View Full Version : New Girl

05-17-2006, 06:30 PM
Hey all , - Sorry the post is so long, but please advise me I would really appreciate it !!

Almost 2 yrs. ago at the age of 16 I discovered something was wrong with my back. I was over at my aunt's house for a b'day party. Just sitting there having a good time, when someone walked over and said what's wrong with your back?? I had no idea what they were talking about... but then everyone started looking at my back and feeling it and telling me that one side was higher than the other. This began to get me worried... however at the time I was living in the caribbean and had never heard of Scoliosis before. Therefore I just thought that one side of my back was higher, one shoulder was higher and I was leaning to one side because I would always carry my backpack on one shoulder.

A few months later though, at the age of 17, I went to the doctor for a physical and showed her my back and as soon as she saw it she said SCOLIOSIS and sent me for an x-ray. That same day I went to get an x-ray of my back and was shocked to say the least at the 'S' shape of my spine. Later that day I went to the specialist in the island and he said I had scoliosis, however the island, being very small and a third world country did not measure the curves of my spine and also had no means of correcting it. Also they said I was past the age that a brace would be of any benefit.

A few months later my family and I moved to Canada and I went for a physical here where I was sent for more x-rays and this time my curves were measured. I was told a year ago that my curves were 36 and 43 degrees and I was told that I needed to see a specialist. Now one year later that doctor has still not gotten me an appointment with a specialist, so I decided to switch doctors and am now in the process of getting more x-rays to see if my scoliosis has gotten any worse. I am anxious to speak to a specialist and see if anything can be done. I am 18 years old now and I don't think that bracing woud be of any help, however I would like to know what you guys think.
Also I'm not normally in any pain. However my lower back does feel fatigued and a little achey after standing for long periods and if I sit on a stool or a chair with a hard back for too long my back becomes achey and uncomfortable. I don't know it will be recommended that I have surgery or not, and I'm definitely worried about what is going to happen.

I was extremely happy to find this site and to talk to people who went through and are going through the same things as I am. I will keep you updated as to whether or not my curves have gotten worse and what the specialist has to say. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions . Thanks a million !!!

05-23-2006, 10:19 PM
Posting this reply will be my first with this website, too! And like you, I am grateful for its existence and the many people using it to its fullest to share information. Please excuse MY long reply :p
I will be turning 30 this year and have scoliosis. It all started when I was (sophomore?) in high school. My mother noticed that the "crease" in my back was not straight. My dad had been going to a chiropractor for back pain and she sent me with him for his next appointment. By just feeling up and down my back (no xrays) he could tell I had scoliosis and recommended an orthopedist. So off I went and after having the xrays taken it was confirmed. I was then sent to someone to fit me for a brace. How horrible - to be in a private school where kids are soooo judgemental, critical and highly impressionable - to be told I have to wear a brace for 23 hours a day. Just like most others you'll read about, I was told that the brace would keep the curves from progressing while I was "growing." I went in for regular checkups consisting of xrays and the doctor decreasing the time I would be strapped into it... lowering it to 20 hours a day, and less and less until finally around my senior year I was told that my curves didn't progress and I didn't have to wear the brace anymore and that my scoliosis would not progress. I have to tell you, in my opinion, being in that brace and not being encouraged to exercise was the biggest downfall for me.
Looking back... As a result of not being "fit" I never understood the benefits of an active life! I will encourage you that if you are not physically active/fit to please adopt such a lifestyle. Your body will thank you!!! Being in that brace kept me from doing a lot of physical activities for several years - important "growing" years! Thankfully, I've never been overweight, but even average-weight people can be in bad shape! Plus, thinking back on it, I think that brace made my abs/core and back muscles very weak.
Granted all of our bodies are different, but you will read from many that for the most part scoliosis does indeed progress into adulthood at varying degrees for everyone.
All I cared about was finally enjoying high school free from a back brace and orthodontic braces! Not to mention enjoying a heck of a time in college! After college came the real life and in 2002 I was quite uncomfortable and getting "pinch nerve" pains on a regular basis. Being in tune with my body has always benefited me and I notice my range of motion was not what it once was. I went to a different orthopedist who prescribed physical therapy. It was a terrible experience. The PT must have thought I was such a pain to work with - I had no endurance and had to stop for breaks all the time. I was "thin" by most standards, in my 20s and could barely do these exercises! It didn't do much, but I learned I needed to get fit and (had I paid more attention) I should have stuck with those exercises no matter what.
Last September I celebrated the 4th anniversary of my 25th birthday ;) It was the month before that I wokeup in SEVERE pain in the middle of the night - the ultimate pinch nerve - that kept me from taking a full breath. We take for granted things like yawning and automatically taking a deep breath. I could only take shallow breaths because the movement of my lungs was causing pressure on my spine! We raced to the nearest ER and the doctor (who spent 2 minutes total with me!) could only say "You're not kidding. You have scoliosis." They pumped me with a pain killer and it all went away. I have only had one other case of a bad pinch nerve since then and nowhere near as painful. But it only takes a simple movement to cause it.
I will be turning 30 this year. I am married and my husband and I are considering having children soon... BUT I must see an orthopedist before I do - my OBGYN even recommended it.
I guess I'm going into so much detail so that you can learn from my experience and ultimately after reading other posts, you'll learn from eveyone's experiences.
I pray I won't be told I need surgery when I see a local orthopedist next month. Really, what I need to do is WORK OUT! That's what my last orthopedist kept urging me to do! I honestly believe that even though only surgery can correct the curviture, if I improve myself physically, I will be able to better manage my pain.
Good luck and God bless.

05-24-2006, 02:18 PM
Welcome to you both!

Sica76, do you know what degree your curves are? I have a pinched nerve too and actually I wasn't sure if it was from the curve or not. Good luck with the orthopedist and keep us posted on what you find!

05-25-2006, 09:55 AM
My experience is similar. I was diagnosed at 13 and wore a brace for a few years and was told when I stopped growing the curve would stop curving. Years later I know that isn't true and really wasn't in much pain. I've done tons of research to avoid surgery, but I came to realize it was the only solution for me.
I want to live an active long life and wouldn't be able to because my curves kept progressing one degree per year. I finally had surgery a few weeks ago and won't really know if it was worth it for a few months from now.