Scoliosis is an abnormal condition characterised by sideways curvature of the spine. Normally,
when viewed from the side, the spine has an S-shaped curve, but when observed from
behind, it should appear straight. Scoliosis is a multifaceted condition that varies in severity,
ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Moreover, there are various types of scoliosis that
can manifest. Regardless of the severity level or type of scoliosis, one common aspect is its
progressive nature, requiring proactive treatment for effective management.
In scoliosis, the curvature of the spine often takes the shape of an S or C, and it can also
involve twisting of the spine. Our experienced Chiropractors at Waterloo Chiropractic
specialises in evaluating scoliosis cases.
Receiving a diagnosis of scoliosis indicates that the spine has an abnormal sideways
curvature, accompanied by rotation, to a certain degree. While the spine naturally possesses
healthy curves that provide strength, flexibility, and even distribution of mechanical stress, the
loss of one or more of these normal curves disrupts its overall health and function.
The Cobb angle, measured through X-rays, determines the extent of misalignment in a
scoliotic spine and guides the design and implementation of the treatment plan. A confirmed
diagnosis of structural scoliosis requires the presence of rotation and a Cobb angle
measurement of at least 10 degrees.
The Cobb angle measurement involves drawing intersecting lines from the top and bottom of
the most tilted vertebrae (spinal bones) of the curvature. The resulting angle is measured in
degrees and determines the severity of the condition: mild, moderate, or severe.
Mild scoliosis: Cobb angle measurement between 10 and 25 degrees
Moderate scoliosis: Cobb angle measurement between 25 and 40 degrees
Severe scoliosis: Cobb angle measurement of 40 degrees or higher
In addition to varying severity levels, scoliosis can manifest in different types. The most
common form is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), typically diagnosed between the ages of
10 and 18. However, scoliosis can develop at any age.
The term “idiopathic” means that there is no known single cause to explain the condition’s
development. Approximately 80% of diagnosed scoliosis cases are idiopathic, while the
remaining 20% have known associated causes such as neuromuscular, congenital,
degenerative, or traumatic factors.
Each type of scoliosis has unique characteristics that must be considered when monitoring
and treating the condition. Although the exact reasons behind the majority of scoliosis cases
remain unclear, effective management and structural impact can be achieved.
As scoliosis is a progressive condition, naturally worsening over time, proactive treatment
plays a crucial role in managing its progression and staying ahead of its effects.
How Scoliosis Chiropractors can Help
As previously mentioned, there are various approaches to treating scoliosis, each differing in
their level of invasiveness. The traditional approach to severe scoliosis cases often resorts to
spinal fusion surgery as a means to achieve a straighter spine, but this outcome can come
with significant drawbacks.
The choice of treatment approach is guided by its intended goals, and the traditional method
of spinal fusion surgery may fall short in terms of preserving the spine’s optimal health and
Many individuals understand the logic of chiropractic care for scoliosis patients. Applying a
chiropractic treatment which includes traction, massage, adjustments and corrective exercises
is important. And chiropractic care can be safe and effective in offering both temporary and
long term pain relief. To make a structural impact on the condition, chiropractic care needs to
be specifically tailored to address scoliosis. In fact, a study investigating the potential of a
chiropractic rehabilitation program for treating adult scoliosis demonstrated that
improvements in Cobb angle, pain scores, lung capacity, and disability rating were
At Waterloo Chiropractic, we offer screening, management and treatment of Scoliosis for
children, adolescents and adults.
At Waterloo Chiropractic, you will come across a friendly, down to earth and professional
clinic that prides itself on ensuring you have an excellent clinical experience. Waterloo
Chiropractic is an allied health care clinic with three chiropractors who service the suburbs of
Waterloo, Alexandria, Rosebery, Surry Hills, Zetland, Kensington, Redfern and Moore Park. We
help our patients with low back pain, neck pain, headaches, posture, sciatica and migraines as
well as adjusting the spine.