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 The “C.L.E.A.R.” in CLEAR Institute stands for “Chiropractic Leadership, Educational Advancement & Research” which was started in 2000 as a critique of the status quo of scoliosis brace treatment and scoliosis surgery, which are to the very day the only “mainstream” scoliosis treatment options presented to the vast majority of orthopedic scoliosis specialist.

Virtually every theory on the cause of “idiopathic scoliosis” cites a “yet-to-be-discovered” central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) dysfunction as the root cause of the condition and yet, scoliosis brace treatment and scoliosis surgery are solely focused on the scoliosis curve, not the cause.

The researchers and clinicians at the CLEAR Institute recognized this fundamental disconnect between theory and clinical treatment and sought out to develop a scoliosis treatment program that focused on “re-training the scoliosis brain” to “learn” how to hold the spine straighter automatically.  This concept is the “holy grail” in terms of scoliosis treatment and is technically referred to as “three dimensional auto-correction”.

Since that time, the advent of genetic testing for scoliosis (Scoliscore) has greatly broadened everyone’s perspective and for the first time allows researchers to study the effectiveness of various scoliosis treatments on patient populations that are genetically “pre-disposed” to severe curve progression.  Having the genetic pre-disposition information on each specific patient also allowed the CLEAR Institute doctors to shift their focus their efforts entirely into “environmental factor” reduction/elimination strategies.

Idiopathic scoliosis is a multi-factorial condition that is the result of combining genetic pre-disposition and specific environmental factors, which are probably the primary drivers of curve progression.  While the current understanding and identification of environmental factors that drive idiopathic scoliosis are still poorly understood, doctors around the world are currently scrambling to crack the code.

Potential Environmental Risk Factors for Idiopathic Scoliosis

–          Neuro-transmitter imbalance from nutritional deficiencies

–          Repeated “back bend” activities

–          Increased levels of Osteopontin

–          Spinal trauma

–          Poor postural habits

–          Activities that cause repeated compression on the spine

The mission of the CLEAR Institute is to implement an effective chiropractic system of scoliosis care to help people worldwide through research and spinal rehabilitation, which is a daunting task to say the least.  Most people and health care professionals will be quick to criticize and slow to understand how fundamental shifts in how viewing scoliosis as primarily a neurological condition that has its primary effects on the spine can lead to vast improvements in the scoliosis treatment process and results.  In addition, much of the scoliosis treatment community will not see the full potential of new breakthroughs like Scoliscore genetic testing can and will lead us closer to finding a cure for idiopathic scoliosis by allowing research groups to be genetically risk stratified to determine if a given scoliosis treatment can actually alter the natural course of the condition.  Lastly, all health care providers need to turn their attention towards identifying and eliminating the environmental risk factors that combine with the genetic pre-disposition to cause idiopathic scoliosis, thus providing patients with an opportunity to prevent the spinal curvature from occurring in the first place.


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