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zarafa
03-20-2005, 03:55 PM
I am new to the forum. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12. Surgery was not an option but the Milwaukee brace was used for four years. I am now 72 years old. Curves have worsened over time, but I am still able to do many things that keep me healthy, I wonder if there are other "mature" folks like me who never had surgery.

letty
04-01-2005, 11:18 AM
I am not over 65 yet but getting there. I will be 58 this year and my curves progressed to 68 degrees. My bode density is excellent and quality of life is not affected by the scoliosis. So, for now, surgery is not an option. What degree is your curve? Are you in pain? I sure would like to correspond with you.

Letty

zarafa
04-01-2005, 01:52 PM
Thanks for your response. Good bone density is a definite plus! Mine took a dip somewhere around age 60 and my curves increased from 75 to 85 degrees. Fortunately, they have been stable for the past 12 years. I retired at age 64 and find that I can now exercise properly and rest enough , both of which seem to promote a healthy existence. I have arthritis also, but have avoided any meds, opting for heat or cold applications when joints flare up. My spine specialist assures me that I can keep on going just like now, as long as I keep up the regimen and keep my heart and lungs healthy. By the way, there is great medication for increasing bone density.
Mine has improved considerably in the last few years.
I hope my experience is helpful to you.

letty
04-04-2005, 05:02 PM
Here's to good health to you and me despite the presence of scoliosis. Keep up the good work. Just like you, I am planning to stay active even after retirement. I sure would be interested in that good medication for bone density. Do you drink milk too? Do you do any special exercise for scoliosis? I need a lot of advise from you cause at 70 plus, you are doing really good.

Letty

zarafa
04-05-2005, 05:47 PM
Bone density drugs that seem to reverse bone loss are called biphosphonates (sp?) The one I am taking is called Actonel. There are a lot of clinical studies going on now for newer and more effective treatments for osteoporosis. It may very well stop being the crippler of old age. As for exercise for scoliosis, physical therapists have shown me various strengthening exercises over the many years I consulted them when in pain. I have been doing some resistance work to develop strong legs,arms and shoulders. I do some aeorbic work, low intensisty, but I should do more of this for endurance. Also, I have a great pilates teacher who understands my lack of symmetry and devises modifications for just about everything.
I have been fortunate to find the right people and programs when I seek them and have received much encouragement to keep active..
Pilates is a strengthener of back and abdominal muscles and I was always advised to build strength in those two areas. (( I am strongly cautioned against twisting motions and forward flexion.)
Also, when doing resistance, not to push weight over my head. In other words not to do anything that compresses the spine.
So much to think about when exercising! I hope you find a doctor of physical medicine or physical therapist who can guide you for your particular scoliosis curves. No two people have exactly the same situation so it's wise not to do exercises that could work against what you are trying to achieve. The yoga for scoliosis tape is a step in the right direction I think.
I am glad you are looking forward to life after retirement! Zarafa

Cindy I
04-11-2005, 03:31 PM
I was happy to read your story. I am only 40 years old but I also have never had surgery and was diagnosed at 13. I wore the brace for a few years. I have not been to a doctor since I was 20. In the last 10 years I have started to slowly feel pain everyday but have learned to deal with it. I do have a deep tissue massage twice a month which saves me. I know I have to exercise or I seem to get stiff. I keep wondering what life will be like as I age. 10 years ago a doctor told me I would be in a wheelchair at 40. Well that hasn't happened so I think I need to remain positive. You have inspired me just when I was starting to feel down. Thank You and I wish you well.

zarafa
04-12-2005, 02:03 PM
Dear Cindy: Your response triggered a memory I have of being warned that I would be in bad shape at 50. The warning doctor was not an orthopedic doctor but someone who had taken care of me since I was a child. He believed that I was taking on too much in my life and basically expected me to be a hot house flower, and certainly not have children! When I expressed my desire to live like a normal person, he saw me as inviting either a poor old age or, most likely, none at all. There are probably a number of things that, had I pursued them, might have kept my curves from worsening , but what I am realizing is that scolios treatment is a work in progress... The book Stopping Scoliosis was a big help to me. ( It is available from the NSF). Also, it sounds like there is a great deal more awareness today about adults living with scoliosis.