Scoliosis - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Scoliosis. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Melatonin, Vitamin D, Calcium

Posted by Art (California) on 07/01/2022 1338 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Recently I was talking with a friend whose daughter has Scoliosis that is worsening and causing her significant pain on most days. She was asking me if there are any alternatives that might help to slow the disease progression and I explained to her that studies on this aspect of supplements for scoliosis are very limited.


I mentioned to her that there is some data that suggests that melatonin may be helpful and I related a recent study (May 2022) that used vitamin D, calcium and melatonin at relatively low doses and did show some positive activity. She asked me to tell her more about the study and I did.

The study :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9140159/

In this study they used Melatonin at just 1.5 mg/night, vitamin D at just 2000 iu/day and calcium at 600 mg/day, all relatively low doses.

One way that they determine the severity and or progression of scoliosis is by measuring the actual curvature of the spine in degrees and this is referred to as the "Cobb angle". In this study, they measured the participants' Cobb angle at the beginning of the study and again after one year of supplementing the test intervention. In the control group that did not receive the supplements, the average initial angle was 27.00 degrees and after one year the Cobb angle had increased to 32.15 degrees indicating that disease progression and further spinal curvature had occurred.

In the intervention group that did receive the supplements, their initial average Cobb angle was 23.73 degrees and after one year of intervention, their Cobb angle was 22.76 degrees or almost a full degree lower than at the beginning of the trial suggesting that the curvature of the spine not only did not worsen but actually had slightly reversed.

Here is an important quote from the study :

>>> ' In our study, the melatonin mean was 8.44 pg/mL for the control group, which is at the bottom level of the normal range (8–16 pg/mL), and 7.66 pg/mL for the study group. The value increased to 14 pg/mL after one-year supplementation treatment with melatonin and also correlated with a positive outcome for the patients enrolled. In our opinion, patients should be monitored for their melatonin levels and supplemented if values are close to the baseline or below. ' <<<

Here is a chart from the study that shows the Cobb angle changes from before supplementation and after one year of the intervention :

Control Group

Study Group

Initial Cobb angle

27.00°

23.73°

Cobb angle at one year

32.16°

22.76°

Initial vit. D3

19.39 ng/mL

19.93 ng/mL

Vit. D3 at one year

-

39.88 ng/mL

Initial Ca

9.87 mg/dL

9.87 mg/dL

Ca at one year

-

9.90 mg/dL

Initial melatonin

8.44 pg/mL

7.66 pg/mL

Melatonin at one year

-

14.00 pg/mL


Given the fact that there are limited options for scoliosis, this study is important as are its findings.

So after telling her about the study, I encouraged her to read it as it is very informative and offers hope where there is usually very little hope in a disease like scoliosis other than surgery. I further reminded her that the doses used in this study were relatively low compared to the doses I have used and she agreed the doses were low also. Her daughter's primary doctor had her in tears by the time she got back to her car because he told her that her daughter would likely need to go on an opiate for pain management and she would only get worse from this point forward and would eventually have to have surgery on her spine to try to reduce the spinal curvature. I'm not sure what his intent was by telling her that, but the effect it had on her was terrible. After I told her the results of this study she seemed much more positive and she said she was hopeful that her daughter would be able to at least significantly slow the disease progression at a minimum.

Her daughter's primary doctor referred her to an orthopedic doctor and I encouraged her to discuss this study with him when she goes for that first appointment and to also discuss the possibility of increasing the dose levels a bit higher in the hope of improving further on the study results in terms of time to improvement and magnitude of improvement. She is looking forward to that appointment now!

Art