Our pediatrician did what they always do at physicals, every year, he had my kids bend over and touch their toes while he looked at their spines. Every year he said they were fine. But they weren’t. So I urge you to read this even if you don’t have a scoliosis diagnosis, and I urge to you send it to other parents too, because they might be like us.
A few years ago one of my boys needed an MRI for something completely unrelated to scoliosis, but the surgeon noticed a curve to his spine and sent him for X-rays. Low and beyond he had a pretty nasty C curve that wasn’t very noticeable to the naked eye but it was REALLY bad on his X-ray. We then brought our other two other boys to the surgeon for his thoughts since the pediatrician missed theirs and low and behold one of my other boys had a nasty S curve. It wasn’t the pediatrician’s fault, he’s a pediatrician, not an orthopedic surgeon or a spinal specialist. But I want to mention it because you might want to have your kids looked at by a specialist or by a chiropractor at least because your kids might be like mine…looks ok on the outside…not ok on the inside!
So, we got the diagnosis from the orthopedic surgeon of C and S curves and I was told there was nothing I could do about it but wait until it got back enough to put a brace on them, and if that didn’t help they’d need surgery to insert metal rods into their backs.
Both of my boys are highly athletic and talented and they love sports. Sports is life. The thought of them never being able to play again was not something I was not willing to accept.
And beyond that, as a health and wellness expert, I believe that there is ALWAYS something that can be done, you just have to look hard enough. So I was absolutely not going to accept that fate for my kids, so instead, I set out to reverse their scoliosis naturally.
The first thing you need to understand is that your entire body is connected. Your spine isn’t its own deal. It’s related to your fascia, your muscles, your skull shape, and more. Some of these therapies I did with my boys may seem unrelated to scoliosis at first glance but because everything in the body is connected, they all impact the growth and structure of the spine.
Step one was frenectomies to release tongue ties. A tongue-tie is when your tongue is tethered to the bottom of your mouth and isn’t free to move around as it should. This impacts the way your upper palette develops which in turn impacts the way your skull develops which in turn impacts the way your spine develops.
Frenectomies are very simple surgeries, the surgery itself is often with a laser and is completely painless. The recovery can be a bit painful but with the right blend of homeopathy and natural anti-inflammatories like Traumeel it can be managed fairly easily.
Each child got a frenectomy to free up their tongue. This not only was an important first step for their next therapies, but this also had the additional benefit of releasing any fascia that was too tightly bound. Fascia connects to more fascia. So the fascia in the mouth and jaw area connects to the fascia in the neck and spine and can pull on it.
Step two was myofunctional therapy with Sara Hornsby of My Faceology. She helped the boys learn how to use their newly functional tongue and help develop the right muscles to direct the way their face was growing and changing. This actually helps a lot with posture as well. They worked with Sara several times a month and had daily exercises for 10-15 minutes a day to work on facial development and posture.
Step three was myofascial massage with a pediatric specialist. She worked on loosening up the muscles that were pulling the boys' spines in the wrong directions. If she had done these types of massage before their surgery and tongue exercises it would have been useless. This is why the order of operations is key here! It’s like pulling on a rubber band and then letting go, it just goes right back into place. But since we had the other two treatments done first, it was like the rubber band was snipped and wasn’t going to just snap back to pulling the spine off course again.
She also showed the boys how to sleep better which was huge. They were side sleepers so she taught them how to position themselves with pillows so their spine was still straight when they slept on their side. This was important because, even if you massage the muscles to relax them, if you just tighten them back up every night when you sleep you’re not going to make any progress.
Step four was craniosacral therapy. This helps shift the cranial plates in the skull out of “stuck” positions that they sometimes get in and helps them to be more flexible and fluid and in the proper position. If the skull plates are not aligned, this can also pull on the neck muscles which then pulls on the spine.
Step five was osteopathic therapy. We had the boys go in every week in the beginning then spread it out to every other week then once a month. The osteopath found trigger points where either the muscles, tendons, joints or otherwise were extremely stuck and she helped release them. She also gave the boys homework stretches to do to keep their bodies loose.
Step six was chiropractic adjustments to manipulate their spines into the new place their bodies were now being trained and willed to accept. Again, the order of operations is important here! If the frenectomy didn’t release the fascia in order for the myofunctional and myofascial and osteopathic manipulations to fully take hold, adjusting the spine isn’t as effective.
Step seven, I worked with their doctor to give them supplements to help with bone growth and bone health to make sure their spines had all the building blocks needed to grow nice and strong into its newfound position.
At this point, you’re probably wondering if all we did all day every day was fix their scoliosis, and you’d be right. I took a lot of time off from work, I gave up social outings, my kids gave up social outings, we fully committed to this process because it had the opportunity to give them back their life.
If we didn’t do all of this, they could have spent the rest of their lives in pain from scoliosis, they could have been robbed of the opportunity to play the sports they love, they could have been forced to have a dangerous and debilitating surgery.
So for us, it was worth taking a year to commit to the process. There were days I was so exhausted I cried, and days they fought me tooth and nail on going to therapy, but we kept going and it was worth it in the end.
After a year we had another X-ray and the Dr declared they no longer had scoliosis. He also said he’s never seen that before. Sadly, he didn’t seem terribly interested in learning what I did to reverse it, which was a bit surprising and sad to me, but at least you’re here reading this right now.
That very same day at the hospital we sat next to a young man, around 18 years old, that was also there for an x-ray checkup. This young man couldn’t put on his own shoes, his father had to do it for him. He had the surgery that I had been trying to avoid in my boys and had two steel rods inserted into his back alongside his spine which meant he could never bend over ever again.
I got in my car and cried before I could even turn the car on. My kids asked why I was crying and I told them I was so sad that the young man’s parents were told what we were, “there’s nothing you can do”, and because no one told them anything different, they, of course, believed it, and he’ll never be able to play basketball like my kids, or tie his own shoes, or so many other things we take for granted each day.
It’s just not fair, and it breaks my heart so I want to ask a favor. I ask that you share this with people with kids. To show them there is something they can do about it. I realize that not everyone can do every single one of these therapies. Our insurance covered some, we paid out of pocket for some, and it was not easy. But even if you can only do a few things on this list, I bet you could make some progress that may keep your child out of surgery, and I think most of us would take that any day of the week.
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