Bracing and Surgery are No Longer Shailene Woodley’s Only Options

Photo Credit: Apega / WENN

Photo Credit: Apega / WENN

When she was 15 years old, Shailene Woodley, was diagnosed with scoliosis. The Divergent Series and The Fault in Our Stars actress had a 38-degree curve when she was diagnosed with the most common case of scoliosis, idiopathic.  This type of scoliosis has no known cause.  As treatment for her scoliosis, Woodley was given a back brace stretching from her chest to her hips. Woodley wore the brace 18 hours a day for two years.  The actress once said in an interview that the brace was “…like wearing a tacky, disgusting, plastic corset for 18 hours a day.”  She also explained that when she first started wearing the brace it was difficult to breathe and eat.  Woodley also stated, “…the only thing they sort of know works is the brace.” Woodley is now 24 years old.  With the passing of almost 10 years, there has been incredible advancements in the types of treatments available to people suffering with scoliosis.  Wearing a brace for countless hours over several years or numerous surgeries are no longer the only viable options for scoliosis patients.  People suffering from scoliosis do not have to subject themselves to such inconveniencing and uncomfortable treatments.

Instead of the more aggressive and invasive treatment options like bracing and surgery, there are other treatments available.  South Florida Scoliosis Center implements the CLEAR methodology, which includes three main steps: 1. Mix, 2. Fix, and 3. Set.  In the first step, Mix, the patient warms up their spine using different techniques, such as Cervical Traction, Vibrating Traction, and the Active Rehabilitation Chair.  The second step, Fix, consists of the chiropractic adjustments specified for each patient based on their initial x-rays.  In step three, Set, the spine is set in its corrected position.  This process involves spinal weighting, vibration therapy, the Scoliosis Traction Chair, and gait therapy.  Follow-up and dedicated home care are both essential to the process.  Unlike surgeries and bracing, the CLEAR Methodology System is an active process.  The patient’s participation and dedication to the process are both crucial to the effectiveness of the treatment.

If left untreated, scoliosis can lead to several health issues.  It can cause deformity of the spine, pain as well as cardiac, respiratory and digestive problems.  Many doctors still suggest the bracing and surgical alternatives as in the case with Shailene Woodley.  South Florida Scoliosis Center focuses on a non-bracing, non-surgical plan through the CLEAR Institute methodologies.  Through this system, our physicians assist patients in reducing the curvature of the spine and correcting mechanical problems of scoliosis.

If you or a family member has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis, know that wearing a brace or having a rod fused to the spine through surgery are not the only treatment options available.

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.

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

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This is How Scoliosis Affects Confidence

scoliosisandconfidenceHas scoliosis caused a decline in confidence for a family member or a friend? Has his or her self-esteem gone down? Have they stopped pursuing their goals? Are they spending less time going out and doing activities they love because they are worried their curve will show? Coping with a scoliosis diagnosis can be a burden, and it can have just as many emotional effects on a person as physical effects.

Scoliosis is diagnosed when an individual’s spine has a side to side curvature.  On an x-ray, the spine takes on an “S” or “C” shape.  Scoliosis can affect the shape of an individual’s back, shoulders, rib cage and hips.  These changes may lead to self-esteem issues and further challenges for the individual. Many times people with scoliosis are unwilling to pursue activities that may expose the curvature of their spine.  Physical activities are further limited if a brace is used as treatment.  A scoliosis diagnosis can place a large amount of stress and anxiety on an individual and may cause them to withdraw from social interactions and stop pursuing their goals and interests.

In order to show support for a person with scoliosis, communicate to them that you understand their feelings.  Talk to them about the condition and the available treatments.  They may have fear that they will not be able to achieve their goals with scoliosis, but don’t allow them to push aside their aspirations.  Encourage them to keep working toward their goals by providing them with examples of people that have gone on to accomplish remarkable feats.

Here are some outstanding examples:

Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin

Coughlin wasn’t diagnosed with scoliosis until she was 30 years old when her curvature was 27° – the x-ray and the shape of her spine shocked her.  Coughlin didn’t let her diagnosis stop her.  At the 2008 Beijing Games, she became the first female U.S. Olympian to win six medals during one Olympic Games.  Coughlin also tied with two other Olympians for the most all-time medals by a female swimmer.  She continues to pursue her dreams by preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt

Bolt was born with scoliosis, and he did not let it stop him from becoming known as the world’s fastest man.  He won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games in the Men’s 100m, the Men’s 200m, and the Men’s 4x100m Relay.  He defended each of these titles at the 2012 London Games.  Bolt has also won several medals at World Championships between Olympic Games.

Olympic Swimmer Jennifer Thompson

Just like fellow swimmer Natalie Coughlin, Thompson did not allow scoliosis to affect the pursuit of her dreams.  Thompson is a twelve time Olympic medalist, including eight gold medals from the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Summer Olympics. She is one of the most decorated Olympians in history because she chose to fight for her dreams despite challenges brought on by her scoliosis.

Scoliosis may be an extra obstacle on the journey but it is not a dead-end. Each of these athletes is proof that anything is possible. Next time your family member or friend is feeling down about their scoliosis remind him or her of this: With the right treatment and the right attitude, anyone can triumph over scoliosis. If you, yourself, are dealing with the emotional effects of scoliosis think of these athletes as well, and know that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.


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

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.

Restoring the Hopes and Dreams of My Beautiful Ballerina

2015-12-03-ballerinaIn mid-October, 2015, my 13-year-old daughter was complaining of pain on her upper right side. She is a pre-professional ballerina and chiropractic care is a regular part of her care, however, her pain did not subside upon treatment. Fortunately for us, her local chiropractor did a further examination in order to assess the source of the discomfort.  When he had her take a forward bend, he found pronounced uneven muscle structure and impressed upon us that we must see the pediatric orthopedist immediately for a further scoliosis assessment.

The very next morning I contacted the orthopedist as I had been instructed, but I also contacted an acquaintance whose daughter had recently been through very serious back surgery for scoliosis. We met for coffee a couple days later and she was kind enough to share her experience. In that moment, I learned that “scoliosis is serious business.” Just like my daughter, my friend’s daughter manifested scoliosis at 13. My friend sought the medical advice and services of the same orthopedist to whom I had been referred. According to the orthopedist’s instructions, they first waited and watched the scoliosis rapidly progress to which the doctor responded with a brace that proved ineffective. Consequently, at 15 years of age, my friend’s daughter had a difficult time walking and the doctor performed a severe surgery to fuse together her spinal column and fill her full of 3 inch screws and long metal rods. Based upon my friend’s testimony, I was appropriately terrified at the prospects for my own 13 year old daughter.

While waiting for the ominous appointment with the orthopedist, I sought anyone with information regarding scoliosis treatment alternative to surgery, and of course I consulted “Dr. Google”.  Playing with different key word searches, I stumbled upon the CLEAR Institute for Scoliosis Treatment which led me to services of Dr. Alexander Greaux and the South Florida Scoliosis Center – a practice dedicated to the treatment of scoliosis with groundbreaking, non-surgical therapies. While I did find other sources of chiropractic and physical therapy related scoliosis treatments all around the country, it was the manner of advertisement of the CLEAR therapies that really drew me in. As a corporate attorney with a good deal of experience in litigation, I have been trained to be on the lookout for statements of guarantees, exaggerated claims of success and other forms of “puffery” in marketing and advertising for products and services. What really impressed me about the CLEAR Institute and Dr. Greaux was the measured manner in which they described their success in treating scoliosis patients. I also appreciated the honesty with which they explained the challenges they face in conducting long-term studies that would more accurately report on, and better define the parameters for non-surgical scoliosis treatment modalities.  This, I thought, is the more trustworthy presentation of information I had seen in my research, and for this reason I sought out the care of Dr. Greaux.

It was now five days since the discovery of scoliosis by the chiropractor, and my anxiety level was only rising. When I contacted Dr. Greaux’s office, the staff was kind and understanding, and I was relieved that they were as anxious as I was to have my daughter assessed and treated as quickly as possible. Four days later, and still waiting to see the orthopedist, Dr. Greaux found that my daughter had a 22 degree lower lumbar curve with compensatory curving in the thoracic region and some rigidity in her neck. He also kindly explained that although the curve was on the cusp of moderate, my husband and I should take this situation very seriously because our daughter had every risk factor expecting this curve to grow rapidly into a surgical situation.  Although my anxiety exploded into panic, Dr. Greaux remained calm and talked us through the treatment options and the benefits and burdens of each. We decided to bring her back for a one-week intensive of therapy to take place soon after, and headed to our appointment with the orthopedist in between.

The orthopedist predictably found the same 22 degree “s” curve and recommended nighttime bracing together with the “watch and see” approach. Like Dr. Greaux, he warned that our beautiful ballerina could very quickly grow crippled. My research taught me that bracing does nothing to reduce curvature and that the curve could continue to grow nonetheless – a troublesome prospect with which the orthopedist agreed. At this news, my husband and I were even more determined to go through with the therapy, and our daughter enthusiastically agreed.

The therapy program prescribed by Dr. Greaux required two sessions a day at 2.5 to 3 hours each.  I’m not going to minimize it; the therapy was painful, exhausting and more than challenging for our little girl.  There were even times when tears escaped because she was so determined to go through with it but her little body would protest being made straight. Nevertheless, every single member of the staff, and especially Dr. Greaux, was overwhelmingly attentive, tender, sympathetic and supportive of the process. At the end of the week intensive, my daughter’s reward was that her curve had reduced from 22 degrees to 15 degrees!!! She also achieved substantial progress in increasing the proper mobility and shape of her neck.  We are overjoyed! While she is momentarily out of the danger zone, we most certainly recognize the importance of continuing the home therapy precisely per the instructions of Dr. Greaux, or else the curve could once again escalate into total devastation. We are so grateful to Dr. Greaux and all of his staff for their hard work and dedication to pioneer advances in non-surgical scoliosis treatment, especially in the face of hostility from many orthopedic surgeons. In fact, my husband, daughter and I cannot wait for our next appointment with the orthopedist so we can share our own success story with the hopes of persuading him to reconsider his position that “therapy is a scam.”  Meanwhile, we intend to continue to tell everyone we possibly can about Dr. Greaux and the CLEAR Institute to spread hope and awareness for non-surgical scoliosis treatment options.

* To protect the privacy of our patients the image used in this post is not an actual picture of our patient but a representation of the same.

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

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.

The Text Neck Epidemic is Spreading

Text Neck SFSCThe Text Neck epidemic is spreading far and wide! Children as young as seven years old are using mobile devices and developing the condition.  Almost anywhere you go, you will most likely see someone texting on their phone or maybe playing a game on their tablet.  With the rise of technology such as new smartphones, laptops, and tablets, Text Neck has become a more common occurrence.  The condition is most often seen in teenagers, but even younger children are starting to show signs of it.

What is Text Neck?

Why does it matter?

  • Text Neck can cause several symptoms including neck pain, stiffness, headaches, numbness and/or tingling sensations, arm pain, and back pain.
  • The abnormality in the cervical spine curvature can add stress to the spinal cord and the carotid arteries, which may lead to issues such as dizziness, fatigue, nervousness, and changes in blood pressure.
  • The stress from Text Neck may also affect the release of endorphins and serotonin, which could result in anxiety.

What can I do to avoid Text Neck?

  • When texting, hold your phone at eye level.
  • Raise your computer monitor to eye level.
  • Avoid using your laptop, tablet, or phone while lying down.
  • Avoid looking down at your devices for extended periods of time.
  • Keep your head up!

Help yourself avoid Text Neck by following the above tips and encourage your kids to follow them as well when using their electronic devices!

If you think your child is dealing with symptoms of Text Neck contact us at South Florida Scoliosis Center 305-705-0777, or visit

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.

Back to School with Scoliosis: Tips for a Successful Year

scoliosis girl back to school

Summer is over, the kids are back in school and the homework load has started to pile up; Even though It’s that time of year again, continue to be mindful of scoliosis. The number of notebooks and textbooks coming home in backpacks each day seems to grow and grow.  A child’s backpack should not exceed 10-15% of his or her body weight, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. Often times, however, children are carrying much more than that.

Besides notebooks and textbooks there’s the paper, pencils, markers, and calculators, the list goes on and on.  All of these items could result in a heavy backpack, which could lead to possible strain on your child’s spine and scoliosis curve.  The extra weight that many children deal with each day can place unnecessary strain on their spines because they are leaning forward to compensate for the heavy load.  For any child the extra strain can cause problems down the road, but if the child is dealing with scoliosis, an overly heavy backpack can aggravate the situation exponentially

Backpack Safety

In order to place less strain on the spine, it is important to distribute the different items in your child’s backpack so that the heavier items are towards the back and any smaller items are placed evenly in the compartments.  Children should also be encouraged to use both straps when wearing their backpacks so the weight is evenly distributed across their backs. If possible, rolling backpacks are ideal to relieve any stress on the spine.  In children with scoliosis, such suggestions are extremely helpful so as not to aggravate or worsen the child’s scoliosis curve.

Stay Focused

Even while in school there are a few steps your child can take throughout the day to avoid aggravating their scoliosis.  Encourage your child to sit with both legs on the floor while in school instead of crossing them.  This way they will not be leaning to one side or the other and will have their weight evenly distributed.  Being mindful of one’s posture can also take stress off of the back and spine.

Make the Time

Being back to school doesn’t just consist of heavy backpacks, it also means less free time for kids.  They spend a large portion of their day sitting in classrooms, and then at home they are completing homework and other school projects.  Some children also have after school activities that take up a decent amount of their time.  However, don’t let being back in school take away the focus from other important aspects of life like your child’s health.  It is important for children with scoliosis to find time to work on correcting their scoliosis curve.

Along with making sure your child’s backpack is not adding to the situation, certain exercises are available to aid in the correction of a child’s scoliosis curve.  Such exercises can be done two to four times a day depending on how busy the day’s schedule is looking.  The time allocated to these exercises can range from a minimum of fifteen minutes to a maximum of an hour.  Busy schedules go hand in hand with being back in school, but taking time out to focus on the health and well-being of your child is extremely important.

For more information about taking on the school year with scoliosis, contact us at South Florida Scoliosis Center 305-705-0777, or visit

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.

HOP TO IT! It’s time to stop waiting… Scoliosis

HOP TO IT! It’s time to stop waiting…

HOP TO IT! It’s time to stop waiting… ScoliosisHas your child recently been diagnosed with Scoliosis and you’re in the “Wait and See if it progresses” mode? Well you’re not alone!

Every year 15% of all grade school kids screened for scoliosis result in a positive diagnosis and yet many physicians still suggest three basic methods of treatment: observation, bracing, and/or surgery – based on the severity of the curve. However, new research now shows that alternative non-invasive options are more effective in the treatment of scoliosis.

At South Florida Scoliosis Center our work and successes have proven that treating Mild Scoliosis curves- those between 10° to 25 can significantly reduce and many times halt the progression of scoliosis. Using a CLEAR™ certified approach our physicians are able to assist our patients, young and old, in actively reducing the curvature of the spine without invasive surgical procedures and unsightly braces. Our unique non-bracing, non-surgical plan has proven time and again an effective advance in the treatment of scoliosis. We offer customized plans to fit our clients including: Scoliosis and Adult Scoliosis Treatment plans, Teen Curves Summer Camp, Scoliosis Boot Camp and Intensive Care Treatment – South Florida Scoliosis Center is one of only 16 certified CLEAR Intensive Scoliosis Care Clinics in the world.

So don’t you think it’s time to stop waiting?

Hop to it and give us a call – let us take care of those curves while they’re small!


Facts About Mild Stage Scoliosis:

Scoliosis curve 10° to 25° – Mild Scoliosis has a significant risk of progression: up to 22%. Once the scoliosis passes 20°, risk of progression more than triples to 68%.Scoliosis Awareness T-Shirt

  • Scoliosis curve is less than 25°
  • May have tilted head, uneven shoulders or hips
  • Head may appear forward of shoulders when viewed from the side
  • Clothing may hang unevenly
  • May have uneven leg lengths
  • May go unnoticed, even by medical doctors or school screeners
  • May or may not be associated with pain
  • Most common in young, premenstrual girls, but can be seen in boys or adults.

To purchase one of our Scoliosis Awareness Tshirts for $10 click here.

Scoliosis and Shoes

SOLE SURFING- What you wear on your feet can have an impact on your scoliosis

Scoliosis and ShoesWhat we wear on our feet can say a lot about who we are. Shoes are often an exciting channel to express personality, but we can’t forget about why we wear them in the first place.

While footwear exists first and foremost to protect our feet, they can also have a significant effect on our balance and posture. Since posture improvement is such a large part of living with scoliosis, it’s important to select the best shoes for your body.

The footwear fashion popular on the runway or even among kids are very appealing, but don’t always have your best interest in mind. If you know what to watch out for you can look good and feel good at the same time.
Following, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best features to provide you support while staying trendy.

What to look for in a shoe:

Soles – A commonly overlooked source of back pain can be worn out shoe soles. Often times simply replacing old shoes can alleviate pain. It’s important to look for a shoe with a balanced sole so that you are landing neutrally on your foot when walking or running, creating a stable base for the rest of your body.

Arch support – Foot arch shapes are variable from person to person. They are generally categorized by height, assorted between flat, low, and high arches. Look for footwear with adequate arch support, avoiding very flat shoes. The stability provided by arch support helps prevent compression of the lower spine.

Toes – Our feet are naturally designed so that our toes span wider than our heels with an arch that supports the foot and the rest of the body. A wide and flexible toe box is beneficial to allow your toes to respond to surfaces in the way they were intended.

Laces – While shoe laces are crucial in adjusting a shoe to your unique foot, the way you tie them can also impact your body. Contrary to some shoe fads, it’s best to lace shoes completely and tightly to increase stability and decrease the load on your foot and by extension, your back.

When should you buy new shoes?

Shoe replacement,has a lot to do with the wearing of the soles. For athletic or everyday shoes, the general lifespan is about 500 miles or 3-6 months. The feet of kids and teens are often growing at astonishing rates, so size comfort should also be considered when looking for replacements. Their shoes should be replaced anywhere from one to four times per year.

No matter what shoes you wear, it’s important to know whether you’re getting the support you need to maintain your health. Talk to shoe store associates about what is available and best for you and your family. With millions of people in America living with scoliosis today, it’s certainly easy to find a shoe that fits your functional and fashion needs.

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

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.


Think Scoliosis Doesn’t Affect You? think again…

Think Scoliosis Doesn’t Affect You? Think Again…

Think Scoliosis Doesn’t Affect You? think again…


  1. An estimated 6 million people in the US alone suffer from scoliosis
  2. Scoliosis affects both men and women of all ages, races and socio-economic classes
  3. The onset of scoliosis is usually between 10 and 15 years of age
  4. More females than males are affected with Scoliosis
  5. It’s recommended that children be screened yearly! Early detection is the key to correcting Scoliosis curves
  6. Florida Legislature 381.0056 now mandates scoliosis screenings to be performed annually for students in grade six
  7. 15% of kids screened in school programs result in a positive diagnosis
  8. Research shows that alternative non-invasive options are more effective in the treatment of Scoliosis
  9. There are currently 40,000 scoliosis fusion surgeries performed annually in the United States with an estimated 25% rate of complications
  10. Currently, there are only 16 certified CLEAR Intensive Scoliosis Care Clinics in the world and South Florida Scoliosis Center is one of them

June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month

National Scoliosis Awareness Month endeavors to highlight the growing need for education and early detection of scoliosis by uniting patients, families, physicians, and related businesses in collaborative events throughout the month of June.

The Scoliosis Research Society has sent requests to all US governors asking them to proclaim June as National Scoliosis Awareness Month.

Click here to see if your state has proclaimed June as National Scoliosis Awareness Month.

We invite all scoliosis patients, family members and advocates to send their own letters of support.

Click here for the National Scoliosis Awareness Month Support Letter

Click here to find your governor – National Governors Association (NGA)

Click here for free Scoliosis Screening!