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New scoliosis treatment premiers in Colorado
It is a treatment developed by the Clear Institute that is giving athletes the chance to lose the brace. Dr. Michael Farrell brings early stage scoliosis intervention to Fort Collins.
13-year-old Hannah Klein comes to the clinic for two hours, three times a week as part of her scoliosis treatment.
“I dance and I’m a cheerleader, but I had to take a break from those because of this, because it’s so time consuming,” said Klein.
Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine that affects about two percent of the U.S. population. It is a treatment this is not just for athletes, but can treat all types of scoliotic curvatures. This genetic condition is more common among women than men, leaving their spine looking like the letters “S” or “C.”
Dr. Michael Farrell has been providing a new treatment from his Ft. Collins office for three years.
“The procedure that we utilize is non-bracing and non-surgical. The intervention is designed to prevent the curvatures from ever getting to that point. So to do that we follow the ‘mix, fix and set protocol,” said Dr. Farrell.
The “mix” looses the muscles and ligaments through massage. The “fix” makes chiropractic adjustments to the spine. And finally the “set” holds the body in position to correct posture.
“Scoliosis is more common in certain types of athletes. It’s much more common in gymnasts. Other athletes that are suffering from scoliosis, this is a type of intervention that would probably work effectively for them,” said Dr. Farrell.
The most effective intervention is early treatment, before the spine reaches the benchmark of 25 degrees. This is when with conventional treatment patients would be put in a back brace.
“Hannah is a classic early stage scoliosis intervention case…. Her parents were watching the curvatures getting worse and worse. So we’ve chosen an intervention that's very preventive, and it's going to reduce and normalize her normal curvatures, and help her spine stabilize."
According to the National Scoliosis Foundation scoliosis can lead to back and leg pain, headaches and shortness of breath.
Although there is no cure, intervention seems to be key to helping athletes, like Hannah, overcome problems later in life.
In the last decade the Clear Institute seems to be showing consistent results at mitigating scoliosis.