Understanding the CLEAR Protocols
Scoliosis is an incredibly complex condition involving much more than the spinal column. There is no one magic adjustment or therapy which will work in every case. This is the reason why understanding our protocols and especially the science behind them is important. Scoliosis treatment must be customized to the particular, specific needs of each individual patient. However, there are certain key aspects of our protocols which are integral to achieving consistent, measurable success in scoliosis treatment. It is important that the patient understand the science behind these protocols to take full advantage of their benefits.
Part One: Mix (warm up or "prehab")
Prior to receiving chiropractic adjustments, the patient is required to warm up their spine using the following devices. The Active Rehabilitation Chair flexes in every direction to put the spine through a full range of motion. The Cervical Traction will actively allow the patient spinal traction while decreasing forward head posture and restoring the natural curve of the neck. The Vibrating Traction uses a slow, relaxing vibration which has been scientifically proven to relax the ligaments and soft tissues of the spine. The Eckard Flexion/Distraction table is a special motorized table with belts that pull the scoliotic curves out of the spine while tractioning and derotating the spinal column allowing restructuring and remodeling of the ligaments. The "Mix" procedures allow for the intervertebral discs and ligaments to have an effect upon the structural changes to the spine.
Part Two: Fix (specific spinal adjusting)
Mechanical adjusting instruments and specialized drop pieces enhance the precision & effectiveness of chiropractic care, while simultaneously reducing the amount of force required to correct the spine. All adjusting procedures used are based upon the information obtained from the patient's x-rays. Follow up x-rays are used to confirm correction of these areas.
Part Three: Set (rehab stage)
Immediately after the adjusting is completed, the spine needs to be "set" in its corrected position to ensure the permanency of the changes. This involves spinal weighting protocols and whole body vibration therapy such as the Vibe and the Scoliosis Traction Chair. Gait therapy is also used to re-train patterns of moving and walking.
Follow-up exams will be given as well as post x-rays to validate the effectiveness of the treatment protocols. It's important to keep in mind that not every patient will show a reduction in the severity of the scoliotic curve, as measured by Cobb angle. This is due to the fact that Cobb angle is a measurement of only one dimension of the spine, and scoliosis is, in fact, a three-dimensional condition. Before the sideways curve can be reduced or corrected, the spine must be de-rotated and de-compressed in the other two dimensions. Treating a complex spinal disorder takes time to change the course of the disease.
Home spinal rehab programs are imperative when it comes to the treatment of scoliosis. The CLEAR program requires active participation from the patient outside of the office. Results are not guaranteed. The traditional methods of scoliosis treatment, bracing & surgery, are considered "passive" therapies, in that the patient has the procedures done to them; the doctor designs the brace, the doctor performs the surgery. CLEAR Institute's method, by comparison, should be considered an "active" process, that is to say the doctor teaches the patient how to do the procedures and the patient does them. A small part of our protocols could be considered passive modalities, but the effectiveness of these treatments on their own is limited without the involvement of the patient. Often, the degree of participation from the patient determines the degree of improvement.