View Full Version : Male 33 from B.C Canada needs advice

03-26-2005, 11:57 PM
Hello everyone. I am a 33 year old male from B.C Canada. Life is pretty good lately, I have a great wife, a one year old son and business has been good for me the last few years. Everything seems to be on track except for one little problem, which I now know to be scoliosis. Up until a few years ago I never had a stich of back pain. About that time I gradually started getting a pain in my mid left back area.The pain eventually progressed to be quite constant and aggrivating. It felt like a constant muscle tension concentrated into a small area. Since then I have spent ridiculous amounts of time and money on family physicians, physio, chiro, massage, accupuncture etc. I have had xrays, bonescans, ultrasounds and even an MRI. A mild scoliosis was initially detected but it was explained to me at the time that it was quite common and not generally associated with pain. Since then a number of self proclaimed back experts (note my sincism Haha!} have told me the same thing and have spent countless hours treating me for god knows what. Most physiotherapists cant even read an xray anyway. It kind of seemed like they use the same treatment for every back problem. Little electro stimulation here and some core exercises and we will see you next week!
I now understand that this type of electro stimulation is useless in my case because the painfull muscles are already overstimulated, fighting the convex side of the curve. The way I now see it, it would be like treating a sprained ankle by running around the block. Anyways, the latest chiorpractor I have been seeing (number four or five now} has been the only one to step out on a limb and say"scoliosis is what is causing your pain.!"He did his own xrays and it became blatently clear to me that this was in fact the problem. I did have xrays just prior to that by a medical doctor and I have a 25 degree curve to my left in the thoracic region. I am on about session number 30 now and I have seen some changes. Instead of constant pain to my left, I often have spine pain or muscle pain on both sides and numbness on my right{neither of which feel better}It is often a crapshoot as to which surprise pain of the day i will have when I wake up!. Chiro guy remains excitedly optomistic! Although I am sure he is somewhat biased at 35 dollars per session! Haha! He seems to suggest that this is all part of a transition that my body is making to compensate for my curve. He feels that no change would be a bad sign. He does not claim to be able to straighten me.Naturally being the skeptic that i am, my concern is that the new pains are just the worsening of my curve and I am just throwing my money out the window. Has anyone gone through a similar experience? Has anyone got pain relief from a chiropractor? I have been watching this forum for a few months now and my heart goes out to those with much more severe cases than mine. I guess I am just feeling bumbed out from the constant pain and my new favorite pastime is taking a nap. I feel like I am 75 and I am only 33. I kinda feel like all my energy and enthusiasm is being drained out of me. I have lots of dreams and a family counting on me and I would love to get rid of this pain. Also if anyone knows a genuine scoliosis specialist in my area Fraser Valley, B.C Canada or are near me and just want to gab, you can email me anytime (even if you have had surgery I would like to talk to someone who has been through it} All the best, Bish

P.S sorry about the novel

03-27-2005, 11:58 AM
I dont know much about Scoliosis..I havent been diagnosed yet...I plan to see a Doctor Monday...but reading some of what you wrote reminded me of how I feel all the time...From the research I have done on the internet I found a diease that is linked to Scoliosis which causes several problems you might not even think Scoliosis caused...Depression..Irritable Syndrome..Bladder problems and so on...Well I wanted to give you a link to this...It is called Fibromyalgia...Maybe you already know about this but heres the link just incase http://members.aol.com/fibroworld/sympt.htm I hope things get better for you and God bless. :)

03-27-2005, 03:02 PM
Hi Bish.

Sorry to hear about your pain. I unfortutely went through over a year of low-back chronic pain, and I know it just shoots your life to pieces - however great you know the other parts of your life are.

I just had a few thoughts about your situation - obviously I can only speak from my own experience, and from what I've read. But I know for me it was important to hear from other people who had also had pain. First of all, don't give up trying to figure out what will help you! Can you get to see a back pain specialist in your health system? Back pain is notoriously complicated and sometimes it is difficult to pain down the root "cause" with certainty. And then you will always hear "rules" like the one about scoliosis not causing pain with curves your size. But there are a lot of variables, for example, has your curve progressed? Do you have any disk issues that go with it, etc? If you can see a pain management specialist they might be able to help you. Perhaps you could ask your GP/MD if they can refer you to a pain management clinic and/or a scoliosis specialist.

Also, to be honest, I'm not convinced about putting your hope in chiropractic... at least, not after all those sessions! Like with any therapy, people seem to respond differently to chiropractic, but it certainly can't decrease the magnitude of a curve. I personally found great help in another alternative therapy called Rolfing, which works more with soft tissue and balance. My attempt at Rolfing was about #53 on my list of therapies... I also was helped by mindfulness meditation and low-dose anti-depressants for nerve pain. A pain specialist might be able to help you speed up the process of finding the right one, or combination of ones, for you.

One thing I would be very insistent on asking my medical professional about would be the numbness you had started to experience. It might give them more of a solid clue as to where to start looking for the roots of your pain.

Good luck in figuring everything out. Take care ~Laura

03-27-2005, 10:55 PM
Hi Laura,
Thanx for your response.I have not been told yet by a doctor that my curve has progressed, but I have pretty much determined this on my own. In fact I just scooped my xrays and took them home the last time I went to the doc. My first xrays {taken a couple of years ago} and more recent ones.A measurement was not taken on my first xrays but if I overlap them I can tell.
How is your pain now? Did rolfing ultimately lead to your pain reduction? Are you considering surgery? How long have you had pain? Thanx for your help. Bish

04-11-2005, 01:53 AM
I highly recommend Dr. Stephen Tredwell in Vancouver, BC. Although he is only dealing with adolescents/children (Head of Pediatric Orthopaedics at BC Childrens Hopsital) right now, he would give you a name of another top surgeon. Dr. Tredwell is known to be one of the best in Canada.

Stephen J. Tredwell, MD
British Columbia's Children's Hospital
4480 Oak Street, #A200
Vancouver BC V6H 3V4
Adolescent, Juvenile/Infantile

04-11-2005, 06:50 PM
Hello Bish,
There is a doctor at Vancouver General Hospital that specifically treats scoliosis in adults.

Dr. Marcel Dvorak, MD, FRCSC
D-6 Heather Pavilion
2733 Heather Street
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 3J5

You will need a referral from your doctor. Not sure what doctor mine was from previous scoliosis doctor, Dr. Reilly at BC Children's Hospital. Waiting list for appointment is long and takes like 6 months.