Scoliosis — Podcast Interview with Dr. Michael McClung

Listen or Read Dr. Michael McClung’s Monthly Podcast Interview!

Topic – Scoliosis

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Michael McClung’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast.  You can either click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below.  Enjoy!

Podcast Interview:

RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you cutting edge interviews from many of the leading industry professionals across the United States.

In today’s episode, we are speaking with Dr. Michael McClung. Dr. McClung is the founder of Creating Wellness Chiropractic in Austin, Texas where he is committed to improving the health and vitality of his community through chiropractic and wellness care. Dr. McClung was one of the first chiropractors in America to become board certified by the American Academy of Pain Management. He also has advanced certifications in Whiplash and Brain Traumatology from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego and Motor Vehicle Crash Forensic Risk Analysis. During his career, Dr. McClung has served as the President of the Central Texas Region of the Texas Chiropractic Association, as well as, the President of the Travis County Chiropractic Society.

Dr. Michael McClung is widely considered to be one of the top Chiropractors specializing in holistic and alternative health in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.

Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Scoliosis

Dr. Michael McClung: I’m doing great Liz.

RC: Well thanks for joining us and we’re going to jump right in.

Question 1: What is scoliosis and are there different types of scoliosis?

RC: So what is scoliosis and are there different types of scoliosis?

Dr. Michael McClung: Scoliosis is a word that you hear thrown around periodically. It’s any curvature of the spine, any inappropriate curvature of the spine and it affects girls four times more than boys. So you don’t really hear much of this in boys but girls it can be a big problem and typically the younger we see them the better the outcome is.

I see adults that have had scoliosis for many many years. It typically stabilizes, it does not get worse. But I have treated some cases in adults that were so bad that they could not stand and talk to me, they had to put their head upside down (I know it sounds bizarre) and talk to me upside down, they had that much curve. Well that kind of curve can put horrible strain on your lungs, horrible pressure on your heart and your different organs. So you just don’t want to go down that road.

I’ve seen numerous patients that had steel rods implanted in their backs, a rod on each side, that’s a horrible outcome. It’s pretty rare though. So it can be nasty stuff. If you have any thought that you may be getting it or your kid is getting it then let’s get them checked out.

Question 2: Is scoliosis genetic? Who is most at risk for getting scoliosis?

RC: Okay and is scoliosis genetic and who is most at risk for getting scoliosis?

Dr. Michael McClung: We don’t totally know what causes scoliosis but we do see a genetic component. Mostly if their moms had it, the little girls are way more susceptible to having scoliosis. We don’t know why that is and we can’t prove that. But things that I see with kids – they may not have a genetic tendency for it but some of these little girls ten/twelve years old, they only weigh seventy-eighty-ninety pounds, well they’re carrying a backpack that may weigh thirty pounds and they carry it on one side and all day long. When they carry that it bends them over. We have a saying here in Texas, “As a twig’s bent so grows the tree.” So they’re going to grow up that way. So we like to encourage the moms to look at their kids’ backpacks, try to minimize those. Talk to the kids about standing up straight. It all starts very young.

Question 3: What are some early signs of scoliosis in children?

RC: Okay so that leads me to my next question. What are some early signs of scoliosis in children?

Dr. Michael McClung: So most of these are not detected until they get to be fairly pronounced but moms will come in with a kid and they’ll say, “Why does my child’s shoulder blade pooch out on one side versus the other?” And it’s perplexing but the first sign of scoliosis is when the spine curves to the side. It actually rotates and when it rotates, it kicks that scapular (or shoulder blade) out. And then you also can look at the bottoms of the shoulder blades to see if they’re even or level. Well if one side is up an inch and the other side is down, it’s the beginning of scoliosis. And many times you can spot it in their shoulders. One shoulder will be higher. But if they’re carrying the backpack, they already have a high shoulder because the backpacks encourage that. So it’s hard to read these things and it’s hard to get kids to stand still long enough to read it. But that’s a good indicator.

Question 4: When is a child typically screened for scoliosis?

RC: Okay and when is a child typically screened for scoliosis?

Dr. Michael McClung: Most school districts do it between say ten and twelve. That’s typically when the kids start to really really grow. And usually it’s done by a school nurse and they’re trained to do this and they’re pretty proficient. And if the school nurse finds a problem then we’ll bring the kid in and most of the time we’ll go ahead and get some x-rays because we want to document where they are and measure them later to see if it’s gotten better or gotten worse.

Well it’s pretty sad when we x-ray them one year and they come back the next year and you can see it getting worse. That’s when we have to have our heart to heart talk.

RC: Get them on track.

Question 5: How does chiropractic care help people with Scoliosis?

RC: Okay so how does chiropractic care help people with scoliosis?

Dr. Michael McClung: You know there is really no cure for scoliosis. We can minimize its progression. We can control its symptoms but mostly I really strive for prevention. I much rather prevent a kid from getting scoliosis than I would trying to make their scoliosis better.

We have a massage therapist on staff and we use some electrical stimulation to balance the muscles. If we detect muscles that are tight on one side and then we can relax those and it’s kind of here again, the old twig story. If you plant a tree and you have ropes holding it straight and one of those ropes gets too tight, it’s going to pull that twig over and the tree’s going to grow with a curve in it. So if we can find those things and change them early, it makes a much better outcome.

But for the most part, as an adult we just give them symptom relief. I tell people it’s like a forty year old oak tree, you can’t change the shape of that kind of tree.

RC: Okay well thank you so much Dr. McClung. We know you are extremely busy so I just want to thank you for your time and help today.

Dr. Michael McClung: Great, thanks Liz.

RC: And for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Michael McClung, you can either go online at or call (512) 250-2225 to schedule an appointment.

On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.

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