Scoliosis is common in children with a variety of congenital and neuromuscular diseases, but it is most prevalent in seemingly healthy children, with no known cause. The patent-pending Reavy Method, offered at the REACT Physical Therapy centers in the Chicago area, offers an innovative approach to correcting scoliosis. The technique was recently used to improve a 10 year-old patient’s scoliosis by a total of 16 degrees in 1.5 years with no assistance from a back brace or surgery, the first recorded case of reversing scoliosis so drastically with the method, according to a May 10 press release.
The Reavy Method focuses on balancing the body through dynamic assessment, weakness and restriction localization through muscle testing, muscle release, and muscle activation. The goal is to not only bring patients back to the level of functioning they had previously known, but to help them become balanced and stronger.
Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder in which there is a sideways curvature of the spine or backbone. According to the National Scoliosis Foundation (NFS) it is estimated 2-3 percent of the population, or an estimated 7 million people in the United States are suffering from scoliosis. Most children are diagnosed between the ages of 10-15. Girls are eight times more likely than boys to have a curve that will progress leading to treatment. Typically, the average treatment used for reversal is a back-brace, or surgery.
Although braces today are more comfortable then historically speaking, REACT Physical Therapy founder and CEO David Reavy believes there are many cases that can be reversed by applying the approach used in the Reavy Method.
“Our clients are often surprised that rather than focusing only on the site of the scoliosis, we treat the cause and the symptoms of pain,” says REACT founder David Reavy. “Traditional methods of treatment may focus exclusively on the spine. With scoliosis, clinically I see misalignments in the pelvis. Since the spine sits on top of the pelvis, if that is out of alignment, the spine is sitting on an imbalanced foundation. By putting the pelvis back into alignment, we set the foundation for the spine to straighten. Then we went to work on the muscles that had been affected by the foundation misalignment.”
Treating the child’s body as a whole allowed REACT to reverse scoliosis in 1.5 years through their unique approach to physical therapy and a series of exercises, all without the use of an uncomfortable and unsightly brace or serious surgery. It is important to understand that every scoliosis case is different and parents and patients need to know surgery and braces are not the only answers for success.