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I was first diagnosed with Scoliosis as a child. I remember the exam we all had to have during Phy Ed class. The school nurse had me bend over so she could see my spine. Apparently there was something unusual with mine as a note was sent home to my parents. The nurse was recommending that I see a specialist due to a curve in my spine. I come from a rather large family - 10 siblings - and there was no money to see a specialist let alone treatment.
I never really thought or worried about Scoliosis again until about 4 years ago. I remember sitting on the living room floor of my sister's home and when I stood up I felt this burning sensation and noticed a bump on my back. I kept trying to stretch to relieve the tightness, but it wouldn't go away.
The next 3-4 years were spent trying to find relief: Chiropractic, monthly massages, Physical Therapy, Dry Needle Therapy. I even bought my own portable TENS Unit that I would wear to work. Nothing helped. I came home from work every night to sit on the couch with ice on my back. It hurt to do much of anything, especially gardening. Sometimes it was just the bump that hurt-it was rock hard; sometimes I had burning between my shoulder blades; sometimes it was both. At one point a Dr. prescribed a non-narcotic pain pill-it just made me tired. I was not in a good place. I am in my early 50's and I really didn't want to spend the rest of my life like this.
One day I was telling my story to a new coworker. She told me her Chiropractor specializes in Scoliosis and has a Scoliosis Clinic in La Crosse. I called when I went home for lunch and was able to be seen that day for x-rays.
After 4 months of treatment at the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse I can honestly say that I am pain free 6 our of 7 days of the week! I am just now getting out in the garden and as long as I "don't over do it", I am able to enjoy being outside again. The staff at the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse worked closely with me making sure I was comfortable with the treatment plan and adjusting exercises as needed. This is important as the exercises will be part of my daily routing for the rest of my life.
Our daughter was first diagnosed with scoliosis at her 7 year old check-up by her pediatrician. At the time, her thoracic curve was at 24 degrees but it was angling left. This was concerning because the spine was angling toward her heart, for this reason the orthopedic surgeon ordered an MRI in order to figure out if there was another reason for the scoliosis. At the time this was very scary and shocking, that our 7 year old’s back could be that curved and we had never noticed. She didn’t have pain or any other concerns that would have made us aware. The MRI determined nothing else was causing the scoliosis, so we were told to come back for check-ups.
2 years later, she was x-rayed again and her thoracic curve had progressed to 34 degrees, with an additional lumbar curve of 13 degrees. The orthopedic surgeon said the only option is to brace her for 16 hours a day until 2 years past puberty. We were in shock, and our daughter was devastated. She was so worried about being bullied, being uncomfortable, and not being able to fully participate in activities. This is what led us to the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse.
Choosing the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse with Dr. Ben Breidenbach was the best choice we could have made. It was a difficult decision, and hasn’t been easy as the program is INTENSE. But, after 4 months our daughter’s thoracic curve has reduced down to 19 degrees and her lumbar curve to 11 degrees on her latest COLD/pre-treatment x-ray. This puts her out of the brace category in the medical world! Dr. Ben and Cody have been wonderful to work with. They have taken a personal interest in our daughter and have given us a multitude of resources on scoliosis. They provide us with up to date x-rays confirming the progress, and celebrate with us. My entire family is grateful for the treatment they have provided. We would highly recommend the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse to any person with scoliosis or family of a child with scoliosis!
~Jenn and Jason
Before my scoliosis diagnosis I was suffering with neck pain, daily constant migraines and vertigo. I tried many different paths to dealing with my symptoms. I was getting 2 massages per week along with acupuncture. I tried another chiropractor who gave me regular adjustments. Eventually I went to a medical doctor who ordered an MRI. The result was I was simply having migraines and they prescribed pain medicine. While the medicine helped I was still experiencing vertigo and I became increasingly frustrated. Functioning on a daily basis became deliberating. It became harder to do my job and harder to interact with people; especially my 2 young daughters. Because of them I knew I couldn't give up.
I have been in treatment for several months and I can tell you I am a different person than I was when I first walked through their door. My vertigo and pain are almost completely gone. I do experience symptoms once in a while but it is rare and it subsides quickly. I am sleeping better than I have in months and I'm once again able to do my job and interact with my little girls. I feel as though I have control again and that was very important to me.
What I appreciated the most was how they listened to me, really listened. They also had patience with me and didn't let me get discouraged. They were there when I needed them. It hasn't been easy but if I had to do it all over again the only thing I would have changed would be to call them sooner. I am so grateful and continue to appreciate all they have done and continue to do for me.
Throughout my life I have always been extremely active with sports, activities, etc. During high school I suffered frequently from hip pain which many doctors diagnosed as IT Band Syndrome caused by overuse during running. After completing training for a half marathon last May, the pain had become so severe that I even went to the extent of getting cortisone shots in my hip to relieve the pain. One morning I woke up with the most severe neck pain I had ever experienced. We had just switched to Breidenbach Family & Sports Chiropractic as our general chiropractor, and on my first visit, Dr. Amy could instantly tell I had scoliosis. We took x-rays and found 3 significant curves with my largest curve being 25.7 degrees. Even after visiting a different chiropractor for several years, I had never been diagnosed with this condition, and I had no idea what it was. When I found out that I had scoliosis, I was emotional knowing that it would be a condition I would have my entire life. Dr. Amy was very comforting and helpful in educating me with my condition, and recommended me to the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse to begin treatment.
When beginning my treatment, some of the exercises and adjustments caused some soreness, but nothing I couldn’t handle. The soreness was similar to that of a day after a tough workout. Dr. Ben and Cody were awesome at helping me tough it out and reminding me of my end goal, and what the alternatives could be (wearing a back brace). Having restrictions was difficult for me because I was so used to constantly being involved in many activities, but a few months of restrictions was definitely worth a lifetime free of the pain I had been experiencing.
After 4 months of CLEAR scoliosis treatment, I have had various improvements within my spine with most of my curves improving by at least 50% or greater! My largest curve of 25.7 degrees is now 12.5 degrees and I have never felt better. I’m finally able to run again with very limited pain or soreness in my hip, and I’m very proud of myself for being persistent and not giving up. Everyone at the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse does what they can to improve your spine, but it takes a lot of personal work as well.
I can’t thank Dr. Ben, Dr. Amy, and Cody enough for the work they put into my treatment. The entire team works very hard to give you the best possible outcome, while also catering to your personal needs as well. I will never forget after my initial diagnosis, Dr. Amy gave me her personal cell number because she knew that this new experience I would be emotional at times dealing with this condition. She told me to call or text her at any time and she would answer my questions or just talk about whatever concerns I was having. That meant very much to me, and also helped keep me motivated to work through it. I would recommend anyone with scoliosis to check out the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse!
Our fourteen-year-old daughter has been a dancer since age three! In recent years, her dance training increased to 15-20 hours per week. Over the last year, she experienced increased symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath during performances, and hip and lower back pain. We visited a local chiropractor for periodic adjustments, and for deep tissue massage. As part of our daughter’s annual medical checkup, the medical Dr. performed a routine scoliosis test, and noticed an improper alignment of her back. An x-ray confirmed she had scoliosis. Her thoracic curve was a 29 degrees and her lumbar was 34.3 degrees. It was suggested that she be put into a brace for 16 hours per day. It was also suggested she quit dance. The news was devastating, as dance was such a major part of her life.
A friend suggested we visit Dr. Ben Breidenbach, at the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse. This was the first we had heard of this treatment option, so we were thankful to discover CLEAR! Dr. Breidenbach reviewed the x-ray, and proposed a treatment plan. This would include an INTENSE four-month treatment program of isometric exercises, therapy/rehabilitation, traction equipment, and chiropractic adjustments. She would cease all physical activity during this treatment, including dance. It was a tough decision, but it made the most sense. The goal with CLEAR was to reduce the curve from the inside out and manage the scoliosis through isometric exercises and therapy. This made a lot more sense than bracing the spine from the outside, only attempting to keep the curve from progressing.
For our family, CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse was the best choice! The program is intense, and the patient is required to be very disciplined. Our daughter had to do in-home therapy using a therapy chair, and a series of isometric exercises, totaling 60-90 minutes each session. She was required to complete two sessions per day. Additionally, she reported to the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse for two hours of therapy three times per week, and later reduced to two times per week.
Dr. Ben and Cody were awesome to work with. They were very thorough, and provided answers to questions that we had. Even though the treatment was intense, they made it as enjoyable as possible for our daughter to go to therapy several days a week. They truly are passionate about the treatment of scoliosis.
After 4 months, our daughter’s thoracic curve has reduced to 20.5 degrees and her lumbar curve to 23.5 degrees on her latest COLD/pre-treatment x-ray. CLEAR will continue to monitor her, take periodic x-rays, and will be available to provide additional therapy as needed. We are grateful the CLEAR Scoliosis Center is here in La Crosse! This has truly been a gift to our family, and we highly recommend CLEAR to anyone dealing with scoliosis.
~Todd and Anne
Throughout college I experienced on and off mild back pain, I attributed it to stress and had come to accept that I would always deal with some level of soreness. One morning during my senior year of college, I woke up with severe back pain, concentrated in my right shoulder blade. At first I figured I had just slept wrong. For a year after that day I experienced on and off back pain in varying degrees of intensity. My back would start to feel sore after standing for short amounts of time, sitting in movie theaters, and lifting small amounts of weight. The summer after I graduated college I moved in with two random roommates. One of my roommates had undergone scoliosis treatment at the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse. One of the major positives of the clinic is the amount of education they provide their patients with. Because of this, my roommate was able to notice symptoms of scoliosis in me. After a visit to Dr. Amy, I unfortunately learned my roommate was correct, and I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Dr. Amy referred me to the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse, and so my scoliosis journey began.
Walking into the clinic for the first time I was very anxious. I had just graduated college, had loans to pay off, and had just left my parents insurance plan and joined my work's insurance plan - which had a significant deductible. On top of money, I was also worried about time. I knew the treatment would be a large commitment and free time was something I lacked. Dr. Ben and Cody were both very accommodating and helpful throughout the entire treatment process. Dr. Ben made it clear that they would work with me in any way possible to help make the treatment work for me, and Cody helped me through the process of filing insurance claims. At first the treatment was a lot to take in, but another highlight of the clinic is the amount of positivity there. Before long the clinic and the exercises became a part of my normal routine. Dr. Ben and Cody kept me motivated and positive. I very quickly started to notice the treatment making a huge difference. After completing the treatment, I stand a little taller - literally ;) - I am no longer within the parameters of scoliosis, and I suffer little to no back pain, even after standing for countless hours, lifting, and sitting in the movie theater. I feel more confident and energetic. Thank you Dr. Ben and Cody for making a tough situation a very positive experience. I'm so thankful I went through the treatment and I would absolutely recommend the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse to others.
I struggled with back pain for 4 years prior to seeking help for my Scoliosis. I decided after visiting Dr. Breidenbach that it was worth the financial commitment and time dedication to go through the CLEAR scoliosis treatment. My pain throughout the 4 years was more of an extreme discomfort and occasional immobilization from immense pain spikes. My biggest problems occurred when I was on my feet for long periods of time, sitting for too long, and any type of consecutive lifting. It was emotionally draining because no matter what stretches, exercises or methods I tried, nothing seemed to work.
My pain level now, after completing the 4 month treatment program and continuing my at-home protocol, is extremely low and very manageable. The only time I experience discomfort is after very long days on my feet, which still only results in minor soreness. I am so much happier and less stressed about everyday activities, and can do so much more than before. My Cobb angle also improved from 13.8 degrees down to 4 degrees (71% improvement).
I would suggest the CLEAR scoliosis Center of La Crosse to anyone that experiences pain and dysfunction with scoliosis. The whole staff was extremely kind and supportive, while also maintaining a high level of professionalism. I am so happy to have a normal life without the constant annoyance and discomfort of pain from scoliosis.
Our 12 year old daughter was fortunate enough to not have any pain that we could identify to her scoliosis. In fact you would never have known that she had any degree of scoliosis at all. She is a very active person and enjoys running and volleyball. There were some instances where she would complain about her back always being tight and a little sore, but at that time we paid the complaints little attention. Looking back it is easy to see that it was likely related to her scoliosis. She is an excellent runner and has always been one of the fastest girls in her school. In the 6th grade she set a school record for the fastest mile! When running distances she would frequently complain about side pain, something that we worked to coach her through believing that it was erratic breathing or she needed to strengthen her core. After we started working with the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse and understood how the scoliosis fully affects the body, it is highly likely that the side aches were related to her spine/rib cage pushing on her lungs and decreasing her breathing capacity. We really liked the Spirometry/breathing test and it will be interesting to see if there is additional improvement in the tests and also how well our daughter can run once she is cleared. Emotionally our daughter had no issues, for the most part the scoliosis didn’t reach a point where other kids or even we as parents noticed until she was diagnosed with it and we started looking for the signs.
She doesn’t complain about any real pain while performing her ADL’s, on occasion she has complained about feeling sore and having tight muscles when she wakes up in the morning but once she starts her exercises the soreness goes away and she loosens up very quickly. Our daughter’s emotional state has certainly improved from where it was at after learning that she would need to be in a brace if we were to follow conventional treatment. We were extremely shocked by the improvement to her aesthetics that were easily visible in the before and after pictures that were taken.
After our family doctor noticed the slight curvature in our daughter’s back we were sent to see a specialist and after a quick review he ordered an x-ray of her back. After reviewing the x-ray he informed us that she had a 19 degree Cobb angle and had the early stages of scoliosis. He advised us to take a “wait and see” approach to the situation and we scheduled a return visit for 3 months later. We inquired about any preventative treatments that could be done, and asked specifically about chiropractic or other opportunities to stop the progression of the scoliosis. He informed us that, to his knowledge, there were no know options that had been proved effective, and chiropractic would not help at all. After leaving the appointment we decided to reach out to a local chiropractor and although he is not a specialist in scoliosis he seemed to do his due diligence to inform himself on scoliosis treatment. We took our daughter regularly and she enjoyed the treatment and said it made her feel a bit less tight. When it came time for our orthopedic follow up visit our daughter was again given an x-ray and her Cobb angle had gotten worse and progressed to 29 degrees 3 months later. He now recommended that our daughter be put into a brace 18 hours a day to stop the progression. Unfortunately the orthopedist explained that this solution would not improve the severity of her scoliosis but it should help to limit any further progression. He then explained how the brace would work, provided some pictures of how it would look and what to expect. Obviously our daughter was not a fan of the idea of being in a brace for 18 hours per day over the next several years. It seemed to be a common issue with young ladies as the specialist even explained to her how to best explain to her peers why she wore the brace, tried to communicate how the braces were customizable with special colors and patterns. They even provided a pamphlet for a support group for young girls that needed to wear the brace. Our daughter was mortified at the thought of wearing a brace at school and how it would affect the clothing options that she would have. We immediately thought there must be a better solution and reached out to friends via Facebook and did additional research online. We were fortunate enough to have a good friend that has scoliosis and had been through the utilization of a brace as a young girl. She advised us that bracing didn’t seem to do her any good nor had it helped several other people that she knew. She had an acquaintance that had found the CLEAR Institute in St. Cloud and had some truly amazing results. We then did additional research with the help of our chiropractor which lead us to the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse.
While we are very new to the process and just in the infancy of the treatments it is hard to explain or understand how the treatments have improved her life. The treatments, information, and great advice we have received from the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse have certainly helped to improve her outlook on life and attitude towards her scoliosis diagnosis. When we thought that bracing would be our only option she was crushed and very depressed about what it would mean to her for the next several years of her life. As parents we could not express enough how the professionalism and compassion of the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse has made a very positive impact on our daughter’s attitude and outlook on life.
Don’t waste precious time debating whether or not to get started, just get started as soon as possible! The level of professionalism and sincerity is comforting and the results are amazing.
The most impressive aspect of the treatment has been the results. It is amazing how in just a week the CLEAR Scoliosis Center of La Crosse was able to make so much improvement. It was very comforting to see how much important objective measurements, pictures, and spirometry results they collected and used to prove that the treatments were indeed working. The customized treatment plan and personal attention to our daughter’s physical and emotional needs have been truly amazing.
We cannot thank Dr. Ben and Cody enough for the time and attention they have given our daughter helping to get her off to a great start with her treatments. Cody’s coaching has made our daughter extremely motivated to keep up with her exercises and Scoliosis Traction Chair without complaint or us needing to push the issue. You can tell that Dr. Ben and Cody truly care for their patients and have their best interests at heart.
~Brandon and Dana – Eau Claire, WI