View Full Version : When and How Did You Notice?

Worried Mom
12th April 2006, 12:20 PM
Hi. I am new to this forum and, as you can tell by my user name, I am worried.

My daughter was x-rayed for scoliosis at around 3 yrs old, her pediatrician's request. The pediatrician said that their was nothing to worry about, but that we (both her and my husband and I) should/would keep an eye on it. Well, my daughter just turned 8 last week.

Throughout the years, I have noticed that my daughter wasn't 'straight', but I attributed that to her never really standing still when I'm helping her get dressed. I also thought that it was, perhaps, just my tendency to diagnose everything I see. My daughter has complained of her back or legs hurting when standing for any period of time.

Just this weekend, I was helping my daughter get dressed and I noticed that her torso somewhat curves to the left..... her rib cage sticks out a bit on the left. I asked my daughter to stand straight and she was able to correct her 'curve'. I guess here is my question... Can a person with scoliosis CORRECT her curve when asked to? Does that question make sense? Maybe here is a better way of posing the question... Can a person with scoliosis straighten their 'curve' out when in the early stages of scoliosis? I'm wondering, and obviously hopeful, that my daughter just doesn't stand straight. I know it's a stretch, but...

It would be wonderful if anybody would share their story of how, when their daughter or son was diagnosed with scoliosis and how they are coming along. I would also like to hear from anybody in this forum about their experiences.

Thank you very much for your response.

Worried Mom :cry:

12th April 2006, 12:43 PM
Scoliosis can be entirely postural, so that although there appears to be a curvature, it is due for example to the way a person stands as a result of one leg longer than the other, or habit after a muscle injury etc. However, scoliosis is usually at least partially structural, and thus causes the posture, rather than being an appearance that results from posture.

Structural scoliosis can be either congenital (meaning that there is a problem with one or more of the vertebrae, eg a wedge shaped vertebra that is significantly shorter on one side than the other), neuromuscular (meaning that it is associated with certain specific other conditions including Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and spina bifida) or the most common type which is idiopathic (meaning for no known reason).

It is possible that your daughter's scoliosis is postural, however I really feel that you should get her to a scoliosis specialist absolutely as soon as possible. You really need to know the size of the curvature and whether there are other factors affecting it, so that if it does need treatment it gets the right treatment.

If you let us know where you live, perhaps someone will have a recommendation of a doctor near to you. I'm guessing you live in the US, in which case you could probably do a lot worse than to take her to a Shriners - there are several which are renowned for their treatment of scoliosis, and Dr Randall Betz who works at one of the Shriners is a pioneer of new treatment methods for younger children with scoliosis. You could also check out the physician locator at www.srs.org to find doctors near to you who are members of the Scoliosis Research Society. It is important to be seen by a scoliosis specialist if at all possible as a general orthopaedist will not have the level of knowledge that is required to treat scoliosis well.

I'm really sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here, but am glad that you found us. Don't lose heart, there's every chance that your daughters curve is small and flexible and that she will lead a normal life :-) If she does need treatment for it, there are plenty of us here who can assure you that life is good despite it!


12th April 2006, 12:59 PM
Hello First of all welcome to SSO i'm glad you have found us, we have a wealth of knowledge on both juvenile and adult scoliosis. They are a lot of parents on the site in exactly your position and i'm sure once they have read your post they will be able to offer better advice than i can

I have Kyphosis which is similar to scoliosis the difference is the curve bends a different way. As a child i was constantly told to stand up straight and stop slouching and told it was bad posture. It wouldn't have mattered how tall or straight i stood the curve would be, and still is there only its progressed a little over the years.

Where abouts in the world are you from we maybe ale to give you the details of some scoliosis specialists in the area where you live. I think this should be your first port of call and get your daughters spine checked by an expert. At this age childrens bodies are rapidly changing so if your daughter has a degree of curvature then the Drs can start to manage and try to reduce it before surgical intervention is needed, if it is needed at all.

I hope some of that made sense and once again welcome to the site. I hope you can find a specialist in your area.

Take care


12th April 2006, 02:17 PM
Hi and welcome!
I have had scoliosis since infancy.Definitely, get your daughter checked out because structural scoliosis will not resolve by itself and with the best will in the world, I don't think she'll be able to make herself stand straight not matter how many times she's reminded.If she has a visible rib cage twist to the left, then she may very well be a candidate for bracing.The sooner scoliosis is diagnosed and treated, the less cosmetic damage is done.

12th April 2006, 05:09 PM
Can a person with scoliosis CORRECT her curve when asked to

agree with everything said before re getting this checked out properly asap

my daughter of 12 now (curve round the mid 20's and braced) is actually able to correct herself to some extend by adjusting her posture through a technique called lateral or side shifting, which was suggested by a dr Min Mehta to be an effective treatment method in the 1980's and is still advocated by some centres in the Netherlands

main problem really is keeping the correction going all the time, we tried initially very hard to keep on reminding our daughter but she just got fed up.

Her current brace, a spinecor which is extremely comfortable, is doing this job (hopefully) for her and makes life in a way much easier.

still, all this might not apply to you at all, but do get things checked very soon


13th April 2006, 07:16 PM
A person with strutural scoliosis can't correct their curve (sometimes they can improve them, but not all the way, I think). If the scoliosis is postural, then it can usually be corrected. But that can be hard to maintain, so they might still need treatment. However, definetley see a doctor, and get referred to a specialist!

13th April 2006, 11:50 PM

Hi Worried Mum

My 9 (nearly 10!) year old daughter has scoliosis, she was diagnosed at 6 1/2. I noticed quite by chance one day when she was sitting on my lap having her back rubbed (her favourite pass time when she was younger!!). She was leaning forward and I noticed that her ribs were 'bulging' on the right side. A complete shock as I had never noticed it before. I took her straight to the doctor, who refered her to the hospital for x-rays. It came back that she had scoliosis and we were told that she would need to be seen every six months to check that the curve was not progressing. She had to endure an MRi scan to ensure that the scoliosis was not a secondary symptom of another condition. Thankfully it was not and we were told that she had idiopathic scoliosis. (Idiopathic being explained as "no known reason") Nothing much changed until December 2004 when Lucy started to complain that she was feeling "twinges" in her back. We went back to our local hospital to see the consultant and she was x-rayed again. Unfortunately the curve had incressed quite significantly and we were refered to Nuffield Orthopedic Hospital in Oxford.

Lucy's curve was measured at 45 degress and we were told that she would need to wear a brace to try to stop the curve from progressing further.

This was not the news we wanted to hear, and we were very worried how Lucy would adapt to wearing a brace 23 hours a day. The brace is a rigid plastic shell that has been made to fit exactly to Lucy's torso. It applies pressure to the curve to push it back in the direction it should be, thus stopping her spine curving further. If that makes sense!! It is called a Boston Brace.

Lucy has had her brace since July 2005 and it has not caused her any problems or stopped her from doing as she did before she had it. She rides her bike, scooter, climbs, runs, skips, plays rough and tumble etc. When she is clothed it does not show at all. Her friends and the school have been fantasic and it has become part of Lucy and the School routine (she has to remove it for PE).

Lucy has just been measured for her second brace, and we are due to see the Consultant on 22 May for x rays. The first since she has been wearing the brace, so quite important ones. I am beginning to feel a bit anxious incase it has not stopped the progression of the curve, but fingers crossed it will be good news!!!

I hope my story has helped in some way, and like the others I would urge you to go back to the GP for a firm diognosis.

This is a lovely place to come and chat, or read about the experiences of others, everyone is very friendly and knowledgeable.

Phew this has turned into a mammoth entry - hope it has helped.

Nicki :D

14th April 2006, 12:36 AM
Hey Nicki, just wanted to say that it's really nice to see you're still around and that Lucy is getting on so well with her brace. Do keep us posted as to how you're both getting on :-)


Toni xx

14th April 2006, 07:40 PM
hi Tonibunny

I quite often visit the site just to read rather than post!! Lucy is doing really well at the moment, as I said in my post to Worried Mum we are waiting to go back and see Mr Fairbanks :woe: I will most definately let you know how it went.

If RosieRich is reading it would be great to hear how Megan is getting on, I often think about you both as you are in such a similar situation to Lucy and I. :D

Speak soon :D

17th April 2006, 12:25 PM
Hi Nicki and Worried Mom

It's good to hear Lucy is doing Ok. Like you I been reading but not posting lately.
As you said Megan (age 10) is in a similar situation to Lucy. We first noticed something was wrong Christmas 2004 when she had a cough and my husband was rubbing her back. One side was sticking out further than the other. She was referred to the Nuffield at Oxford too and diagnosed with a curve of 31 degrees in April and finally braced in June. Since then she has had a second brace (the bright tornado pattern again!) and is due to see the consultant next Monday for X-rays. The first ones since last April so like Lucy's a nerve racking time.
We also saw the consultant last February as Megan was suffering from headaches and he sent her for a second MRI. (The first wasn't ever completed as she became too distress.) We should get those results Monday too although since she's had the new brace the headaches seem to have stopped.
As for correcting the scoliosis we were given some exercises by the physio one of which is described by Gerbo and when doing them regularly there was some effect but as Gerbo says you can only do so much and I'm not sure they will alter the curve in the long run.
To sum up Megan doesn't let the brace stop her doing anything, she can climb trees in it! She takes it off for PE and swims regularly. Her friends have been great and she happily wears it openly in the summer over a vest.
I will let you all know how Monday goes, keep your fingers crossed for us.
Hope this helps Worried Mom and good to hear from you Nicki.

14th November 2006, 02:26 AM
I found out I had scolio because I fell down the stairs and thought I had damaged my back and went to the doctors next day she found a curve.

my mum still beats herself up about the fact that she didn't even notice it bless her, it's not her fault. I didn't even have a clue, didn't even know what scoliosis was.

24th November 2006, 10:44 PM
Hi Worried,

I agree with the others about taking her to a specialst. If you are in the US, I agree that Shriners is a good way to go. We go to the one in Erie, PA as that one and the one in Salt Lake City are the only two places that do the casting (Ms. Mehta's style). However, since your daughter is older, she probably wouldn't benefit from casting at this point. Philly would probably be a good choice.

Anyway, Ian was diagnosed at 6 months. He was casted at 15 months and is currently in his 6 (soon to be 7th) cast and is doing fantastic. He went from 43 degrees to 11 degrees and I think this is going to be his last cast before going into a brace. Shriners has truly been a godsend for us.

24th November 2006, 10:48 PM

Just wanted to say how fantastic it is that casting has worked so well on Ian's curve - that's a brilliant result so far!

25th November 2006, 07:38 PM
Hi Worried Mum,
Welcome to SSO :-)

Can a person with scoliosis straighten their 'curve' out when in the early stages of scoliosis?
My curves are 83T and 70L and I am still able to draw my rib cage:-) It doesn't mean that scoliosis is corrected when you straighten your back.
Take your daughter to a doctor like recommended above.

25th November 2006, 10:07 PM
Sorry for off-topic.
My son is 10 years old. And I'm "worried Mum" too because children are at increased risk for having scoliosis if one or both parents have it.
Let's take care of our children!(It sounds pathetic?)

25th November 2006, 10:48 PM
It's definitely a worry for anyone with scoliosis, given the strong family link that there is in some cases. I guess all that anyone can do is to be aware of the risk, and to keep a good eye on their children to make sure that they get the care they need, as soon as possible, if a curve does develop.

Fingers crossed your son doesn't have any problems - and it's in his favour that he's a boy of course :-)

25th November 2006, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by titch@Nov 26 2006, 02:48 AM
Fingers crossed your son doesn't have any problems - and it's in his favour that he's a boy of course :-)
I hope so :-)
Yes, female-to-male ratio is 1.25:1))) But my son is tall and grows very quickly.
PS He is going to the swimming pool 3 times a week. I hope this will help his muscles to develop :-)

25th November 2006, 11:38 PM
Mine was first noticed by my aunt when she noticed that I wasnt 'sitting straight' when I was about about 2 years old...back in 1986/1987 :hammer:

25th November 2006, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by sg-ni@Nov 26 2006, 03:38 AM
Mine was first noticed by my aunt when she noticed that I wasnt 'sitting straight' when I was about about 2 years old...back in 1986/1987 :hammer:
Mine was found by myself...unfortunaly I was a teenager and noone was helping me to get dressed or taking a shower

26th November 2006, 12:35 AM
Her friends have been great and she happily wears it openly in the summer over a vest.

When I was in the brace, I was ashamed to say I had to wear one !. More often than not I just told a lie or ignored. Only a handful of people I knew (outside family) were told. I would have had to been forced to wear my brace it in the open back then!!.

Mine was found by myself...unfortunaly I was a teenager and noone was helping me to get dressed or taking a shower

At what age did you first notice yours at?

26th November 2006, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by sg-ni@Nov 26 2006, 04:35 AM
At what age did you first notice yours at?
I was 10 or 11 when I told my mother that something is wrong with the left side of my rib cage. But she ignored my notice...
PS When I was in the brace I called it "flak jacket" when people were asking me about it :D

26th November 2006, 10:14 PM
I was 14 when I was diagnosed at a school sports physical. Our team physician had me bend over to check and asked me if anyone had ever told me I had a curve in my spine. I told her it was news to me, eventhough I had just been checked about 4 months earlier by my GP who had MISSED it!!! I am lucky she came along :D

26th November 2006, 11:02 PM
I kept going to the doctors with chest pain, by chance one day I saw a different doctor, who was an ex army doctor. Scoliosis is something they check for.

He turned round to my mum and said how long as your daughter had the curve for???? Mum said what curve? - being 15 years old, young girls wear baggy clothes and dont walk around with no top on.........thats where the story started 10 years ago.

If it wasnt for that doctor I might have never known so soon.


1st December 2006, 05:22 AM
You can notice scoliosis just by looking at someone's back as well as looking at their hips and shoulders from the back. One hip will be higher than the other, one shoulder will be higher than the other, and the rib cage will stick out farther on one side than another.

1st December 2006, 10:29 AM
That's not strictly true Callie - scoliosis isn't always that apparent, especially without getting the person to bend forward (this is called the Adams Forward Bend Test). Not everyone will have one hip higher than the other - that depends on where the curve is in the spine. Likewise, if they have a lumbar curve, their ribcage may not be affected.

2nd December 2006, 06:46 PM
if I have kids naturally (I want to adopt when im older) then I'm gonna keep them monitored every few months.

3rd December 2006, 03:05 AM
I noticed Billy's curve when he was about eighteen months to two years old, but his situation is a bit different since he has congenital scoliosis and I knew from birth he had a chance to develop a curve. He had a C curve rather than an S curve, and one shoulder did come up higher than the other. As someone above said, since his was a lumbar scoliosis, it did not affect his rib cage so he had no noticeable rib hump...