low energy and feelings of depression.

If a patient is experiencing a lot of pain, this can cause mobility issues, and in severe cases of scoliosis, spinal rigidity can also be a problem that can affect a person’s ability to engage in flexible movement.

As always, there is the psychological element of living with a severe form of a progressive condition marked by physical changes.

People with severe scoliosis tend to feel self-conscious about changes to posture, gait, and how their clothes fit; this can make them particularly sensitive to how they look and how people respond.

Patients at this level are the most likely to experience a heightened emotional reaction to the stress of their condition; this can come in the form of negative self-image, depression, or feelings of hopelessness for the future.

One of the most difficult aspects of reaching the severe stage of scoliosis is the pressure to make the right decision when it comes to treatment moving forward.

If you refer to the accompanying images of Kathy, you can see what the negative progressive line looks like structurally, not to mention how much the Cobb angle can change over four years.

As is the case with severe-scoliosis patients we see here at the Center, Kathy and her family decided to refuse the surgical treatment approach of undergoing spinal-fusion surgery.
kathy severe scoliosis curve xrays
At this stage, for those on the traditional path of treatment, often spinal-fusion surgery is recommended; this procedure is costly, invasive, and comes with heavy side effects and risk of potential complications.

For those who feel surgery is their only option, this can increase feelings of powerlessness over their bodies, condition, and lives.

This is why I feel it’s so important that people know, even with severe scoliosis, there is another treatment option available.

I’m proud to be able to offer patients and their families a different way to treat severe scoliosis: a less-invasive option through a functional scoliosis-specific chiropractic approach.

Before we move on to the specifics of our approach for treating severe scoliosis here at the Center, let’s answer a question many people with severe scoliosis ask: is surgery really the best option?

Does Severe Scoliosis Require Surgery?

For years, when patients entered into the severe stage of scoliosis progression, spinal-fusion surgery was recommended as the best option.

For those following the traditional approach, they are funneled towards surgery as this approach does not include being proactive and working towards reducing the curvature early on in the condition’s progressive line.

Instead, patients undergoing traditional treatment are commonly told, when they are in the mild and moderate stage, to simply watch and wait.

Unfortunately, while everyone is watching and waiting, especially in AIS, when growth is still occuring, a rapid growth spurt can occur and speed up progression.

Instead of being proactive and addressing progression in a preventative manner, these patients are funneled towards surgery and might not be aware of other treatment options available to them.

While there is no doubt that treating severe scoliosis can be challenging, with commitment and hard work, there is a less-invasive treatment option available.

The issue I have with scoliosis surgery is that it’s costly, carries a lot of risks, is irreversible, and isn’t guaranteed to reduce pain, disfigurement, or permanently stop progression.

The ultimate goal of scoliosis surgery is to stop progression; it does this by fusing the most tilted-vertebrae of the curvature together so it heals into one solid bone, eliminating movement in that area of the spine.

Rods are then attached to the spine with screws to hold it in place while the spine continues to fuse and heal.

While this can work to stop progression, it does nothing to actually ‘correct’ the scoliosis, but rather holds the spine in a corrective position.

While this might sound successful in one regard, due to the fused section of the spine, many patients are disappointed with the lack of flexibility they are left with, and many also report an increase in back pain post surgery.

If a patient is unhappy with the results, the fusion fails, or there is a hardware malfunction, there is no recourse other than subsequent surgeries, and that is never a good thing.

Here at the Center, we treat our severe-scoliosis patients with an integrative and customized treatment plan that allows patients to avoid the potentially heavy and irreversible consequences of spinal-fusion surgery.

If you would like to discuss, in more detail, why surgery is not always the best treatment option, click the button below to contact us.

A Proactive and Functional Treatment Approach

Early in my career, I saw how patients with severe scoliosis were funneled towards spinal-fusion surgery, and I saw this as partially due to a lack of alternative scoliosis- treatment options.

Once there were other treatment options established, I saw that not enough people knew about them. This is why I wrote Scoliosis Hope, to educate and empower people by spreading awareness of other effective options.

I should also say that while my average severe-scoliosis patient is above the surgical threshold (between 40 and 60 degrees), most of these patients were told not to worry about their condition until it reached this surgical level.

In the severe-scoliosis cases we see here at the Center, prior to seeing us, these people have consulted with spinal surgeons and utterly refused to have the spinal fusion done.

Many of these cases continued to progress in the meantime, until they found us and our approach. With these patients, we take this into consideration when designing their treatment plan and do the best we can to alleviate any discomfort and bring improvement to their daily lives.

Here at the Center, every day I’m amazed to see the results that our severe-scoliosis patients can experience with some patience, hard work, and dedication.

If you refer to the accompanying images of Melanie, you can see the kind of positive improvement we are working towards with a curvature reduction.
melanie severe scoliosis curve xrays
In Melanie’s case, she had reviewed all her treatment options and consulted with a surgeon about the option of spinal fusion.

Despite having the surgery recommended to her by the surgeon, she decided to refuse the invasive procedure, and by the time we met, she had progressed well beyond the surgical threshold.

Regardless, we implemented our alternative approach and were able to reduce her curvature, even though her case is still beyond the surgical threshold.

Had she come to me sooner, we likely would have seen even better results, but as things turned out, even though she still has a large curvature, our treatment reduced that curvature, along with related symptoms.

We work closely with our patients and engage them in the treatment process.

We use a combination of scoliosis-specific disciplines such as chiropractic, exercise, rehabilitation, and custom 3D bracing.

We apportion these disciplines accordingly so they complement each other and address each patient’s individual condition.

By working towards a curvature reduction, this addresses the structural nature of the condition and actually ‘corrects’ it, rather than merely ‘holding’ it in a corrective position, as scoliosis surgery does.

While it’s always better to try and avoid ever reaching the severe stage, it’s never too late to start treatment, and if the potential to avoid surgery is there, we jump on it.

If, for some reason, our approach doesn’t work, the patient can always return to the option of surgery, unlike the permanency of spinal fusion.

If you would like to know more about our proactive functional treatment approach, you can easily contact us using the button below:

Bracing and Severe Scoliosis

Bracing is a component of scoliosis treatment that I would like to touch on.

The most commonly-used brace in the traditional approach is the Boston brace, but like surgery, the treatment goal of this brace is to stop progression, not to actually correct the abnormal curvature.

In some cases, squeezing braces like the Boston brace can cause more harm than good by actually weakening the spine.

Also, as Boston braces are uncomfortable, noticeable, and have to be worn virtually all the time, compliance can be an issue.

In our functional approach, as our goal is all about correction, we rely on a brace that has the potential to produce a corrective change: the ScoliBrace.

The ScoliBrace is fully customized to the patient’s body and condition, making it more comfortable to wear, and with correction as its goal, the ScoliBrace can complement other treatment disciplines by working towards a curvature reduction.

Now, there is still a range between severity levels within the severe-scoliosis category, and for some cases, especially in adults whose spines have stopped growing, bracing is not always an option, which is why surgery is often recommended.

In adolescents with severe scoliosis, bracing is more likely to be an option as their spines are still growing, and while bracing is more effective in the moderate stage, as are most facets of active treatment, the ScoliBrace can still impact cases of AIS with larger abnormal spinal curvatures.

Severe Scoliosis and Pain Management

When it comes to severe scoliosis pain management, there are better options than just taking pain-relief medication.

Those on the traditional treatment path are often prescribed pain medications or injections to address their scoliosis-related pain; this is because as there is a lack of active treatment while watching and waiting, not only is the curvature progressing unimpeded, pain is also not being addressed in a proactive way.

For those undergoing our proactive and functional treatment approach, we address pain by addressing the underlying cause of that pain; this is the difference between addressing a scoliosis symptom or the actual scoliosis.

Our therapy and rehabilitation includes exercises and stretches that not only augment our targeted chiropractic adjustments, but can also impact pain levels by keeping the spine and its surrounding muscles and tendons as loose as possible.

If pain management is addressed solely by medications, this can also be detrimental to treatment as pain can indicate progression, and if pain medications are masking that indicator, progression can go unnoticed, rather than being responded to proactively.


With varying degrees of severity, scoliosis can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

A patient’s Cobb angle is measured via X-ray, and this is how a condition is classified on its severity scale.

A designation of mild scoliosis is given to patients with Cobb angles of less than 25 degrees; moderate scoliosis for a Cobb angle measurement between 25 and 40 degrees, and severe scoliosis cases have Cobb angles of 40+ degrees.

Cases that reach severe status, whether they went undiagnosed until that stage or progressed to severe while watching and waiting, are more challenging to treat because they involve larger spinal curvatures.

While no two cases are the same, generally speaking, the larger the Cobb angle, the more likely it is that the patient will develop adverse symptoms and complications.

Common symptoms of severe scoliosis include a crooked spine that can be seen with the naked eye, postural changes such as an overall asymmetry to the body, pain (especially in adults), headaches, and potential complications such as lung impairment, digestion issues, trouble sleeping, irregular menstrual cycles, and difficulty maintaining balance and equilibrium.

Living with severe scoliosis can be difficult. In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, patients can also struggle with the emotional weight of having a severe progressive condition.

The more severe a progressive condition becomes, the more difficult it is to treat noninvasively; this is why, here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, our ultimate treatment goal is to reduce the size of the curvature so the patient never has to face the hardships associated with the severe stage of progression.

In terms of treatment options, there are two main approaches for patients to choose between: traditional and functional.

The traditional path is passive and involves watching and waiting until a condition is deemed severe enough to need spinal-fusion surgery, most often with curvatures over 45 degrees.

The functional path is proactive and involves initiating treatment as close to the time of diagnosis as possible; this is the approach we offer patients of the Scoliosis Reduction Center.

Our approach is integrative and combines multiple scoliosis-specific treatment disciplines such as chiropractic, therapy, rehabilitation, and corrective 3D bracing.

As we take an integrative approach, we are better able to design fully-customized treatment plans that address the needs of the patient and the characteristics of their condition.

When it comes to addressing pain and other scoliosis-related symptoms, we do this by achieving a curvature reduction and impacting the condition on a structural level.

As we reduce an abnormal curvature and restore as many of the spine’s healthy curves as possible, we improve the spine’s overall biomechanics, which lessens/eliminates symptoms that were related to the abnormal curvature.

Consultation & Information Request

If you want to schedule a consultation, or just want more information you can call 321-939-2328 or use this form. We can call or email you to discuss your options.

About Scoliosis Reduction Center
Welcome to Scoliosis Reduction Center. Our team, under the leadership of Dr. Tony Nalda, is focused on treating your scoliosis in the most patient-centered, effective manner possible.
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