It’s June! Which means it’s Scoliosis awareness month!!!! I know I pretty much already bring awareness to it every day, but I don’t give you all the nitty-gritty details
DO YOU KNOW WHAT SCOLIOISIS IS??
It is a curvature of the spine which can be one or two curves. The cause for it is unknown and cases range from mild to severe. It seems to be more common in women than men and sometimes it starts to curve right before puberty. Nowadays, schools run a Scoliosis check where it can be taken care of early with a brace and surgery can be prevented.
- Anyone at any age can get Scoliosis
As far as symptoms go, its kind of hard to say besides a lot of back pain. I mean, we all have back pain to some extent, but those who have Scoliosis would suffer from a different kind of pain. But you can definitely look for certain things like uneven hips and shoulders. And if one shoulder-blade sticks out more than the other when looking at the back. If the Scoliosis is at a severe level then the spine has gotten so twisted that the ribs have gotten twisted as well and they will stick further out on one side than the other.
- Scoliosis affects your breathing
If the Scoliosis gets to a real bad point where surgery is needed, then a spinal fusion will be done. An orthopedic surgeon will place rods, pins, and screws, along the spine to straighten it as much as possible. Again, remember that each person’s Scoliosis is different and no two surgeries or spine will be the same. As well as the recovery.
- Early diagnosis can save later complications in your life
There are many types of Scoliosis. The Thoracic, or the middle of the spine is probably the worst place to have the curve. For many reasons, I know it first hand, pain being one of them. There is also an S curve or a double curve, that is also a very tough one to have as it the one I have and struggle with. There is also a C shaped curve that some do have.
- Scoliosis affects your heart and your lungs
As I said before, if you are lucky enough to catch the Scoliosis early, you can wear a brace to correct the growing spine. That way you avoid the surgery and any further issues down the line. I, unfortunately was too late. While my school did do a Scoliosis check, my spine was progressing too quickly for a brace. I needed immediate surgery.
My entire spine was fused from top to bottom, T1 to L5 and 6 months into recovery I was in a car accident and a piece of the hardware came out of my back so the surgeons had to go back in and repair it. Instead of replacing it all, they just removed the piece that came out but it was leaving some painful nerve damage in my leg that I still feel to this day. I had another surgery to try to correct it and nothing. So after so many years I had it all removed in my late 20s.
And yet here I am….still in the same boat. My spine continues to progress and worsen. The pain is unbearable at times and some days I am forced to stay in bed. Scoliosis is a painful disease to live with and I’ve had it since I was a tween. It isn’t going to go away and I have to live with it forever. It hinders my running, my every day life, my everything. Some days I can’t hug my son, some days I can’t go to the bathroom on my own. Some days I need help taking a shower. It’s a serious chronic disability that needs a lot of awareness so someone can help us because this DEFINITELY is NOT a way to live.