This month is Scoliosis awareness month, so we're here to drop some knowledge.
Scoliosis is a medical condition that affects the spine, causing it to curve sideways. The condition can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents. Scoliosis can cause a range of symptoms, including back pain, difficulty breathing, and poor posture. In severe cases, scoliosis can even affect the heart and lungs.
Causes of Scoliosis
The exact cause of scoliosis is not always clear. In some cases, it may be caused by a birth defect or genetic condition. In other cases, scoliosis may develop as a result of an injury or infection. In many cases, however, the cause of scoliosis is unknown.
Symptoms of Scoliosis
The most common symptom of scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. This curvature may be visible in the form of a hump or bump on one side of the back. Other symptoms may include back pain, difficulty breathing, and poor posture. In severe cases, scoliosis can even affect the heart and lungs, leading to chest pain, shortness of breath, and other serious complications.
Treatment for Scoliosis
The treatment for scoliosis depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, scoliosis may not require any treatment at all. In more severe cases, however, treatment may be necessary to prevent the condition from worsening. Treatment options may include physical therapy, bracing, or surgery. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment based on your individual needs.
We spoke to Matt Wade about his experience with Scoliosis and the impacts it has.
How did you get diagnosed with Scoliosis?
I got diagnosed by seeing my GP about back pain, then being referred to get an x-ray done of my back. I then saw a specialist that sent me for a full back MRI.
What limitations does Scoliosis have on your day to day?
Generally not too much, other than standing or sitting for too long can be painful. Or if there are no comfortable chairs it can make it worse. Avoiding certain movements in the gym has also been advised by my GP.
How do you manage your Scoliosis?
I see a chiropractor once every couple of weeks. I use my Spoonie Society Rectangle Heat Pack but I use it cold. I keep one in the freezer at all times, I’ve been advised the pain is mainly from inflammation and cold packs help to subside the pain and inflammation in my back.
What advice do you have for other people living with Scoliosis?
Just try to keep up with managing it. I for a long time did nothing about my back pain and just thought it was normal to have back pain. After being diagnosed I’ve found things like chiropractic work, massage, cold packs, investing in good chairs and beds that these have all helped and greatly reduced my back pain.
How can friends or family support someone with Scoliosis?
Just understand that certain things that seem normal might cause more pain. Sitting at a restaurant with uncomfortable chairs might be annoying to most but can be very painful to others. Standing at concerts, in lines or walking around all day is fine for some but with scoliosis this can be painful. Just support them and know they might have limitations.
We hope that from chatting to Matt you have a greater understanding of what life is like to live with Scoliosis.