by Debbie Hurr as featured in Lake Expo.com
SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. — In a group of 400 children, 16 are likely to have scoliosis—a condition that impacts quality of life, potentially stunts growth, decreases pulmonary function, and, if left untreated, can cause early death. Dr. Mark Beck is a specialist in the study of spine curvature, and his practice, Beck Wellness Center, offers his patients the possibility of not only the cessation but the healing of scoliosis.
The unnatural curvature of the spine is known to reduce a life span by 14 years and is associated with headaches, shortness of breath, digestive problems, chronic disease, and hip, leg and knee pain.
Dr. Beck, Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), opened up Beck Wellness Center in Sunrise Beach approximately a year ago and has been determined to learn all he can about the condition. He also offers an alternative treatment for scoliosis patients.
Beck explained the three stages of scoliosis: mild or early, a curvature of 10-25 degrees and carries up to a 22 percent chance of progression; moderate, 25-40 degrees which carries a 68 percent chance of progression; and severe which is greater than 40 degrees.
Modern medicine’s most common response to a curvature is a “wait and see” technique, Beck said. Most of the time scoliosis is not discovered until the curvature is around 28 or more degrees at which time a physician specialized in the care of scoliosis can offer stabilization methods such as surgery or a brace. Because the curvature has to be at a degree higher than 28 before being treated, it is often left undiagnosed until severe.
Thousands of people turn to implantation surgery which costs on average $120,000 per operation; worse, every year approximately 8,000 people who underwent the surgery in their youth are legally defined as permanently disabled.
However, if the curvature is caught early on with a degree of less than 25, Beck said his process can possibly heal, not just stabilize.
“I want to see patients as early as possible,” he said. “Unfortunately, a delay for treatment reduces the patient’s opportunity for stopping the curve progression early. It is a whole lot easier to fix something at 10-20 degrees than 30 or 40,” he said.
Beck says typical chiropractic adjustments have been proven ineffective and could even make the patient worse due to the mobilization of fixated vertebrae. He says scoliosis trained chiropractors want structural changes to the spine that will allow the body to de-rotate and correct itself.
Beck said parents are not aware of another option, so surgery is often their choice. But seeking help for a child in the early stages offers the best opportunity for success in reducing or stabilizing their curvature before it progresses.
“[This] treatment is a rigorous, yet effective way of treating scoliosis,” Beck said confidently.
Head, hip and shoulder weights and a protocol that consists of 10 stations of vibration, curve and rotation reduction, traction and vibration-loosening all compose a two-hour session, Beck said.
If the condition is not treated early on, after the curve surpasses 30 degrees, the spine starts to twist and torque, cramping down on the lungs and the heart. This eventually could lead to death, Beck explained as he twisted his hands in demonstration.
Beck said every patient is different. “Regardless of the degree, I am confident I can help. I like helping people do this… nobody else can do that… sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is a struggle, but I believe I can help.”
Beck said a patient once told him this was the “best kept secret,” but Beck exclaimed, “I don’t want it to be a secret… shine a light on this thing!”
If parents want to try and check their child for scoliosis at home, Dr. Beck said the process is simple. “Have the child bend over and look from behind to see if the ribs hump up or the spine seems to curve in more of a “c” or “s” shape. Sometimes you can miss a slight one unless you are trained.” Beck said he would be happy to help schools or parents make a diagnosis or teach them what to look for in the process.
Dr. Beck has been a licensed chiropractor since 1983. Having a few patients with scoliosis, he became determined to learn about scoliosis after his uncle died from complications. Beck holds numerous certifications and is constantly researching for better ways to help his patients.
Beck Wellness Center, located at 16514 State Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach, is the only health practitioner office within a 350-mile radius that has the equipment and training for this type of scoliosis care.
According to research, scoliosis affects an estimated 4.5 percent of approximately 273 million people. In short, this means over 12 million cases are estimated to be in existence, with an approximate 500 diagnoses per day.
The Wellness Center also routinely addresses numerous health conditions encompassing a range of spinal and structural corrective chiropractic services including adjustment; spinal decompression and pain-relief procedures; injuries, pain, and nutritional therapy; and a natural and holistic approach for healing.
Beck’s beaming personality clearly displays his passion for helping others, joining in his patients’ joy as positive changes occur. “I think I can help anybody with any health condition if they want the help and they want to get better,” he said.
Dr. Beck and his wife, Sandy, who is a mortgage loan officer at Central Bank Lake of the Ozarks, have five children and five grandchildren, with a sixth on the way.
For more information about Dr. Beck’s services, contact Beck Wellness Center at 573-207-0441.