Miami, Florida

National Florida Day is celebrated annually on the 25th of January in recognition of Florida, the 27th state to join the USA.

'The Sunshine State' is home to the oldest established city in the United States, St. Augustine, which was the first city founded by Spanish explorers in 1565. East and West Florida became the 14th and 15th British colonies after the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763. After the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, however, the Treaty of Paris returned the state of Florida to Spain. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase brought East Florida under US ownership from France, and in 1812, West Florida was absorbed as a result of a US intervention in an uprising.

 

More Florida Facts

  • Florida is the southernmost state in the continental United States
  • It's the 22nd largest and 3rd most populous state in the country
  • Florida is best known for its beaches, theme parks, wildlife, plants and heat
  • Its key cities include Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Tallahassee (the state capital) and Jacksonville

 

Our Florida Patients

We at Scoliosis SOS have treated a number of scoliosis patients from Florida. Tina Barlow was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12, when she was told by the orthopaedic specialist that there wasn't much that could be done to help her, except for her to remain fit and active and try to stay in good health.

Fortunately for Tina, she was not affected either physically or emotionally by her scoliosis until her mid-thirties. After giving birth to her third child, however, she started to experience the occasional episode of backache. Two years later, Tina was involved in a car accident that left her with various injuries, including whiplash, which sent Tina's spine into a state of shock resulting in three months of excruciating back pain. As time passed, Tina did begin to recover; however, she did experience severe flare-ups of pain every now and then.

After three years of researching and searching for an answer to help improve her scoliosis, Tina came across Scoliosis SOS and decided to make the journey from Florida to London in order to enrol on one of our treatment courses. Tina's daughter Sophia - who had been suffering from back problems - had also been diagnosed with scoliosis, so Tina brought her along too.

Following on from their treatment, Tina and Sophia were both pain-free and gained the knowledge and equipment needed to control their back conditions.

Tina Barlow - Before and After Scoliosis Treatment

Frankie, a 23-year-old military man from Florida, also flew to the UK to complete a 4-week treatment course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. You can read his scoliosis story here, or watch the video below to hear what he had to say about us!

If you'd like to come to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic for treatment, please use the links below to contact us.

Upcoming Treatment Dates    Book a Consultation

Scoliosis can have a significant impact on your frame, silhouette and self-confidence. This can make it difficult to find clothes that complement your body - particularly if you have an uneven rib cage, lopsided hips, and/or uneven shoulders.

 

Layering

When it comes to winter clothes, most people wrap up in warm, cosy layers. This is great news for scoliosis patients who are conscious about showing too much skin or wearing tight-fitting clothes that emphasise their spinal curves. Here are a few winter-appropriate layering options:

Padded blazer

1. Padded Blazer

Choosing a blazer with shoulder pads, like the one shown above, is a great way to make your shoulders look more symmetrical. Plus, a blazer adds an all-important extra layer to any winter outfit. A warm, padded blazer can complement dressy and casual outfits; pair it with jeans and t-shirt for a casual look, or a midi dress and heels for a cosy going-out ensemble. However you style it, you can rest assured that your padded blazer will make you feel a million dollars.

Woman with knit scarf

2. Chunky Knit Scarves

To make a cosy fashion statement and draw attention away from any differences in your shoulders, you could also opt for a chunky knit scarf. There are hundreds of different options available, so you can choose a scarf that complements your personal style perfectly. Plus, these cosy wardrobe additions will keep you delightfully warm while you're out and about during the winter months.

 

Going-Out Wear

Most of us spend our winter days and nights tucked up in comfy loungewear, but you will occasionally have to ditch your pyjamas for a more sophisticated look. Don't worry, though - there are plenty of scoliosis-friendly options out there. With these simple tips, you can rock the 'effortlessly put-together' look while still staying nice and warm.

Jumper dress

1. T-Shirt / Jumper Dresses

A loose-fitting jumper dress or tunic can provide a bit of extra coverage for self-conscious scoliosis patients. Jumper dresses are a great option if you have a party, winter celebration or dinner date that you want to look classy for without feeling exposed. Black is always a great colour option - it's slimming and looks great with every skin tone - but there's nothing to stop you from expressing yourself with a brightly-coloured or patterned dress. Don't let your scoliosis hold you back!

Fashion accessories

2. Accessories

It might sound silly, but choosing the right accessories can really elevate an otherwise plain outfit and make you feel better about the way you look. Bold accessories will help you to express your personal style while drawing attention away from your scoliosis curvature. Choose a large clutch or cross-body bag to balance out a prominent hip, or statement shoes to draw the eye down the body. Accessories can be a great addition to any wardrobe all year round, so choose your winter accessories wisely and you're sure to feel great.

If you have scoliosis, why not get in touch with the team here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic? We provide exercise-based treatment courses that can help you to achieve noticeable differences in your appearance. Contact us today to find out more.

The Scoliosis SOS Clinic in Birmingham is based right in the heart of the city centre, so if you're staying nearby during your treatment, there are lots of attractions to be seen!

For shopaholics...

Our clinic is located in Birmingham's Great Western Arcade (pictured below). Originally built in 1877 as a tunnel spanning the rail line between Snow Hill and Moor Street stations, the arcade is now home to independent retailers and is often described as a 'home of hidden gems'. The arcade is bursting with character and Victorian charm.

Great Western Arcade in Birmingham
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

We also have The Bullring and Grand Central (only 0.4 miles from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic), which have linked up to highlight Birmingham as one of the ultimate UK shopping destinations. With over 200 shops between the two - including Selfridges, John Lewis and Debenhams - you can shop until you drop!

For a family day out...

Thinktank, Birmingham's science museum, is an attraction not to be missed. Located within the Millennium Point building (only 0.6 miles from our Scoliosis SOS Clinic), Thinktank is your opportunity to experience hands-on exhibits and historical collections that explore the science of the world around us. There's something for everyone to see and enjoy - highlights include the science garden, the planetarium and an exciting programme of events and activities.

You can also see how your favourite confectionery is made at Cadbury World. Explore the history behind Cadbury chocolate and watch the chocolatiers reveal the secrets of traditional chocolate making. You'll even have the chance to enjoy some of your favourite Cadbury treats along the way. This attraction is only a short train journey from Birmingham New Street station.


Photo by Elliott Brown

Other museums in Birmingham include:

Take in a show...

Located just 0.6 miles from our scoliosis clinic, the Birmingham Hippodrome is Birmingham's flagship theatre. Shows not to be missed in 2020 include the Nutcracker ballet, Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables. More seats are sold at the Hippodrome each year than by any other British theatre, including those in London's West End!


Photo by Elliott Brown

Other places to take in a show:

Off the beaten track...

Just ten minutes from The Bullring and Grand Central, Digbeth is Birmingham's bohemian district. Here you'll find the Custard Factory, a creative hub that's home to many independent shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and the Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen.


Photo by Sharon VanderKaay

Digbeth is full of character, and there's plenty to see and do, from street art to street food at the Digbeth Dining Club's weekly food and drink festival.

There's also Birmingham's oldest pub, The Old Crown, which first opened in 1368.

Getting to and from the clinic

Our Birmingham clinic is located within easy walking distance of three train stations:

Scoliosis SOS Birmingham Travel Map

  • Snow Hill Railway Station is 0.1 miles away (2 minute walk)
  • Birmingham New Street is 0.3 miles away (6 minute walk)
  • Birmingham Moor Street is 0.4 miles away (7 minute walk)

For information on bus services that run to and from Birmingham city centre, visit nxbus.co.uk.

Our Birmingham Clinic   Book a Consultation

Scoliosis SOS founder Erika Maude with gym balls

After our recent Q&A with Scoliosis SOS founder Erika Maude, we asked our followers on Facebook and Instagram what questions they wanted to ask Erika. We received a lot of suggestions - scroll down to read Erika's responses to some of your scoliosis questions!

 

What happens if you leave adult scoliosis untreated?

(Kail Mursili via Facebook)

That depends on a number of factors. Age, curve size, symptoms, lifestyle...the list is endless. The general medical opinion is that if you go into adult life with a curve greater than 40 degrees, it is likely to progress by 1-2 degrees per year for the rest of your life.

However, some people's curvatures will progress quickly due to lifestyle or career choices. Scoliosis is also likely to progress quickly during pregnancy or menopause, because of changes to hormonal balance, weight distribution on the spine and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Prevention is always better, so if your condition is starting to bother you because of how it looks or any pain you may be experiencing, we would always recommend getting it checked out as there are lots of ways to help adults with scoliosis.

 

Can scoliosis improve with exercise and massage?

(Nafizah Bholah via Facebook)

Definitely! We have helped over 3,500 patients from all over the world to improve their scoliosis through scoliosis-specific exercise therapy. Our ScolioGold method combines scientifically-proven therapies with scoliosis-specific massage techniques to readdress muscle imbalances and give patients improved body image, Cobb angle reductions, relief from pain and a host of other benefits.

The important thing when choosing a treatment programme is to ensure that it is scoliosis-specific and customised to you; otherwise, it is unlikely to be effective.

 

What's the largest degree of spinal curvature that can be fixed using exercises?

(Kail Mursili via Facebook)

As there is no cure for scoliosis, it all depends on your definition of 'fixed', as this can vary from person to person. We have had patients who arrived in wheelchairs and were able to walk some distance after treatment.

Some people are able to reduce their Cobb angle and avoid surgery. Others seek relief from a life of constant pain. Because scoliosis can affect individuals in so many different ways, treatment goals are very unique to that person.

We have successfully treated patients with a range of curve sizes. The most memorable is a gentleman who visited us from India with a 120-degree curve - he grew by 5cm during his treatment course.

 

Can conditioning and dance help to straighten the spine?

(@summergraceslate via Instagram)

General core strengthening and flexibility are key to good spinal health, regardless of whether someone has a spinal curvature. However, there has been no scientific evidence that conditioning, dance or routine physiotherapy can straighten the spine. Only scoliosis-specific exercises have shown to be effective in targeting the muscle imbalance in a way to make it possible to straighten the spine.

 

What can I do if I have a painful trapped nerve because of scoliosis?

(@Lindsey_bowler via Instagram)

In the first instance, we would recommend seeking medical help from your GP, in case the symptoms are actually pointing to something else.

After that, it is important to ascertain whether the nerve pain is due to being trapped by your vertebrae or by your soft tissues due to the muscle imbalance caused by your scoliosis. If it is the first, then you may need to be referred to seek specialist help; if it's the latter, this will often resolve with a good scoliosis-specific exercise programme and hands-on release work.

 

At what age does it become impossible to resolve the deterioration of the spine?

(@Mouad_elkahlani via Instagram)

The simple answer is: there isn't one! We have treated lots of patients well into their 90s with our scoliosis-specific exercise programmes, and as long as the patient is still relatively active and mobile, there is plenty our therapists can do to help.

Alternatively, if someone has lost their mobility, there are orthotic manufacturers who supply and fit custom-made Lycra suits that can help support the patient in a seated position.

 

Do you plan to open a clinic in New York? (Or any other places?)

(@mima.vojnovic via Instagram)

We are in the process of developing regional clinics to make treatment more accessible to people across the UK. Our first locations in Birmingham and Bristol opened at the end of November 2019, and we're planning to add further locations in 2020.

Several people have asked us if we would consider opening clinics overseas; however, at the moment our focus is on maintaining the brilliant treatment standards for which we are famous, and any future expansion cannot be at the expense of quality control. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that these satellite clinics will prove that, regardless of the location, patients can expect to receive the same high level of care and expertise as they have come to expect from our London clinic.

 

Does playing the guitar affect scoliosis? What exercises should I do to compensate?

(@louise_wils via Instagram)

Any one-sided activity or hobby can cause the symptoms and/or curvature of existing scoliosis to worsen. The guitar does involve an element of twisting and overload on one side of the body, and therefore it could be a contributing factor to the progression of the condition.

Ideally, you want to be doing stretches and muscle strengthening in the exact opposite of your guitar-playing posture to negate any unwanted effects. As part of our treatment programme, we incorporate advice and exercises to counteract any one-sided hobbies / sports to ensure that all of our patients can continue to do the things they enjoy, whether that means getting back out into the garden or playing national-level tennis.

 

Are there spinal treatments for failed spinal tethering?

(rideoordie444 via Instagram)

The short answer is yes. However, it will very much depend on the individual case and presentation of scoliosis, plus the circumstances surrounding why the spinal tethering failed in the first place. The conventional treatment would be to do a full spinal fusion surgery; however, there are some instances where it may be possible to treat the issue with a scoliosis-specific exercise programme to avoid further surgery. The best advice would be to contact us for advice and to arrange a consultation.

Get in touch with Scoliosis SOS >>

Two friends comforting each other

Scoliosis can be a painful and debilitating condition that makes even the simplest tasks uncomfortable.

Seeing a loved one go through such discomfort can be agonising to watch. However, you don't have to stand idly by - here are five simple things you can do to help someone with scoliosis today.

 

1. Be Available

People with long-term illnesses, conditions and disabilities often find it hard to ask for help.

In fact, some may actively avoid seeking outside help, preferring to deal with the problem on their own.

But even in those cases, knowing that there's a shoulder you can lean on when things get too much can make all the difference.

Being there as an emotional and physical crutch when your friend or loved one needs you is the ultimate sign of support, so don't be afraid to let them know your door is always open.

 

2. Prepare for Change

Scoliosis can cause excruciating pain at inopportune times. This can cause plans to change at the drop of hat, with last-minute cancellations a natural by-product.

While this can be somewhat frustrating, try not to make a big deal out of it. Remember, the other person is probably just as disappointed as you are, and on top of that, they may well feel guilty for letting you down.

Be understanding and reassure them that whatever it was can be rearranged for another time.

 

3. Look Past the Condition

Helping someone deal with scoliosis doesn't necessarily mean physically helping them with their daily tasks or providing them with pain relief.

In fact, helping someone with scoliosis can be as easy as helping them put it in the rear-view mirror and forget about the pain for a few hours.

Walking on eggshells and being overly aware of their ailment will only bring attention to it. Scoliosis doesn't change the person they are, so why should it affect the way you act around them?

 

4. Accept Their Tiredness

Enduring a prolonged period of pain can be exhausting. For scoliosis sufferers, even simple everyday tasks can be taxing at times.

What's more, a busy day of activities or a bad day involving a flare-up can leave them totally wiped out and feeling tired, lethargic, and generally less than 100%.

Dragging them out or pressuring them into taking part when the tank is empty can not only impact their enjoyment, but it can also impact their physical health after the fact.

Accept that when your friend or loved one says they're too tired to do something, they really mean it. It's nothing to do with you.

 

5. Mental Awareness

Like any physical ailment, scoliosis can have a negative effect on mental health, from impacting self-image to making the patient more introverted and withdrawn.

Infographic: How Does Scoliosis Affect Body Image?

Scoliosis can naturally exclude a person from taking part in things they love, such as sports and recreational activities.

Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, it can also prevent them from doing things they want to do and impact on plans made.

The result of this can have a knock-on effect on mental health, particularly if several setbacks occur in quick succession.

Be aware of mental health and, if there are signs that depression may be creeping in, don't hesitate to step in and help.

Read More: Scoliosis & Depression   Book a Scoliosis Consultation

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