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Back Pain With Scoliosis...

misterkatamarimmisterkatamari Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi there. I'm new to the forums, and I feel rather uninformed compared to everyone else here. On this site and others like it, everyone uses very specific terms and seems to know exactly what is causing their pain and why. I don't, really. Sorry for going on for too long, I was just wanting to get a little more information or advice.

I've been diagnosed with scoliosis for years now, since I was 11 or so. I'm 22 now. As far as I know, my curvature is minimal. I don't really know where it curves, other than it curves once up top and down at the bottom to compensate. The only thing I've ever been told is to exercise and go to physical therapy. Which I have. I've lost weight since I was a kid and went several times to therapy, but I still experience chronic lower back pain.

Every source that I have read says that pain is rarely present with scoliosis--especially in minor cases. but the pain I've been feeling is rather severe. I feel bad complaining about it, knowing there are people who can hardly walk--but for me this is the worst pain I have ever been in. It's mostly the lower left of my back, and it radiates so that it feels like my left hip and even part of my side and stomach is burning. The pain goes down my left leg, but stops at the knee. It used to hurt like this only when I sat in place for too long, or over exerted myself--but now it's like this 80% of the time.

In addition, I have upper back pain that runs along my left side. I was told, basically, that all this pain is muscular due to the fact that one side of my body is pulling in order to relocate my spine in the proper position.

But the fact that I might know what causes the pain, doesn't really help much. Yesterday, I was in such pain that I could hardly move. I tried stretching, heat therapy, resting, and taking ibuprofen, but nothing helped--at all. It hurt constantly, no matter if I was sitting, walking, standing, or even lying in bed. I took sleep aid to fall asleep, but the woke me up every couple hours or so.

I go to the doctor again tomorrow, but I really don't know what to expect or what questions to ask. I know that I can't live with this pain any longer, and I'm worried about the future in general.

If anyone has any experience with scoliosis or back pain in general, and has any advice for me I'd greatly appreciate it. I just don't know if I should see a specialist, or if this is just something everyone will tell me I should deal with on my own. (Which I really don't think I can...) Thanks in advance, and I wish everyone well.



  • Pain is rarely present with scoliosis? Ha! That's a laugh. I have only a mild scoliosis in my mid thoracic area and when I do not take care of myself, it feels like someone has an iron grip on my spine, my neck gets really stiff and I clench my jaw. The result? You guessed it, pain!

    Also, I should tell you that I am a Certified Rolfer and I work with lots of people who have scoliosis of varying degrees. They ALL experience pain or discomfort due to the structural imbalance.

    Think of it this way...if you shifted the top of a building five feet to the right, gravity would pull down on the shifted block, right? And over time, the force of gravity would drag that block down lower and lower until finally the building collapsed.

    This is what happens with scoliosis. Instead of being beautifully balanced and aligned, the "blocks" of your body are shifted so that there is a gravitational pull. Over time, this pull creates additional muscular tension and pain.

    Here's the bad news...it's very difficult to completely eliminate scoliosis because the bones have changed shape in order to support the s-curvature of your spine.

    Want the good news? You don't have to hurt! I've helped tons of people who were told by doctors and physical therapists that the only solution was to take pain medication.

    One woman was a horseback rider. When she started coming to me, she said her horse wouldn't turn left at all. In working together, we restored so much mobility to her spine that her horse started responding differently and turning left more easily! Not to mention the relief from pain and inflexibility that this woman experienced...

    In addition to structural bodywork (Rolfing, Soma, KMI), I've found systemic enzymes (I use Wobenzyme) and anti-inflammatory spices, such as turmeric and ginger, to be of particular help.

    You CAN get relief for this pain. You just need to find the right support team.

    ~ Sukie
  • I have likely had scoli since puberty(I noticed my waist contours were off) and developed bad back pain when I started working at age 16, but saw a quack chirpractor who did not even xray me! she gave me massage and treatments but this only worked temporary. Finally at age 20 I went to another and he xrayed me and boom--there was the scoli. They of course could not help me by then. My curve was mild then(10 degrees), but has progressed to 30 degrees now! And I was told that my curve should not progress. Bottomline is that the medical community doesn't know jack about Scoli!

    I have been to PT's, Chiro's, Spine specialists, you name it--it is HARD to find a docotr that believes the pain that we suffer because we look young and relatively normal.

    I had this jerk pain management docotr who only cared about the money he made off giving me epidural steroid injections that scolisois does not cause pain! Needless to say, I fired him.

    I am now 30 years old,fit, active, and healthy but this pain has made me cranky and ruined my career goals. My advice is to go by word of mouth for a good doctor, my Family doctor is actually the one who manages my pain, cares, and believes me more than any of those "specialists". I also have a good Doctor of Osteopathy. only things that reduce pain and discomfort for me are yoga stretches, Osteopathic manipulation, and meds. Now my discs are ruptured and I need surgery, and I think that is a combo of having 3 kids, aging, and the scoli.

    Be sure to get an xray, (standing up--one time they did mine laying down which does not show the curve)), at least every 2 years to monitor your curve. And if pain does not improve with any measures you take, demand an MRI! Feel free to message me with anytime.
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  • Thanks for everyone's replies.

    I had my doctor look over my old MRI results and it turns out I have other problems aside from the scoliosis that no one bothered to tell me before. So I go again to my doctor on Tuesday, I'll probably post about it later on. :)
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