Can scoliosis all start with a fall down the stairs?

When a 2-year-old little girl falls down the stairs what is the typical response? The parents would pick her up and check on her see if there are any notable injuries. If they were concerned about her in any way the parents would take that little girl to the emergency room and get her checked out medically. They may perform X-Rays, a Cat Scan, and other testing. If all those tests come back negative then they would release her back to her parents and tell them that she is going to be okay.

But what if she wasn't okay? What if when she fell and hit her head the ligaments and muscles that connect the head and neck were damaged.

Creating a slight misalignment at the atlas (the top bone in the spine). Once that bone is misaligned and locked out of it's normal position it creates a weakness. This weakness allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position. In this stressed position frequently one of the legs will appear shorter than the other when laying flat on your back. And one hip will be lower than the other when in the standing position.

Now in this new stressed position the body begins to grow. With the head slightly tilted to one side and the hips uneven that little girl hits her growth spurt at the age of 8 and a curvature begins to develop. By the time that little girl is 13 she has a 12 degree Scoliosis like the one you see in the picture.

Now lets look at a different scenario. This time the Mom of that 2-year-old little girl is a patient of a NUCCA chiropractor. So after the fall the little girl isn't sleeping well and just isn't acting like herself, she is brought into a NUCCA office to have her alignment evaluated. During the exam the little girl is found to have a one inch leg length difference!

After the exam the little girl is adjusted in her upper cervical spine. Her legs immediately level...the Mom is amazed! That night she sleeps great again and is just like herself again the next day.

So what were we able to save her from? Scoliosis? Ear infections? ADHD? Headaches? Digestive problems? There is no way to know for sure. But without a doubt she will now grow up a healthier girl because her spine has been restored to it's normal alignment.

The most common times for a child to develop a misalignment are after birth, when they begin to lift their head, when they begin to crawl and when they begin to walk. After those milestones a child should only be evaluated if they have had a head or neck trauma such as a fall or car crash. About 50% of the kids that are evaluated are misaligned. There will be no other time better than in childhood to correct those problems and allow that child to grow up as healthy as possible. It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to repair damaged adults!

Bad posture, scoliosis, nursing homes and NUCCA

New research is indicating that the shape of your spine could be a clue that you'll need help with daily activities when your older and that you may end up in a nursing home. Scoliosis or curvature of the spine is the leading indicator older people will need help with daily activities.

Turns out spinal shape and angle is a risk factor for nursing home admission in later life, according to a new study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

In the study, researchers at Toho University in Japan measured the spinal posture of more than 800 participants (58 percent female) 65 years of age and older using a computer-assisted noninvasive device for calculating the architecture of the spine.

Spinal posture changes with age, but accumulated evidence shows that good spinal posture is important in allowing the aged to maintain independent lives," study authors stated in a press release.

They pinpointed a spinal angle called the trunk angle of inclination, which is between true vertical and a straight line from the first thoracic vertebra in the neck to the first sacral vertebra in the lower spine, as the one most likely to predict the need for help with daily activities like bathing, eating, and dressing in old age.

When seniors with the trunk angle of inclination in their spines begin to depend on others, home assistance or nursing home admission may follow, the researchers said. A followup with study participants four and a half years after they were first measured found that:

  • More than 15 percent were dependent on help with daily living activities.
  • More than 7 percent had died.
  • Participants with the most severe angle of spinal inclination were more than three times more likely to become dependent on others.

So what is the best way to maintain a normal and balanced posture? NUCCA Has been shown to balance the heavy head over the center of the spine and the center of the pelvis leading to equal weight distribution into the feet and normal and balanced posture.

To schedule your NUCCA evaluation, click here.

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Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is 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 health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at

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NUCCA Chiropractic Care

What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.

Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.

Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.

The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.

Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed. 

First adjustment
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.

The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:

  • Gentle adjustment to the neck with no turning, twisting or popping.
  • Precision x-rays to measure before and after corrections.
  • Total body posture and balance improvement
  • Greater stability to the spine
  • Hold adjustments longer with fewer visits

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