Research News Staff
New Research on Scoliosis & Quality of Life

Young Woman Experiences Improvement in Curves Following Chiropractic Care

Recent research reporting on a 21 year old woman with scoliosis of the spine experiencing improvement in the curvature following chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for scoliosis and spinal curvature. The research, reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, includes a review of the literature on scoliosis and chiropractic and also reviews potential mechanisms by which the improvement may have occurred.

CLICK HERE to review the study 

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and structural shifts such as scoliosis” stated Matthew McCoy DC, MPH, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy continued “This case adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic should play an important role in managing children with scoliosis and spinal curvatures”. 

According to research scoliosis is estimated to affect up to 5% of the population. Long-term follow up of patients with scoliosis reveal several important findings: curve progression, loss of pulmonary function, increased overall mortality, increased mortality in women due to cancer, increased prevalence of self-reported arthritis, negative perception of health, increased difficulty in basic strenuous and semi-strenuous physical tasks, more days of limitation due to sickness, injury, and other health problems, and increased prevalence and intensity of back pain. 

The study’s authors point out that the available evidence presents the long-term implications of scoliosis as far more than merely a cosmetic defect, but a potentially serious impediment to a person’s long-term state of health and well-being. 

Stated Dr. McCoy “As chiropractors we know that spinal shifts can lead to nerve obstruction  and that nerve obstruction can lead to all sorts of additional problems and this is certainly true with scoliosis.” 

“Considering the fact that every single function of the body is controlled by the nervous system it should not surprise anyone that removing obstructions to the nerves that control the muscles and joints of the spine would lead to improvement in the curves” remarked Dr. McCoy. 

According to McCoy “It’s not just the bones and joints either as all of the organs and structures of the body need a constant and uninterrupted nerve supply in order to develop and function properly".

The patient reported on in this study was a 21-year-old female with a history of scoliosis, low back pain with radiating numbness into her legs and feet. She also suffered from daily headaches. She reported that her problems began four years earlier while she was cheerleading and doing gymnastics in high school.

The patient was examined, x-rays were taken and tests of her nerve function were performed revealing structural shifts in her neck, middle and low back. Structural shifts in the spine can develop and this can lead to obstruction of the nerves. It is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxation, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic care to reduce the subluxations the patient experienced a reduction in her scoliosis, resolution of her symptoms, an improvement in the functioning of her nervous system and an improvement in her quality of life.  

These results suggest a possible link between scoliosis and spinal subluxations.  Correcting the subluxations through the use of specific chiropractic adjustments appears to have led to resolution of her complaints. The authors called for further research in this area. 


Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

McCoy Press