Scoliosis

Winning Over Scoliosis

How A Teenager And Her Family Deal With The Condition

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Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis [AIS] is the most common form of spine curvature that affects tweens [preteens] and teens. The cause is still unknown, and there is no known cure for this condition. For teenagers who undergo these most change-riddled years, having scoliosis on top of the puberty-driven physical development may be overwhelming causing a slew of over-anxiety and depression.

Well, one thing you can do for your teenager diagnosed with scoliosis is to encourage him to have a positive outlook about his future even when he has to live with the condition and, of course, support him as he deals with it. Like this teen whose life was changed by scoliosis. With the help and support of her family, she’s able to weather through all the difficulties associated with her condition. Want to know her story? Read on!

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Help, My Teenager Has Scoliosis!

Parents, What To Do When Your Kid’s Diagnosed With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis [AIS]

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Described as “too tall for her age”, 14-year-old Anna’s significantly jutting shoulder blade and dipping waist on one side made her more self-conscious and critical about her physical appearance. After a few visits to two doctors – the family’s physician and an orthopedist – the prognosis came out: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis [AIS]. And though Anna looked devastated after hearing the diagnosis, Anna’s mother, Malene, was the picture of calm.

“We’ll get through this,” she comfortingly said to her daughter who clung to her.

Afterwards, however, Malene voiced out her inner panic. “My teenager has scoliosis. I don’t even know what that is beyond what the doctors told me about her spine curving. I just don’t know what to do!”

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Physical Exercises for People with Scoliosis

People living with scoliosis can find it hard and painful to do what ordinary people can. It is difficult for people to perform some physical activities due to the pain it can give. Scoliosis is distinguished by an S or C-shaped curve in the spinal cord. Some curves are broader compared to the others. It can be corrected through surgery in moderate or severe cases. However, there is a non-surgical way to cure this abnormality.

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Different Types of Scoliosis

Source: Fassets.nhs.uk

Our spinal cord is made up of many bones and discs, one on top of the other. A healthy backbone has a curve when viewed sideways. Our spine looks straight when viewed from the back that determines a healthy bone structure.

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Complementary Therapies of Scoliosis

According to statistics, scoliosis affects around 2-3 percent of the general population that is approximately six to nine million people in the US. Scoliosis is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence period. It is equally occurring in both genders; however, females are eight times most likely to develop a curve magnitude that requires treatment. On a yearly average, patients with scoliosis make more 600,000 visits to private physician clinics, a rough estimate of 30,000 children are fitted with postural braces and 38,000 patients undergone spinal fusion surgery. Studies also show that scoliosis in adult can be costly and limits the quality of life. Experts say that scoliosis in the adult has a similar impact than that of coronary artery disease, osteoarthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and posts a burden on the health-related quality of life.

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Best Resting And Sleeping Positions For People With Scoliosis

What is something you don’t notice until someone points it out? That’s right; it’s Scoliosis. And aside from its irregular spinal form, a person having this may experience occasional pain due to the weak lumbar region.

Not everyone knows what it’s like to have Scoliosis. Having that abnormal spinal curve can make sleeping, let alone being comfortable, difficult. So how should you rest? Here are the best resting positions that can help soothe it.

Often described as a curve that looks like a “C” or an “S,” Scoliosis is a condition wherein a person’s backbone curves to the side. Typically, the spine runs straight down the middle, but it doesn’t apply to everyone. According to doctors, anything that measures more than 10 degrees is already Scoliosis; so, whether the curve is small or large, you should get it checked out.

Comfortably sleeping is a problem people with Scoliosis know all too well. Some consider it a “nightmare,” because it causes unwelcome body pain. It doesn’t matter if you are sporting a brace, it hurts just as bad.

If you haven’t got the chance to visit your doctor yet, don’t worry! Here are the resting and sleeping positions guaranteed to be pain-free:

ON YOUR BACKS. READY, SET, SLEEP!

The irony of this style is you are sleeping on your back, but you are also taking the pressure off of it. Sleep on your back with a towel, or thin pillow tucked underneath your shoulder blades. As you rest in this position, your head is also lying on a standard pillow. Sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest sleeping position. It prevents neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux, and minimizes wrinkles.

GOING SIDEWAYS.

A favorite resting position by anyone (not just those with Scoliosis). As you sleep on your side, get a body pillow and tuck it between your legs. Tucking the pillow helps open up the spinal canal. You may also place a rolled-up towel or pillow under your upper rib cage. Sleeping on your side helps reduce snoring and acid reflux, and maintain regular blood flow, especially for the pregnant mommies.

It is important to remember that SLEEPING ON YOUR BELLY is a DEFINITE NO-NO. It is the worst position for those with Scoliosis because it causes the thoracic spine to become relatively flatter. It may even be a cause of worst symptoms! Sleeping in this position also twist your spine, as it requires you to turn your head (while your body is flat on the bed) to the side.

Other Tips for a Restful Night’s Sleep

In addition to these proper and comfortable sleeping positions, you can also be a bit more extra by doing the following:

Invest in a good quality mattress. Having a quality mattress makes everything easier. Sleep is essential, but so is the bed you lie on. Allot time finding out which mattress feel more comfortable for your back. Getting the help of experts from different mattress stores is the way to go.

Seek the help of a chiropractor. While this isn’t exactly the right option for everyone with Scoliosis, it still works for some. Make sure to research a lot of the risks, benefits, and advantages before getting chiropractic care to restore the optimal spinal function.

Finally, other individuals with scoliosis have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. A good recommendation for this is to consult a mental health professional to know the options available for them. Read the BetterHelp article to help you assess more about how can professionals help.

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Best Foods To Eat To Avoid Progression Of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine is curved sideways, either to the right or the left side. Any curvature in the spine that measure more than 10 degrees can be considered as scoliosis. The curved are also described often as S-shaped or C-shaped. It can be in any part of the spine but the chest area of the lower back region is the most common. Scoliosis in these regions are known as thoracic scoliosis and lumbar scoliosis, respectively.

For most people, the cause for scoliosis cannot be identified. For many the curve might also correct itself as they grow older. However, proper treatment involving physical therapy and a nutritional diet is important.

The Relationship Between Nutrition And Scoliosis

Scoliosis can be considered a condition which is genetic neuromuscular, where the brain may be failing to send messages to the muscles regarding the non-alignment of body posture. This can be due to several environmental factors including poor nutrition, which can trigger the progression of scoliosis.

 What To Eat?

It is important to eliminate inflammatory-causing or oily junk food from your diet and take the necessary supplements for regaining lost nutrients. Below are a few intakes you require for correcting these mineral deficiencies.

  • Calcium

A good intake of calcium between 1200 to 1500mg every day is imperative. In addition to taking calcium supplements, one must also consume food items that contain calcium. It is important for giving strength to the bones, which may be lacking in people suffering from scoliosis. However, make sure that any source of calcium that you are consuming does not have high levels of saturated fat in it as well.

  • Vitamin D

You can eat eggs, fish and cereal for vitamin D. It helps the body in absorbing calcium and increasing bone density. Vitamin D is also great for supporting important neurological functions and improving metabolism.

  • Collagenics

Collagenics is a combination of free-form amino acids and other vital minerals. By taking a dose of it, one can improve the growth of healthy connective tissues, which are important for postural strength.

  • Vitamin E

People with scoliosis must also take Vitamin E, in addition to calcium and Vitamin D. One can find loads of vitamin E sources in every supermarket in the form of walnuts, hazelnuts, olive oil, mayonnaise, sunflower seeds and many more. It helps in developing muscle strength and is great for people who have scoliosis.

What Not To Eat?

  • It is best to avoid oily fried food items. This includes fast food meals that we eat on a daily basis. Something that is home cooked and less greasy must be eaten instead.
  • Food items that contain excessive amounts of salt not be part of the diet of those having scoliosis.
  • Packaged luncheon meats are also not good for scoliosis. They contain preservatives which are not good for the human body.
  • Alcohol and other fizzy drinks must also be avoided.

A Few Nutrition Tips To Follow

Those suffering for scoliosis can still enjoy their food by making a few simple changes in their meals and substituting unhealthy items with healthy ones.

  • If you are craving chocolate, it is better that you consume dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, in small amounts. Dark chocolate is healthier for you.
  • Also herbal tea must be preferred to coffee or other kinds of caffeinated tea.
  • Instead of eating unhealthy junk food, use fresh fruits and green vegetables for snacks or meal siders.
  • Drinking loads of water instead of soda and alcoholic beverages is also a great idea.
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How Can Yoga Help With Scoliosis Treatment?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine forms S or C shaped curve from the sides of the back, with the spine turning towards the concave side of the curve. The rib cage is also rotated, protruding from the convex side.  The term scoliosis comes from the Greek word of Skol, which literally means twists, describing this condition.

Treatment Options

The treatment options depend on the type of scoliosis a person has. There two general types of scoliosis: structural and function. Structural scoliosis is more severe as it changes the structure of the body. Although the degree of severity varies from person to person, there are severe cases where scoliosis can lead to failure of lungs due to a collapsed rib cage. In such severe scoliosis, which involves more than 45 degree spine curvature, people usually have to undergo surgery.

However, many of us might suffer from what is called functional scoliosis. It can form through repetitive one-sided activity and is more related to your muscle development.  For many, this condition can be cured over time through proper physical therapy and a nutritional diet.

Yoga And Scoliosis

Yoga is an ancient and effective way of improving your body posture and strengthening your muscles. Simple yoga poses can be great for both your physical and mental health. Incorporating this healthy activity in your daily routine can be extremely beneficial, especially for those suffering from scoliosis. It is mostly our spine that carries the stress of our entire body. Through yoga, you can learn various poses and breathing exercises which will take off this stress from the spine and help you in correcting its shape. Remember it might be a bit hard and painful for scoliosis patients to do yoga, however with proper instruction it will help them learn more about their body. Below are a few yoga poses people with scoliosis must definitely try.

  • Virabhadrasana

Virabhadrasana is also known as the Warrior Pose. It helps in improving lower back strength and body balance. Having a strong back is very important for treating scoliosis or any other form of spine curvature.

To get in the warrior pose, you must start from a high lunge pose and bend your right knee directly over your right ankle. Then you must square your hips and shoulder with your hand. If you are a beginner you can stand against a wall to get the right pose. Then inhale and bring your arms over your head in H position and have the palms facing each other. Inhale in to your stomach and chest and exhale while pressing your feet on the yoga mat. Hold for as long as you can and then release.

  • Balasana

It is more commonly known as the Child Pose. This therapeutic pose stretches your hips, thighs, and ankles and relaxes your back. It is ideal for treating scoliosis and relaxing. To get in this pose sit on your knees, resting you buttocks on your heels. Sit straight, lengthening your spin and then bow forward placing your torso in front of you on your thighs. Also extend your arms in front of you with palms facing down.

  • Triangle pose

As for someone with scoliosis, both sides of the body might have different needs. Therefore, the triangle pose is an asymmetrical pose that works on different body parts in isolation. It is also great for bring space and length to the spine.

It may seem easier to get scoliosis fixed through surgery in one go rather than embarking on a long recovery through yoga. Although, the decision to incorporate yoga in your daily routines may seem a big commitment, but it is something you must try at least. It not only helps in strengthening the back but makes you understand your body and transforms your outlook towards life.

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Best Pain Management Tips For Scoliosis Patients

The spine-damaging disease, scoliosis, can prove to be a life-time problem for some patients. Although most cases of the disease are minor, some patients suffer from chronic pain, primarily in the back and hips. The frequency of the pain can be either regular or occasional, depending on the patient’s condition.. The degree of the pain also varies from patient to patient. While some patients experience short, harsh bursts of pain, others suffer from lesser amounts, for longer periods of time. Fortunately, there are many modern treatments available which can be used to ease the suffering of scoliosis victims. Here are some of the most effective methods for treating the pain.

Exercise

Exercise can be an effective means of suppressing pain caused by scoliosis. However, there are specific exercise techniques for this purpose; other forms may cause further pain. Be sure to consult your physician before taking up any exercise regime. Basic stretches which involve the hips and back are quick and easy methods to deal with pain induced by the disease.

Simple exercises, such as stretches, can provide temporary relief from the pain. For long-term pain suppression treatments, patients should look into more advanced exercises, which focus on correcting the interaction between the brain and the spinal chord’s development. Yoga tactics have proven to be an effective way of achieving this. This is because yoga exercises aim to strengthen the muscle around the spine, lessening the stress on the spine itself. Moreover, various yoga positions also help correct the shape of the spine itself. Pilates is another popular form of exercise which scoliosis patients use to cope with pain, as it too strengthens core-muscles and relieves the spine from stress.

Using Physical Means

More often than not, pain that patients are suffering from in the back or hips can be reduced by physically warming the patient’s body. Applying a hot-water bottle on the affected area or sitting by a heater, can help soothe the pain temporarily. This is because pain caused by the disease is often due to muscle spasms and tightening. Ligaments become relaxed when warmed, which can help alleviate the pain.

Nutrition

Through controlling diet and food-intake, nutrition is believed to be another means for managing pain caused by scoliosis. To achieve this, there are two main approaches a patient should take towards their food.  First, they should know which foods to avoid; and second, they should know which foods have positive effects.

Foods which aim to help patients deal with chronic pain do so by reducing inflammation inside the body. One of the best dietary approaches towards reducing inflammation involves restricting food-intake to fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Even in the modern era, fruits and vegetables are used around the world to reduce back pain. Some of these include carrots, cherries, beets, grapes, watermelon and pomegranate. Cherries in particular contain powerful anti-oxidants, known as anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammation properties and also release pain-suppressing enzymes, similar to aspirin. Research over the years has found that cherries reduce muscle pain and lower inflammation by up to 25%.

Some foods are believed to increase inflammation of the body, and these should be avoided at all costs when dealing with pain induced by scoliosis. The main offenders here are processed foods, fast foods, hydrogenated fats and saturated fats.

Medication

Scoliosis patients may resort to using pain-killers to suppress their suffering. Over the counter pain medication, like aspirin, are popular choices for victims wishing to calm their back-pain. However, patients suffering from high levels of chronic pain should consult their doctors or physicians for a professional subscription. While medication is not a permanent solution to the pain, it can be necessary to temporarily provide a patient with relief.

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How Do Cold Weather Conditions Affect Scoliosis?

As the summers are coming to an end and autumn is approaching, the weather is getting cooler. Most people suffering from joint pains, arthritis and scoliosis usually complain that their pain amplifies during cold weather. Although no precise scientific study or research provides satisfying evidence regarding the correlation between scoliosis pain and weather changes, the chronic pain experiences narrated by scoliosis patients during cold weather can be a result of tissue contractions. With the departure of warm weather, the muscles and ligaments do not remain loose and warm, instead the tissues contract making movement more painful.

Understanding Scoliosis

To understand why scoliosis go through this and to suggest possible measures to avoid chronic pain, one must have a clear understanding of scoliosis. Although, it appears to be related to the bones, Scoliosis is a condition which is both neurological and muscular.

A person suffering from scoliosis will have an abnormal curve in the spine usually in a S or C shape. It is more common in people in the 9-15 age brackets, females and those who have a family history for scoliosis. Most of the times there is no known cause of it and treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Scoliosis And Chronic Pain

As the spine is abnormally curved in this condition, the body weight is unevenly distributed. This means that one side of the spine bears more stress than the other, resulting in pain. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that this pain become intensified during cold weather.

How To Cope With Scoliosis Pain In Cold Weather

As the pain may become unbearable for many, they must take measures to cope with it beforehand. The key is staying warm during this time. There are several heat therapies one can take or electric blankets one can get as a precaution. This will help in improving the blood circulation in the body and will also relax the tissues that cause the pain. Below is a list of things one can do.

  • Hot water baths

This is a relaxing way to ease pain. Swimming in a hot tub or even soaking yourself in a hot bath tub at least three times during a week is an effective way to avoid scoliosis pain during winter. It helps in relaxing muscle tissue and brings relief to inflamed areas of your back

  • Hot Packs

A great idea to immediately deal with chronic scoliosis pain is to use a hot pack. If you do not have a hot pack available, you can also use a warm towel or some other kind of heating pad as a substitute. You must apply it to the painful region for about twenty minutes to relieve any pain due to cold weather. Nowadays, you can even get heat wraps. They are a more effective option as their effect lasts usually for eight hours.

  • Epsom salt baths

This is an excellent way to find relief. You can add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath and stay in there for at least fifteen minutes; remember that the water must not be too hot. Epsom salt is actually a natural mineral containing both sulfate and magnesium. These ingredients have a lot of benefits for your health including reduction in inflammation and removal of toxins from your body. They also help in maintaining proper muscle and never functions.

It might get hard to try the aforementioned things when you are suffering from scoliosis pain and you may prefer to stay inside. However, it is for your own betterment that you exercise and continue staying active to avoid any chronic pain during cold weather.

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