ABOUT CLEAR TREATMENT
WHAT DOES CLEAR TREATMENT INVOLVE?
CLEAR scoliosis treatment begins with a series of specialized x-rays that expose patients to significantly less radiation than a typical x-ray examination. A total of 76 different measurements are made on these x-rays to measure the alignment of the spine in all three dimensions. Customized treatment and therapies are then applied to the patient based around the measurements.
Treatment involves spinal stretching exercises, gentle traction exercises, massage therapy, vibration therapy, spinal mobilization therapies, precision chiropractic adjustments, scoliosis-specific exercises, whole-body vibration therapy, and balance training exercises. One treatment session may last between 90 and 120 minutes.
HOW IS CLEAR TREATMENT DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL CHIROPRACTIC?
The system of chiropractic that is used by CLEAR relies upon specialized x-rays that are used to measure misalignments of the spine, head, shoulders, and hips. These measurements are combined to create a 3-dimensional representation of the scoliosis. All of the applied adjustments and therapies are then based around these three-dimensional measurements so each patient receives care that is appropriate and specific to their spine. CLEAR doctors also use specialized equipment and therapies to treat scoliosis. The CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Protocols were developed specifically to help people with scoliosis, and every CLEAR Certified Doctor has received hundreds of hours of advanced training specifically in the field of scoliosis and spinal rehabilitation.
IS CLEAR TREATMENT PAINFUL?
No, although it can be challenging in the same way that a good workout is challenging. CLEAR conducted a study of 3,198 treatment visits, and found that over 95% of the time, patients reported feeling the same or better after treatment. Over 75% of the time, there were no side effects reported as a result of care. The most common side effect was muscle soreness, which occurred after approximately one out of every five visits. No severe side effects were reported after any of the 3,198 treatment visits.
HOW MUCH DOES CLEAR TREATMENT COST?
As a non-profit, CLEAR educates and certifies individual doctors in our method of scoliosis treatment. Once a chiropractor becomes CLEAR Certified, they are allowed to call their clinic a CLEAR Scoliosis Center. CLEAR does not own nor control these individual clinics. Each doctor is responsible for setting their own treatment fees. If you are interested in receiving CLEAR treatment, please contact a CLEAR Scoliosis Center directly to inquire about the fees at that location.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS SHOULD I EXPECT FROM CLEAR TREATMENT?
Treatment outcomes vary from patient to patient based on a number of factors, including age and curve severity. In the past, patients have experienced improvements in a number of health-related quality of life areas, including pain levels, lung function, physical function, posture, and appearance. Reductions in the misalignment of the spine measured on an x-ray, by Cobb angle and other measurements, are also very common results. Maintaining positive results depends heavily on the patient’s active participation and commitment to their home rehab therapies and daily exercises.
IS THERE ANY RESEARCH ON THE CLEAR TREATMENT METHODS?
CLEAR has a number of research articles on our approach and several efforts currently underway. The first research article on a preliminary version of our methods was published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders in September of 2004. In 2006, it achieved the status of “Most Highly Accessed Article of All-Time” in this journal, and held this position until 2015. Additional research on the CLEAR methods has been presented at international scoliosis research conferences and chiropractic symposiums such as the American Chiropractic College Research Agenda Committee (ACC-RAC) and the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). All CLEAR doctors are members of a Practice-Based Research Network that is registered with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and CLEAR is currently seeking IRB approval for long-term, independent studies on the effectiveness of the CLEAR Scoliosis Protocols.
WHAT IS THE CLEAR SCOLIOSIS TRACTION CHAIR?
The CLEAR Scoliosis Traction Chair (STC) was developed by Dr. Dennis Woggon in 2004 as part of the CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment protocols. The STC is a powerful tool in spinal rehabilitation, and can be ineffective or even harmful if used incorrectly. For this reason, it is only available to patients who are under the care of a CLEAR Certified Doctor.
The STC uses a system of straps and bands to correct scoliosis in all three dimensions. The chair includes a vibration component, which is set at a specific frequency to optimize muscle activation and improve posture. The patient performs active exercises while they are in the STC for 30 minutes, twice a day. STC x-rays, taken while the patient is correctly positioned in the STC, demonstrate significant reduction in both Cobb angle and the rotation of the spine.
CAN CLEAR TREATMENT HELP PEOPLE WITH SEVERE SCOLIOSIS?
Yes. However, it is important to note that chiropractic care is outside of the established orthopedic guidelines for scoliosis care. For this reason, CLEAR recommends active co-management with an orthopedic surgeon for any person with severe scoliosis who chooses to receive CLEAR treatment.
CAN CLEAR TREATMENT HELP ADULTS WITH SCOLIOSIS?
CLEAR has helped many adults with scoliosis, from ages 18 to 80, and above. For more information, please visit our Scoliosis in Adults page.
DOES CLEAR TREATMENT INVOLVE WEARING A BRACE?
No. In most cases, patients do not need to wear a brace while undergoing CLEAR treatment. With CLEAR treatment, the goal is to activate and strengthen certain core muscles and to re-train the parts of the brain responsible for posture, balance, and coordination. Since wearing a brace changes the way muscles react to gravity, it can sometimes interfere with these goals.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARD TREATMENT AND INTENSIVE CARE?
CLEAR offers two treatment options, Standard Care Treatment and Intensive Care Treatment. Standard Treatment is designed for patients who live near a CLEAR Scoliosis Center, and can drive to and from the clinic for their appointments. Intensive Care (IC) treatment plans are intended for patients who do not live near a CLEAR Scoliosis Center and must travel out-of-town to receive care.
CAN CLEAR HELP PEOPLE WITH CONGENITAL OR NEUROMUSCULAR SCOLIOSIS?
The CLEAR methods have demonstrated success with non-idiopathic cases of scoliosis, such as congenital malformations like hemivertebrae, and neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy. These cases do tend to be more complex, and CLEAR recommends that individuals with congenital or neuromuscular scoliosis receive treatment from an Intensive Care (IC) Certified doctor.
CAN CLEAR HELP VERY YOUNG CHILDREN WITH SCOLIOSIS?
Yes. Patients as young as three years old tend to have no problem with the majority of CLEAR therapies and exercises. Most young children have very flexible spines, and respond wonderfully to the CLEAR treatment protocols.
HOW DO I KNOW IF CLEAR TREATMENT CAN HELP ME?
CLEAR Certified Doctors perform special tests as part of the initial examination that are designed to evaluate whether or not CLEAR is the right approach for that patient. Every CLEAR doctor performs this evaluation before accepting a patient and beginning treatment. If it turns out that CLEAR isn’t the right choice for you, we will assist you in finding an orthopedic surgeon or other scoliosis specialist who can help.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TREATMENT?
Treatment plans vary from person to person, depending upon the severity of their scoliosis, their risk for progression, and other factors. It can be as short as a few months for an adult with a mild scoliosis, or as long as several years for a young child with a severe scoliosis. Please consult with a CLEAR Certified Doctor for more information on your specific situation.
WHAT IS THE CLEAR HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM?
The CLEAR exercise program is customized to each patient’s specific spinal configuration. It includes scoliosis-specific exercises, stretches, spinal mobility exercises, balance training exercises, gentle traction, and reactive postural remodeling exercises. In some instances, patients may need to obtain a Scoliosis Traction Chair for home use.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO DO MY EXERCISES EACH DAY?
The exact amount of exercises that need to be performed each day varies from patient to patient, depending upon the severity of the scoliosis and other factors. Typically, the range is 30 minutes to one hour each day.
CAN CLEAR’S METHODS HELP PEOPLE WITHOUT SCOLIOSIS?
Yes! The advanced system of three-dimensional x-ray analysis, precision spinal adjustments, and exercise therapies used by CLEAR doctors can be beneficial in the treatment of other spinal conditions. The CLEAR protocols are not limited to the treatment of scoliosis. Contact your local CLEAR Certified chiropractor to find out if he or she can help!