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Guy with a bad back , hoping to improve for the better

badbackguybbadbackguy Posts: 3
edited 09/16/2015 - 5:22 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello guys ,

First time here in the forum. Was supposed to join another scoliosis forum but I wasn't able to start a new thread. So let me share my story ( I'm

hoping there are some guys here as well that can relate so they can help me answer my questions below ).

Found out my back looked weird when I was around 12.

At 15 I noticed why my neck wasn't straight when I posed for pics, it was like I was leaning to the left.

17 - 20 - Doctor said I was too late for a brace, I should have used it earlier. I didn't even consider operation because I was scared.

20 - 32 - Well some times were tough , other times were ok. I'm really conscious if people see my back, if you look at me at the front you won't notice much. It's like I'm always self aware of what people say about me, in these years I have encountered 3 to 5 occassions when people commented on my back while I wasn't looking or in short ( taking the stabbing of the back literally ). And these events really took a big toll on me, on my career and social life. It's like your superman but you have kryptonite, and it's always there limiting yourself to what you can really achieve. 2 years ago, when I was 30. My friend suggested that I underwent surgery, last time he checked my back it was at 60 - 70 degress, I can't really remember anymore =( He's a orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery. I told him I want to think about it because I was really scared of the operation, of what might happen when things go wrong. I feel no discomfort normally but prolonged standing hurts my back, but my friend said it's mostly your core or abs. I'm also choosy picking a seat in any public place, it has to have some sort of back rest.

Now , at 32. I came to realize that I need to improve myself. Or keep my body prepared incase I get an operation. I talked to my friend recently and he said that there are new advancements in scoliosis treatment aside from surgery using the rods ( It's effective but he said there are new methods ). He mentioned a new method in germany where they operate on your ribs and fix your spine there. It's less invasive, not a lot of scarring according to him. Plus wait for 1 - 2 years before ever thinking of this decision. 2 years ago he wanted to operate on my asap but the new stuff he has learned over in Korea and the US changed his mind about things. I'm even considering applying for a health grant either in the US or in Europe ( not sure if they allow foreigners but if ever they do I won't hesitate getting a visa because I really need it ). Had this long talk with my doctor and he said I shouldn't worry too much , but instead make yourself fit, since having an athletic body helps in recovery much better than someone who isn't active. So my 2 goals for the mean time is this >

a. I want to exercise, stay fit. I'm not fat but I have a belly and I want to improve my core muscles or get some abs hehe. He suggested I go to the gym but I'm scared the weights might make my muscles look weird. So I was thinking of a program like insanity or boxing or whatever to keep myself lean.

- I'm also considering jogging but I don't jog outside my subdivision ( fear ).
- Boxing is a consideration , I can hire a trainer.
- Also thinking of doing insanity or a similar workout that doesn't require weights if possible.

I'm really hoping you folks here can understand the situation I'm in. I don't have scoliosis buddies although I know 2 people here in my city who has one. I'm reaching out here because this is the only place that I can freely express myself without having the fear of being judged.

Welcome to Spine-Health
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~ spine-health moderator, savage



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I don't see anything that you wrote that would be cause for judging. You found a pretty safe community here :)

    Have you talked with your doctors about what kind of exercising you should be doing to get into shape for surgery?
    All your ideas sound fun, so it would maintain your interest!..I would think!
    Have you mentioned your ideas to get doctor's opinion on what he is looking for?
    It's good to be on same page with doctor.

    I can understand being aware of other people and that you are self conscious of your appearance.
    It took me years, okay.....decades, of practice getting around that. In reality, adults as well as children can be harsh in their statements.

    Presently, mine is my cane, my gait, involuntary shaking, needing to reposition myself on seat frequently..ex when out to restaurant

    You mentioned you knew someone to be talking about your spinal issue about 3 to 5 times.
    With the span at your age, it is not really very often.
    But I am fully aware that anything negative has more power and staying with us more than all the positives people give us in life.
    For myself, I needed to practice reversing that.

    And I do understand, especially at your age, the not only want, but need for friendships, socializing, sharing,.....community!

    What helped me was to focus more of my energy that I need for my health, the people in my life, work,..... well, I needed to concentrate more on what I thought of myself. And keep all the positive feedback more closely to my heart.

    Actually, instead of the fear, I now openly engage with other people, overtly friendly, trying to put them at ease just by talking, commenting about the everyday. So theyre not afraid to approach what otherwise may be an unknown situation ...kind of person...to them.

    If you use the search you may find interesting posts, articles and videos! You may find interesting threads you'd want to join in.
    Hopefully, members who have more shared experiences with you will be dropping by this thread of yours!
    Be patient :)

    Keep us posted on how your doing!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Thanks for sharing and joining us! Now you are one of our cool gang! I look forward to hearing how you proceed, you sound like you have given this incredible thought. I like what savage said too...reading different forum topics, not just scoliosis..may give you some exercise ideas to talk to your doctor about.

    I was in incredible shape going into my second fusion and it made all the difference. I was doing boot camp in my subdivision and it was three time weekly for an hour. In it were all different fitness levels and I liked especially that the instructor asked health questions before beginning and during sessions she would make sure some of us had modification for the exercise.

    Having a personal trainer who is in step with you specifically and what your doctor suggests will be such an advantage for success.

    And no judgement here. We all have been in similar situations and in this spiney land, we have each others backs, :) pun intended.
  • badbackguybbadbackguy Posts: 3
    edited 09/16/2015 - 4:35 PM

    My doctor just mentioned that I need to be in athletic shape, it's not required but it could add stability to my core. And it really hurts when I stand up for a long time, or I'm sitting on a stool. I can tolerate the pain but I want to be healthy so whatever future decision I go with this, it's better for me.

    The people that took are random people you meet in public , but I had times where my aunt , or cousin ( who's a doctor ) as well comment about it. I don't mind the comments especially from the family because I know they just want me to be ok. It's when I hear it from a stranger when they say things about me which I find hard to take , it's like your whole day just went from sunny day to zombie apocalypse. This is one reason why I like the color black, or I use polo shirts rather than tshirts. Or I even try to talk to avoid people looking at back ( it's like a coping mechanism ).

    - I'll try to look at the other posts. Thanks for the warm welcome !

    @2dgs4cmpany -

    As for exercise I'm thinking of cardio or running for the moment. But will probably get a trainer for boxing or muay thai , or something like those insanity workouts. I know having a lean body won't improve my curve but it will improve my core and give me better overall health.

    You mentioned you did bootcamp 3 times in a week. For how long , and did the exercise made you fit ?
  • 2dgs4cmpany22dgs4cmpany Posts: 200
    edited 09/17/2015 - 1:33 AM
    Bad back, Bootcamp was effective at building my muscle, toning my body. Friends and family were amazed. Now, I did not incorporate food changes. If I had, I would have done even better, ie reduced fat. Basically I love food, so I did decrease portion. Also, I'm built like a short lil lady brick house. My thigh muscles are incredibly strong, as are my arms. 125 push-ups in three minutes, army style, no problem. People actually watched, because I was the woman. 5 minute plank (my favorite exercise), no problem.

    I never lost a lot weight doing boot camp but in addition to muscle improvement, cardio was incredible and I breathed better, stamina increased. Had I incorporated food changes, I know fat would have melted. The weight I lost in fat, I increased in muscle. My core was amazing, which was something for this wine loving two kids later momma. (Never had a tight tummy after first fusion). I got close.

    So all this as I head into December 2013. I was traveling a lot, took a few weeks off boot camp. I must have tweaked..I don't know, but all of a sudden, boom. No more boot camp, no more walking, long story short, destabilized spine and had to have second fusion at level above old. The dr said this wasn't boot camp..it was a disk he saw in trouble 11 years earlier. At the time he said he would see me in ten years. So I got 11.

    I will shout this: most important thing is to listen to your body when you choose running, boot or insanity. My doctor, after the tweak, said: no more for you. Period. Stop. You must stop. No more. I cried. I love exercise at top speed crazy. But my lil back was done. I have found some joy in power walking after fusion 2. But now that is gone too. I'm scheduled for third fusion at level below original in a month. I really have not researched or know what to expect after this surgery. I'm scared to look. I am tired of giving up things I love. That said..I know I'm lucky to have what I do have. I do. But for a few minutes here..I am going to mourn again the loss of intense exercise. My body, in the moment absolutely thrived on it.

    Didn't mean to digress your thread. Hope my experience is helpful to you. Sheri76 who is on these forums once said that talking it out to ourselves as we type is therapeutic in itself, even though it means a long post. I agree with her. Thanks for the response and good luck.

    I hope you can wear whatever you want, because you want to soon by the way. I too am extremely self conscious of cane/walker and my gait. People stare. They ask. It sucks. You are not alone on this Bad back.
  • badbackguybbadbackguy Posts: 3
    edited 09/17/2015 - 7:12 AM
    @2gds wow 125 push ups , man I wish I could do 10. LoL. It's amazing what that bootcamp did to you. Just want to ask though.

    > You have any idea on how much the operation costs, like an example figure.
    > Do you know any international organization that can offer financial assistance ( donations ) , just curious on this,
    > I have notice in some other forums there are cases on follow up surgery , this usually happens in a few years right or depending on your condition?
  • Sorry to say I'm not sure of the final cost, because I was lucky to have insurance. I want to say in the $80,000 range..but please please do not quote me! I really don't know.

    I do know why I have had two fusions and about to have third. First was thanks to a congenital defect, herniated l4/5 , nerve infringement, could not walk. No choice. Then doctor said afterwards he would see me in ten years because of the one above was bulging. He is a conservative dr, so I appreciate that. 11 years later, l3/4. Now this one coming up is l5/s1 and should be it. In each case all conservative treatments tried. They worked for a while and then did not. I have to say, I am proud to have the fusion, it gave me my life back. I followed my dr orders to the letter and have every intention of getting back out after recovery. But I'm not stupid. I know three levels means: slow down!

    Hope this info is helpful. Have you thought of what doctor you would see? He/she would be the one to ask cost.
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