There are two distinct types of scoliosis, adult and adolescent. Adolescent scoliosis is much more important to monitor due to the potential for the curve to progress. Chiropractic treatment prior to skeletal maturity is targeting slowing curve progress and increasing flexibility.
In a case study published in 2008, Chen & Chiu demonstrated a positive response to chiropractic care in adolescents with scoliosis after 6 months of conventional medical treatment. The authors stated, “Chiropractic treatment was associated with a reduction in the degree of curvature of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in this case, after a half a year of conventional medical treatment had failed to stop curve progression” (Chen & Chiu, 2008, p. 749).
In regard to the safety of the procedure, the authors reported, “In this case, the patient did not experience any adverse events except tenderness of local musculature after manipulation.” (Chen & Chiu, 2008, p. 751). They summarized by saying, “This suggests that in at least some severe and progressive cases of scoliosis, chiropractic treatment including spinal manipulation may decrease the need for surgery” (Chen & Chiu, 2008, p. 751).