It has been a while.
Today I thought I’d talk about Scoliosis. I have not ben able to go for my monthly sport massage since the end of February and I am defiantly feeling it.
My spine is curved in a S shape, but in the wrong way. One side of my back is stuck out and one shoulder is higher than the other. Thankfully my back curves away from my heart, I was born with Congenital Heart Disease.
From theScoliosis Awareness UK website, ‘Although many people have not heard of scoliosis it is not rare. 3 to 4 children per 1000 need specialist supervision.
Scoliosis can affect people at different points in their lives. It can happen:
- Before birth (congenital)
- In young children (early onset),
- In older children and teenagers (adolescent idiopathic)
- As adults (degenerative or de novo).’
As far as I am aware my Scoliosis started to show when I was a teenager, maybe a little younger. To give you an idea of how curved it is, well, my spine almost touches my right shoulder-blade. Right now, it hurts.
When I was younger I was told I would probably not need the surgery. That bracing probably wouldn’t be needed. It was left up to us to decide. However, I have so many other health problems we found it very difficult to keep track of my spine and the curve. So a few years ago we went to the Doctors to see a muscular skeletal Doctor who informed us it was not a mild Scoliosis and that it was severe. I was angry and upset. I felt let down. Had I have been informed it would get worse I would have potentially considered the surgery.
The problem is I suppose it’s difficult for Doctors to tell. It is not something I can get too hung up on. I was sent to Physiotherapy and that allowed me to learn to correct my posture. I have done this for many years. Now when I am at work I stand myself near a table as it allows me to put my hands on the table in front of me and adjust my balance so I can stand in a better position for my back.
I was told by the muscular skeletal Doctor that doing physio and adjusting my posture would make a difference to my pain, it has. It was also suggested to have sport massages. This would relieve the pain and tension and allow my muscles to reset. I like to think of it as them unlearning, allowing me to start again.
The mix of sport massages and physio exercises have really helped. Each time I have gone back to have sport massage over the past few months, prior to my last appointment in February, my muscles have been a lot better. My back pain had reduced. My neck pain had reduced. I had worked hard.
Some of it is also to do with mindset and being aware of how I am feeling physically. So if I feel I am leaning to one side, I am able to correct this. If I feel my neck is aching, I think about my posture in that moment and really think about adjusting my stance to be better. Right now I am thinking about how I am sitting. Readjusting my back and trying to keep it as straight as possible.
In no way am I saying it fixes the problem, what it does is allow me to tell myself; ‘OK this hurts, I should book another appointment’. As I went on like this I was able to tell myself every month I will have a sport massage to allow my muscles to reset and start again.
This link shows you information on pain management. It goes into a few different options, one which I have discussed above, being massage. https://www.sauk.org.uk/coping-with-scoliosis/pain-management
The Scoliosis Awareness UK website has a lot of information around ways to help your posture when standing, sitting or sleeping.
They have plenty of information for you to explore. If you are unsure you can contact the helpline: 020 8964 1166. I have used this to find out information about support available around thinking about surgery. Another valuable resource is their Twitter account, you could get in touch with other people living with Scoliosis. This is such a big help.
In my experience of Scoliosis I would like people to maintain follow up appointments with their GP. Then you can’t try to understand your curve better, you can manage your pain better.
Remember if the way you look makes someone else feel uncomfortable then they are not worth your time, if you have a scar, it is beautiful, you are you and you are amazing.
I you would like to read my other blogs on Scoliosis Awareness Month they are here.
Thank you for reading,