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Thread: Scoliosis & Pregnancy

  1. #1
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    Scoliosis & Pregnancy

    Hi everyone - I know there are threads about this on here already, but I figured I'd start a new one. I'm 26 with a 35 degree right thoraco-lumbar curve - it has basically remained stable since I was 18, and I continue to monitor it on a yearly/bi-yearly basis. I do experience muscle tightness/soreness/etc. due to the overstretched or overstrengthened muscles on either side of my spine, but I do PT, yoga, etc. to try to keep myself pain free. That being said, since I do still have a great deal of tightness/soreness from day to day, I'm a little scared to think about what my back would feel like when/if I ever decide to get pregnant! Back pain is associated with pregnancy a lot of the time (in someone with a "normal" spine), so I would assume this would be even more severe in someone with scoliosis that already has pre-existing back pain!? Plus, I'm wondering what the common facts/beliefs/opinions are in terms of if pregnancy tends to make scoliosis get worse? Alsoooo, since I have scoliosis and it seems to be fairly genetic, I'm worried about potentially passing the "blessing" down to any children I would perhaps have some day. Just kind of thinking aloud on this topic. Any thoughts/feedback would be great. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hi Emmy ~

    Last time these questions also concerned me was 1980. Like scoliosis itself, pregnancy is a little different for everyone. My prenatal health care providers at the time reassured me that since my family did not have history of scoliosis, that chances were i did not have to worry about my beautiful daughter. They were right thankfully (an understatement). I haven't researched what current studies show regarding curve progression among pregnant women today - but that did not factor into my pregnancy and for me there was no progression during that time. My back never felt better actually, and me with significant double curves both then and now (mine slightly greater then - than yours are now). For me, it was if mother nature actually gave me a break really. Of course, when the beautiful baby time comes for you, your own prenatal health care providers will be your best source of information - hopefully you will be able to continue what you have been doing to keep yourself in shape & all will go well.

    The Scoliosis Research Society states that about 30% of AIS cases have some family history of scoliosis, indicating a likely genetic connection. The Scottish Rite Hospital researchers have identified the first gene (CHD7) associated with Idiopathic Scoliosis in 2007. And of course research continues worldwide.

    The NSF Home Page addresses these two questions under FAQs:
    http://www.scoliosis.org/faq2.php
    According to a recent study, pregnancy and delivery are rarely affected by scoliosis. Pregnant women are no more prone to progression than non-pregnant women. Any adult, male or female, with an untreated major curvature may experience a progression after skeletal maturity. The tendency to develop idiopathic scoliosis is inherited, so children of a scoliotic parent may be at greater risk than the general population. Early detection and treatment, however, should prevent problems.

    Lots of info on those NSF pages - one on Congenital Scoliosis as well:
    http://www.scoliosis.org/resources/m...congenital.php

    And an excellent glossary of terms:
    http://www.scoliosis.org/glossary.php

    Linda Racine posted some excellent information regarding DNA testing for scoliosis:
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1073

    I found an update on that here:
    http://www.emaxhealth.com/2/39/27414...-launched.html

    We live in a time where research continues on an ever greater scale, and information can be passed quickly by those involved. I would imagine we will see great changes in early detection and remedy over the next 50 years that will be astounding, hopefully providing advanced remedies for us all.


    REFERENCE:

    Children's Hospital of Pittsburg
    http://www.chp.edu/CHP/P01648

    Scoliosis Research Society
    http://www.srs.org/patients/adolesce...hic/causes.php

    Texas Scottish Rite Hospital
    http://www.tsrhc.org/genetic-scoliosis-research.htm

    John Hopkins:
    http://hopkinsmedicine2.reachlocal.net/Research/
    Last edited by mamamax; 05-05-2009 at 06:09 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    Hi everyone - I know there are threads about this on here already, but I figured I'd start a new one. I'm 26 with a 35 degree right thoraco-lumbar curve - it has basically remained stable since I was 18, and I continue to monitor it on a yearly/bi-yearly basis. I do experience muscle tightness/soreness/etc. due to the overstretched or overstrengthened muscles on either side of my spine, but I do PT, yoga, etc. to try to keep myself pain free. That being said, since I do still have a great deal of tightness/soreness from day to day, I'm a little scared to think about what my back would feel like when/if I ever decide to get pregnant! Back pain is associated with pregnancy a lot of the time (in someone with a "normal" spine), so I would assume this would be even more severe in someone with scoliosis that already has pre-existing back pain!? Plus, I'm wondering what the common facts/beliefs/opinions are in terms of if pregnancy tends to make scoliosis get worse? Alsoooo, since I have scoliosis and it seems to be fairly genetic, I'm worried about potentially passing the "blessing" down to any children I would perhaps have some day. Just kind of thinking aloud on this topic. Any thoughts/feedback would be great. Thanks!

    I had 3 pregnancies and didn't think that I had any worse back problems than anyone else during the pregnancies. However, in my non-scientific opinion, the pregnancy hormones definitely caused my curves to progress. As far as passing your "blessing" down to children, I can only speak for myself: all 3 of my kids have inherited it, which causes major mother guilt. Luckily, the older 2 never progressed enough to be treated, and the youngest (almost 10yrs old) is still being closely watched. Remember there are some people who don't pass it along to their kids, it just didn't work out that way for me.

    Bottom line for both your worries: no one can tell you for sure what will happen in your case. I wish I could tell you something different.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  4. #4
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    One more thing--

    Miss EmilyF,

    Regarding pregnancies affecting your scoliosis: at least you are going forward with more info than I had at your age. As my original Dr.'s told me I was 'done' with scoliosis, I never gave it a second thought as I planned my family. Maybe if I had known there could be problems, I would have done things differently, or at least had myself rechecked sooner than 25 years. Knowledge is power, but I had no clue. The internet is wonderful that way.

    Good luck,
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  5. #5
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    Emmy,

    I had my first two kids when my L curve was in the 40* range. No back pain at all during pregnancy or delivery. I was ready for back pain to finally kick in my life and not even the pregnancies caused it- other than mild back pain during the last months of pregnancy. I often wonder whether I am a medical anomaly for good or bad. I can't find an explication to my lack of pain with a 56* progressive curve. Not that I want the pain, of course, I just get scared thinking about what this really means.

    When I had my 3rd child last year my L curve was 54*, developed hip pain at month 8 and almost missed the epidural during birth because of the curve. My anesthesiology was amazing and I was able to deliver my dd quick w/o pain.

    None of kids have been dx with scol so far. I pray it stays this way. My oldest son will be tested soon, though. I am very thankful scol didn’t affect my ability to carry happy pregnancies.

    Good luck,

    Quote Originally Posted by debbei View Post
    Miss EmilyF,

    Regarding pregnancies affecting your scoliosis: at least you are going forward with more info than I had at your age. As my original Dr.'s told me I was 'done' with scoliosis, I never gave it a second thought as I planned my family. Maybe if I had known there could be problems, I would have done things differently, or at least had myself rechecked sooner than 25 years. Knowledge is power, but I had no clue. The internet is wonderful that way.

    Good luck,
    _____________________________

    Diagnosed at 9, Boston brace during teenage years
    56* left thoracolumbar curve, slight rib hump
    Deciding on timing for surgery

  6. #6
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    I can only speak from personal experience... I have an S curve, approximately 40* and 40*. I had a wonderful pregnancy with no pain, other than the usual hip pain that most women experience in the last month or two. I had a vaginal delivery with no meds. No complications. And I feel blessed...truly blessed.

    As far as my concern for heredity...I have always dreaded passing on this terrible crookedness. I have taken a very serious approach to monitoring him. While I had no experience with chiropractic treatment prior to my being pregnant, I now take my 7 year old son 2 times a month to the chiropractor. I am not saying that the chiro can fully prevent scoliosis, but I DO know that someone is very carefully watching his spine and will know the second he begins to curve. I have x-ray evidence that his very, very slight curve that began at age 4 is now non-existent. I am hypervigilant with him and want to be proactive.

    I wish you the best!
    Living life after a Milwaukee...
    And still crooked as a jail bird...

  7. #7
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    I was lucky that both my sons did not inherit my scoliosis, but then my youngest got insulin dependent diabetes.

    I have been wondering about my grandaughter though and hoping she wont develop it. If anyone has any information on this it would be appreciated.
    Thankyou

    Macky
    Operation 1966, Fused from T4 to L3, had Harrington rods inserted. Originally had an 85 degree Thoracic curve with lumbar scoliosis as well but had a good correction.
    Perfectly normal life till 1997 but now in a lot of pain daily. Consider myself very fortunate though.

  8. #8
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    thanks everyone!

    thanks to everyone for your replies! i've enjoyed reading them, and i realize they are all totally different. i wasn't expecting each response to be totally similar; i'm just surprised that there's SO much variety!

  9. #9
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    Thumbs down Chiro for kids

    I am not saying that the chiro can fully prevent scoliosis, but I DO know that someone is very carefully watching his spine and will know the second he begins to curve. I have x-ray evidence that his very, very slight curve that began at age 4 is now non-existent. I am hypervigilant with him and want to be proactive
    Thinkinmom

    A chiropractor does not have the medical training to"carefully" watch you child's spine--and what about all those x-rays??

    The Canadian Pediatric Society had issued a position statement warning that chiro treatments for kids is actually dangerous:

    http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/CP/cp02-01.htm
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  10. #10
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    I wonder if the US has issued a similar statement - would think (based on the info below) that a well-skilled Chiropractor would be qualified to perform a scoliosis screening exam?

    This from a government web site
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/002001.htm

    Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)

    REGULATION OF THE PROFESSION

    To become a chiropractor in the United States, students typically begin with several years of undergraduate studies focused on biology and science. They then complete a 4 - 5 year program at a chiropractic college.

    Some states require that you have a bachelor's degree and a chiropractor's degree to practice. Chiropractic colleges are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

    Courses at chiropractic colleges include:

    * Adjusting techniques
    * Anatomy
    * Biochemistry
    * Bones and joints (orthopaedics)
    * Disease (pathology)
    * Function of the body (physiology)
    * General chiropractic analysis
    * Nervous system (neurology)
    * Physical and lab diagnosis
    * Radiology

    Chiropractors are regulated at two different levels:

    Board certification is conducted by the National Board of Chiropractor Examiners, which creates national standards for chiropractic care.

    Licensure takes place at the state level under specific state laws. Licensing may differ from state to state. Most states require that chiropractors complete the National Chiropractic Board examination before they get their license. Some states also require chiropractors to pass a practical examination. All states recognize training from chiropractic schools accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE).
    Last edited by mamamax; 05-06-2009 at 09:29 PM.

  11. #11
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    "Well-skilled Chriopractors" are an anomaly. Please see a real doctor.

    MissEmmyF, I went into *both* pregnancies 19 and 21 years ago with the same degree of curvature - and the same pain - as when I had surgery 15 months ago. A curve, BTW, diagnosed at age 10.

    Just my $.02.

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op ±53°, Post-op < 20°
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  12. #12
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    Lightbulb Chiropractic: In depth look at the science

    This site contains input from a MD and a DC:



    http://www.chirobase.org:80/


    Check it out and become informed to obtain proper chiropractic care.
    Last edited by Karen Ocker; 05-07-2009 at 07:07 AM.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  13. #13
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    I'm not trying cause a heated discussion on chiropractic by any means.

    But I would like to add this:
    As 'mamamax' clearly detailed, chiropractors are educated in the study, observation, and manipulation of the spine. That is literally the focus of their work. And while their treatment is vastly contradictory to medical orthopaedic physicians, one cannot suggest that they are not qualified to observe any structural change in the spine.

    24 visits a year to a professional whose job it is to feel, observe and chart any changes in the spine is indeed more preventative than an x-ray once every few years to an ortho doctor, and certainly better than what most of us experienced...which was finding out too late at some school screening, when our curves were already significant.

    And a quick note on x-rays to Karen... my son has had 2 x-rays in 7 years of life. I should think that the number of x-rays in chiropractic versus ortho doctors is not a point in favor of ortho. (How many x-rays have each of us had over the years???)
    _______________________
    I wish you the best MissEmmyF in your journey of motherhood.
    Living life after a Milwaukee...
    And still crooked as a jail bird...

  14. #14
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    Median salary

    I tried to find some recent median salaries for chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons.

    The numbers scatter a bit but this is what I think is the case:

    Chiro ~$85,000 (which shocks me how high it is)

    Orthopedic surgeon ~$400,000

    You get what you pay for.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  15. #15
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    Thinkinmom ~

    True. My orthopedic specialist in fact recommended the chiropractor that i am seeing now. That's quite an endorsement.

    I think debate is found when some practitioners operate from a level of greed and/or negligence (i.e., Copes on the NSF home page) - and yet, this can (and does) happen in many medical fields.

    So, like all professions - some excellent, some horrid.

    Believe Karen meant to suggest we exercise the same caution in choice - that we would in any medical field.

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