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Thread: Books, experience and inspiration to fix the problem!!

  1. #1
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    Books, experience and inspiration to fix the problem!!

    Greetings everyone, I have joined this forum with a determined decision to figure out how to cure most back pain, neck pain and scoliosis without having to undergo Surgical treatment.
    I know that there are many ways of preventing sickness and degeneration by way of nutrition, but I still have a lot to learn. That's why I'm going to study physiotherapy this summer as a start.
    At the moment I am reading lot's of books on nutrition, and have ordered books on Anatomy and Scoliosis.

    What am I looking for?
    Help from all of you to recommend books on scoliosis: preventive exercises , trigger points, success stories of what has improved your condition etc.
    If you have read any interesting and inspiring facts, research or self applied techniques please feel free to share. This is not only for me, but for everyone so we can help each other.

    I don't believe in the "fix me" mentality, but I do respect that in some severe occasions It's definitely necessary. I really think a change of lifestyle and exercise can help a lot of people, and I do want to find out how people (including myself) can prevent this suffering and reverse the scoliosis.

    Some advice when it comes to everyday comfort and ergonomics: There are 3 things you must buy no matter the cost: the right ergonomic bed, the right ergonomic chair, and the right office table.
    Think about this: You spend a third of your life in bed, so you might as well get a bed that is designed for your body, so your spine is naturally aligned and supported when you sleep.
    You probably spend a fair amount of time sitting, (working, reading etc.) So there is one chair I can recommend above all other chairs I have tried called "swopper" It activated your abdominal muscles while sitting on it, in order for your body to stay in balance. It's the beds chair I have ever had and worth the price.
    Get a table that you can adjust after your high, you will benefit from it.

    My condition: I have scoliosis, and much neck pain and neck stiffness. I have a bit of TMJ (askew jaw) and m face is a bit askew as well. IT's not much but I believe that it's enough to create much of the tension in my neck. At last I have two toes that cross over one another (the same 2 toes on each foot) creating a bunion beside my little toes, and I believe they are connected with the other misalignments in my body.

    How do I want my condition to be? I want to be able to sit down in the movie theatre with my friends without feeling constant neck pain. I want to sit in class for longer periods of time, without leaving class with headaches originating from my neck stiffness. I want a straight back, and a pain free neck, and I am going to find a solution.
    I just cured my own pollen allergies which was effecting me tremendously each summer by learning about nutrition and changing my dietary habits, so I don't think this task will be impossible either.

    The steps I need to take are:
    -Contact my doctor to schedule for an X-Ray, then determine my degree of -curvature, and look for other possible triggers to my neck stiffness.
    -Read the following books: Three-Dimensional Treatment for Scoliosis: A Physiotherapeutic Method for Deformities of the Spine
    Health In Your Hands: Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment

    If you have any sources of inspiration, please feel free to write and share your stories or interesting information you have applied from books or other sources of information.

    Best wishes,
    Christian Fischer

  2. #2
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    Hi Christian0710 & welcome :-) You have lots of buddies here trying to do the same thing you are - learning how to cope and adapt. Good to hear you will be studying physiotherapy this summer & I look forward to what you will contribute to the group.

    There are three books that I have found helpful. (1) Scoliosis and the Human Spine by Dr. Martha Hawes. She is not a medical doctor but rather a professor at Arizona State University who has reduced her curvatures using various methods. Her research of the literature has been exhaustive and her publication considered a landmark. (2) The Schroth Method/Three-Dimensional Treatment For Scoliosis. If you decide to go into physiotherapy, this would be a great book for you to have. And (3) Curves, Twists and Bends/A Practical Guide to Pilates for Scoliosis, by a fellow scoliosis patient, Annette Wellings. Martha's book is available at the NSF bookstore here http://www.fixscoliosis.com/forum.php, the Schroth book here: http://www.schrothmethod.com/ and Annette Wellings' book is available at Amazon.

    There are other forums where you may find lots of useful information as well. One in England called Scoliosis Support: http://www.scoliosis-support.org/index.php another in Germany: www.skoliose-info-forum.de and a new one here: http://www.fixscoliosis.com/forum.php

    Best Wishes to you too!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian0710 View Post
    The steps I need to take are:
    -Contact my doctor to schedule for an X-Ray, then determine my degree of -curvature, and look for other possible triggers to my neck stiffness.
    -Read the following books: Three-Dimensional Treatment for Scoliosis: A Physiotherapeutic Method for Deformities of the Spine
    Health In Your Hands: Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment
    Good plan. And welcome.

    Knowledge is power.
    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."

  4. #4
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    Hey Mamamax, Thank you for your support and recommendation of the books. I appreciate it very much and I am going to order the two other books you mentioned. I will gladly contribute, and it would be great if we could start posting videos, where we explain certain exercises to each other, how they are proven to work and what the effects are. Just some ideas
    Where in the world are you from? I am going to study in Denmark (Danish) but I have family in Canada and Texas, so most of the things I will be reading on my own, will be in English. I'm thankful to be able to speak and understand English! It opens a lot of doors. As Pooka wrote : " knowledge is power"

  5. #5
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    Suggestions

    Hi Christian!

    I was very interested in your thread because I, too, tried to do all of these things when my scoliosis was bothering me. I still do some of these things (I had surgery last year/this year) to some extent even though I don't find my scoliosis to be that much of a problem anymore. How are your curve(s)?

    Do you see a chiropractor or do any stretching exercises? Chiropractic care doesn't necessarily 'fix' the scoliosis but it really helped me with pain and discomfort. Maybe you could look into that with your neck stiffness? I used to go to a chiro 3 times a week in high school, stopped when I moved away to college, and gosh I could DEFINITELY tell a difference.
    They did a lot to my back focusing on the muscles..lots of muscle stimulation in order to 'pull' the spine differently. It didn't ultimately end up working for me in the long-run because my curve was a bit too big, but it really helped with the discomfort.
    I also did stretching exercises and yoga, specifically Elise Brownings's "Yoga for Scoliosis". It's a manual and a DVD..she explains everything and it's basically a yoga video for your back/neck that tailors to your scoliosis. I ordered it off of her website. That helped with pain too. I think she has specific exercises for the neck in there.

  6. #6
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    Just a precautionary statement: Be careful with chiropractic manipulations. They made my scoliosis worse. I hadn't progressed in over 20 years, then when the chiropractor broke things loose, I progressed quite a bit over a two year period to the amount of approximately 6* on one curve and 10* on the other.

  7. #7
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    Hey curvycakes,
    Thank you for your interest and your story. To be honest I still don't know how my curves are yet, that's why I just scheduled for a visit at the doctor's office on Wednesday. Then I will further schedule for some X-rays. Personally I don't think it looks too crooked. I do have a lumbar curve, and you can tell because one of the two long muscles running down the back each side of the spine (They must be the Longtissimus thoracis?) is much bigger on my concave side.
    How often did you feel neck/back pain? How was the operation? And how is your situation now? Can you sit down and watch a movie without having constant neck pain? Hope you don't feel overwhelmed my questions :-)

    Movement matters!!
    There Is a Danish back specialist without any educational background who has helped me more than anyone else. He has shown me how to lift things, sit down, and exercise in a way that all contributes to lengthen my spine. This made me realize: There is much to learn from listening to our own back. When the pain begins, it's obviously because our own movement habits are contributing to it. I always hated to clean the house because of all the back pain I had afterwards, well no wonder! I was lifting with my back instead of standing with my legs spread, making the movement happen from my hips, and stretching my back while picking up things up from the floor, at last rolling up my head to standing position.
    There must always be an underlying reason/trigger behind every symptom. I once read that more than 50% of people with scoliosis also suffer from osteoporosis (low bone density) and that didn't surprise me when I thought about all the nutrient deficient food you find at supermarkets today.
    It's just like with my allergy, the doctors treated the symptom by giving me pills, until I discovered the underlying triggers (poor diet) then I could solve the problem.
    I want to figure out this puzzle!

    I have a question for everyone with scoliosis and back/neck problems:
    In what situations do you feel most discomfort and pain?

  8. #8
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    Hi Christian, and welcome! Hey - I get the credit for the Curves Twists and Bends book having told Mamamax about it! Kidding, but really I second that. I've found that book invaluable and do the stretches morning and night.

    I just finished an intense "Year of the Back" and actually to my doctors' amazement, reduced my curve by 5 degrees (lumbar). I am hoping the thoracic compensation curve follows suit. I sit on a balance ball at work... see my thread on my Dr.s appt results or the Schroth thread for everything I've done that I've found helpful. I am finding I think how to sit better through the alignment exercises in the Curves book.

    Anyway, I just had a massage today and feel great- shoulder pain gone, for the moment at least. There is a student clinic in my city which charges only a minimal fee - I plan to go monthly. The author of Curves recommends a massage monthly or biweekly.

    My worst discomfort comes from sitting too long at my work desk (I try to walk daily on my lunch breaks).

    Best to you!
    PS You are REALLY on your way with "listening to your back". AMEN. Stress and resulting not taking care of ourselves plays a big part, I think. My back must come first-- I have a condition- invisible to the untrained eye, but can be as debilitating as a visible one, and I try to keep that in mind. Not that I need to talk about it all the time, but I need to know what my limits are and to listen to my body.
    Last edited by dailystrength; 06-05-2010 at 12:08 PM.
    34L at diagnosis; Boston Brace 1979
    Current: 50L, 28T

  9. #9
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    Hi Dailystrength,
    Sure man! You get the credit for the curves twists and bends book :-) But then again he was the person to mention it, so maybe that entitles him to 50% of the points, so 50% to you for putting it into existence and 50% to him for being the messenger. How does that sound?

    Congratulations with your 5 degree reduction!! That's great to hear and very inspiring too.. What did your "year of the back" entail? It seems that we have the same kind of scoliosis: I have the lumbar curve (don't know to what extent yet) and a compensating curve in the thoracic region, so maybe we would benefit from some of the same exercises.

    I just ordered the curves twists and bends book yesterday, so I can't wait to get started. At the moment I started reading the "Anatomy of movement" by Blandine Calais-Germain, and learning the whole gamut of anatomical language (proximal, distal, superior, inferior etc.) It's amazing. It's like learning a new language. I think education is very important when having these problems.


    My discomforts:
    • Sitting down for long periods of time: If my head is anteriorly tilted (forward tilted) as it most commonly is when reading or writing , my neck feels tight and I think my lower back is carrying more weight from my head. If I put a beanbag or ball on the top of my head it keeps it in alignment and then the neck pain disappears
    • Skipping meals. yes it sounds strange, but if i go without food for 4-5 hours my back and neck start killing me
    • Sitting in cars, couches, or other terrible seats where my back is rounding.
    • Edit: Wearing Shirts with a tight fit: This is really strange but if my shirts are a bit tight around the shoulders or superior region of the trunk i feel a great amount of neck stiffness,.
    Last edited by Christian0710; 06-06-2010 at 04:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    I'm a messenger? Good Lord .. that explains why I've been shot so many times! Heehee ... yep credit goes to Daily Strength, I apologize for not mentioning that she was the official original forum finder :-)

    To answer the question: In what situations do you feel most discomfort and pain?

    If I had been asked this question a little over a year ago, the answer would have been, in all situations 24/7. After a year of compliant adult bracing - as I prepare to end treatment, the answer is now well matched to the answer of Christian (particularly the office chair, the ultimate torture device) with the exception of the cervical involvement. So, I call my bracing treatment successful in terms of eliminating much pain. And now I'm searching for my next treatment as this condition does involve a lifetime of care and attention.

    Curves, Twists and Bends (the book) has proven a valuable companion - as well as supplementation with Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc+D3.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian0710 View Post
    Hey Mamamax, Thank you for your support and recommendation of the books. I appreciate it very much and I am going to order the two other books you mentioned. I will gladly contribute, and it would be great if we could start posting videos, where we explain certain exercises to each other, how they are proven to work and what the effects are. Just some ideas
    Where in the world are you from? I am going to study in Denmark (Danish) but I have family in Canada and Texas, so most of the things I will be reading on my own, will be in English. I'm thankful to be able to speak and understand English! It opens a lot of doors. As Pooka wrote : " knowledge is power"
    Welcome :-) Posted videos along with in depth discussion regarding the curvature patterns they are being used for .. would just be amazing! I'm from the USA. Yes, knowledge is power ... and the better the knowledge, the greater the power :-) I think you are off to a five-star thread here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamamax
    I'm a messenger? Good Lord .. that explains why I've been shot so many times! Heehee ... yep credit goes to Daily Strength, I apologize for not mentioning that she was the official original forum finder :-)
    HAha! Then you must be a saint

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamamax
    Welcome :-) Posted videos along with in depth discussion regarding the curvature patterns they are being used for
    Sounds great, do you have a link to the video on in-depth discussion regarding the curvature patterns? I would love to watch it. And yes, chairs = torture machines, but as I was sitting in the buss today, I discovered what one of the big problems with chairs is; the pelvis is not aligned with the rest of the spine because of the way one sits. If you unite the pelvis and torso as one object, so the movement comes from the pelvis and the back follows as one unit it actually feels good. Then your spine is always straight. I found out that by placing my hand on my back at the erector spinae muscles (the muscles on each side of your lumbar and thoracic spine) I can feel if I am using my back properly when getting off the chair. If the back muscles flex I am destroying my back, but if I move so they don't flex but instead extend, it feels amazing!
    Tomorrow I have my appointment with the doctor, so I can schedule for some X-rays and post them here.

    Talk to you soon!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian0710 View Post
    HAha! Then you must be a saint
    No, not me .. but I am the daughter of one

    Sounds great, do you have a link to the video on in-depth discussion regarding the curvature patterns?
    Have not yet found one that I would recommend. While there are lots of Youtube videos, and a website called Spine Harmony ... I think that (generally speaking) curvature patterns can be so unique that generic offerings could cause more harm than good, in my opinion, unless one has some pretty in-depth knowledge about such things.

    And yes, chairs = torture machines, but as I was sitting in the buss today, I discovered what one of the big problems with chairs is; the pelvis is not aligned with the rest of the spine because of the way one sits. If you unite the pelvis and torso as one object, so the movement comes from the pelvis and the back follows as one unit it actually feels good. Then your spine is always straight. I found out that by placing my hand on my back at the erector spinae muscles (the muscles on each side of your lumbar and thoracic spine) I can feel if I am using my back properly when getting off the chair. If the back muscles flex I am destroying my back, but if I move so they don't flex but instead extend, it feels amazing!
    Hmmm ... I'll keep that in mind at the office tomorrow :-) At this point in my journey - the only time I'm in pain is in that dang chair! Yes, it's been adjusted every way possible. I do have a tilted pelvis, so this is no doubt the problem, but I haven't figured out how to solve it. Have wondered if this would help: http://www.downunderchicago.com/bs-s...-airwheel.html

    Tomorrow I have my appointment with the doctor, so I can schedule for some X-rays and post them here.
    Best of luck with the appointment - we'll be here for you!

  14. #14
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    Hi Christian,

    I didn't really have it to an excruciating degree. Before I had my surgery I had some numbness where my spine curved and couldn't sit for long periods of time without being uncomfortable. It was hard because I travel a lot. My neck was always kind of sore, even when the scoliosis was just starting out in my teen years.
    My situation now is much better! Of course there was some pain last year when I had my fusion but my back felt much better...still some pain but not anything like I had before. The surgery doesn't guarantee getting rid of the pain, though, so I didn't have unrealistic expectations. And after my thoracoplasty this summer, I can sit against a hard, straight surface and feel aligned without the rib hump throwing me off. I just went to a movie a few days ago and felt good! A little uncomfortable, but it's been only 3 weeks since my last surgery.

  15. #15
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    The anatomy of movement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mamamax
    Have not yet found one that I would recommend. While there are lots of Youtube videos, and a website called Spine Harmony ... I think that (generally speaking) curvature patterns can be so unique that generic offerings could cause more harm than good, in my opinion, unless one has some pretty in-depth knowledge about such things.
    I see, well then let's then be the first people to make these videos!! Of course this requires lots of experience and knowledge, but it's a possible goal!
    How was your day at the office yesterday?

    I had my doctor's appointment yesterday, and he told me that I have hyper kyphosis and lumbar scoliosis. I will receive a letter with the date for my x-rays to be taken. Also I will be sent to have my feet check. Thank god for free health care in Denmark

    I scanned a page from the book " Anatomy of movement" With an important illustration which shows what movement to avoid which is the "loaded lumbar flexion". Even when sitting on a chair I believe we must get accustomed to using our pelvis to create the movement so the lumbar spine stays stretched instead of flexing the erector spinae.

    http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...NIATEDDISC.jpg


    I tried to do the "yoga for scoliosis" DVD today solely with the awareness of the "lumbar flexion vs. stretched back" I believe that if a Yoga pose does not hit the "sweet spot" (the feeling of release, stretching and blood circulation) in the targeted area of your body, It's performed incorrectly. That's why I am going to start examining every pose, and see how I can get to most benefit out of every pose.
    Last edited by Christian0710; 06-10-2010 at 06:19 AM.

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