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Want to share my scholiosis recovery story (Bikram Yoga)

Hi Everyone,
I would like to share my story with as many people here as possible. If anyone can help me with this, please let me know. Here's my story:

I was diagnosed in childhood with scoliosis, and my upper 4 vertebrae were fused in 1974, along with the addition of Harrington rods to prevent further curvature as I grew. The surgery was very successful and I was pretty much pain free for the next 28 years. I have a short leg and the dr. recommended that I always wear a lift, but I was in jr. high and vain, so I fought the lift and my mom gave in.

Fast forward 28 years or so, I began to have severe, debilitating pain in my lower spine. I was pretty much crippled and was having difficulty standing and walking long enough to complete a grocery shopping trip. A visit to a spine specialist revealed that I had developed a compensatory curve in my tailbone - on the x-ray it looked like a fish hook(!) He told me that narcotics or another round of rod insertions were the only solutions he could offer.

Having lived through one spinal surgery, I was completely devastated at the thought of having to go through that again. But, my life was becoming more and more constricted, and I worried that soon I would not be able to work.

My sister, who has also had scoliosis surgery as a child, suggested that I give Bikram yoga a try, because the heat feels good on the spine. I thought it sounded like a crazy idea, but since I was desperate I decided to at least try it.

The relief was almost instantaneous. I took 5 classes in a row from Monday - Friday, and by Saturday I was feeling NO pain in my spine at all. So, I continued my practice, and the improvements have been dramatic. I began very slowly, as I was very weak and had almost no flexibility in my spine. As I continued my practice, my entire life began to expand: I no longer worry about standing or walking for long periods, I lift heavy items without consequence, and I feel great in the mornings, whereas I used to hobble down the stairs holding the handrail in the mornings before.

I am now 2.5 years into my practice, and during that time I have been virtually pain free. The only time I get twinges is when I let life get in the way and go longer than a week between practices. I want to share my story with as many back pain sufferers as I can, because I can't help but think that if it worked so well for me, it can work for others also. I recommend Bikram yoga because the focus in Bikram is on healing the body. I could not do very much at all when I began, but even sitting or lying in the heat and humidity feels good on a tight, achy spine. The teachers are trained to caution rather than push, they never want you to do more than your body is ready for. Each day I found that I could do a tiny bit more, and over time those tiny bits really added up! I'm so grateful that I didn't have that second surgery, so I'd love to spread the word to have more folks suffering with back pain to at least give Bikram yoga a try. Thanks for reading!
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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,910
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    Here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main Spine-Health menu bar

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    As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.

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    I am positive any member, new or old will find this Chroinc Pain - Step by Step thread very valuable.

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    dilauro

    liz

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    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company

    awalsh

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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