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Treating Childhood Scoliosis with Chiropractic Care

Published Date: 
January 23, 2023
A child is wearing a back brace.

Chiropractic care for children with scoliosis is a safe, natural, non-surgical treatment. What should you know if your child has scoliosis?

Chiropractic Care for Children with Scoliosis

Pediatric scoliosis is a type of spinal curvature that affects children between 10 and 16 years old. In some cases, it can cause significant pain or discomfort, but pediatric scoliosis is usually mild and doesn’t normally lead to serious long-term health complications.

However, due to the potential for this condition to worsen over time and produce more severe symptoms, treatment for pediatric scoliosis is recommended as soon as possible. This can include chiropractic care and other treatment options like medication, bracing, and physical therapy.

The root causes of scoliosis can vary from person to person. Some may have this condition because of a congenital disability or weakness in the muscle and bone structure, while others could have it because of an injury to the back area.

In some cases, scoliosis can be hereditary. Regardless of the root cause or the severity of the symptoms, chiropractic care may be an excellent option to help treat the condition and prevent complications in children.

There are two types of scoliosis: idiopathic and degenerative.

Idiopathic scoliosis tends to be more common and occurs when the cause is unknown. In contrast, degenerative scoliosis occurs due to the effects of aging or arthritis on the spine. Scoliosis can also occur due to an injury or another underlying medical condition.

Signs & Symptoms of Scoliosis in Kids

Scoliosis is a condition that affects the curvature of the spine. While it can occur in adults, it often occurs during childhood or adolescence. If left untreated, scoliosis can cause chronic pain, discomfort, and other complications.

Signs of scoliosis in kids typically include an unusual curve or shape of the spine, in addition to other symptoms. Some of these indicators include the following:

  • A difference in shoulder height or a tilt in the rib cage
  • An uneven waist
  • Back pain, especially when standing up straight or during physical activity

Other common signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include changes in posture, issues with breathing, a noticeable difference in the appearance of your child's back, or changes to their gait.

If you notice these symptoms in your child, they must be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. This allows for early diagnosis and treatment, which can help limit the progression of scoliosis and even prevent severe complications later in life.

Is Chiropractic Care a Safe Treatment for Scoliosis in Children?

Chiropractors are holistic practitioners who focus on the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, which can include pediatric scoliosis. Chiropractic care for children with this condition includes spinal adjustment and other manual therapies to help realign and normalize alignment.

In addition, your chiropractor will work with you to address lifestyle and diet components that can impact the progression of scoliosis. The goal is to manage your child’s underlying causes and correct the condition so it doesn’t worsen.

When treating scoliosis in children, there are many different options available. Chiropractic care is a relatively safe and effective way to treat this condition in children.

A doctor is checking a child's spine for scoliosis.

Scoliosis can occur at any age, but it is more common in teenagers as their bodies change rapidly. It typically starts with the spine curving to the side and then can make an S or C shape as time goes on. The pain associated with scoliosis may be minimal for some people, but others may experience significantly more discomfort.

Chiropractic treatment involves applying manual force to improve the alignment of bones and other structures in the body. This can help treat the root cause of scoliosis and reduce any pain or discomfort that occurs as a result.

There are different techniques used for chiropractic treatment, but the most common is spinal manipulation. This is when pressure is applied to the spine to improve its alignment and function. In many cases, this can help relieve pain from scoliosis and help make it easier for patients to recover.

In addition to spinal manipulation, other chiropractic methods may be used together to help promote healing and reduce pain. Rehabilitative exercise is often used along with chiropractic treatment to help improve strength and flexibility in the area of the spine that is affected by scoliosis. Massage therapy may also be utilized to help relieve tension in the muscles and improve blood circulation.

Is Chiropractic Care an Effective Childhood Scoliosis Treatment?

Overall, chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment option for scoliosis in children. With careful supervision from a professional chiropractor, patients can get relief from pain and discomfort caused by this condition. Any child experiencing symptoms of scoliosis should speak to a doctor about treatment options and how chiropractic care can help.

Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain, increase the range of motion, and improve posture in kids with scoliosis. In addition to treating the symptoms of scoliosis, regular chiropractic care can also prevent the condition from progressing.

How Chiropractors Treat Pediatric Scoliosis

  • Chiropractic care for pediatric scoliosis may include spinal adjustments and manual therapies to address the underlying causes of this condition. Spinal adjustments work by realigning the spine and vertebrae, while manual therapies such as soft tissue massage or electrical stimulation can help to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation that can cause stress on the back. This approach helps improve your child’s mobility and overall comfort and reduce their risk of further injuries.
  • Your chiropractor will also likely guide you about improving your child’s diet and lifestyle habits, which can significantly impact their overall health and well-being. For example, you may be advised to encourage your child to make healthy food choices, follow an exercise routine that promotes good posture and spinal alignment, and avoid behaviors like sitting or standing in positions that stress the spine for prolonged periods.

What Happens if You Don't Treat Scoliosis in Childhood?

Scoliosis is a condition that affects the curvature of your spine. If your child has scoliosis, treating them as soon as possible is essential. In some cases, if scoliosis isn’t properly treated in childhood, it can worsen and lead to severe complications later. Scoliosis can lead to decreased lung capacity and heart complications later in life.

A child is getting checked for scoliosis.

Additionally, if scoliosis isn’t adequately treated in childhood, the spine can twist and cause pain and movement problems. This condition is known as severe spinal curvature or severe kyphosis and could affect your child’s breathing and digestion. It can even impact their cognitive function and ability to learn.

In addition to these problems, severe kyphosis can increase your child’s risk of developing back fractures or other medical issues in adulthood. That’s why it’s so important to get treatment for scoliosis if you notice any abnormalities with your child’s spine.

Can Scoliosis Be Corrected in Children?

In most cases, you can effectively treat childhood scoliosis with non-invasive methods, including physical therapy and exercise. Some children may also need to wear a back brace for several hours every day until their bones stop growing. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the spine curvature or reduce pain.

A chiropractor is treating a kid for scoliosis.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Children with Scoliosis

If your child is diagnosed with scoliosis, many treatment options are available depending on the severity of their condition. However, chiropractic care is one of the most effective and proven methods for managing scoliosis. Here are just a few of the many benefits that chiropractic care can offer for children with scoliosis:

  • Improved range of motion and flexibility: Chiropractic care can help to improve the mobility and flexibility of your child’s spine, which will help prevent any further curvature from occurring.
  • Less pain: Regular chiropractic sessions can help reduce or eliminate the pain associated with scoliosis, allowing your child to go about their daily activities with fewer disruptions.
  • Better posture: If your child has severe scoliosis, they may be at an increased risk of developing other health problems, such as back pain or organ dysfunction. Regular chiropractic care can help stabilize and strengthen the spine, helping to keep it in a more natural position and improve overall posture.


If your pediatrician diagnoses your child with scoliosis, chiropractic care can be an essential part of their treatment plan. If you’re concerned your child may be at risk for scoliosis or if you feel they need to undergo a spinal alignment evaluation and adjustment, consult a local chiropractor today. With early detection and appropriate treatment, they can enjoy improved health and quality of life well into adulthood.

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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