Arizona Chiropractor, Dr. Patricia L. Pivonka, D.C. Exposes Outdated Scoliosis Treatment

Published on June 26, 2014

For the past 21 years, (17 years in Gilbert, AZ) Dr. Patricia L. Pivonka has practiced chiropractic with her husband, Anthony Pivonka, D.C. She has a true passion for working with children and scoliosis patients.

For the past 21 years, Dr. Patricia L. Pivonka has practiced chiropractic with her husband, Anthony Pivonka, D.C. She has a true passion for working with children and scoliosis patients. “The reason my husband and I got into scoliosis care is that scoliosis runs in our family. My mother-in-law had scoliosis. Her scoliosis worsened to the point that she required spinal fusion surgery when she was 16. My husband has scoliosis and my daughter has scoliosis. She currently wears the Spinecor Dynamic Scoliosis brace which has not only helped stabilize her scoliosis, but reduced it as well,” explains Dr. Pivonka.

Scoliosis is a progressive sideways curvature of the spine. It occurs in 2-4% of the adolescent population and is more prevalent in girls. The best results are achieved when it is detected early. However, most schools no longer perform scoliosis screenings on site, so Dr. Pivonka has seen a significant increase in the severity of the curves that present in patients visiting her office. Scoliosis is not a curable condition. All treatments are aimed at managing the Scoliosis.

The cause of Scoliosis is typically genetic. Dr. Pivonka explains, “There is a weakness in one of the ossification centers in the vertebral body on one side that causes the vertebrae to malform in a 3-D pattern. This causes the adjoining vertebra above and below to bend out of position, creating what I call a ‘corkscrew affect or chain reaction’ that eventually progresses into either a single or double scoliosis as the body tries to compensate. The most important thing to realize with Scoliosis is that it is not just a bone out of place. It is an actually deformity of the vertebra. So just as if the foundation of your house was off, you wouldn’t just leave it or over time it would worsen. Goals in scoliosis treatment are to stabilize the spine and keep it centered to prevent it from worsening.”

Until recently, the medical community has taken a “Wait and See” approach to Scoliosis, but now there is new research and there are new treatments available. “I think over the years the orthopedic community saw minimal results with non-surgical methods such as the TLSO brace, or even general chiropractic care or physical therapy treatments. So they incorporated a just ‘Wait and See’ approach to scoliosis care which is now simply outdated,” Dr. Pivonka explains. “If a scoliosis worsens to the high 40 degrees or more they will generally recommend surgery.

It is critically important to reach out to the scoliosis community and let them know that there are now more reliable non-surgical methods available. There are definitely times that surgery is recommended as the best option. This typically occurs when a scoliosis wasn’t caught early enough. This is why the early detection of scoliosis is so important. Statistics are clear that if a scoliosis exceeds 30 degrees it can worsen by 1 degree per year throughout a person’s life. All avenues of non-surgical treatments should be pursued to keep the curves in a scoliosis as minimal as possible. To use the ‘Wait and See’ approach for the treatment of scoliosis only increases the possibility of requiring surgery dramatically,” she adds.

Over the last 20 years less invasive, non-surgical methods of treating scoliosis have become available. In many cases, devices such as the Spinecor Dynamic Scoliosis brace are used, which is what Dr. Pivonka’s daughter wears for her Scoliosis.

This is a soft brace that can be worn underneath clothing so it has a high patient tolerance and studies show it has a 97% retention rate of maintaining the results achieved after weaning out of the brace. For more difficult cases there is the Over-Corrective Scolicare brace, which can put a more direct force into the apex of the scoliosis and hold the patient in an overcorrected posture 20 hours per day. Specific neuromuscular rehabilitation exercises are used to maximize results.

There are several risk factors for Scoliosis. Click Here to watch a video about how to do a home Scoliosis check.

Dr. Patricia L. Pivonka, D.C. graduated from Colorado State University in 1988 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science. She played Division I volleyball at Colorado, then graduated Cum Laude from Life University in 1993. She is a certified provider for the Spinecor Dynamic Scoliosis brace and the Scolibrace.

For more information about Dr. Patricia L. Pivonka, D.C. and Scoliosis treatment visit:

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Contact Info:
Name:  Dr. Patricia L. Pivonka
Organization: Pivonka Family Chiropractic
Phone:  480-892-0022

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