View Full Version : Very Confused About Scoliosis

02-08-2009, 12:47 PM
WhenI first saw the Pain Management Doctor a couple of weeks ago, he had taken a photograph of my back. He showed it to me, and said: "Do you see the S shape of your spine?" I said YES! He explained that the S shape of my spine is Scoliosis.

I saw a Neurologist last week who didn't think much of the Scoliosis diagnosis. Actually, he passed it off as nothing.

I see the pain management doc again this coming week, and will definitely get things clarified. I want to know if in fact I do have Scoliosis and what can be done about it. I also want him to refer me to a Scoliosis Doctor. I am very confused about this. One doctor says one thing, and the other just passes it of as though it were nothing....like the common cold!

I know the pain I'm having in my back, my leg and stomach. I was also told that the pain is Nerve Damage caused in part by Chemo and Radiation treatments. I love the way these doctors tell you WHAT you have, but, they don't tell you HOW to get rid of it?! This is why I'm SO confused about the scoliosis.

02-08-2009, 12:54 PM

Sorry about your pain.

Nobody here can say what is going on with your doctors as they are not hear to confirm what you report or clarify.

I can offer up an explanation for why the neurologist may not be interested in the scoliosis diagnosis... I believe the entire panoply of back issues that scoliosis patients can have is also seen in people who do not have scoliosis. I think this is how doctors are able to claim that scoliosis may not be the proximate cause.

That is, if you can get stenosis, crushed discs, pinched nerves, slipped discs in a perfectly straight back, how likely is it that a scoliosis is caused them? It might be but it also might not be.

I think you have to arm yourself with information and approach these doctors with some targeted questions.

Good luck.

02-08-2009, 01:18 PM
Hi Babs...

I don't have a clue if this is what you have, but pain can cause postural changes that are called functional scoliosis. That is, you're holding your central core muscles in a way that looks like scoliosis, in response to pain. Functional scoliosis can be detected by a simple forward bending test (which straightens out the spine of anyone with functional scoliosis).

With that said, radiation can also cause scoliosis. A spine xray should detect whether you actually have scoliosis.


02-08-2009, 01:18 PM
Babs, if your X-rays from the back show an S-curve instead of a straight spine, it sounds like the pain management doctor was right. I'd confirm it with yet another specialist, though.

Scoliosis can cause pain not only in the back but also the abdomen and spine, though none of us here could say if it's true in your case.

Medication or surgery are two conventional treatments for adults with pain determined to be scoliosis-related. But if you can get to Northampton, MA, there's a hospital with a clinic specializing in scoliosis that has a multidisciplinary approach.