View Full Version : Please help! Worried about scoliosis and my first job

07-01-2005, 01:31 AM
Hi, I'm 17 and new here. I have a slight curve on my back but it usually doesn't bother me. But I just got my very first summer job a couple days ago and on my first day I worked five hours and had to stand up for the entire time. I don't know if anyone else gets back pains from standing too long but I get terrible pains and it was extremely hard to get through the day with the same energy and enthusiasm as I should on my job. I don't think I can keep up with the pain the entire summer.
What do I do? Should I tell my boss? I'm worried he might fire me or look down on me because employees are not supposed to be sitting down at all during their shifts. I thought about taking pain killers before work but that can't be healthy to do so frequently, can it? I don't know what to do and I'm scared. Please give me advice, has anyone had this problem with a job? Is there a way to relieve the pain? :confused:

07-01-2005, 09:50 AM
I had the same problem with back pain. I used to just go into the bathroom a lot because it gave me a chance to sit down. They probably thought I had a bladder problem! :rolleyes:

I found that shoe insoles help a lot. I have flat feet so my chiropractor ordered some custom made ones for me and I don't go a day without them. Also you would want to make sure that your shoes don't have a heel.

I'm not sure I agree with the idea of people being made to stand for so many hours out of their day anyway.. wheither they have scoliosis or not, I can't imagine it would be very good for the joints.

I hope this helps!

07-01-2005, 01:36 PM
I agree with carebear about the shoes. That has a huge influence on your back. Make sure you have shoes with good support and that fit correctly.
I would only take pain killers as a last resort, and not frequently if you can help it.
I find it helpful to do some strecthing (I do this frequently while I am working...I wait tables and teach school...so I am on my feet all day).
For lower back pain I usually try to lean over onto a counter and attempt to arche my back by pushing my belly to the ground and my butt and shoulder up to the sky. Also, make sure you are getting good rest at home to prepare for the next day. My body usually gets used to being on my feet after a while. It's like doing a new exercise move. At first you are sore, but then your body becomes stronger and you are more able to adjust.
One last thing, I wouldn't hesitate discussing in light detail about you back with your boss. They should not discriminate as long as you are able to do your job well. Any professional should let you take a few moments to rest to recover if you have a health issue.

07-01-2005, 04:23 PM
Thank you so much for the quick responses! I'll do everything you suggested and hopefully I will be able to adjust to this job. I work tomorrow for seven hours so we'll see how that goes. But you were both such a big help, I mean it. I was so worried and you put me at ease. Thanks. :o

Joe's Mom
07-01-2005, 08:16 PM
I hope you will consider getting physical therapy. The muscles in your back, around your spine, are likely imbalanced in strength . . .some are very tight and some are very loose. PT will help strengthen the weak muscles and bring your entire back musculature into better balance so that standing for long stretches may not be as uncomfortable.

I think a BIG missing link with a lot of orthopaedists is to look just at the BONES, not at the muscles that surround and support them.

I don't mean that PT will correct your curving spine, but there is a relationship between the spine and the back muscles that all too often seems to be overlooked by the doctors.

If you are having discomfort doing simple things like standing or sitting, please ask to get a PT referral and work hard at your PT so you can lead a normal life in terms of sitting, standing, etc.

07-01-2005, 08:59 PM
Hi, im 16 and I can totally relate to you with the pain that you have while standing. Altho I've had surgery on my back for scoliosis. The last few summers I was busy detasseling and thats a job that you are constantly standing up and walking. It got very painful and I couldn't wait untill we had a break so I could sit down. The longer your body has to adjust to the standing up, the better it will get because right now you are probably using muscles in your back that aren't used to being used for that long of an amount of time. It unfortunately will probably always ache, but it may get better. I just had my third surgery for scoliosis about 4 weeks ago and I am finding that I can't stand for more than 15 minuets due to not being able to use those muscles. I agree with the people who have you posts, i've never had shoe insoles but i've seen on tv that your whole allignment of your body starts with you feet and that could also be causing pain. You may also want to see a specialist to find out what exercises you should do to strengthen those back muscles. I tend to have a lot of lower back pains and my bone specialist went over with me a few exercises I could do to just strengthen those muscles and try to help the pain go away. If you have any other questions or just want someone to talk to who is in your age range and can kind of relate to you, feel free to send me private messages, that way I will get them right away.

Stay strong, and good luck with the job!!

07-01-2005, 11:21 PM
I'm glad we were able to help! I hope your shift goes well today. I just wanted to let you know that most jobs should be required to give you some kind of break if you are working more than five hours. You may want to talk to someone in Human Resources or a boss about it if you are having to work for 7 hours straight on your feet.

07-03-2005, 01:02 AM
I just got back from my shift. I'm pretty sore but not as sore as the first day and I worked two hours more today. So it seems like it's getting better and I'm adjusting to standing up for long periods of time. I'm going to wait a few more days and see how I feel before mentioning anything to my boss, but in the mean time I'm going to start doing those excersizes my physical therapist told me to do a long time ago. I've neglected them for too long and I know I shouldn't have. But thanks a million for all of your support, all your suggestions helped more than you know. :)

07-03-2005, 09:14 PM
I hope you will consider getting physical therapy. The muscles in your back, around your spine, are likely imbalanced in strength . . .some are very tight and some are very loose. PT will help strengthen the weak muscles and bring your entire back musculature into better balance so that standing for long stretches may not be as uncomfortable.

Amen to that. My first job was standing behind a counter in a general store for anywhere between five and eight hours. The muscles in my back were so weak back then that my back simply couldn't support me for more than thirty minutes let alone the whole shift. We had a stool sitting behind the counter that I basically spent half the shift on, simply because I couldn't stand for that long. When I left, they seriously considered giving it to me! ;)
But I've only been able to improve that by doing physical therapy... I can now stand for a fair bit longer, and it's only improving as I continue.

07-03-2005, 10:13 PM
I worked again today for six hours and I was so happy to find that I wasn't nearly as sore as the first day! I only got slight aches and sometimes it wouldn't even hurt at all. Every day is getting less and less painful. Thanks guys. :)

07-05-2005, 04:06 PM
Standing on your feet gets easier with time. Its definately something that you have to get used to. Having good foot support will definately help. Finding shoes that make your feet melt are definately worth the price. There are some days when I get back pain but those are few and far between. Doing stretches helps with that. You just have to roll with it.

07-05-2005, 07:23 PM
i would tell my boss that i have scoliosis (u should have probably told him that b4 u got hired) and that u cant be standing for more than a couple hours (or however long u can stand 4). he cant fire u becuz u have scoliosis unless it really affects how well u do ur job. i dont have a job yet but ive worried about it 2 and im sure many other ppl have the same problem

Sharon D.
05-25-2007, 06:47 PM
Check out the spinecor soft brace, it's great for scoliosis back pain and should solve your pain problems at work. And nobody will know you're even wearing it! It's been a god send for us. By the way, ee saw Dr. Gorrie in Irvine, Ca.
good luck!