View Full Version : Some non-surgical things I am doing

09-30-2003, 06:47 PM
Hi Folks,

I am 51, do not know what my present curve degree is or what it was when they stuck me in a Milwaukee brace at age 15 until 17. My father was in the USNavy so I received the low caliber of medical care provided to the military by the federal government. This meant that I did not have one primary doctor, but several and over the course of my treatment, doctors would rotate out (move to another military hospital). So there was little consistency and NO personal care or attention to the grievous psychological impact of the brace experience for teenagers.

After I got the brace off, I did a lot of physical activity through my 20s and early 30s with no problems or pain: I ran daily, lifted weights, backpacked, bicycled and did aerobics. All that exercising started to wind down in my 30s to the point where I was fairly sendentary by my late 40s. I began having pain doing simple things like walking, gardening or just sitting sometimes. The pain was bad enough sometimes and frequent enough that I began to do research into adult scoliosis surgery as well as other non-surgical therapies. I did a lot of research on the web and about that time stumbled upon a masseuse that does "cranial sacral" massage which has helped immensely. I had never heard of "cranial sacral" and thought it sounded terribly new agey, but I also decided I had nothing to loose and something to possibly gain. Frankly, I still think it sounds new agey, but it works for me. The messeuse recommended a local yoga teacher who specialized in scoliosis and other back problems. In addition to the generic yoga classes I was taking at the fitness center where I work, I called this woman, Elise Browning Miller, for a private session. She assessed me and provided some poses for me to add to my routine and advised me on poses regularly taught in yoga classes that i either needed to avoid or to modify to benefit my situation. This woman has written some articles, does seminars and teaches classes and retreats locally (I'm in the San Francisco bay area) as well as out of state. Her website is: http://www.ebmyoga.com

Recently a new friend suggested that I explore a class that she had taken called a "balance" class. This is a difficult class to explain, but it has helped so much I want to shout about it! It is taught by a woman named Jean Couch who's son has scoliosis. Her website is: http://www.balancecenter.com.

Whether you try any of the things that have helped me or not, my point in posting is to encourage you to be open to alternative therapies. My pain has lessened significantly, I am no longer considering surgery and have met some wonderful knowledgeable and caring people along the way. Thanks for listening.

10-04-2003, 05:03 PM
I am a military wife, and can relate to your treatment via the federal government. It's great that those alternative treatments helped your pain....I had the same effects, more pain as I got less active, so they will come in handy for me. I'll look into them.

10-06-2003, 12:09 PM
i'm 19 and had a back brace from wen i was 14 til 17... my curvature is in my lumbar area and my curvature was about 22 degrees when i stopped wearing my brace ... they said the curvature wouldn't change much anymore seeing as i've stopped growing, but i've heard cases where it has got worse? could it be due to slouching or not sitting up straight or something?
and does n e 1 know any back exercises which could help strengthen the muscles in the lower back without doing more damage?
anyway its 3am .. i'm tired and don't even know if anyone still using this board .. but i hope someone replies!


10-06-2003, 01:19 PM
Hi Mel...

I've heard many medical professionals say that one cannot cause a permanent curve, or make one worse, by one's posture.

On average, curves under 40 degrees at skeletal maturity do not progress. Again, on average, curves 50 degrees and above progress approximately 1 to 2 degrees per year. It's important to remember that those are averages. Some small curves will increase, and some large curves won't. If you start having any pain or loss of function, you should see an orthopaedist specialized in scoliosis.

I applaud you for wanting to be proactive in terms of exercising to help keep potential problems at bay. Because you have scoliosis, I would recommend trying to find someone (a trainer, physical therapist, etc.) who has treated others with scoliosis. One of the most important things I think you can do is to keep your abs strong so that you're not overloading your back muscles.


10-07-2003, 09:35 AM
Hey Linda
thanx for the reply. yeh i was thinking about getting a trainer, i thought those yoga classes for scoliosis sounded pretty good, but i don't know if there is one in my area...
the left side of my back is more prominent than the right, so i just want to build up the muscles on the right.
anyway, i do alot of sit ups so i'm on the right track .. yay! haha.

10-07-2003, 11:47 AM
Hi Mel...

The left side of your back is probably more prominent because of the rotation of your rib cage.


10-08-2003, 11:32 PM
Chiropractic treatments helped me a lot last year. New type therapy given rather than the traditional manipulation really did the job.

Also, Diathermy treatments worked wonders as did a treatment under a machine called the "Hot House"(Infared). This type medical treatment is gaining popularity more and more. They actually have a new type Infared treatment out that is reportedly better yet...a mat type-full body, that a person can sleep on.

Magnetic treatments tend to work as well as the Diathermy, just not as fast.

I have manged well my 52 years. Escaped the surgical rod at 13 by having stopped growing! I praise to this day that I was not put through this. A friend a year younger has had living nightmare due to the rod and many surgeries.

I am glad I have found your forum.

10-20-2003, 07:44 AM
Hello all, I am new here. I was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2001 by a chiropractor. It went unnoticed through all of my teenager years. I guess the schools got lazy and so did the doctors. I think that my scoli is inherited. Problem is, it's not from my Mother's side of the family and my father left before I was born so I have no clue what's on his side of the family.

As far as treatment goes, my chiropractor's way only made me feel more pain. Then when things died down and I thought I was doing ok, I had a car accident. I was rearended in front of my house while waiting for traffic before I turned into my drive. Consequently, I had to go back to the chiropractor for treatment. New xrays revealed that my curve was worsened and that my neck was straightened.

I am no longer in therapy due to the accident, my settlement got me nothing, and I am in more pain now every day than I ever was before. I also have some other type of bone deformity. The bones that line either side of the spine and start at the top and end at your hips; at my hips, the one on my right side is normal size but the one on my left side is possibly the size of a tennis ball. I think a good part of my pain stems from there because that is where I feel it the most. The chiropractor pointed it out in the xray but said it was nothing. I want a second opinion.

The type of therapy I am doing is pulling my legs one at a time up to my face while lying down-stretching my buttock and side muscles. I do this every night after either a hot bath or an hour of heating pad time. It takes the pain away so that I can sleep but everything starts all over again by morning.

06-26-2004, 01:08 AM
Hi Luvdanet,

You mentioned craniosacral therapy, so I wanted to chime in. I'm a massage therapist who specializes in postural and orthopedic distortions. I practice myofascial release therapy and craniosacral therapy in addition to deep tissue massage.

Unfortunately, craniosacral therapy seems to have gotten a reputation of being new-agey. I can kind of see why, since it uses such very light pressure that a client might think we're doing some sort of "energy healing" or something. But the fact is that the work is based on hard science, anatomy and physiology. In a nutshell, it uses very gentle tractioning, compression and decompression to release tensions within the membrane system surrounding the brain and spinal cord. (meninges.) This can be extremely beneficial to anyone with scoliosis. I personally see lots of positive changes in my own clients.

I highly recommend this therapy. It won't do any harm at all, and in 99% of the cases, it will do at least some good. It has the potential to do a great deal of good, especially if you're patient and keep at it. Usually I work with a client more frequently at first, then space out the sessions more and more, depending on how well her body holds onto the results from the previous session. A good therapist will never try to hook you into committing to a certain number of sessions. But she will give you an honest opinion of when you should return for your next visit.

To find a therapist in your area, go to www.iahp.com or www.upledger.com and follow the link for locating a practitioner. Make sure you select craniosacral as your search modality. Additionally, you should read "The Inner Physician and You" by John Upledger. This is an easy read for the layperson and talks about the development of Craniosacral therapy and some of the more amazing results that have been achieved with it. If you're looking for a very scientific book, pick up his textbook, titled "Craniosacral Therapy." But make sure you have a supplementary anatomy text handy unless you're up to snuff on your cranial anatomy. I did say this was hard science.

I would be happy to answer any questions about this work if anyone wants to email me or post a reply to this thread. Best of luck to you all!