Category Archives: Scoliosis

Why Do More Adults Have Scoliosis Than Kids? | Square ONE

Why Do More Adults Have Scoliosis Than Kids?

Scoliosis gets the most attention in youth, particularly during growth spurts.  The reason for this is because this is when scoliosis curves can progress the fastest and small curves can rapidly become larger curves and potentially lead to surgery.

However only 3% of adolescents under 18yo have scoliosis.  In comparison; 9% of adults over 40yo have scoliosis, as do 30% of adults over 60yo and 50% of adults over 90yo.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Some of the adults with scoliosis are adults who had scoliosis when they were younger.
  2. Many of them have different form of scoliosis all together, known as de novo scoliosis or adult degenerative scoliosis.  De novo comes Latin origin and means over again or anew.

Before skeletal maturity the progression of scoliosis is caused by

Hueter-Volkmann Priciple
Hueter-Volkmann Priciple

uneven pressure on growth plates or epiphysis.  This known as the Hueter-Volkmann Law which states, “Growth is retarded by increased mechanical compression, and accelerated by reduced loading in comparison with normal values.”  Growth plates are stunted under pressure and

Hueter-Volkmann Principle
Hueter-Volkmann Principle

as scoliosis begins the unbalanced pressure on the vertebral bones can cause the bones to grown unevenly.

Scoliosis progresses in adults for completely different reasons, degenerative reasons.  Uneven pressure on bones will causes bones to breakdown and degenerate after skeletal maturity.  This follows Wolf’s Law which proposes the skeletal hard and soft tissues will remold under stress.  Increases pressure on unbalanced bones will cause the vertebra to breakdown and degenerate.  This can be Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in adults that became degenerative or a new scoliosis that begins in adulthood.

Scoliosis Progresses in Adults

Larger curves have been shown to progress 1-3° per year.  As curves in the lumbar spine progress they can become unstable.  This degenerative process combined with increased scoliosis curves and increased spinal instability is frequently accompanied by increases in pain and discomfort.

Scoliosis Treatment for Adults

Scoliosis treatment for adult is a case-by-case basis.  Smaller scoliosis in adults are typically treated with scoliosis specific rehab and exercises.  As curves progress intensive scoliosis rehabilitation several times a week, or several times a day if patients are traveling from long distances to a clinic are appropriate. Larger degenerative scoliosis curves are frequently treated with bracing to stabilize the curve and often times gets the best results with intensive scoliosis rehabilitation programs.

Research Show Bracing Is Effective In Slowing Scoliosis Progression in Adults

A retrospective study was done to determine the effectiveness of bracing in slowing the progression of scoliosis in adults.  Both the progressions of idiopathic scoliosis in adults and degenerative scoliosis were observed.  In both types of scoliosis the rate of curve progression decreased from 1.28° to .21° after bracing.  This study shows the bracing can be effective in slowing the progression of scoliosis in adults.

For more information on scoliosis treatments at Square ONE click here.

To schedule a FREE consultation call 970-207-4463 or click on the box bellow.

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Can Sports Cause Scoliosis? Fort Collins Scoliosis Doctor | Square ONE

Do SportsCauseScoliosis-

Can sports cause scoliosis?

One sided sports such as tennis and golf are often blamed for contributing to the development of scoliosis, however there is no evidence to support such claims.

However there is a statistical prevalence with scoliosis and some sports, specifically dancing, rhymthmic gymnastics and competitive swimming have been found to correlate with increased incidence of scoliosis.

Competitive Swimming

Research has show that competitive swimmers have an increased prevalence of spinal deformities.  A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics:  Swimming and Spinal Deformities:  A Cross-Sectional Study  found competitive swimmers (particularly females) have more spinal asymmetries, positive scoliosis screenings and increased kyphosis compared to normal populations of the same age.  Female competitive swimmers are 2.5x more likely to have scoliosis than non-swimmers of the same age.  Additionally, swimmers were found to be a increased risk of low back pain.  This study suggest that adolescents that swim regularly (2 hours per day at least 4 times per week) are more likely to have scoliosis.

Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine: “The high-repetition nature of competitive swimming causes imbalances in musculature in the adolescent athlete.  Scoliosis as a musculoskeletal condition of the adolescent can be detected in high incidence among swimmers owning to the training phenomenon. 


A paper in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation:  Prevalence and Predictors of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in Adolescent Ballet Dancers  found 30% of dancers tested positive for scoliosis compared to 3% of non-dancers.  This study suggest that dancers are 12.4 times more likely to have scoliosis than non-dancers of the same age.  Conclusion: Adolescent dancers are at significant higher risk of developing scoliosis than non-dancers of the same age.  Vigilant screening and improved education of dance teachers and parents of dance students may be beneficial in earlier detection and, consequently, reducing the risk of requiring surgical intervention.

Should kids with scoliosis stop participating in sports?

With the exception of competitive swimming, high level ballet and Rhythmic gymnastics, children should be encouraged to participate in sports.

SOSORT (Scientific Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic Treatment and Rehabilitation) recommends sport as a compliment of brace treatments.  Specific scoliosis exercises can be incorporated into sport specific training programs. Sports can also help strengthen the muscles that stabilize the spine.

Scoliosis Screenings

Research shows that early detection leads to early intervention and better outcomes (less surgeries).  Scoliosis progresses the fastest during growth spurts and The Scoliosis Research Society recommends girls should be screened at ages 10 & 12 and boys at 13-14yo.  Learn more about scoliosis screenings.

What is the best treatment for scoliosis?

Treatment for scoliosis is specific for each case and is dependent on ages  and many things need to be considered when determining the best treatment for each case including:  Severity of curve, Risk of progression, Distance to a scoliosis treatment facility, Willingness to wear a brace, etc.

Scoliosis Treatment in Adolescents

  • Curves <10° watch and wait
  • Curves 10°-25° night time bracing with scoliosis specific rehabilitation program
  • Curves 25°-30° part time bracing with scoliosis specific rehabilitation program
  • Thoracic curves 30°-60° full time bracing with scoliosis specific rehabilitation program
  • Lumbar curves 30°-50° full time bracing with scoliosis specific rehabilitation program
  • Thoracic curves >60° surgical management
  • Lumbar curves >50° surgical management

What are the best braces?

Traditional scoliosis braces such as the Boston Brace are a symmetrical brace which is designed to hold the scoliosis in its position and just tries to stop the progression.

Modern Advanced Scolibrace

Scolibrace is different than traditional braces in that it’s an asymmetrical brace and it actually puts the scoliosis in its 3D over


corrected position.  In other words it takes a right thoracic scoliosis and puts it in its exact opposition position (as seen in the picture on the right) and actually works to correct or improve the scoliosis instead of just trying to prevent progression.  Learn more about Scolibrace.

By Dr Chris Gubbels D.C.

If you think your child may be at risk of scoliosis and you would like to schedule a FREE scoliosis screening or for a FREE scoliosis consultation call 970-207-4463. 

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Fort Collins Scoliosis Doctor Shows 5 Ways To Check For Scoliosis

5 Ways To Screen For Scoliosis

5 ways tocheck forscoliosis

Do you know that scoliosis effects:

  • 2-3% of kids
  • 9% of adults over 40yo
  • 30% of adults over 60yo
  • 90% of adults over 90yo

The Scoliosis Research Society released a position statement in 2015 stating that all girls should be screening for scoliosis at ages 10 & 12yo and all boys at ages 13-14yo.

Research has shown that scoliosis screens lead to early detection and early detection leads to earlier interventions and better results…or less surgeries.

Watch this video where I explain 5 things to check for to see if you or people you know (your kids) may have scoliosis.

If you think you or your family may have scoliosis and/or you would like to schedule a FREE scoliosis check call 970-207-4463 or Click Here.

By Dr Chris Gubbels