Ask the Doc: Do I have scoliosis and can chiropractic help me?

Editor’s note: Dr. Philip Schalow’s new featured article, “Ask the Doc,” will appear monthly. This is the fifth column in the series. Send questions for Dr. Schalow to and he will answer each one individually and choose a sampling for this article.

By Dr. Philip Schalow

Good question! Health care practitioners often glance at an apparent curve in the back and diagnose scoliosis. However, it’s only with an X-ray study that can justify that diagnosis.

Technically, if the amount of curve in the spine is greater than 10 degrees, then it’s scoliosis. Below that, it’s only a curve. And yes, there is a lot that conservative chiropractic care can accomplish for the curved and scoliosis back.

The best bracing can hope for is a reduction of 7 degrees. In upper cervical chiropractic, we have cases that reduce from 12 degrees to completely. How is that possible? Those muscles that have twisted the spine are responding to signals from the brain. When the signals are wrong, the muscles go wrong. Upper cervical chiropractic restores normal messages within the brain and spinal cord, and makes it possible for the entire body to straighten out as the muscle spasms quit.

If you have or think you might have scoliosis, you should get checked to see what’s causing it. There are simple tests that show how the brain and spinal cord are working and if there is a confusion of signals between the brain and body. Upper cervical chiropractic corrects those signals, and allows the body to restore its own balance.

Dr. Philip Schalow is a NUCCA practitioner in Rockford. He owns 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., 4519 Highcrest Road, Rockford. Call (815) 398-4500 for details or visit

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