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  • Writer's pictureAmrita

The History of Scoliosis

Having scoliosis is a journey of its own, and everyone, even scoliosis, has a journey! Read below to learn more about the history of scoliosis and scoliosis treatments, and stay Bent To Be Strong™ warriors!

Scoliosis was first discovered in 400 B.C. by Greek physician Hippocrates. The term “scoliosis” was coined by another Greek physician named Galen in 200 A.D. The Greeks did not have the technology that we have today, so they began to seek out some sort of treatment for scoliosis. In 650 A.D., the Greeks attempted to make the first back brace by tying scoliosis patients to wooden sticks. This form of treatment does not seem very ideal to us today, as we have more advanced technology! There hadn't seemed to be any more research being done for scoliosis until 1575, when a French surgeon named Ambroise Paré created one of the first metal scoliosis braces. This wasn’t ideal for many people with scoliosis because it wasn’t a cure; it just helped with posture. In 1865, the first attempted surgical procedure was performed by a French surgeon named René Guérin. The procedure involved cutting the spinal tendons and ligaments of scoliosis patients in order to reduce deformity and straighten the curve of the spine. To his surprise, this procedure wasn’t very responsive and the results were extremely poor.

Thankfully, scoliosis technology and knowledge has transformed over the years to become more effective, supportive, and minimally invasive. In 1876, X-rays were discovered, and the first imaging of the scoliosis spine was captured. This invention is now commonly used when diagnosing a patient with scoliosis; a doctor can see the curvature of the spine through X-ray imaging. Now in the 21st century, the most common forms of ‘treatment’ is observation, bracing, and surgery. A patient with mild scoliosis would generally check in with their chiropractor to insure their scoliosis doesn't get any worse and to maintain the degree of the spine. Bracing and surgery will be presented as options to a patient with severe scoliosis; surgery will be performed by the doctor if needed. This is very different from centuries ago as they were still experimenting with possible solutions to treat or cure scoliosis. While we are still researching ways to help scoliosis patients, Greek physicians gave us the foundation that we have today for treatment options for scoliosis.

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