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General questions

General Questions

The frequently asked questions below are general questions that are asked when our children are first diagnosed:

When do I need an MRI ?

It is best to always have an MRI if possible.  However, if the curve is LEFT thoracic, then this might be an indication of a Neurological problem such as Chiari - only an MRI will determine if a neurological issue is present.

I have questions regarding tethering and stapling as a surgery technique ?

Please see here for VBT and here for VBS.

We've just been diagnosed - who do I talk to ?

We've found the best answer to this question is to talk to others in the same situation.  Some families choose to follow a path i.e. a specialist (normally a surgeon) and that is their journey, others do everything they can to avoid surgery.  It is a choice that only an individual family can make.  Please join us in one of the closed Facebook groups to chat more.

Will my curves progress?

Bigger Curves = Much Greater Chance of Progression (From Scoliosmart Clinic)


Not all cases of scoliosis advance, but the chances of progression increase dramatically as the curve increases. A spinal curve measuring up to 19 degrees is considered mild scoliosis, which has the lowest risk of curve progression — a 22 percent probability.


The probability of progression jumps to 68 percent once your child's spinal curve reaches 20 degrees. That statistic doesn't apply to adults. We only see the tripled risk in children whose spines are not yet fully developed.


The risk of progression further increases to 90 percent when your child's curve reaches 30 degrees. That's why we believe it's imperative to stop scoliosis in the early stages.


No one knows why this dramatic rate of advancement occurs, but researchers suspect it's caused by increased torque from spinal rotation driven by adverse mechanical tension on the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). You may think scoliosis causes a one-dimensional curve, but it actually twists the spine around its axis as it progresses. This twisting causes severe torque and more lateral bending and rotation of the spine, like a twisting rubber band. We call this self-feeding loop the "coil-down effect." As the curvature increases, the twisting worsens proportionately.


We see heaps of information on bootcamps - are there any held in New Zealand?

There is a facility in the US; Scoliosmart Clinic (amongst others) which advertises heaps and have very active forums.  We have not found a facility as such here in New Zealand.  Some families from Wellington have attended the Schroth Method of physiotherapy with Larry Cohen from Postural Physiotherapy in Sydney.  He has a 5 day / 2 hours per day intensive session which people have found exceptionally beneficial.  To chat to families who have been and had this training please see our Facebook contact group.  Any further information that anyone has then please let us know.

Can I use an inversion (teeter) table for my child with Scoliosis ?

There are differing views of this, however, we have had suggestions that they can be used as long as they are not 90 degrees.   Put to approximately 45 degrees would be acceptable.

What aids Scoliosis Nutrition: Vitamins, Diet & Nutritional Supplements ?

Personally, we give our daughter liquid calcium / magnesium and Vitamin B3 for absorption.  There is a great article on this topic here.  In addition melatonin has been linked to assisting scoliosis, we give Skye Tru2U Cherry Juice, please see here.

Backpacks - Yes or No ?

Minimising the weight carried on the back is mandatory.  However, should school back packs be worn limit the weight to 10% of bodyweight.

Is Scoliosis covered by insurance in New Zealand?

From what we have ascertained there are no insurance companies in New Zealand covering scoliosis.

What are the risks of surgery?

We found this article to be useful.  Please click here to read.

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