Reply
Valued Contributor
Posts: 785
Registered: ‎08-20-2014

Adult Scoliosis

I am struggling with my scoliosis for the last 15 years. It wasn't detected until my early 20s, and I never had the straightening surgery with the Harrington rods. It didn't used to bother me so much, though my back "went out" often. 

 

I saw a back specialist when it started becoming painful 15 years ago, and had an MRI. He told me there was nothing he could do and said to find a Pilates teacher.

 

Fast forward to now, as the years have gone by the curvature has gotten worse, and has begun twisting a little too. Oddly, I have no natural curve in the lower back - flat from the waist down to the butt if you look at me from the side. It's become obvious when I'm dressed. In short - it's gotten real bad.

 

I'm seeing a scoliosis specialist today. I hope there is something he can do. 

 

The purpose of this thread is not to ask for medical advice. I would like to hear from other adults with scoliosis, what do you do to cope? Have you found a particular way of dressing that helps make your curvature less noticeable? Any form of exercise that helps? 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Adult Scoliosis

I was told my back pain comes from a combo of facet joint arthritis, scoliosis, and stenosis. I had surgery 15 years ago for stenosis that was successful, but over the years the other issues have become much worse. Add to it falling down a flight of stairs last summer and breaking a vertabrae plus just general injury that is taking a long time to get over. Anyway, I've been told there is nothing much to be done for it. Try to exercise regularly - I prefer to swim as swimming is good general exercise that doesn't injure my arthritic joints.

The doc has started me on pain meds, but that is a road I would prefer not to travel down. He gave me a Rx for tramadol 3x a day - I generally try to get by just taking one a day, in the morning, so I can get my housework done and get myself bathed and dressed. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,517
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Adult Scoliosis

@PilatesLover  Yes, I actually noticed it myself when I was in my teens.  I could see that one shoulder was lower and one hip was higher.  I started with the lower back attacks when I was about 15, although I believe that is/was caused more from my sacroiliac joints.

 

In recent years (I'm near 70) I've noticed the progression of it.  It's very obvious now.  It's funny that a few years ago I started looking in the mirror when putting on makeup thinking one earring had gotten lower than the other.  Then I realized it was because my head and neck were curving toward my right shoulder.

 

I do have some periodic pain, and I've lost about 2" of height, but I think my devotion to exercise (running, stretching and weight training) for the last 40 years had made a big difference.  I've kept myself thin, and  I also bought an inversion table around 15 years ago, which I still love and use nearly every day.  I highly recommend them.

Laura loves cats!
Super Contributor
Posts: 388
Registered: ‎07-18-2013

Re: Adult Scoliosis

@PilatesLover:

I totally understand your situation.. I never knew I had scoliosis until I had my first miscarriage at age 33.. Went to a  top specialist & he told me it wouldn't get worse.. Ha!! A lot of baloney!!

 

Flash forward to another miscarriage &,  ( thank God ) I was able to have another child, along with taking synthyroid for 20 yrs, coupled with taking a PPI for my stomach; it's gotten so bad that my right shoulder blade bulges out.. Of course menopause and all the things I was taking does take its toll on the bones..

 

About 8 yrs ago I had a cervical fusion, with Dtr Rudolph Taddino ( people come from all over to see him ) a top doctor for scoliosis & I asked him at that time about my back and he told me it wasn't bad enough to have surgery.. So, now I'm too old for this surgery; but yet they won't do surgery unless it's gets to a certain point to warrant surgery....  One would think, you would want to have surgery to prevent it from getting worse..

 

Right now I have an appt with his partner, ( bc Dtr Taddino is supposedly on leave for over 6 months, which I think he's really retiring ) this Sept 12th.. In the meantime, I'm going to physical therapy.. Like you, my spine has also rotated..  Bryan, the physical therapist is having me do excerises to strengthen the muscles around the spine & he then works on my spine carefully massaging the ligaments to lengthen them.. Hopefully, we may be able to move the spine at least 1 degree,  with a lot of work..  I'm not raising my hopes up.. 

 

It's funny you posted this thread on scoliosis, because I wanted to start one myself.. I guess it was meant to be to see this thread.. Look into physical therapy;  up make sure he or she's is top notch, especially with your back.. Also, when I'm going for my Sept 12the appt, I was going to ask the doctor about Pilates.. 

 

I hope I'm not speaking to soon,  but I do see an ever so slight difference in my posture..

 

I have a lot to THANK THE GOOD LORD for.. I've had a few surgeries & I cannot be enough, so humbly grateful for my being ok...

 

Please feel free to message me with any questions.. I will keep checking this forum for your replies..

 

Kindly, please excuse this long post.. Have a great day. Smiley Happy

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,553
Registered: ‎03-27-2010

Re: Adult Scoliosis

@PilatesLover  I am sorry you are dealing with this.  I have a Teeter, do tai chi, weight training, yoga, cardio, and swimming.  I think all have helped as well as my lifestyle  choices.  I have an appointment with a very well known chiropractor who has had excellent results.  It is taking me 9 months to get in to see him.  I choose to incorporate natural methods (even though I have allopathic medical doctors beating on my door) for my well being (including meditation) and am acutely aware to use nonprescription choices to ameliorate inflammation.  I also practice controlling  my thoughts regarding pain and negativity.  I don't discuss my challenges, but wanted to reach out to you.

 

I wish you the very best and know that you are doing everything within your power.  My heart goes out to you,

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,502
Registered: ‎12-08-2013

Re: Adult Scoliosis

@PilatesLover I recently went through six months of physical therapy to try to improve my scoliosis and prevent it from worsening.  My physical therapist was recently trained on the Shroth Method, a new tx specific for scoliosis according to what I was told. I do have some visible spinal rotation. Another physical therapist told me about a tool which I believe is called a fascia blaster to help straighten the spine a little. I didn't end up buying that, though.  Just a couple things you might want to look into.  Best of luck.  😊

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."--Eleanor Roosevelt
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,115
Registered: ‎12-27-2010

Re: Adult Scoliosis

[ Edited ]

@BExplorer  good info...I have scoliosis, (that never really bothered me) til now, & found out I have degenerative disc issues...I have been waiting to get into the back specialist from July til Oct when I can see him..hoping for some good physical therapy & things you mentioned..I am super active, but now being careful til I see the Dr...

Great thread!

@PilatesLover  I hope this thread will help you...

Some great info so far.

I have huge issues with sitting, very painful..

This is where I am hoping physical therapy can help, not surgery, but the xrays say

it's bad..I am just starting the journey, trying to find out all I can...

Super Contributor
Posts: 388
Registered: ‎07-18-2013

Re: Adult Scoliosis

@BExplorer

Thanks for posting about those two new methods to improve the spine.. Friday I'm going to ask my PT about them.. 

Super Contributor
Posts: 388
Registered: ‎07-18-2013

Re: Adult Scoliosis

[ Edited ]

@2blonde:

i too have shrunk 2 1/4".  I must say though, & I hope I'm not speaking to soon, since I

 

started PT, I do feel straighter with my back. Since I get vertigo I don't think an inversion

 

table would be good for me. I'm also very thin, but never made time to exercise.. I was

 

way, way to busy to make time for myself; kids,  a business, husband, other health

 

issues & then my beautiful & amazing parents that I had to care for.. I always say this; "

 

life takes over " & all we can do is our very best..

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,517
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Adult Scoliosis

@classic  You're right......life does take you over sometimes.  I've been divorced since I was 25 and have no children or living parents, so I've been fortunate in that I've been able to live my life as I've wanted.  I do think the devotion to exercise I've had since I was 30 has helped me a lot.  I've learned to listen to my body and catch the early signs when something isn't quite right.  I hate that I've gotten shorter (from 5'6" to 5'4"), but much of that is due to the "bending" rather than spinel stenosis.  It's so much harder to reach the top cupboard now than it used to be!

 

I still think, even with vertigo, you could use an inversion table.  You can move it as slowly as you want to, you can set it to not go completely vertical, and there are large handles on the sides, so you never feel out of control.

 

I wish you luck!

Laura loves cats!