Dealing With Scoliosis-Related Pain

severe back pain

Story at-a-glance -

  • Apart from physical pain, scoliosis can also negatively impact a patient’s emotional well-being, especially for children and teenagers with the condition
  • Most scoliosis patients discover that they can live normal lives and perform most activities, including exercise and sports

If you have scoliosis, back pain should come as no surprise, since scoliosis is a disorder of the spine. While for most people, scoliosis isn’t overtly painful, there are cases when a person with a curved spine experiences shoulder AND back pain in varying degrees. Since the curve is often located near the top of the spine, muscles in this region are working harder than normal to control and compensate for the unusual angle.1,2

This strains the muscles, and it may be felt as a pain or ache in the shoulder that can be severe in some cases. Shoulder pain caused by a curved spine is described as an achy or uncomfortable feeling, while others liken it as a “knot” in their shoulder.

According to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, a crucial thing to remember about scoliosis is that no two patients have identical experiences, and even patients with the same Cobb angle may exhibit different symptoms.

Scoliosis Can Impact a Patient’s Emotional Health Too

Apart from physical pain, scoliosis can also negatively impact a patient’s emotional well-being, especially for children and teenagers with the condition. For example, issues concerning body image and self-esteem may arise because scoliosis can affect the shape of the back, rib cage, shoulders and hips, and the patient may refuse to wear certain items of clothing. Other emotional issues that can occur among patients, especially teenagers, include:3,4

Issues among teenagers requiring a brace Issues among teenagers requiring surgery
  • Feeling different from friends at a sensitive age
  • Trying to wear clothing that hides the brace
  • Deciding whether to wear the brace during social activities or not
  • Teasing from other people at school
  • Nagging from parents to wear the brace
  • Thinking of surgery and its potential risk/s
  • Worrying about missing school and/or losing social status
  • Developing thoughts of anxiety regarding status of current friendships
  • Developing concerns on how the body will look like after surgery

Difficulty in coping with the disease, if the patient is unwilling to consider the consequences and benefits of treatments and is refusing to accept the diagnosis of the disease, may develop too. Even worse, alcohol or drug use or suicidal thoughts may cross a patient’s mind if these emotional problems aren’t dealt with accordingly.

How to Deal With Scoliosis Pain

Fortunately, most scoliosis patients discover that they can live normal lives and perform most activities, including exercise and sports. Depending on the degree of the disease, scoliosis doesn't cause significant pain or other health problems, and tends to stay the same after you stop growing. If the pain worsens, talk to a physician, doctor or other health professional.5,6

Aside from seeking out effective and natural treatments for scoliosis, joining a support group can be helpful. These groups are a good source of information and support and can allow patients to share their experiences with other people diagnosed with the same condition.

In the U.S., patients can join groups like the National Scoliosis Foundation and Curvy Girls, forums like Scoliosis Support and the scoliosis group in SupportGroups.com. In Europe, the Scoliosis Association in the U.K., Vereniging van scoliosepatiënten in the Netherlands and international chapters of Curvy Girls are organizations that scoliosis patients can consider.7

MORE ABOUT SCOLIOSIS

Scoliosis: Introduction

What is Scoliosis?

Types of Scoliosis

Severe Scoliosis

Scoliosis Symptoms

Dealing with Scoliosis-Related Pain

Scoliosis Causes

Scoliosis Side Effects

Scoliosis Treatment

Scoliosis Back Braces

Yoga for Scoliosis

Exercises for Scoliosis Patients

Scoliosis Surgeries

Scoliosis Prevention

Diet for Scoliosis Patients

Scoliosis FAQ



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