Written by Dr. Clayton Stitzel
Dr. Clayton Stitzel, founder of the Lancaster Spinal Health Center, near Lititz, is not your average chiropractor.
Stitzel's passion is finding better ways to treat scoliosis.
"This disease picked a fight with the wrong guy," Stitzel
"We got together as a group of doctors who formed the ScoliSmart and really examined how limited and how poor the success rate was in curve treatment options," Stitzel
And poor Clayton
had a hard sell with me," Sherri said.
is often characterized as the spinal curvature," Stitzel
It's all about relocation and training the automatic postural control centers that will ultimately lead you to a reduced curvature that can be maintained because the brain learns how to maintain it," Stitzel
"We're at the point now where we're getting very consistent reductions in curvature and patients are, in most cases, holding those reductions and able to hold it through adolescence and adulthood," he
said that results can depend on a lot of factors, but "on average a patient will achieve 30 to 50 percent reduction in four to six months."
Rather than wait and take a chance, they found Stitzel
and enrolled Anna in therapy.
"The Scoliosis Traction Chair essentially gives the patient the ability to work out, if you would - to relocate in a scoliosis-free environment," Stitzel
The patient is strapped into the chair and then pressure from straps and braces can be adjusted to straighten their spine.
"If we're able to X-ray them while they're in the chair, and we've done this, you can see that their scoliosis is almost completely reduced three-dimensionally," Stitzel
curvature can further be reduced to the point where she
would be not able to be diagnosed as having scoliosis.
center in Lititz, Stitzel
serves not only patients from the local area, but patients from around the world, from locations such as Australia, the Philippines and Singapore.
said that when it comes to treating scoliosis, there are more options for teens and parents than ever before.
clinic now offers a genetic test, the ScoliScore, to help patients diagnose their scoliosis before it becomes severe.
"It turns out that there is a unique sequence of genetics that is common in all patients with severe scoliosis," Stitzel
Surprisingly for Stitzel
and Anna's family, her
test results revealed that she
was at a low risk for developing scoliosis.
However, because of a family history of scoliosis, her
parents decided it was better to be safe than sorry.
Coupled with his
believes the genetic testing can lead to a huge breakthrough in scoliosis treatment.
If patients with severe scoliosis can be diagnosed and begin therapy before symptoms of the disease appear, the spinal curvature can be prevented from occurring.
"'Cure' isn't a word you throw around lightly," Stitzel
"So I'm not saying we have a cure, I'm saying we have an effective treatment that may be able to head the condition off particularly in its early stages, when we're not playing catch-up."
said the biggest problem he
sees in the scoliosis cases that he
treats is that there is "a lack of urgency" until spinal curvature gets so bad that the only option left is surgery.
The genetic testing combined with his
therapy gives patients another option.
"Early-stage intervention is by far and away the best opportunity a patient has to stay ahead of the curve," Stitzel
Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel - PA