It is hard to ignore that June still is Scoliosis is awareness month. To assess whether this campaign is a waste of time or time well spent, further investigation seems inevitable to get closer to the core.
What does scoliosis awareness means in the sense of awareness?
The Cambridge dictionary describes awareness as follows; Knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time based on information or experience:
What does awareness mean in relation to scoliosis?
- It means that knowledge about scoliosis exist, but that it is a neglected subject that involves 28 million patients worldwide, whose comings and goings will be influenced negatively lifelong.
- Understanding of scoliosis forms the base for a structural solution. Idiopathic scoliosis is a sensitive issue getting to little attention. There is still no understanding how scoliosis occurs that is why the focus is mainly on fighting the symptoms.
For decades scientists and medical specialists face up to this subject, idiopathic scoliosis. Remarkable in this matter is that 20 years ago, the etiology (the cause) of scoliosis already has been revealed. In Ukraine and Poland 2 independent scientific researches demonstrated the pathogenesis (how the cause occurs). These 2 professors/orthopedics with impressive track records presented and published independently their scientific studies worldwide and have given many lectures about their discovery. In addition, with their prophylactic methods, they have treated thousands of children and adults with scoliosis successfully. It is striking that in these patients scoliosis is not a chronic condition anymore. In most cases scoliosis does not appears anymore.
Why then is the name idiopathic still in use, while the cause 20 years ago has been discovered? And why are these treatments not acclaimed and researched by means of clinical trials in the rest of the world? There is no answer to be found, even both above mentioned ‘scoliosis-professors’ do not understand why it has not been picked up.
What is the reason of not using a successful scientific proven solution, that may affects the lives of millions of people positively and still remains untouched for 20 years ?
It turns out that, the cost of the current scoliosis care increase and that this tendency will continue in the future. This does not fit into the global health trends which are created for better managing cost effectiveness, sustainability, innovation and awareness.
In the economic life nonprofit processes will be direct reviewed, reconsidered and eliminated. Innovation starts with the leaders and that would also be desirable in health care.
The need to reform is higher than ever and should be done to make an unhealthy, diseased healthcare climate healthy again. These drastic measures will result in better treatment performances and lead to the desperately needed economic benefits and results in decrease in the number of patients, less care costs and less pressure on society.
- Every minute 1 future scoliosis patient is born.
- 1440 future scoliosis patients are born every day.
- 525.600 future scoliosis patients are born every year.
- 2015 28 million scoliosis patients worldwide.
- 2050 36 million scoliosis patients worldwide.
Is reformation feasible or Utopian?
Feasible? Yes, if there will be a revolution in preventing, detecting and treatment of the patient by making use of the already existing knowledge. Combining old and new science.
Utopian? Yes, as long as nothing will change and continues to be passed down the same dead end road. The number of patients and operations will continue to increase and the health care cost will rise explosively. It will result in exactly the opposite of what general is desired in health care.
Scoliosis Think Tank
Several scientific studies shows that scoliosis manifests at infantile age (3-6 months). Posture preferences in babies are a good example. These signals constitute the initial stage of scoliosis. Through better collaboration between specialist, therapist, patient and parent scoliosis can be managed at an early stage, resulting in the prevention, reduction and reducing the spinal deformation, without medication and surgery.
Many health centers (in NL) do pay attention to the first signs of posture preferences which might lead to scoliosis, but this effort is directly undermined because of the lack of back control in further life. School doctors do not monitor the infant’s back anymore, which results in many children consulting the specialist, with curves so big, that surgery is the only treatment option. A heavy, high risk and expensive operation which could have been prevented.
How can this been prevented? Reintroduce school screening combined with use of already existing scientifically proven old and new knowledge. Regularly back check on young children brings huge benefits; not only for the patient, also economic benefits. Functional scoliosis does not change in structural scoliosis which is shown in several studies.
In 2050 there will be 36 million scoliosis patients if nothing in the current approach is going to change. It is an increase of 250,000 patients per year on top of the already existing 28 million. Chronic diseases affect the daily lives of patients and their families. Large groups with major risk factors such as smoking, overweight, alcohol abuse and lack of physical activity, are mainly responsible for their own illness. Meanwhile scoliosis patients struggle daily with an illness which they are not accountable for, it is not caused by risk factors due to their life style it appears due to nature. They are not responsible for the occurrence of this natural condition. But scoliosis affects their lives enormously. More painful is that this group of patients are not getting the time and attention of policy makers, like the other own caused risk factors do.
According to the World Health Organization are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) largely preventable. Non-communicable diseases are preventable through effective interventions that tackle shared risk factors. Namely: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol. Scoliosis is also a non-communicable disease. Why are the pre-existing scientific knowledge and proven effective treatments not taken seriously and tested by international clinical trials?
Still this question remains; Scoliosis awareness month; a waste of time or time well spent?
Waste of time? No, absolutely not, as long as human, care about scoliosis- patient’s and are willing to draw attention to this underexposed subject, it is certainly no waste of time. Instead respect to all volunteers, who are committed to scoliosis patients and stand up for this vulnerable group against the others, the scientist, specialists and policy makers. They are capable of changing systems in favor of the patient, but are not doing it.They are not open minded enough and remain faithful to old habits.
Time well spent? No, not enough. Besides to draw attention to this topic, it is time to convince policy makers the need to innovate, revise and revolutionize their approach to achieve better results for a group of 28 million patient’s in-which it is certain, that the current approach is not sufficient enough.
That is quite a challenge. How does a group of people, (patients, parents, therapists etc.) convince a higher educated group of medical professionals, to change their vision and point of view in which they believe for decades and are not open-minded to revolutionary discoveries within their own field? That’s a hell of a job, but not impossible. For sure it will need a different approach with a fresh perspective!
For now everything this still remains the same and we keep on asking ourselves:
Scoliosis: Why can’t it be better!
To be continued, please leave a comment, scroll down.
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WHO NCD’s are largely preventable