10 facts about scoliosis that may surprise you
June is scoliosis awareness month, so to help raise awareness, I thought I’d write a post with some interesting facts about scoliosis.
10 facts about scoliosis that may surprise you
- Scoliosis is more common than you think! It is estimated that scoliosis affects 200 million people worldwide. So if you have scoliosis, you are most certainly not alone.
- Around eight in 10 people who have scoliosis have idiopathic scoliosis, which has no known cause. This type of scoliosis most commonly develops during the adolescent growth spurt (between the ages of 10-15). Scoliosis is not caused by accidents or from carrying heavy bags, both are common myths.
- Most cases of scoliosis are mild and do not require surgical intervention.
- Scoliosis is more common in girls than boys. Adolescent girls may be up to 10 times more likely to develop scoliosis than boys.
- You can still exercise if you have scoliosis (both before and after scoliosis surgery). In fact, exercise is encouraged as it can help with strengthening the core and back muscles and reducing pain.
- Scoliosis can sometimes be hereditary.
- Animals can have scoliosis! Scoliosis has been found in fish, cats and dogs amongst others.
- Having scoliosis does not mean that you won’t be able to have children – pre or post scoliosis surgery. This is a common myth but in most cases women with scoliosis will have no problems with pregnancy or labour.
- There are many celebrities with scoliosis, including Olympic athlete Usain Bolt.
- Severe scoliosis can affect a person’s appearance due to the twisting and curving of the spine and ribs. This can cause leaning to one side, uneven shoulder blades, one shoulder or hip sticking out, the ribs protruding on one side or the ribs forming a lump on the back.
References:https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/directory/s/scoliosis http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/scoliosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://www.sauk.org.uk/downloads/scoliosis-knowthefacts.pdf http://www.scoliosissos.com/news/post/10-interesting-facts-about-scoliosis https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_scoliosis.asp
I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.
13 thoughts on “10 facts about scoliosis that may surprise you”
I just found out I have scoliosis so I dont know anything about it and I didnt know who to ask or what to ask , I’m 62 years old . I havent had xrays yet so I do not know how bad I know my left side hurts really bad when I do house cleaning . So I guess I just needed some one to vent to because I dont have any family left thank you for listening
Thank you for getting in touch. The first thing I would say is not to panic. I know it is shocking to find out that you have scoliosis, I was in complete shock when I was first diagnosed as I didn’t even know I had it. And like you, I didn’t have a clue what it was! Scoliosis is actually really common though and in most cases, surgery is not required. Once you have your xrays done you will be in a better position to understand the treatment options. In the meantime, it may be worth seeing your Dr for some advice if you are in pain. If you have any questions feel free to email me or there are some good scoliosis forums on Facebook and online that can be a great resource. Take care – you’re not alone 🙂 Louise x
I was diagnosed with scoliosis in 5th grade it was then at 32 degrees & my dr decided to do a back brace for 2 years. I did not get surgery. As a result I have had many many health problems caused by my back. I wish so much back then that my Dr would have told me what ways it would affect my future. I have had IBS ever since diagnosed with scoliosis. In the end of 2012 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I also had heart failure due to child birth/pregnancy. This was caused I was told by my spine because it was pushing on all my organs while pregnant. I have since fully recovered thankfully. Now I am unable to have anymore children because of the risk of heart failure again. I am 27 years old and just found out I also have arthritis in my spine caused by scoliosis. This Blog is so ever helpful as I have not found many to talk with since I have not found have a community to talk with. I just wanted to add for ME I did have complications with my labor and post child birth caused by my spine. Thank you for creating this blog to help others.
Thanks Rebecca I’m so glad you find my blog helpful 🙂
I’m a physiotherapist from Hungary and I have scoliosis, too. This is my labor of love treating scoliosis. May I translate and share your “facts about scoliosis” list to spread awareness?
Thanks in advance xxx
Thanks – Louise
I am male, 76 yard old. I was diagnosed with scoliosis about 7 years ago. I was having severe back pain at the time and was diagnosed via an MRI. The radiologist said I had the worst case he had ever seen. Since then, I have had steroid shots (not much help) and “nerve burns” which gave me immediate help but only lasted 3 months. Now they want to do surgery, but I don’t want to undergo that at my age. I also have arthritis throughoutnmy body. I’m learning to live with the pain.
Thank you for your blog. I have never personally known anyone with a significant case of scoliosis like me. It’s nice to read about others and how they are dealing with it.
Here’s my scoliosis journey in a nutshell: I was diagnosed with scoliosis at puberty. I had a Milwaukee brace and then a devise called a Scolitron. I wore it at night. It shocked my back, pulling it against the curve every few seconds. That actually corrected my S curve by 10 degrees. Since stopping treatment, my back has gotten worse. I chose not to have the Herrington rod surgery. I’m glad since they are now seeing that the bone tends to degenerate with it. I am now almost 50 years old. I’m not sure what the degree of curve is now. I’m sure it is around 50 due to where it was and how much it has changed over the years. I had a lot of pain in pregnancy but no complications. I went to a physical therapist during my second pregnancy which helped. In the last 10 years, my pain has greatly increased and when I attempt exercise, I end up in so much pain that I can’t walk. This has resulted in weight gain. I also have IBS and TMJ issues. It’s hard to feel like a 30 year old in my brain and an 80 yr old in my body while being a 49 ye old in reality. I see a therapeutic massage therapists least once a month which helps. I do get weary of pain and missing out on things others can do. I know there are so many people who have a harder life than me, but I can’t wait to get a new body when I get to Heaven! I’m curious if anyone out there has tried going to a pain clinic and if it was helpful.
Hi Heidi – you wrote this three years ago and I stumbled upon your input when I was googling the scolitron. – I’ve never met anyone else who used it. That was a bit barbaric – how did we ever sleep? I’m about your age. Did you get your treatment at Georgetown University? Just excited to meet someone else who had to go through that too!
I am 74 and diagnosed with scoliosis after having left hip pain (referred pain from my back at S1) I have been getting treatment from a Max Living Chiropractor for the past 5 months. From the beginning he said, ‘I can’t promise it will get better, but can keep it from getting worse’. I no longer have the nearly constant pain in my hip and am so greatfull for that.
I have likely had some scoliosis since I was an adolescent, just didn’t know it. I took my16yr/old grand dtr to be checked and her back X-rays look like mine might have at that age. She is now seeing the chiropractor and hopefully won’t have the problems I have later in life.
Hi louise, I just come across your blog while searching for tattoos to cover my scoliosis scar. I was just wondering if you have read about anyone having the Harrington inserted and then taken out. I had my 1st scoliosis surgery at 15 after laying flat for 2 weeks I was allowed to sit up a bit, but as soon as I did that I got the most horrific pain at the top of my back,I was screaming at the nurses i wanted to die, the pain was that bad. They told me it was a bed sore and sent me home for the weekend, and come back Monday which I did, they did an xray and found the rod had moved and was sticking out the top of my back. I could have been paralysed. Anyway after two more unsuccessful operations to correct the problem that dad a 4th operation and took the rod out. I’m 51 and have had back pain since early 20s I have sciatica fibromyalgia 5 slipped discs degenerative disc disease nerve pain in hip and hypomobility. Have you ever come across this before,?? Would love to hear from anyone who’s been through something similar.
Found out I had scoliosis when 13. Shaped like an S. Had surgery with Harrington rod with total fusion of my back. Stay in 50 pound cast for 9 months b3fore I could get up for a few minutes a day. Now 50 years later the only vertebrae not fused is L4 and L5. L4 has shifted to right of L5 with total degeneration between 4 and 5. Bone on bone. S1 has moved to a 57% shift to left. L5 nerve pinched because of stenosis and many bone spurs and arthritis. Going to doctor to see if they can do something to aleviate my pain. Can only walk for small amounts of time before pain on scale of 6.
Had to have surgery and only way they knew how in 1965. Had no idea I would end up this way
Last year I had my surgery and before bracing and after bracing I did dance I had my surgery 10-15-19 and by holloween I was tapping my feet in a chair and by new year’s I was back to full time dancing.