Today is Scoliosis awareness day. STILL so little is known about it for many reasons. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. The cause is up in the air. Some are born with it and some develop it later on in life. It is more common in women than men. The cases range from mild to severe. Severe cases can be disabling. Because the curvature of the spine can reduce the space of the lungs and heart making it difficult for them to function properly.
Signs and symptoms:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
The spine can also twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side.
In my personal experience, I have had Scoliosis since I was a kid. It wasn’t detected until I was in middle school. My curve was too severe and I needed immediate surgery.
Clearly there are different kinds of Scoliosis. The best way to know is to go get checked! Talk to your doctor and get an x-ray. X-rays will show the spine nice and clear and they can determine the degree of your curve and see how severe it is and how at risk your organs are. They might also check your neurological status…by that I mean checking your muscles strength, your reflexes and numbness.
As far as causes…it’s still unclear. But Scoliosis does bring several complications. As I said above, when the spine curves, it also twists the ribs. When that happens it constricts the space for the heart to pump and the lung to expand properly. And obviously it will cause chronic back pain. It will also affect your appearance…uneven shoulders, hips, ribs that stick out, and a shift of the waist.
When the Scoliosis curve is really bad, the doctors may suggest to do a spinal fusion. Where they permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine to improve stability, correct a deformity or reduce pain. There are several risks, and long recovery that comes with it. But if it’s successful, it will be a world of difference.
I have had 3 spinal fusions, and a removal of all the hardware they put into the spine to correct my double curve. My spine is a double curve. I had surgery and was in a car accident soon after which resulted in some of the lumbar fusion to protrude from my spine. So I never healed properly from the procedure. I only went into a journey of complications.
My spine is continuing to curve and I do need another spinal fusion, but I am told it will do nothing to help ease my pain. It will only stop my spine from curving. So for now I just spread awareness and hope others get checked don’t end up in my shoes. I don’t want any of you to suffer like I do.
But I am finding relief from my massage therapist @massagepromed who has a WEALTH of knowledge for Scoliosis issues, and KT TAPE always has my back…pun intended 😉
Besides the amazing tape that the big boss puts on my back with various applications, all depending on my pain and location, I do use their other products. They have a ice/heat wrap I velcro it across my back, an ice/heat massage ball that I probably use on the daily, and their oh so effective pain relief gel!
Whether you have been battling against Scoliosis for years, or just got diagnosed, it’s not the end. Do not let it keep you from doing what you love, or chasing after that dream of yours. I am a 6x marathoner, currently training for my next one hoping it happens next year. One of the spinal fusions left one of the rods on top of the nerves that went to my leg. The pain…yeah…not fun. Needed surgery to fix it. But the damage was done. Spent almost a full year on crutches until they were able to do the surgery after they found out what the problem was. Yes I needed to learn to walk again. And was told I shouldn’t be able to run any kind of of distance. They obviously didn’t know how stubborn I am. It took me a long time but 6 marathons, lots of halfs, 10ks and 5ks later here I am.