Raising an Olympic Athlete with Scoliosis…

Raising an Olympic Athlete with Scoliosis…

Raising an Olympic Athlete with Scoliosis…For years, Scoliosis has been a real concern for Olympic athletes such as:

Usain Bolt – Jamaican three-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter, Olympic record holder reigning Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 metres and the 4×100 metres relay

Alexandra Marinescu Romanian Olympic gymnast and European Junior Champion at age 12

Jon Olsen United States freestyle swimmer and five time Olympic medalist

Jennifer Thompson United States swimmer, and one of the most decorated Olympians in history, 12 time Olympic medalist, including eight gold in the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Summer Olympics

Despite enduring multiple hardships such as bracing and even surgery Scoliosis did not stop these athletes’ Olympic dreams from becoming a reality.

What is Scoliosis? Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine, the most common type being idiopathic scoliosis most often diagnosed in children ages 10 to 12 and in their early teens.

Although many of us may not ever be in the position to worry about raising an Olympic hopeful, Scoliosis does affect close to 12 million people worldwide with 5 – 7 million in the U.S. alone. The good news is – advancements in the field have discovered considerably better options for the treatment of scoliosis. Non-invasive, non-surgical and non-bracing alternatives. No longer is there a need to wear bulky braces that cause embarassment or self-consciousness. Nor of having surgical procedures that will fuse permanent rods along the spine causing multiple complications throughout adulthood. Our Clear certified treatment is effective and completely non-invasive.

As of July of 2013, South Florida Scoliosis Center has become one of 18 clinics worldwide to be able to provide Intensive Care Treatment for Scoliosis. Generally a one to two week program of intensive therapy designed to reduced the curvature of a scoliotic spine. Our Intensive Care Patients have come from far away countries such as Canada, Denmark, Israel, Anguilla, Curacao, Columbia and Brazil to enjoy the benefits of our intensive care treatment. Now if Usain Bolt had had that option- imagine the possibilities…

In case you’re wondering if your Olympic dreams will become a reality:

What are Your Chances of Becoming a Summer Olympic Athlete?

For more information, contact us at South Florida Scoliosis Center 305-705-0777, or visit www.southfloridascoliosiscenter.com.

South Florida Scoliosis Center is the only CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Center in the South Florida area in addition to being one in only 18 worldwide clinics to offer Intensive Care Scoliosis Treatment.

South Florida Scoliosis Center draws patients from the entire state as well as from countries abroad.

Don’t Let Their New Backpack Aggravate The Scoliosis!

Don’t Let Their New Backpack Aggravate The Scoliosis!

Don’t Let Their New Backpack Aggravate The Scoliosis!The time to send your children Back-to-School is just around the corner. But before you do- here are some things you should consider:

As per the American Physical Therapy Association your child’s backpack should never exceed 10-15% of his or her body weight? In an average 12 year old child that is 10 lbs worth and that includes the backpack itself.

Unfortunately due to heavy homework loads and nearly non-existent lockers, the average child carries 22-27% of their body weight in their backpack.

This extra weight creates unnecessary strain on a child’s spine aggravating an already scoliotic spine. A heavy back pack can pull a child backwards making him or her overcompensate by bending forward or arching their backs, in turn further compressing the spine.

If your child prefers the “over one shoulder sling” he or she may lean far to the one side to offset the weight of the heavy backpack. Overtime, repeated use will lead to increased strain on their posture, muscle strain and pain in the back neck and shoulder areas.

The following are signs that indicate your child’s backpack is too heavy:

  • Change in posture?
  • Signs of struggle while putting on or taking off the backpack
  • Complaining of pain from wearing the backpack
  • Red marks on the shoulder area from wearing the backpack
  • Complaints of numbness or tingling in the arms and hands

Before you shop these guidelines can lead you to a better backpack option for your child:

  • Purchase a backpack that’s durable yet lightweight- many backpacks, although quite fashionable, may be made of unnecessarily heavy construction
  • Look for a backpack that has two wide padded shoulder straps
  • A backpack with a waist strap helps the weight distribute more evenly
  • A padded back can make the load more comfortable while protecting from sharp objects poking out the back
  • Multiple compartments help the weight distribute more evenly
  • Rolling backpacks are ideal provided there is no need for rolling across uneven terrain or climbing stairs
  • When packing your child’s backpack- pack the heavier items towards the back and evenly distribute smaller items in compartments
  • Weigh your child’s backpack- make sure it doesn’t exceed 10-15% of his or her body weight
  • Adjust the straps to fit tight against the body

Now you’re ready to send your child safely off to school! Always encourage your child to tell you about any discomfort concerning his backpack and pay attention to any symptoms he or she may be experiencing.

Remember- A heavy backpack does not cause Scoliosis but may disguise a spinal curve in it’s initial stages. Scoliosis first shows up between the ages of 9-15 so make sure your child is screened on a regular basis.

For more information, contact us at South Florida Scoliosis Center 305-705-0777, or visit www.southfloridascoliosiscenter.com.

South Florida Scoliosis Center is the only CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Center in the South Florida area in addition to being one in only 18 worldwide clinics to offer Intensive Care Scoliosis Treatment.

South Florida Scoliosis Center draws patients from the entire state as well as from countries abroad.

Dr. Alex Greaux, Scoliosis Doctor

Dr. Alex Greaux Joins Distinction of 18 Physicians in the World!

Dr. Alex Greaux, Scoliosis DoctorDr. Alex Greaux of South Florida Scoliosis Center has achieved Intensive Care certification from the CLEAR Institute treatment for scoliosis.

This new treatment method is a ground-breaking blend of techniques and therapies developed to reduce or correct scoliosis in all ages without the use of bracing or surgery. Dr. Greaux successfully completed the post-graduate training, under Dr. Dennis Woggon, founder and director of the Clear Institute. The CLEAR Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and development of procedures to reduce and/or correct scoliosis without the use of braces or surgery.

IC Certification is rigorous, extensive, and granted only to those doctors who have demonstrated complete mastery of the CLEAR Institute protocols. Currently, there are only 16 certified CLEAR Intensive Scoliosis Care Clinics in the world and South Florida Scoliosis Center is proud to join their ranks.

Intensive Scoliosis Care consists of treating a scoliosis patient for 2 weeks 2 times a day with before and after x-rays to determine amount of correction in the 2 week period. The patient is then sent home to perform an in home scoliosis rehab program for 90-120 days and then reports back to the Intensive Care office for a follow up exam and possibly another round of care. Intensive Scoliosis Care was created to meet the needs of scoliosis patients who live in an area without certified doctors. Intensive Care allows a scoliosis patient to receive CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment regardless of where they currently live.

Scoliosis is a disease of the neuro-muscular skeletal system that causes a severe curvature of the spine, usually accompanied by forward head posture, head tilt, uneven shoulders and an un-leveling of the hips. Scoliosis is prevalent in at least 4.5% of children and may increase to 25% – 30% as the population ages. Scoliosis is more than a cosmetic issue or a badly curved back. Studies have shown the life expectancy in scoliosis patients left untreated is decreased by 14 years. Scoliosis is also associated with shortness of breath, digestive problems, headaches, hip, knee, and leg pain. Traditional methods for treating scoliosis are observation, bracing and surgery. Studies have shown traditional treatment methods have little success. This was the reason for the inception and development of the CLEAR Institute non-profit.

We are excited to finally offer a promising protocol of care for treatment of scoliosis that provides hope, and possibly a solution to this physically debilitating disease for patients around the world.

For more information, contact us at South Florida Scoliosis Center 305-705-0777, or visit www.southfloridascoliosiscenter.com.

South Florida Scoliosis Center is the only CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Center in the South Florida area and draws patients from the entire state as well as from countries abroad.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Alex Greaux on becoming Intensive Care Certified in the treatment of Scoliosis!

My Teenager has Scoliosis – Developing Positive Self-Image

My Teenager has Scoliosis – Developing Positive Self-Image

My Teenager has Scoliosis – Developing Positive Self-ImageThe emotional effects of scoliosis in teenagers can be every bit as real and serious as its physical effects.

Scoliosis is a condition in which an individual’s spine has a lateral, or side to side curvature. In terms of its effects on your teen, Scoliosis can affect the shape of your teen’s back, rib cage, shoulders, and hips. In  addition these changes can affect how he or she feels about herself.

Teenagers are already challenged by having to deal with the pressures of being a teen – throw in a diagnosis of Scoliosis and the added challenge may affect his or her self-confidence, relationship to peers and everyday behavior.

Many studies have found that teenagers with scoliosis are not happy with their appearance. They often fear their bodies are developing abnormally and view themselves in poorer health than their peers. Unfortunately a teen’s body image does not always relate to the size of his or her curve – your teen may have a relatively small curve and still refuse to wear bathing suits, tank tops, or tight fitting clothing.

Teenagers with scoliosis are also commonly unwilling to be involved with activities requiring them to wear a swimming suit or other clothing that might easily reveal the curvature of their spine, all of which can lead to social isolation. Adding to this many of these children are made to wear bulky and uncomfortable braces for up to 23 hours a day further limiting their physical activities and involvement with other children.

Long term statistical studies show patients deeply affected by scoliosis are more prone to depression and alcoholism later in life with 4 out of 5 women with scoliosis, never marrying.

Being diagnosed with scoliosis can cause your teen a lot of stress. When first diagnosed, your child may feel anxiety, fear, and withdrawal. These feelings tend to improve with time depending on treatment.

Having a strategy for dealing with your child’s diagnosis is key to the development of his or her positive self image. Below our some of our suggestions:

Tips to Help Your Teen Emotionally Deal with Scoliosis

  • Discuss with your teen his or her diagnosis and the treatments available.
  • Assure your child that the condition does not make him or her less of a person in school nor in the community.
  • Accept your teenager’s feelings and communicate that you understand.
  • Talk to your teenage son’s or daughter’s friends and educate them about Scoliosis and how they can help their friend have an easier journey.
  • Don’t stop your teen from engaging in physical activities that he or she has always done but check with your physician for any necessary restrictions.
  • Exercising regularly can help your teen feel better about her body.
  • Find support groups for teens and families also dealing with Scoliosis- being in contact with other teens facing the same issues can help. Talking about the challenges of clothing, sports, and dating can help your teen cope better.
Best Exercise Choices for Scoliosis

Exercise and Scoliosis – What Are My Choices?

Best Exercise Choices for ScoliosisMany adults and teenagers with scoliosis, are curious about the risks and benefits of exercises and sports participation. Although it is important for all people, including those with scoliosis, to exercise and remain physically fit we recommend a bit of caution while embarking on a new regimen.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. The spine bends sideways and twists creating a lateral, or side to side curvature. Usually the upper or lower back is twisted, but in rare cases scoliosis can affect the neck.  Although scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity, on an x-ray, scoliosis curves can often look like a simple “S” or a “C” shape.

80-85% percent of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. But it appears that heredity is one factor, since scoliosis tends to run in families.

Scoliosis often appears during the onset of puberty, and more females than males are affected.

Treatment for Scoliosis

Scoliosis is complex and affects everyone differently. Accordingly, it is crucial to accurately diagnose and analyze each patient on a case-by-case basis, and design a treatment plan based on the individual’s unique situation.

As a CLEAR™ Institute certified location; South Florida Scoliosis Center (SFSC) does not endorse any type of bracing. In fact, clinical experience demonstrates that attempting to utilize a brace while the patient is undergoing our treatment may have an adverse effect. Our protocols attempt to strengthen the same postural muscles which are made weaker by relying upon the brace.

Scoliosis and Exercise

If you have scoliosis, posture and muscle changes caused by the condition may restrict your movements while exercising. In some cases, your endurance may be affected by reduced lung capacity. Regimens that include running or jumping can also be especially hard on the scoliotic spine further compressing one misaligned vertebrae into the other.

For those who suffer from Scoliosis and even those who don’t we recommend swimming. No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body (without putting stress on your joints)

Benefits of Swimming for Exercise:

  • Increased Muscle Tone and Strength
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Stronger Heart Muscle
  • Weight Control
  • Improved Asthma Symptoms
  • Improved Cholesterol
  • Lower Stress, Higher Spirits and a Better Brain

Make an appointment today and take control of your spine health! 305-705-0777

Adult Scoliosis – Is it the Cause of Your Pain?

Adult Scoliosis – Is it the Cause of Your Pain?

Adult Scoliosis – Is it the Cause of Your Pain?Because scoliosis typically affects adolescents, adults who are diagnosed with adult scoliosis are often shocked. Scoliosis is a condition in which an individual’s spine develops a side to side curvature – or sideways S or C shape. Although the symptoms of scoliosis are the same for adults as well as teenagers, adults face a different set of challenges than teenagers.

What are the Symptoms of Adult Scoliosis?
Symptoms of adult scoliosis can include one or more of the following:

  • Lower back pain and back aches
  • Tiring of the spine due to lengthy periods of sitting and/or standing
  • Hip and shoulders that are uneven
  • A spine that curves to one side.

What causes Adult Scoliosis?
There are several different reasons that an adult can get scoliosis. Some adults have had scoliosis from childhood, but the deformity and pain worsens as they become an adult. Disc degeneration can cause scoliosis as well, as can fractures in the spine. Individuals who suffer from muscular dystrophies, polio or other neuromuscular disorders often suffer from neuro-muscular scoliosis. The most common causes of adult scoliosis are the following:

  • A Degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis- when the vertebrae and/or discs on one side of the spine weaken or degenerate more than those on the other side, creating a curve.
  • Idiopathic Scoliosis that went unnoticed and untreated during adolescence- a curvature that went unnoticed during adolescence now becomes noticeable in adulthood because it has continued to progress or because it begins to cause pain.
  • Scoliosis that was treated with surgery during adolescence- individuals who undergo scoliosis surgery as teens continue to struggle with the symptoms of scoliosis throughout their lives.

How is Adult Scoliosis Treated?
While scoliosis does not generally cause pain in children or teens, it can cause pain in adults, especially those with osteoarthritis. Even in other types of adult scoliosis, pain may be present because the natural flexibility of youth has diminished, and the muscles that have helped to compensate for the curve become overtaxed.

Traditional medicine generally employs pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to alleviate the painful symptoms of adult scoliosis. The problem with these drugs is that they only last a few hours, they have many side effects and don’t resolve the underlying problem.

At South Florida Scoliosis Center we offer a safe and natural alternative to alleviating the pain and symptoms of adult scoliosis.

SFSC Scoliosis Treatment Method

If your adult scoliosis stems from a degenerative condition, vertebrae and discs can be out of alignment and compressing nerves, which can cause your scoliosis pain. If the scoliosis has been present for many years, whether treated with surgery or not, there’s a good chance that compensatory muscles have become strained. And with the scoliosis curvature existing for years, the unnatural position can cause other misalignments and further interfere with proper nerve function. Our scoliosis treatment methods can begin correcting structural misalignments and restoring optimal function to the nervous system.

If you’ve never considered chiropractic for your adult scoliosis, now is the time to contact us. At South Florida Scoliosis Center we will go to great lengths to understand your particular situation, by performing an extensive exam. Discuss all findings, and design a customized plan for working with your adult scoliosis.

Make an appointment today and take control of your spine health! 305-705-0777

Spring your Spine Health into Spring!

Spring your Spine Health into Spring!

Spring your Spine Health into Spring!The beautiful South Florida Spring season brings many opportunities to stay outdoors and increase your physical activity. While everyone can benefit from taking advantage of the pleasant weather, the trick is not to overdo it. Getting your body used to an active lifestyle takes conditioning and common sense.

Before you head outdoors this spring keep the following tips in mind:

Stretch to Release Stiff Joints and Stay Injury Free-

Whether it’s golf, tennis, gardening or just walking- stretching is one way to assure you remain in action longer. A five minute stretching session both before and after physical activity can pay big dividends by keeping you healthy and preserving your motivation to stay active.

First focus on the larger muscle groups. Because the quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs are generally the largest muscles of the body and play a key supporting role for your back, they deserve special attention. That means stretching the back, front, plus the inner and outer thigh.

Lastly stretch the whole body. Work up through the back, arms and neck, and then down through the calf and ankles.

Hydrate before you exercise-

Nearly every cell of the human body contains water. Without water, cells don’t function properly and they certainly don’t function to their full potential during exercise. This is why it is important to hydrate before exercise.

Studies show that dehydrated exercisers complete three to five fewer reps per set, during strength-training sessions. Dehydration also lowers hormone levels necessary for strong muscles.

One to two hours prior to your heading outdoors, we recommend drinking one ounce of water for every 10 pounds of your body weight. If you weigh 120 pounds, drink 12 ounces of water before and don’t forget to sip water during your workout to replenish the fluids your body loses through sweat.

Heat Therapy Soothes Muscles Before and After Exercise-

Most of us are aware that a heating pad or warm bath after a workout can make a big difference in terms of pain reduction and comfort. What is not so well known is that heat can also play a preventative role, as well.

Applying heat before a workout session can significantly minimize muscle strain. Studies have shown that individuals who applied a heat to their lower back before a workout session rated their post-exercise pain as 50% less intense as those who only stretched prior to working out. Using commercial heat wrap products available in drugstores may help keep you comfortable and get you back to action sooner.

Applying heat therapy after exercise calms the muscles and prevents cramping. After a workout, muscles and joints are potentially dehydrated and, not as stable as when resting. Applying a heating pad or wrap for approximately 10 minutes while seated or lying down after a workout session or strenuous activity can help muscles calm down and return to their normal state without seizing up.


Adult Scoliosis – Is there help for me?

Adult Scoliosis – Is there help for me?

Adult Scoliosis – Is there help for me?Last week, after our “That Was Then… This is NOW! – New Hope for Scoliosis Patients” article went out I received an email from a patient inquiring the following:

“I have been receiving your emails.  However, the solutions seem to be geared towards children.  I wanted to know if there is anything that can be done at my age. I am 53 years old.  I have a lateral curve of the lumbar.  It is severe scoliosis. Please advise.”

A lot of our articles are geared towards children because it is the moment in development where it is the easiest to stop the progression of a scoliotic curve, with at times, minimal effort. However, thanks to new methodologies, we do have solutions for our older patients as well.

At South Florida Scoliosis Center our oldest scoliosis patient currently receiving treatment is 83 years young! He is getting great results and is very happy because he can play golf once again.  As is no surprise, scoliosis treatment is different when regarding older patients. The amount of muscle rigidity already present must be determined and taken into account. How much arthritic process is in the joints also needs to be measured, any possibly limiting movements, and a patients’ overall tolerance for performing the necessary exercises.

At South Florida Scoliosis Center we recognize that each patient is an individual with his or her unique set of variables and responses and thus require a treatment plan customized to their individual needs in order to treat Adult Scoliosis successfully.

When an older patient comes in to the office for scoliosis treatment, our primary objective is to determine where there scoliosis curve has progressed to. An initial visit will consist of the following:

  • Discuss with the doctor past medical history immediate goals and or wishes
  • A physical examination
  • X-rays to establish a baseline measurement

The physical exam is a very detailed in and of itself and probably unlike any you may have experienced, as we check a multitude of components. Later we move on to take the series of spinal X-rays which will establish your current position. This fulfills your first visit.

The doctor now studies the physical exam findings plus the spinal x-rays to evaluate the severity of the curve and determine which solutions will be the most favorable and will garner the greatest results for this patient.

On the follow up visit, together patient and doctor discuss the x-rays and exam findings and propose the steps devised that will work best. We then commence a series of protocols maximized to achieve the most benefit and produce the maximum results in order to effectively test how a patients’ spine will react and respond to the scoliosis treatment. At the end of the series, we again run tests to determine how much our protocols can actually change the patients’ scoliotic spine.

At the conclusion of this visit we are able to show the patient what can actually be achieved and review realistic expectations. Any reduction to the scoliotic curve that can be achieved will now be visible on the post X-ray. Given these results a customized treatment plan options are then discussed.

Are you suffering from the pains brought on by Adult Scoliosis? Make an appointment today and take control of your spine health! 305-705-0777