A very important part of the SET phase is exercise. Specific in office and at home exercises are required to keep the spine loose and strengthen muscles that are weak to help maintain correction.
The treatment is relatively painless however a patient may experience at the onset of care due to stretching muscle and ligaments. There may be some soreness the day after treatment due to working the muscles. It is very rare where a patient is to sore to follow through with the treatment protocol.
If the curve is larger a scoliosis traction chair may be used. It can also be used to show what correction could be possible with a stress x-ray.
The weighting system includes some combination if head, shoulder, chest or hip weights. The weighting system will allow the nervous system to adapt to gravity which help create an environment for permanent postural correction. A vibrating plate may also be used to work the postural muscle more to get a better and faster correction.
The SET phase is the glue that holds it all together. It involves re-educating you brain, nerves and muscles to keep everything where we want it. The first part involves spinal weighting which strengthens weak muscles to take the bad curve out and put the good curves back in. The second part involves using a special scoliosis chair that tractions a patient in a mirror image of their curves.
After the spine is loose, the doctor performs a gentle spinal adjustment to help reduce the curves. The adjustment is based on over 60 different angles and measurements on your x-rays. The adjustment consists of both instrument and hand adjusting.
The up and down motion of the table causes muscle and ligaments to loosen. The motion also creates a pumping motion in the discs which helps it rehydrate and heal.
The Core Stim has dual frequencies to either relax muscle or ligaments.
Eckard Traction Table
Core Muscle Stim
The vibration of 4.5 Hz causes the soft tissue to relax and allows fluid to enter the discs and ligaments.
Cervical traction helps decrease forward head posture and improve the neck curve.
The purpose of the wobble chair is to rehydrate the discs and loosen the spine. The discs loose their blood supply after puberty so the only way they heal is through motion.
The Mix portion of care involves loosening and relaxing the spine. This causes the spine to be less rigid and more flexible which helps us fix the spine. Each scoliosis is different so procedures can vary from with each patient. Some of the tool used to relax and make the curves more flexible are included below. This is the feels good part of treatment.
The initial visit starts with a thorough history, examination and a series of x-rays. From this information Dr. Kowalke will determine a treatment plan in the office and at home. Compliance with the treatment protocol in the office and at home is mandatory. It is important the doctor and patient work as a team to get the greatest correction. As treatment progresses, it is important for Dr. Kowalke to perform re-exams and re-xray to make sure we are getting the correction we want. To get the curve to de-rotate and streighten, CLEAR doctors use a unique protocol called MIX, FIX and SET,
Many practitioners will take a "wait and see" approach and take periodic x-rays until the curve reaches 25 degrees. Any pain management would include physical therapy and medications. Once at 25 degrees a hard brace also known as a Boston Brace would be prescribed, The brace is uncomfortable and socially awkward however needs to be worn the majority of the day and compliance can be an issue in adolescent children. One study of upper middle class children showed that they wore the brace less than 10% of the recommended time. If the curve progresses, laser surgery or Harrington Rods may be surgically done on the spine which are both very invasive procedures. The initial loss post corrective surgery is 3.2 degrees in the first year and 6.5 degrees total after the second year and 1 degree per year throughout life. The average pre-operative curve is 72 degrees and post-operative is an unimpressive 44 degrees. The surgery does not effect the rib hump deformity,
The CLEAR method is a non-invasive treatment. The sooner we can start working on correcting the curve the better. It involves a unique Mix, Fix and Set Protocol that involves spinal adjustments, rehab, exercises, proprioceptive neuromuscular re-training, restoring the neck and low back curve, ligament and muscular rehabilitation and vibration therapy.
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral bend in the spine. It is most common in adolescent girls, is progressive and is psychologically detrimental. It can cause physical disfigurement and more pain has it progresses. Scoliosis is more common in girls than boys and can be found at any age however is more common after 10 years old when reaching puberty and growth spurts. There is some hereditary correlation however there is no correlation between severity of the curve between generations. Usually a specific cause in unknown.
Dr. Brent Kowalke 1468 N. High Point Rd. Middleton, WI 53562 608-833-SHCC (7422)