So… I have already done a post all about common scoliosis symptoms, but I wanted to write about some of the more random side effects of scoliosis that I have experienced.
These are things that people may not necessarily realise are caused by scoliosis but as I always say, scoliosis affects the entire body and depending on where the curve is and how severe, it can cause various side effects.
As always, these are my experiences and they may differ from that of others. If you have any random side effects of your scoliosis – let me know what in the comments!
1. Loss of height
I was actually quite devastated when I realised I should have been taller! Before I had my scoliosis surgery, I had an ‘S’ curve, which means I had two curves in the shape of an ‘S’ that kind of balanced each other out. My scoliosis curves were severe and around 80 degrees right before my surgery.
At the time I was around 5ft3, but I’ve always noticed that my arms felt ‘long,’ so for example when carrying shopping bags, sometimes they would drag on the floor.
My arms and legs have always looked longer than my torso, and my mum is about 5ft7, so I think I should have been around that height. I do feel a bit gutted about that sometimes. After my scoliosis surgery, I grew about 2 inches, so now I’m around 5ft5. I still have a moderate scoliosis curve, so I think I am still a bit shorter than I should be, but it was so strange to grow overnight following my surgery.
I remember coming home from the hospital and noticing that the kitchen surfaces, bathroom sink etc looked way lower than before!
2. One boob smaller than the other
As my chest and ribs are uneven, I’ve always had one boob that appears smaller than the other as it’s twisted back slightly. This makes bras a nightmare and I have never found one that fits properly! I’m kind of just used to it now, and I know some people without scoliosis have the same issue, but mine is definitely because my twisted ribs make my chest uneven.
The same applies to my shoulders, as they are a bit uneven bra straps and vest top straps always fall down on one side and it can be really annoying. Another random thing is shaving under my right arm is a bit awkward, again due to my ribs being a bit twisted. It’s crazy how many random things it affects.
3. Random ‘electric shocks’
I think this is nerve related, but I get these electric shock sensations randomly, usually in my back or shoulders – sometimes they can be really sudden and sharp and catch me off guard.
I’m not sure how common these are in scoliosis though, so if you also get them – please let me know in the comments!
4. Numbness – an itch that can’t be scratched!
I think this is more related to a side effect of my scoliosis surgery rather than scoliosis itself, but since my surgery, most of my back is numb.
I sometimes also get random itchy patches under the numb skin that I cant scratch because the skin is numb. It honestly drives me mad. Does anyone else get this? It’s horrible when it happens, like an itch you just can’t scratch. I also have random numb patches in my leg and on my stomach. The joys!
5. Uneven waist
I’ve always longed for an hour glass type figure with an even waist. But it is not to be! My scoliosis had other plans…! I have always had an uneven waist, where it basically looks ‘straight’ on one side and more curved on the other.
This is something I used to be self conscious about, but in reality it’s probably something only I notice. It does look much more even now post-surgery, but it’s caused by the curving of the spine and ribs. Scoliosis really does affect so much!
There are loads of other random side effects of scoliosis – in some cases it can affect breathing, digestion and the heart depending on the location and severity of the scoliosis. Depending on the type and location of the curve(s), scoliosis can also cause leg length discrepancies and cause people to lean to one side.
Some people get fatigue, have problems with mobility and mental health issues as a result of scoliosis.
Scoliosis affects more than the spine and can cause more symptoms than people may realise.
Does your scoliosis cause you any random or strange side effects? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
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.