What Caused My Child’s Scoliosis?

Every parent who has a child with scoliosis asks the same question: “What caused my child’s scoliosis?”. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, “In more than 80 percent of the cases, a specific cause is not found and such cases are termed ‘idiopathic’”, meaning they don’t know the cause. What could be more frustrating than knowing you or  your child is suffering with a serious spinal condition and not knowing why? How about the most common recommendation, which is being told to do nothing about it! When nothing is done for this problem, children with scoliosis turn into adults with scoliosis!

The number one treatment option for scoliosis is a “watch and wait” approach where your child is monitored, typically with X-Rays, to see how fast the scoliosis is progressing. When the scoliosis worsens, a brace or some at-home exercises are usually recommended. In cases where the scoliosis curve continues to grow, the main recommendation is spinal surgery.

But why does this happen? What really causes scoliosis? Well the cause of scoliosis fits into two categories. Structural and Physiological.

Structural Scoliosis

Structural Scoliosis means there is some type of spinal abnormality that is forcing the spine to adapt and be crooked. Common examples include a hemi-vertebra or a butterfly vertebra. This means one of the segments of the spine is not shaped properly and the spinal segments above and below must adapt to it. Other types of structural scoliosis may be due to conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or marfan’s syndrome.

Physiological Scoliosis

Physiological scoliosis means that the body is adapting to a specific stressor that forces the body to grow in a crooked pattern. This is by far and away the most common cause of scoliosis. Not only are the segments of the spine crooked, but the entire body is typically crooked as well. This is called postural distortion. Examples of postural distortion include:

• Leg length inequality
• Pelvic un-leveling
• Uneven shoulders
• Upper body lean
• Neck deviation
• Head tilt
• Muscular imbalances
• Scapular protrusion

All of these changes are typically identified by the patient’s medical doctor, which is excellent knowing this problem is being detected very well. However, very few doctors are trained to correct this problem.

Cause of Scoliosis

Before we get to correcting it, let’s dive a little deeper into what caused the physiological scoliosis. What many people don’t know is that “postural control is primarily controlled by the ponto-medullary reticular formation in the brainstem.” This is a scientific phrase that simply means the bottom stem of the brain “the brainstem” controls the muscle tone and balance throughout your entire body. If there is pressure on the brainstem, it will cause certain muscles around the spine to have much more tone and tension than others. This muscle imbalance causes the spine to grow crooked and twisted. When a doctor looks at this problem, they diagnosis it as a “scoliosis”.

So back to the main question. Why does my child have scoliosis? The most likely cause is that at a young age, your child experienced some form of trauma or injury to the head and neck. Trauma in this area misaligns the top two bones of the neck, the Atlas & Axis. These bones are also known as the upper cervical spine. These unique segments of the neck actually surround the brainstem (hence brainstem pressure). The most common cause of this type of trauma is actually birth. If your child was born via C-section, vacuum delivery, or forceps extraction, there is very little chance they made it through their own birth without an upper cervical misalignment. Even a natural birth puts a tremendous amount of stress on the head and neck of the baby. Add in all the bumps and falls during a little one’s early years, and it’s pretty easy to see how you or your child may have become misaligned.

What Does a NUCCA Doctor Do for Scoliosis?

NUCCA doctors are trained not only in identifying postural distortion factors related to scoliosis, but also in correcting them. NUCCA doctors take extremely precise images of the structures that surround the brainstem to find out exactly where that pressure is coming from. They then perform an extremely gentle yet very precise correction to rebalance the upper cervical spine, removing irritation at this level. This results in the hips becoming even, shoulders leveling, legs balancing, proper nerve flow, and much more!

So if you are still wondering, “how does this reduce scoliosis?”, the answer is because the root cause of the scoliosis has been removed. A NUCCA correction removes brainstem pressure, which is what led to the uneven muscle tone. The uneven muscle tone is what creates bends and twists of the spine. So by specifically removing the uneven muscle tone by correcting the upper cervical spine, the body and spine are released of the tension and spasms that held it in this crooked position. Once the muscle tone is balanced, the body begins to shift and unwind back toward a healthy and aligned position. This process takes pressure off the spine, spinal nerves, muscles, and organ systems that have been affected by the scoliosis.

For those of you wondering why you have not heard of NUCCA before, this is because very few doctors specialize in this unique and precise care. However, NUCCA specialists have been helping those suffering from scoliosis for over 70 years!

Take a look at some real-life scoliosis sufferers who found Upper Cervical Care and have experienced the radical shift that took place in their body!

Left image is before care   |   Right image is after care

If you have been told that you or your child have scoliosis, or if you think your child may have scoliosis symptoms and you want to be proactive about having them checked, please visit the NUCCA website to find the closest NUCCA doctor near you.  It is equally as important for adults and children with scoliosis to be checked for this common misalignment.  This visit will change their life!

NUCCA’s non-profit website is:

When you visit with your local NUCCA doctor, they will perform a detailed evaluation to determine if there is a scoliosis developing and exactly where the problem is coming from. Once this is determined, they will be able to sit down with you and discuss how they can help you with this problem  At that point, together you will be able to create a plan to correct the cause of this issue so you can move forward to live a healthier, happier, and more balanced life!

If you enjoyed this information or if you know someone else who would benefit from this post, please share it to help others!

Molland Spinal Care doctors are Middletown Upper Cervical Chiropractors trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA).  Our NUCCA Clinic has helped many people find natural relief from post-concussion syndrome in Middletown, New Jersey.  As NUCCA Chiropractors we are uniquely trained to correct problems in the Upper Cervical Spine (upper neck).  This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different problems.  More information can be found on our website at

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