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Health and Wellness

The Path Of Scoliosis Is Anything But Straight And Easy

My spine is curved 25 degrees, but even I sometimes forget.

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The Path Of Scoliosis Is Anything But Straight And Easy
Allie Gilbert

Although it may not look like it, I've had scoliosis for pretty much my entire life. For those of you that don't know what scoliosis is, it's a curvature in the spine that starts to form in the early teenage years. Your spine is probably completely straight, but mine looks a little more like an "S".

I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 11, so I had to visit the back doctor twice a year to keep an eye on the progression. Most kids think that what they go through is also what everyone else is dealing with, so I didn't really understand that not everyone had to get x-rays to see if their spine was moving. Nonetheless, having this back problem has never made me feel out of place, and honestly, it never will.

For a good five years, my back never gave me problems, but towards the end of my freshman year of high school, I started having issues. One day when I was playing soccer I noticed that it hurt a lot to walk, so from then on, I had to heat my back for 15 minutes before playing.

That was the beginning of a long process of healing what once used to be a non-issue in my life. Yes, my spine was curved basically since birth, but until I stopped being continuously active in sports, it never actually bothered me.

One time in my health class, we were doing a meditation exercise to "get in touch with ourselves," so our teacher allowed us to literally nap on the floor. Of course, I wanted to, and with my back not being the first thing on my mind, I decided to lay completely flat. All things were fine until I got up and, more or less, couldn't really move. I soon came to find out that was because the bones towards the end of my spine are shaped oddly, so laying flat on a hard surface causes a sever pinching pain.

I immediately told my mom and got an appointment with my doctor, in which he suggested an eight-week therapy session in order to get back into motion. As my mom loves to say, "motion is lotion," and since I wasn't being super active, my body was beginning to tell me that I should be.

Since going to therapy, my physical health has become a lot more important to me, but since I don't have a sport that allows me to unknowingly workout in college, I have to put in the conscious effort in order to stay healthy. In a way, though, it's nice, because my back problem has become a built-in workout reminder: if I don't work out, I'm in pain, and unless I get active, that pain won't go away.

As rough as scoliosis may sound to the average person that doesn't have it, it's really not that horrible. Sure, sometimes when I walk I can feel the difference in my leg heights or when I lay in my bed to go to sleep I have to get in a position that supports my back, but I don't tend to think about it that much. Like most things we deal with, it's become something I have and have adapted very well to living with the issue on a day to day basis.

There are some cases where people have 50 or 60-degree curvatures, but I am very lucky that my curve is just minor enough that I don't have to have major surgery in order to function. My family feels bad because if I had a back brace when I was younger I wouldn't have this issue now, but in my opinion, everything happens to me for a reason.

Living life with scoliosis is honestly not much different from those who don't have it, even though it may look painful when you see someone who's struggling with it. It's slightly harder for me in college when that freshman weight comes around because I have to maintain a certain weight to ensure I'm not in pain, but that will continue to be a work in progress.

Even though I may sit weird and crack my back way too much, my spine is shaped way cuter than yours.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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