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Thread: Older Adults - Non Surgical Methods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,258

    Adults - Non Surgical Methods

    I thought it might be informative to start a thread where adults who have declined surgery could share their experiences and therapies which have helped them.

    I'm 60 and lived relatively pain free until my late 50's. I began Spinecor bracing just a tad over seven months ago and have found it to be very beneficial. Along with bracing I am doing a few Schroth exercises.

    I'm very interested in what other adults are doing or may have done to improve their quality of life.
    Last edited by mamamax; 11-27-2009 at 03:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    143

    No Surgery Until Age 58

    Hi Mamamax. I am reposting part of my earlier post in case some didn't see it.

    I am 57 and have never had surgery. Years ago I went to a gym and did a machine that I sat on and pulled two stabilized handles towards me. It felt great, strengthened my back symmetrically, and helped me "hold myself up." I found this much more beneficial that the elastic straps which are not stabilized and require more control. My scoliosis was progressing very, very slowly. It was about 55 degrees by then.

    Surgery was recommended when I was 21 by Dr. Levine at Special Surgery in NY, but I was feeling fine, just starting a career and a marriage and I declined it. The curve was about 40 degrees then, but I had no pain and it wasn't noticeable. I wore a brace when I was 11 that did nothing.

    From the late '90s to about 2005, I did about an hour and a half of yoga and jumped on the rebounded religiously every day. I took my flexibility and stamina for granted then, and now I attribute it all to my dedication to the regimen. Gradually life got busier, I stopped and I now feel the difference.

    In 2007 I went to Clear Institute in Minnesota. I've been reluctant to post my experience other than in private messages, since I didn't want to discourage people who may be helped there, but I believe that the program, aside from costing an amazing amount of money for a very long time, actually hurt my back and sped up the progression.

    Dr. Woggon believes that to correct scoliosis you need to restore the natural curves in the neck and the lower back. Therefore the treatment focuses on these areas with no attention to the muscles of the torso. I was given two foam rolls for under my neck and my lower back when I slept. When I expresses concern that the muscles of my middle back were "giving way" to the curve in that position with no support, I was told that I shouldn't worry about it.

    As part of the treatment, weights of about 20 pounds were placed on my rib hump. When I left the program after two weeks of these applications twice a day for 20 minutes while on a stretching table, the hump was slightly diminished. But it soon began to go all the way over to the right side, the concave ribs became more concave and I could feel and see my torso rotating more.

    This is all to say that over the course of my life living pain free with scoliosis, working and raising two sons, I believe that the single biggest factor for me was having strong torso muscle to maintain good posture. I would think that any program that includes this could be very useful.


    I have an aunt who died prematurely at age 69 from complications from scoliosis. Last night I visited a man who lost his mother recently and said that her scoliosis had compressed her left lung and she had trouble expelling CO2. This happened to my aunt as well.

    My curve is now 90 degrees. I am now booked for surgery with Dr. Boachie in June. I am content with my decision. Thank G-d, I have lived a full and pain free life. Only now am I feeling that I can't keep up with my friends. It is time.

    If anyone would like more information about Clear Institute, please contact me privately.

    All the best to all,

    Joy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    60
    I'm 35 and have not had surgery. I did not decline surgery however; I have never been offered it because my curves are not severe enough.

    I started having pain around age 21, and over time, here's what I've found:

    - I always felt much better (physically, mentally, emotionally etc..) if I exercised regularly, including running, stretching, and core exercise. When I allow myself to get out of shape, things deteriorate a lot, including pain and much more obvious curves.

    - the best I have ever felt and looked (spinal pain virtually gone, neural symptoms in left arm and leg gone, back looking beautifully straight) was after doing three days of very challenging Schroth training in the summer. This fall, because I've had tons of courses, work, and family life to juggle, I have gotten out of my exercise habit...and five weeks later, I'm back to daily pain...

    - I have not been able to run for years due to very strong left lateral knee pain that would start within just three or four minutes, and I always assumed it was directly due to my back. However, I took a running course that challenged all my previously held assumptions about running, and have had no pain in my knees with the new technique of running I've started (barefoot). So it wasn't my un-level pelvis' fault - can't blame everything on the scoliosis after all.


    Bottom line for me:
    The body has a huge capacity to adapt and improve, but you have to do a lot of work to get there. We don't get much chance to feel or understand this capacity, because we are so sedentary these days. I have officially re-started my back routine, along with the running progression - and already know i'll be feeling great by next week. I'm going to try not to get derailed this time.
    Bettina:
    - 34 year old physiotherapist
    - main curve of 3 is mid-thoracic convex, approx 37 d.
    - my goal: to stay as upright, strong and painfree as I can, as long as I can.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Hi Mamamax

    Some of the things that I did before my surgery were, Chiro, of course with some great Chiros, and massage. The massages were done at Steamboat hot springs. Mark Twain used to hang there back in the day, so it Had to be good! LOL

    I would boil first for 30 minutes, then get the massage. Finding a great masseuse takes some time. I went through quite a few.......

    I was considering spinecore. I think that after all the things I did to control pain, and realizing that I was running out of time, (curves moving fast) my decision was based on extreme pain. For some reason, my pain and curves were accelerating at a tremendous rate. My methods were not working anymore.

    I would also lay (supine) on a "cliff" which was a 4 inch spacer. I would position it on the floor and lay on it. I would place it down under my lower left side to counter my cork. I basically had 3D shaped spine where my lordosis in the small of my back was non-existent. My saggital cobbs(side) were way out of wack down low with a kyphosis between L1 and L5. I would also use a jar of mayo for this.

    Ocean therapy is great. I think its the cheapest alternative method out there. I cured my sciatica in the ocean out in Hawaii, swimming all day long. It de-weighted and gave the discs some time to retract. Mark Twain also was out there, so it had to be good! I don't think it would work all that well at Coney island, or Jersey LOL

    That's it, I should start a Hawaiian scoli clinic. How many scolis out there would need an emergency session?
    Titaniumeds scoli recovery center. Nothing like a Lomi Lomi massage in the jungle, and some ocean therapy.

    Medical vacations are really kicking into gear now. They are performing scoli surgeries in Cuba now. Wow! They probably get their hardware from Europe.

    Its about time I had a medical emergency out in Hawaii.

    Ed

    PS Not too many thought that Thanksgiving turkey x-ray was funny. LMAO I wonder how many scoli moms out there suddenly decided that it had been a long time since we had ham for Thanksgiving?
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,258
    Quote Originally Posted by betty14 View Post
    I'm 35 and have not had surgery. I did not decline surgery however; I have never been offered it because my curves are not severe enough.

    I started having pain around age 21, and over time, here's what I've found:

    - I always felt much better (physically, mentally, emotionally etc..) if I exercised regularly, including running, stretching, and core exercise. When I allow myself to get out of shape, things deteriorate a lot, including pain and much more obvious curves.

    - the best I have ever felt and looked (spinal pain virtually gone, neural symptoms in left arm and leg gone, back looking beautifully straight) was after doing three days of very challenging Schroth training in the summer. This fall, because I've had tons of courses, work, and family life to juggle, I have gotten out of my exercise habit...and five weeks later, I'm back to daily pain...

    - I have not been able to run for years due to very strong left lateral knee pain that would start within just three or four minutes, and I always assumed it was directly due to my back. However, I took a running course that challenged all my previously held assumptions about running, and have had no pain in my knees with the new technique of running I've started (barefoot). So it wasn't my un-level pelvis' fault - can't blame everything on the scoliosis after all.


    Bottom line for me:
    The body has a huge capacity to adapt and improve, but you have to do a lot of work to get there. We don't get much chance to feel or understand this capacity, because we are so sedentary these days. I have officially re-started my back routine, along with the running progression - and already know i'll be feeling great by next week. I'm going to try not to get derailed this time.
    Betty - I read your comments and I find a guiding light :-) You know, 40 years ago Schroth was not heard of in this country - or at least no one I knew was aware of it. I think it is wonderful that this country finally has a clinic in WI and when I retire I plan to either go there or to Germany for a few months! That it took five weeks to begin loosing the benefits is kind of interesting - both good and bad. Bad because it happened - good because five weeks is a bit longer than most would have thought it would take. You are right, many of us (including myself) are way too sedentary and that leads to many health problems which have nothing to do with scoliosis - Maybe even more important for those of us with scoliosis to exercise on a regular basis - nothing crazy ... 3xweek 30 minute sessions. The right exercise of course (for scoliosis) which certainly appears to be Schroth. I look forward to the day when it will be commonplace and available to all. I'm so happy you have found you can run - it must be wonderful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,258
    Ed - I enjoyed your comments - do let me know when you open a clinic!! You know, I don't know if Spinecor will hold my curve but things look good so far .. one never knows when that vicious cycle will hit and I am mindful of that.

    I did think that turkey xray was hysterical and I did feel a little guilt this year, not because of the xray but because I had seen the video Meet your Meat a few months back

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    35
    Mamamax,
    I am just rejoining this forum after a long hiatus so forgive me if I missed a post on this. It seems as though you had surgery in June '09 at 58 years of age. How did it go and how are you now almost a year later?
    Thanks,
    Nora

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,258
    Hi nora - no, I have not had surgery. Began bracing with Spinecor in April of 09 - with good results thus far.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    28
    Despite my low curve (35 d), my pain is excruciating I think due to the fact that the curve is L5 - L1. That is the balance point of my body where everything occurs. I have tried: Scroth, chiro, massage, acupuncture, inversion table, PT, painmeds, and now am in the second of 3 pain shots. The first left me in more pain and new pain to the point of nauseousness and not being able to move. I even saw a psychic healer (which gave me one day of absolutely no pain but only lasted a day).

    I find nothing that alleviates my pain except that a good massage reduces it somewhat but only for a few hours. I am interested in the Spinecor bracing and need to research that. Other than that I am out of options and must consider surgery. But who, where, what???? Many of you are fused. Many get new discs (how can one get a new disc when you are crooked?), many had good luck with all the things I've tried. Do you go to just a sco-specialist or can you trust a very very good neurosurgeon?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    scoli specialist..definitely...there are some excellent scoli surgeons with great reputations...many referred to on forum!

    i am considering surgery...have been for a while, but now with minimally invasive for lumbar, i am getting serious....have been on pain meds for a long time...and been having injections for a few years now...

    but this thread is for non surgery...so...that's it...

    jess

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