Second interview with Dr. Clayton Stitzel, Chiropractor of the ScolioSmart Clinic Lititz Pennsylvania
Bracing is generally ineffective, especially when patients are risk stratified by common genetic likelihood of curve progression (comparing patients with similar genetic pre-dispositions (see chart)) with the ScoliScore test. If we are correct that Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is primarily a neuro-hormonal condition that creates the spinal curvature as the primary symptom, it would only make sense that simply immobilizing the spinal curve with a brace would have little to no effect on the primary neuro-hormonal condition.
The SAS is basically exactly everything opposite of a brace. Designed to work with the natural torque pattern of human locomotion, the Scoliosis Activity Suit™ is the latest innovation in scoliosis treatment. Scoliosis Activity Suit harnesses energy of human’s natural movement to create new muscle memory. This new muscle memory reduces and stabilizes asymmetrical muscle firing thereby reducing risk of curve progression and helping the spine unwind naturally, never forced. With each step, the body resists the Scoliosis Activity Suit’s force, changing the muscle’s stored energy and firing sequence. Like muscles, the spine adapts in terms of time and need according to demand. Unlike bracing, the Scoliosis Activity Suit™ does not use direct pressure on the peaks of the curves to force correction as forcing correction does not induce new muscle memory.
How long do your patients wear the Activity Suit in a day? And how long do they need to continue the Activity Suit training after the bootcamp?
The SAS can be used reactively for short periods of time (20-30 min, 2-3 times per day) or supportively for much longer periods of time (6-8 hours) depending on the age of the patient, curve size, and pattern. The overall length of time the patient will continue to use the SAS is very case specific.
How does it feel wearing an Activity Suit? Is it comfortable?
It is EXTREMELY comfortable and patients who are using is reactively often have to set a timer, so they don’t forget they have it on and wear it too long! The reaction is very subtle and most patients don’t even feel like they are wearing it a few minutes after putting it on.
Is the Activity Suit also part of the treatment for adult patients?
Yes, in fact adult patients were included in the 1 year follow up study of patients using the SAS (https://scoliosisresearch-public.sharepoint.com/Pages/2013_1291_suit.aspx)
How long is the Activity Suit part of your therapy and what´s the success so far?
We only officially launched the SAS as part of the ScoliSMART Clinics program January 1, 2014, but the 1 year follow up study conducted before that time found a 90% success rate (per bracing standards).
Is it possible to order an Activity Suit to Germany? ( I think this is going to be the most frequently asked question)
The SAS is not intended to be used as a stand alone treatment, only part of the overall ScoliSMART clinic treatment effort (especially for skeletally immature patients), but we are looking into making the “Suit only” option available for adult patients in the future. However, the SAS would still have to be fitted and instructed by a certified doctor on a case by case basis.