Scoliosis Progression and the Immune Response; Can Supplements Help?
Scoliosis has long been treated as an orthopedic condition, with limited success. Researchers continually provide validation that scoliosis is much more than a curvature of the spine, most recently, the British Medical Journal published a study entitled, “Understanding the role of the Immune System in Adolescent Scoliosis: Immunometabolic Connections to Scoliosis..” The study’s aim was to identify the mechanisms of how inflammation caused fibrosis (scaring) and remodeling (fatty infiltration of the concavity musculature), and how the cascade of the immune response is associated with progression of the scoliosis. The authors discuss the cross talk communication between the circulating immune cells (macrophages) and the muscle. This same cross talk communication happens between the bone cells (osteocytes) and macrophages.
The study highlights the importance of having an appropriate immune response and how inflammation can be tipped towards overreaction through intermediary proteins called cytokines. Successful Scoliosis treatment without surgery necessitates that the immune response be curtailed or influenced through diet and lifestyle modifications. Supplementation directed toward cytokine management may provide a missing piece of the puzzle to successful outcomes.
Functional Medicine offers a clinical solution to control cytokine production, in particular, the down regulation of pro inflammatory cytokines may provide the clinician with help to tip the scales in the patients favor.
Here are a few basic concepts that everyone can benefit from.
- Vitamin D is a hormone that is produced and used by the Osteocytes (bone Stem Cells). Low Vitamin D drives the Osteocytes to become Osteoclasts, which break down the bone matrix. This is significant if your lab results reveal low Vit D, and especially if you have low bone density for Age. Supplementing with Vit D and its co-factors like Vitamin K2 is important especially if your lab levels indicate.
- Curcumin (Tumeric) and Resveratrol are well known supplements with many potential benefits. Studies have shown these compounds effectively modulate the immune response to reduce overproduction of pro inflammatory cytokines.
- Trizomal Glutathinone is a master antioxidant and can become depleted when cytokine production is high. Replacing Glutathione through supplementation can aid in reducing the ongoing inflammatory process associated with progressive Scoliosis.
- Strontium Citrate is a compound with very similar properties to Calcium. Strontium supplementation has been shown to improve bone density and may be safer than Calcium supplementation (for men). Strontium should be recommended by a professional as it competes with calcium for absorption and timing of dosing will have a significant effect on its absorbability.
This post is not meant to be a prescription for supplements. Bring this to your provider and discuss if this type of medicine is right for you. Comprehensive Blood work may uncover more ways to better help you and we always encourage you work with a trained profession. To learn more contact us for a phone consultation.
Blood Chemistry and Nutritional Virtual Consultation
How it Works
- Video Consultation– Review your health history during a 1 hour video consultation with your new doctor
- Lab Testing– Receive a custom lab kit mailed to your home or a Blood Requisition form which can be brought to any local laboratory. The test results are sent directly to your doctor.
- Analysis– Schedule a Review of your test results with your doctor.
- Treatment Plan– Your doctor develops a personalized plan addressing your unique diagnosis. This may includes planning for follow up testing.
Schroth Exercise Virtual Consultation
How it Works
- Video Consultation– Review your health history during a 1 hour video consultation with a Scoliosis Expert. During this time your doctor can advise you on whether or not you’re a good candidate for Virtual Exercise Classes. Buy your Home Schroth Exercise kit at this time. Also Learn what you shouldn’t do and how you can protect your back during typical daily activities
- X-rays- Receive a prescription for the exact x-rays to be taken at your local radiology center.
- Analysis– Schedule a Review of your results
- Treatment plan– Your doctor develops a personalized plan addressing your unique needs.
- Virtual Schroth Exercise training Sessions are typically 30 minutes, 3 times per week for 6 weeks.
Do you Take insurance
We care not contracted with any insurance providers at this time. Preventative healthcare expenditures and specialty lab tests are not typically reimbursable under most health plans. However, you may be able to use a HSA.FSA account to pay for our services.
How much are the lab tests and X-rays
Most labs accept insurance as direct payment. X-ray requests may require a referral from your doctor depending upon your individual medical plan.
How long are consultations?
The initial consultation is 60 minutes ($199). However, follow-up appointment could be as low as 30 minutes, depending upon the number of tests to be reviewed and the time required to adequately instruct patients on their care plan.
What comes in the home Schroth Exercise Kit ($199)
The Schroth method is low tech, but does require a few items. Your home Schroth Exercise kit includes
- 6 Eye Bags with Schroth Instructions for use. Choose your favorite colors, Scented vs Non Scented.
- Breathing Band or Breathing Caliper with Instructions for use
- Breathing Ap for you Smartphone (Third party Free)
- Suspension straps (High Quality)
- Nu-schroth website access for 1 month (Customized)
What is a Scoliosis Epigenetic Diet?
Scoliosis is considered an orthopedic disease, however researchers have shown successful scoliosis treatment is dependent upon epigenetic factors and not the predetermined genetics. Scoliosis progression has been linked to low bone density for age, Osteopenia and Osteoporosis, and therefore should be a clinical target but rarely is. Other dietary deficiencies have been identified to be epigenetic triggers of disease, like low vitamin D, or low Vit B2. Diet and supplementation can effectively reduce your risk of scoliosis progression regardless of you age or if you are currently receiving orthopedic treatment. An Epigenetic Diet plan can reduce an adolescents risk of progression during puberty, and can improve conditions such as ammenorhea and Osteopenia.
Are Low Levels of Phosphorus Protective Against Scoliosis Progression?
Calcium and Phosphorus are at normal levels in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS):
Calcium and Phosphorus are both important for normal bone mineralization, and can be mobilized to and from the blood stream and into the bone depending upon body homeostasis. Hormones (Parathyroid hormone and Estrogen) are mostly responsible for signaling when the minerals should be stored or released.
Scoliosis and Osteoporosis
Did you know Osteoporosis is a risk factor for Scoliosis Progression? Typical Scoliosis braces hold the spine out of gravity and have a negative effect on bone density. Bone Density testing is a safe and reliable way to determine if bone density is a risk factor. In the event Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, or low bone density are confirmed, scoliosis bracing can exacerbate your condition. This is one reason scoliosis braces can be ineffective. It’s important to improve your bone density over time, and to use a brace designed to increase the effects of gravity.