Living with Scoliosis

Not too long ago living with Scoliosis, meant a limited lifestyle: no exercise, no sports, and very little everyday activity. Today’s reality is the polar opposite: living with Scoliosis isn’t limiting at all.

What is Scoliosis?  

Scoliosis is a common spine condition, and most identified cases are in children between the ages of 10 and 12; and is about five times more common in girls than boys. 

Scoliosis, defined as a lateral curvature of the spine, means that the spine curves sideways to one side or the other side – or both. A spine is usually straight when viewed straight on, or from behind. With Scoliosis though, the spine curves to the side in the shape of the letter “S” or “C.”

Read more about Scoliosis here.

Three facts about Scoliosis: 

  1. The cause of Scoliosis is, in most cases, unknown.
  2. Early diagnosis is essential.
  3. Not all scoliosis patients require treatment.

Rowan Berkowitz, a certified Prosthetist Orthotist and specialist in his field, says, “At least 90 percent of the people I see will never need surgery and can get outstanding results with non-surgical treatment”.

Is it possible to live a normal life with Scoliosis? 

In short, the answer is yes! 

Children with Scoliosis can live healthy and everyday lives. And in most cases, they can even engage in the same activities as their peers. Only rarely does Scoliosis result in instances of severe immobility or pain. Most of those who have been diagnosed with Scoliosis can live a relatively normal life. Very few individuals with Scoliosis endure complications such as chronic pain, respiratory issues, and decreased mobility.

What is living with Scoliosis really like? 

Being diagnosed with Scoliosis doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change how you live. Individuals with fairly pronounced spinal curves can also enjoy a high quality of life if their condition; is being treated and their symptoms are expertly managed.

If you’re concerned about the challenges of living with Scoliosis, then view and read the stories of some individuals who know what it’s like living with Scoliosis. 

Zoe (a patient of Rowan Berkowitz) and her Mom, Renee, share their stories of living with Scoliosis – view their stories here:

Gabrielle, also a patient of Rowan, shares her story here:

Phoebe, Rowan, and Carol also share their stories. They have undergone treatment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London, and you can read their stories here.

Hopefully, their experiences demonstrate that, as problematic as this condition can be, it doesn’t have to alter your life drastically. 

Should I avoid certain activities if I have Scoliosis?  

Physical activity is generally beneficial for those who have Scoliosis. Unless you are in pain or your physician or specialist has advised you against it, you should continue participating in the activities and sports you love – even if you wear a brace. Keeping those core muscles strong is very good for your back.  

Living with Scoliosis; will I be able to cope?  

If you wear a brace as part of your treatment, you are much more aware of its presence than others are. More often than not, others don’t notice the back brace unless you bring it to their attention! 

Find a support group. Start with your friends, explain how your scoliosis diagnosis affects your life, and how you are feeling about it. It’s good to find a support system through friends, social media or with other scoliosis patients who can share their experiences with you. Hearing from others living with Scoliosis will help you and give you the support you need. 

Where can I find other people living with Scoliosis? 

Ask your specialists to recommend a group of scoliosis patients that meets (online or in person) to discuss living with Scoliosis. Curvy Girls is an excellent example of an International Scoliosis Peer Support for girls. They host meetings for girls to discuss their challenges and empower each other to speak about their feelings. Find out more about Curvy Girls Scoliosis here.

A recommendation for living with Scoliosis

Don’t stop living, and stay active! 

Scoliosis is a common spinal condition in children worldwide. If a loved one, or you have Scoliosis, please know that you are not alone. “People no longer need to be afraid,” Rowan Berkowitz explains, “Scoliosis is a very manageable condition.”