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Progressing Scoliosis in Young Adult Female

Started by lcrawford on 03/08/2010 12:53pm

I am about to turn 27 years old and just found out that my scoliosis is progressing (my curve is idiopathic lower thoracic - in my lower back and curves to the right). Doctors have no clue why it's worsening because #1 I am no longer growing (obviously) and #2 have not been nor am I pregnant (100% sure of that!) and #3 also obviously I have not hit menopause yet. As a teenager my degree was 17 degrees, then at age 23/24 it was 19 degrees. Then last year, I was 25/26 years old at the time it increased to 22 degrees. Now 8-10 months later I am about to turn 27 and my degree is now 25 degrees. I am in very good shape and do pilates as my doctor instructed. I consider myself very healthy exercise/nutrition wise and all of my check ups show great cholesterol, blood pressure, protein, etc....not that these things will make your curve worse but just sayn'! So I am now getting MRI's b/c my doctor wants to be sure it's not about to pinch a nerve or cause any other problems. I have been told my whole life (even by my current doctor) that it's no big deal, there's nothing you can do about it...and to just stay very healthy, keep my core strong and come back for checkups every 2 years. Now that is frustrating, I want answers and I'm determined not to stop until I find them. If my curvature has progressed by 6 degrees in the past 3 years who's to say it won't keep going? So I just want to get behind this and any info you can give will really help! Thanks so much and sorry for the ranting!

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There is some exciting new research available that finally gives some answers to the questions that you ask. Pelvis malfunction especially on the left side is usually the key to fixing a scoliosis. It is not a simple fix and may take years of care to get your spine back to near normal, but it is possible with the right treatment and diagnostic attention. Your thoracic spine is likely adapting to what is happening below that area. I have seen many cases like yours where the orthopedist and radiologist involved simply do not know what to look for on the X ray and have no training on how to correct the problem. I treat scoliosis in my office and we get measurable changes in degrees on X rays within a few months of starting care. Please give me a call and lets see if I can point you in the right direction with a doctor who knows how to handle this for you (I'm not sure what area you live in, but I can help you find someone close to where you are). Watching and waiting is likely not a good option for you and you are right the curve may get worse.

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By the way - it is likely you will get some advice telling you not to seek the help of a chiropractor. It is true there are some chiropractors who should be avoided, but not all. I have seen scoliosis corrected on x-ray much to the surprise of orthopedists and radiologists in town. You have tried the wait and see approach -- traditional options left include surgery and bracing, but chiropractic is different.

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hi :) i know how that is, and i empathize with you. it's very frustrating when they keep telling you to 'wait'! it does take time to figure out what other options, etc. you have, what you can do, but there is a lot of good information out there. i'd check with the professional medical sites like mayo clinic and leading medical facilities in the country (websites). some other sites that may give you some info are:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/mch/scoliosis/faq.html
http://members.optusnet.com.au/physio/scoliosis.html
http://www.spinalmedicine.com/articles/scoliosis.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/10099-prevent-scoliosis-from-progressing/
http://stopbackpaincausenow.com/?s=as_perform_advancedsearch&as_perform_advancedsearch=true&as_searchquery=scoliosis&as_querytype=words&as_posts_pages=posts&as_comments=on&as_includefrom_available=true&as_sortby=relevance&as_order=desc

hope these provide some info for you, but i'd get 2nd and 3rd opinions even, and check with the leading medical facilities/organizations.

let us know what you learn and if you find a solution. good luck.

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I'm not sure where you live but you should check out the National Scoliosis Clinic close to you. I am an older woman and I have going there and given specific exercises to straighen my back muscles to support the curve. I was told that many of the yoga and pilates exercises are not helpful if you have scoliosis and I have had to modify them in my yoga class. No downdogs, child pose, sun salutations, cobra, no twisting left or right for a few. You must sleep on your back not on stomach or sides. (hard for me!) Never hunch over to pick up something. There are ways you can straighen your back through stengthening your back muscles. Look up the Schroth Method. Apparently the book is hard to follow. So far I feel straighter. I have found many specialists do not have a clue about Scoliosis plus treat you like you have a back ache. I have been dealing with it for 20 years. Find the right threatment now and do not wait. You are still young. You need physical therapy with a therapist who fully understands scoliosis. Many do not. If you look up chiropractic therapy, they feel that is not as good as physical therapy since they are trying to straighten your bones when you need to work with the muscles. I know all this since I have been to 3 different chiropractors in my life. You will need to faithfully do those exercises daily. You will need a back X-ray and all the exercises are geared towards which side the spine curves. Do alot of deep research and listen to the people who have gone through scoliosis treatment to see what you think. Nobody ever knows but you what it feels like to have scoliosis. Best of luck. Also: Look up the curvygirls scolosis blog since those girls are young like you and they are the real deal to what can work.

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