For most people, the rich foods that deck the holiday table represent impending weight gain and possibly gastric discomfort. For people with scoliosis, they represent something more—a potential worsening of scoliosis curves and pain.

While most doctors believe poor diet doesn’t cause scoliosis, research indicates that it’s a contributing factor. No one knows exactly what triggers the scoliosis genes. However, numerous studies have linked scoliosis progression to nutritional deficiencies, and strong evidence points to an interaction between poor nutrition and genetics.

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Many people know someone who claims their joint pain can predict the weather. But is it true?

Although there’s not much scientific proof that changes in weather amplify chronic pain, some correlations have been found. Patients with joint pain—caused by rheumatoid arthritis, for example—often report that damp or cold weather intensifies their symptoms. One survey found that 67 percent of patients with osteoarthritis believe the weather heightens their pain. Another study of people with chronic joint pain found similar results.

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Scoliosis is like a seed. It hides in people’s genes, sometimes lying dormant their whole lives and sometimes developing into a full-blown scoliosis curve.

Scientists still aren’t sure why. But they have learned that, just like plants, scoliosis needs certain conditions to take root. Some of these conditions still elude us. But research is increasingly showing that nutrition is one of the factors that can affect whether—and how—the scoliosis gene is expressed.

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Going back to school is hard enough for any child. When you’re an adolescent with scoliosis, it’s a special kind of torment.

People rarely talk about emotional side of scoliosis. Most conversations focus on the medical aspects: how fast the curves progress and which treatments are effective. Yet for people with scoliosis, emotional effects are as real as the physical ones—sometimes more so.

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Fourteen is the age when most girls start experimenting with clothes and developing their individual sense of style. For Kathryn Dunnill, it was also the age she received her scoliosis diagnosis.

Her self-confidence took a big hit. But Dunnill didn’t give up. Eventually she learned to dress in a way that compliments her unique frame and puts a spring in her step.

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When Leah LaRocco’s doctor prescribed a back brace to halt the progress of her scoliosis curves, sleep became a nightmare.

“If I lay on my side, the pressure pads would dig into my body, leaving bruises,” she said of her teenage years lying prone in a brace all night. “If I lay on my back, the top of the brace would dig into my neck. If I lay on my stomach, the front of the brace would constrict and pinch my skin.”

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A long flight, train ride or car ride can put even the strongest spine to the test. For people with scoliosis, sitting for hours on end inflicts even more stress on the lower back.

But that shouldn’t dissuade you from booking your next vacation. Traveling with scoliosis doesn’t have to be a painful experience—it just takes a little extra planning. These travel tips for scoliosis patients can help you keep your pain levels down and summer enjoyment levels maximized:

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Treating scoliosis is a race against the clock. If you catch it early enough, the right exercises can reduce it to negligible levels.

Unfortunately, many cases aren’t spotted until the spinal curve is moderately advanced. At that point treatment becomes more difficult and the risk of progression increases threefold.

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By: Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

About 2% of the population suffers from scoliosis, which means millions of Americans are battling this potentially serious condition. And yet, not much is generally known about scoliosis. Few people know the long term problems scoliosis can cause for your health – or how to fix those problems. At ScoliSMART, we believe that the first step in treating scoliosis is information. Before you can make a sound decision about your treatment options, you have to understand as much as you can about the condition.

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When a patient with scoliosis reports back or leg pain, doctors often blame the spinal curves—despite the fact that idiopathic scoliosis rarely causes pain.

But the curves often aren’t the culprit. Many patients are actually suffering from a separate, unrelated condition that goes undetected while the curvature takes the blame. Take sciatica and scoliosis, for example; when they appear together, it’s often difficult to discern whether they’re related.

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