How Does Scoliosis Affect the Body

Last updated on August 19th, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Scoliosis Background

In order to understand how scoliosis affects the body, we need to first understand more about scoliosis and why scoliosis develops.  First, it is important to understand that scoliosis is more complex than just a curve of the spine.  Scoliosis is a neuro-hormonal condition.

How-Does-Scoliosis-Affect-the-Body

When a person has scoliosis, they likely present with imbalances in key neuro-transmitters, like low serotonin, and hormones, like estrogen, progesterone and estradiol imbalances.  These imbalances create miscommunication within the body.  This miscommunication results in ill-functioning processes in the body.  One of the conditions that can arise as a result of processes in the body not functioning well is scoliosis.

How Does Scoliosis Affects the Body

First off it really depends on the degrees of these scoliosis and age of the person.  For our purposes, I have separated into 2 categories adults and adolescences:

Adolescences:

  • Progressive in nature
    • As a child grows and only when he/she grows will the curve typically worsen. There is usually no worsening of a curve in periods of non-growth
  • It can cause pain
    • 1 out of 10 adolescences have pain. This is not curve size dependent, there are other factors at play, like rotation
  • It can create breath issues
    • This only happens with very large curves
  • Posture abnormalities
    • When you look at someone with scoliosis you can see a torso shift, a shoulder sticking out or a rib hump
  • DIGESTIVE issues
    • This is another affect on the body we see with large lumbar curves

Adults:

  • Pain
    • This is the number 1 affect on the body with adults
  • Cosmetic
    • Patients don’t like they way they look in clothes
  • Function
    • Many adults cannot do certain activities due to fatigue and lack of mobility

Psychological Affects of Scoliosis

When someone is 1st diagnosed with scoliosis with a minor curve, the old way of thinking requires one to take a wait and see if it gets worse approach.  This watch and wait approach or ‘do nothing’ can be a very stressful time for a child and parents. Waiting for the curve to worsen, first, before taking action is backward and passive. Until the follow-up x-ray evidences a worsening of scoliosis, action is taken.

Once a worsening of the curve is evidenced, you are rushed off to the orthotist to get fitted with a hard brace and told to wear this brace 20 hours each day.  Getting used to wearing it throughout the day, sleeping with it and having to deal with other kids at school knowing about this can really send a child into a downward spiral. Then, once you find out the brace is not working and the curve has progressed to over 45 degrees, you are scheduled for fusion surgery.

Now, your child will need to be out of school for a month or so and won’t be able to return to sports or resume typical child activity, normally for quite some time if ever.  Due to the lack of research, understanding of the scoliosis condition, and or advancement in the field of scoliosis, you, had no choice or alternatives to treat minor, moderate, and severe curves back in the day. But today, modern times is different. Today you have good substitutes. Today you have a choice. Today, there is ScoliSMART, the unrivaled and effective alternative to hard bracing and surgery.

Sports

I encourage people, young and old with scoliosis, to own their health and live their best active life and partake in sporting activities for overall health and core strength. However, there are a few sports, particularly the one-sided type sports or high contact sports I caution against:

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Pitcher
  • Fencing

Other sports that may be traumatic may not be ideal for a person with scoliosis.

  • RUGBY
  • Football
  • Boxing

What Can be Done – Own Your Health

Today there are many alternatives to treating scoliosis that are better than hard bracing and safer than surgery. Treatment options depend, based on your scoliotic risk profile, goals, concerns, and constraints.

For example, adult scoliotic risk profile is low, as they are done growing!  They may start out with the Scoliosis Activity Suit that can support their curvature and lessen rotation, and relieve the pain.  Adults may also signup for a ScoliSmart Scoliosis bootcamp.  Other ways to work with an adult would be doing some focused exercise on the core muscles.  Exercise programs like Pilates, gyro tonics, weight training and yoga can help to keep one flexible and keep the core strong.

With a growing adolescent the approach is different.  Since growth is the key factor with curve progression, adolescences really need to be monitored closely by a doctor that specializes in Scoliosis for kids.  Kids may also, in conjunction with ScoliSMART scoliosis treatment, do yoga, Pilates, weight training and gyro tonics for help with strengthening the core.

Diet

Ever hear the saying, ‘you are what you eat’?  Below are some of the recommendations we give to patients on following a healthy diet:

  1. Foods to Eat:
  • Fresh Fruit (organic)
  • Fresh Vegetables and Vegetable juices (organic)
  • Meat (protein)

– No packaged luncheon meats

– Avoid meat with growth hormones or antibiotics, especially chicken (grass-fed and organic meat only)

  1. Decrease:
  • Citrus Fruit Juices, especially tomato juice, orange juice, and other acidic juices

3. Avoid:

  • Soda Pop (Including diet)
  • Artificial Sweeteners (eg. Nutrasweet, Splenda, Equal, Aspartame, Saccharin, Neotame, Acesulfame, Sucralose, etc.)
  • Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Crystallized Corn Syrup
  • Soy Milk and Soy Products
  • MSG (also known as: Gelatin, calcium Caseinate, Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Textured Protein, Monopotassium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP), Yeast Extract, Glutamate, Autolyzed Plant Protein, Yeast Food or Nutrient, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, Autolyzed Yeast)
  • Tea (Herbal teas are okay)
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate (Dark chocolate is okay)
  • Sugar (Stevia is okay)
  • White Flour
  • Salt (Sea Salt or Himalayan Rock Salt is okay)
  • Chemicals, Processed, Greasy, Fried, Junk Food (French Fries, McDonald’s, etc.)
  • No Dairy
  • Plastic water bottles

In conclusion:

Scoliosis can affect the body in many physical and emotional ways. If left untreated and ignored throughout your life, the physical and emotional effects of scoliosis can be major and life-altering.  The good news is that if you get a handle on your scoliosis as an adolescent and continue an exercise regimen throughout your life, scoliosis will not limit you.

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