A curved spine can disrupt your life in all kinds of different ways. It can have a severe impact on flexibility and mobility, which is particularly problematic if the patient participates in sports or other physical activities; scoliosis also tends to affect one’s appearance, and many scoliosis
sufferers find that their self-esteem is diminished as a result.
However, for many scoliotics, the very worst part of their condition is the pain that it causes them. Although some patients suffer minimal discomfort, many can scoliosis painful to varying degrees. Chronic back pain can have a very damaging effect on a person’s life, and many people find that it even impacts their ability to work. Rachel Webster, a 35-year-old woman who completed a ScolioGold course late last year, is a good example – watch the video below to hear about her experience:
All this having been said, the pain that scoliosis causes does vary greatly from one patient to the next. Some scoliotics may not experience much pain at all, whereas others suffer such debilitating back pain that they require maximum strength medication. Interestingly, there seems to be little if any correlation between the angle of someone's spinal curve (their Cobb angle
) and the level of pain they experience. For instance, someone with a 60-degree curve may not feel any pain at all, whereas someone with only a 20-degree curve may experience a huge amount of pain. Every case of scoliosis is unique.
When pain does develop, it tends to happen because your body is over-compensating for the curve in your spine. Your muscles will be working overtime to help control the curvature of your spine, and this extra exertion can lead to muscle pain, which can be incredibly uncomfortable.
I experience a lot of back pain - does this mean I have scoliosis?
No, not necessarily. Almost everyone experiences some back pain from time to time, and even if your pain is more persistent, that doesn’t mean it’s a sure sign of scoliosis. Back pain can arise due to all sorts of different factors, and this in itself is not sufficient evidence for a diagnosis of spinal curvature. More reliable symptoms of scoliosis include:
- A visible sideways curve in the spine
- Ribcage being more prominent on one side
- One hip/shoulder sticking out more than the other
- One leg being longer than the other
- One shoulder appearing higher than the other
If you are unsure whether or not you suffer from scoliosis, be sure to visit your GP for a professional diagnosis before seeking treatment. We also offer screening checks for anyone who is concerned that they may have developed a spinal curvature.
Overcoming the pain of scoliosis
If you are experiencing pain due to a curved spine, we at Scoliosis SOS can help you to reduce that pain and improve your overall quality of life. If you find scoliosis painful, you don't need to suffer alone - use the links below to find out how we can help you.