"Rat Tail" Research May Prove Scoliosis Brace Treatment May Increase Spinal Deformity

April 07, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
(Lititz, Pennsylvania) Dr. Clayton Stitzel, former Co-director of the CLEAR Institute, (a non-profit scoliosis research think tank) is challenging the current status quo of prescribing scoliosis brace treatment to patients with idiopathic scoliosis.

Recent research conducted at the University of Vermont on rat tails (which closely resemble human spinal structure) indicates "a curvature is imposed along with compression develops a 'structural' [permanent] disc deformity with tissue remodeling after 5 weeks" resulting in permanent spinal disc wedging which the same researchers conclude "The disc wedging structural changes in human scoliosis may result from reduced mobility".

Scoliosis occurs when the spine of the back forms a C or an S shaped curve. Scoliosis affects 2 to 3 percent of the population (an estimated 6 million people worldwide) and the exact cause remains unknown. The primary age of onset for scoliosis is 10 to 15 years old, and the condition affects more females than males. Scoliosis can impact the quality of life with limited activity, pain, reduced respiratory function or diminished self-esteem. Vertebral disc deformity (wedging) is considered a key component of spinal curve progression.

"The continued usage of scoliosis brace treatment has come under fire for quite some time now, so these findings of this rat tail research really aren't all that surprising," states Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel. Spinal brace treatment has been utilized since 650 AD, but recent evidence based medical studies and even a genetically predicted natural course of the condition have demonstrated that scoliosis brace treatment has no effect on idiopathic scoliosis. Dr. Stitzel concluded, "Perhaps this additional rat tail study information will finally help the scoliosis treatment community turn its back on the age old tradition of scoliosis brace treatment and we can move forward with more useful treatment approaches."

Dr. Clayton Stitzel is a Lancaster County Native. He is a graduate of Manheim Central High School. He received his bachelor's degree in Kinesiology (the advanced study of biomechanics) from Penn State University. Dr. Stitzel earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. While attending Palmer College of Chiropractic, he received research honors and was inducted into Palmer's research fraternity. He is one of nine health care professionals within the U.S. that have received the CLEAR Institute's most prestigious certification in scoliosis treatment- scoliosis intensive care certified. Dr. Stitzel is a nationally and internationally recognized lecturer within the scoliosis field, speaking recently in Singapore and England. He is the co-developer of the scoliosis traction chair. Dr. Stitzel is the owner and Clinic Director for the Lancaster Spinal Health Center where he has practiced for 9 years. For more information please visit www.treatingscoliosis.com. You can also visit the Treating Scoliosis Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Treating-Scoliosis/123777240990701?ref=ts or follow Treating Scoliosis on Twitter at twitter.com/treatscoliosis.