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Scoliosis, Back Pain and Chiropractic

Scoliosis affects 5 to 7 million people in the United States. More than a half million visits are made to doctors’ offices each year for evaluation and treatment of scoliosis. Although scoliosis can begin at any age, it most often develops in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15. Girls are more commonly affected than boys. Because scoliosis can be inherited, children whose parents or siblings are affected by it should definitely be evaluated by a trained professional. What is scoliosis? Because we walk on 2 feet, the human nervous system constantly works through reflexes and postural control to keep our spine in a straight line from side to side. Occasionally, a lateral (sideways) curvature develops. If the curvature is larger than 10 degrees, it is called scoliosis. Curves less than 10 degrees are often just postural changes. Scoliosis can also be accompanied by lordosis (abnormal curvature toward the front) or kyphosis (abnormal curvature toward the back). In most cases, the vertebrae are also rotated. In more than 80% of cases, the cause of scoliotic curvatures is unknown; we call this condition idiopathic scoliosis. In other cases, trauma, neurological disease, tumors, and the like are responsible. Functional scoliosis is often caused by some postural problem, muscle spasm, or leg-length inequality, which can often be addressed. Structural scoliosis does not reduce with postural maneuvers. Either type can be idiopathic or have an underlying cause.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis? Scoliosis can significantly affect the quality of life by limiting activity, causing pain, reducing lung function, or affecting heart function. Diminished self-esteem and other psychological problems are also seen. Because scoliosis occurs most commonly during adolescence, teens with extreme spinal deviations from the norm are often teased by their peers.

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What is the treatment for scoliosis? There are generally three treatment options for scoliosis: careful observation, bracing and surgery. Careful observation is the most common “treatment,” as most mild scolioses do not progress and cause few, if any, physical problems. Bracing is generally reserved for children who have not reached skeletal maturity (the time when the skeleton stops growing), and who have curves between 25 and 45 degrees. Surgery is generally used in the few cases where the curves are greater than 45 degrees and progressive, and/or when the scoliosis may affect the function of the heart, lungs, or other vital organs. Spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercise and electrical muscle stimulation have also been advocated in the treatment of scoliosis. None of these therapies alone have been shown to consistently reduce scoliosis or to make the curvatures worse. For patients with back pain along with the scoliosis, manipulation and exercise may be of help. Most people with scoliosis lead normal, happy, and productive lives. Physical activity including exercise is generally well-tolerated and should be encouraged in most cases.

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Tacoma Location

2611 N. Stevens St Tacoma, WA, 98407

Office Hours

Primary Location

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "I have had personal experience as a patient there as well. The staff is very friendly and personable. Since I trust Robert and Cessalie to work on me, they are the only chiropractors I will recommend to my patients!"
    Anastasia, Family Medicine MD
  • "What a wonderful alternative to carpal tunnel surgery. Wrist adjustments work wonders."
    Teri
  • "My patients appreciate the help and professionalism in this office. Patients report improvement in pain and mobility and also appreciate being told when other modalities or treatment options are recommended."
    Greta, Internal Medicine MD
  • "Best place ever! The staff is always pleasant and nice- easy to get into, lots of parking, reasonable - the doctor really cares and wants you to get better! Highly recommend!!!"
    Amy - Tacoma, WA
  • "As a busy family practice physician, I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with DR’s. Robert and Cessalie Stalder for the past 10 years and we have built a very collegial relationship based on the fundamental principal of providing quality care for our patients. Their practice is directed at patient improvement, ultimate care and complete satisfaction."
    Janice, Family Medicine DO
  • "Tacoma chiropractic has always been super friendly and flexible. They've helped me with my back and neck issues through chiro adjustments and massage. Everybody I've worked with has been great!"
    Yvonne - Tacoma, WA
  • "I have worked with the Stalder’s for well over 10 years and continue to refer both my family and patients to them. I especially like referring my pregnant patients to them for the gently and effective care they receive."
    Gail, Ob/GYN Medical Doctor
  • "I have been coming here for services over the past 8 years. The Doctors are amazing, caring, passionate and knowledgeable. The front and back office staff are friendly, helpful and always polite. I have never had a scheduling or billing issue, ever in 8 years! Thank you TCC for helping me feel my best!"
    Rachel - Tacoma, WA