Dancer from Los Angeles with Scoliosis

Faye Warren, now aged 29, was just 8 years old when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. Following her diagnosis, she wore a brace between the ages of 10 and 16, and she suffered from daily pain as a result of her spinal curvature.

Faye was unable to continue with gymnastics, but fought hard to continue with her love of dancing. At school, carrying books and sitting down for long periods caused her great discomfort, and no form of chiropractic treatment or acupuncture seemed to make any difference.

Faye was adamant that she wanted to avoid undergoing scoliosis surgery at all costs, and she was determined to find a treatment option that would allow her to continue dancing professionally.

When Faye came across the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, she knew that our non-surgical treatment programme was exactly what she had been looking for. The small matter of our location - London is more than 5,000 miles from Los Angeles - didn't deter Faye, and after making all the necessary arrangements, she booked herself in for a 4-week treatment course.

 

How we help people with scoliosis

The exercises we teach here at Scoliosis SOS are designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine, bringing the patient into a more central upright position. This prevents progression, improves cosmetic appearance, decreases pain, and gives our patients the best possible chance of avoiding spinal fusion surgery.

 

Feedback from Faye

Here's what Faye had to say at the end of her treatment course:

"I am so glad I found the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. Other treatments would help to temporarily decrease my pain, but it would always return. I knew I needed to find a permanent solution, and it was going to be a complete change of lifestyle.

"I have learnt a great deal about my back and how I can help myself. My pain has been dramatically reduced and I have gained so much confidence.

"My advice to other scoliosis patients looking to travel from overseas is not to hesitate - it is the best decision you will ever make. I cannot put into words how much better I feel."

Book your Scoliosis SOS consultation today - we can provide remote consultations via Skype or telephone call if you can't come to our clinic for an appointment.

 

Further reading

Curvy Girls is an international support group for young girls with scoliosis. Leah Stoltz from New York started the group after sitting in on a meeting of adult scoliosis sufferers and deciding that there ought to be a similar support network exclusively for under-18s. Leah very kindly agreed to answer some questions from the Scoliosis SOS team - scroll down to read the interview in full.

Curvy Girls Scoliosis Support Group

So, Leah - for those who may not know, what kind of support does Curvy Girls provide for scoliosis sufferers?

Curvy Girls provides peer support to young girls dealing with scoliosis. What's awesome about our meetings - and the reason our organisation is so successful - is that we're entirely teen-run. When girls hold their groups, it's only girls in the meetings, so it's a safe and comfortable environment.

What treatment(s) have you undergone for your own spinal curve?

I wore a Boston brace for two and a half years, and then had spinal fusion surgery (T5-L4).

Were you pleased with the results?

I was very pleased with the outcome of my surgery and I try to talk about it as much as possible. Something I've noticed a lot is that you really only hear (and see on social media) scary or worrisome stories of surgeries not going well. For the innumerable number of cases that go well, they don't necessarily need to talk about it as much because it was easier to manage. That's one of the reasons I try to talk about my story so much: to make surgery less scary for those who are about to undergo it.

You live in the USA - how challenging is it to access effective scoliosis treatment in America today?

I grew up and still reside in New York, so for me it was very easy to get access to bracing and surgery, as well as to surgeons who specialise in scoliosis. On the other hand, curvy girls who live in more remote areas of the US might have to travel great distances to receive care. 

When doing research for our book, Straight Talk with the Curvy Girls, we found out that Europe is way ahead of the US when it comes to conservative care - scoliosis-specific exercises and 3D bracing. In 2012, there was only one place in the whole of the US that offered this treatment, and for most of us it was hours away by plane. I am proud to say that, through the advocacy of Curvy Girls, families in the US now have greater access to these conservative care options.

What is the single most important piece of advice you'd give a young person who's just been diagnosed with scoliosis?

Talk about how you're feeling! Don't keep it bundled inside. Find support - a trusted friend, a parent, a Curvy Girl. Curvy Girls has support groups all over the world, as well as an online forum, Instagram page, Facebook group, book...there are so many ways to feel supported and to talk with other girls who are going through what you are going through (or who have already been through the same things).

For the benefit of the friends and families of scoliosis sufferers, could you shine a little bit of light on the thoughts and emotions of someone who's going through scoliosis?

A scoliosis diagnosis is something that just happens to us; we feel like we don't have control over it, and sometimes it can feel like there's no end in sight. We're told to wear the brace, which is a very passive activity, and on top of that we're not even sure it will definitely help! And then sometimes we're told to wear the brace under the threat of surgery, which is a terrifying idea. I wasn't fortunate enough to know about the Schroth method prior to my surgery, but what I love about it is that it gives us a bit more control over a situation that can feel like it's out of our hands.

We understand you're looking for a new UK representative - what does this role entail, and what sort of person are you looking for?

Yes we are! The best Curvy Girls leader is one who has the desire to help others as well as themselves. She should not only want to give support, but be open to asking for and receiving it when she needs it as well. Girls with scoliosis between the ages of 11 and 18 are eligible. We provide all the support necessary to become a CG leader. If you're open to learning, we're open to teaching! Application details here.

What's next for Curvy Girls? What are the Foundation's aims for the future?

World domination! In all seriousness, we just want to make sure there's support for girls wherever they are. My personal goal is that support should be offered in tandem with any diagnosis, brace, or surgery consultation. It's easy to just focus on treating the physical symptoms of scoliosis, but there's also an emotional component that's far too frequently ignored. Curvy Girls is the emotional brace for scoliosis!

Visit www.curvygirlsscoliosis.com for more information about the Curvy Girls Scoliosis Foundation, or click here to learn about the exercise-based scoliosis treatment courses we provide here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London, England.
Although there is no cause for the curvature of the spine in that majority of cases we treat here at Scoliosis SOS, and in scoliosis patients in general, there are several medical conditions which can lead to the development of scoliosis. 
 
Today, we are focusing on one of the conditions which can lead to the development of scoliosis, namely, Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Many will not have heard of the condition previously, due to its rare and serious nature. It occurs when the immune system attacks part of the nervous system, and is often the result of a viral or bacterial infection.
 
One of the primary symptoms of Guillain-Barré is progressive muscle weakness, and a resulting loss in coordination. Although many sufferers of Guillain-Barré go on to recover from their condition, a lasting impact is often caused by this weakening of the muscles, which in some cases, can lead to the development of scoliosis. 
 
Such was the case for our previous patient Jonathan, who suffered with Guillain-Barré for a year, and was diagnosed with scoliosis shortly afterwards. Upon initial diagnosis, Jonathan was told he had a 19° curve and was given a corrective brace, but six months later he was told that this had progressed to a 38° curve.
 
Improved muscle strength and coordination are a huge part of our treatment process here at Scoliosis SOS, targeted by the inclusion of methods such as the PNF Technique, along with other elements of our ScolioGold programme. For this reason, our treatment approach can be incredibly beneficial for an individual who has been left weakened by the impact of Guillian-Barré, as is exemplified in Jonathan’s treatment video below:
 
 
If you would like to learn more about how we can aid the recovery of Guillian-Barre sufferers, and relieve symptoms of their scoliosis, please get in touch by calling 0207 488 4428, or by filling out our enquiry form here.
Although we’re located in London, we’ve treated patients from all over the world, including numerous scoliosis sufferers from the USA. Our excellent accommodation facilities and unique treatment methods have persuaded many people to make the long journey from America to the UK in search of an alternative to scoliosis surgery.

Here are two of our success stories, from individuals who were unable to get the scoliosis treatment they required in the USA:

Patient #1: Nadia Browne

14 // Female // New Jersey

 Sara Van Zandt

Until her diagnosis, neither Nadia nor her family had heard of scoliosis, which meant that there was a great deal of worry and confusion when the doctor brought it up. Nadia became anxious that her curved spine would impact her love of sports, and found that her outgoing personality was beginning to slip away.

Why did Nadia choose Scoliosis SOS?

After deciding not to undergo a risky 9-hour operation to correct her spine, Nadia and her mother began looking for alternatives. They found a chiropractor who claimed that he would be able to help Nadia’s condition, but after two years of treatment, no progress had been made – in fact, Nadia’s condition sadly got worse during this period. This heightened the family’s urgent need to find a viable alternative to surgery, which is why they made the decision to travel from the US to the UK for Nadia to receive scoliosis treatment at our clinic.

Results:

After four weeks of treatment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Nadia’s physical appearance and spinal rotation improved dramatically, which meant that she no longer required surgery. Her pain disappeared, and her personal wellbeing improved as she was able to return to playing sports.

Patient #2: Tina Barlow

41 // Female // Florida

 Tina Barlow

Although Tina was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12, she did not experience physical or emotional issues until her mid-thirties, after she had given birth to her third child and suffered a car accident.  This meant that she was in agonising pain for 3 months, and experienced flare-ups on a regular basis thereafter.

Why did Tina choose Scoliosis SOS?

Having read articles about our work here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Tina was convinced that we could help her. This decision was made even easier and more urgent when Tina discovered that her daughter was affected by scoliosis as well.

Results:

Since receiving treatment with Scoliosis SOS, Tina and her daughter have been pain free, and are able to manage their conditions with the advice provided to them. Tina can now ensure that her condition doesn’t deteriorate while also preventing her daughter from having to undergo major corrective surgery.

Patient #3: Kurt Wunder

29 // Male // California

Another patient who crossed the Atlantic to reach our clinic is Kurt Wunder from California. Watch the video below to learn his story.


If you don’t have access to non-surgical scoliosis treatment in the USA, please feel free to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS team to find out how we can help. Alternatively, for more examples of how our treatment programmes have helped patients from overseas, please click here.
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