A constant pain in the back can place a real dampener on your day Ninja Turtle2. This pain can stem from sports injuries or simply bad posture. But if yours persists, you may have scoliosis.
A curve that hurts
Scoliosis is the condition where your spine curves and rotates sideways in an unnatural way (almost like an S- or C-shape). This can affect your posture and movement, and cause pain and discomfort. There’s no known cause for scoliosis. In some cases, it may have been caused by an impact injury, an infection or disease. In other cases, the curve is only temporary and improves with age.
Do I have scoliosis?
If you have mild scoliosis, you won’t notice it immediately. It’s only when the condition progresses that you may notice your clothes hanging unevenly, that one hip or shoulder is higher than the other, or you struggle to sit up straight. While there’s nothing too much to worry about when you have scoliosis as a child, it can become more painful and visible as you age. If the scoliosis gets worse, your hip may rotate at the waist, causing your rib to abnormally stick out further than usual.
Treating the condition
Your doctor will review your family’s health history and your experience of pain and discomfort. You will most likely be referred to a back or spine specialist, who will do a spine examination to get an idea of how the curve of your spine is affecting you. Pain caused by scoliosis can be controlled with medication and spinal injections, and surgery in rare causes. There’s no need to wear a back brace.
Perfect your posture
- Choose a backpack rather than a sling bag. Avoid carrying heavy loads.
- Do exercises to strengthen your back and improve your posture.
- Make sure your desk area is ergonomically friendly – that means comfortable, but also functional for your posture.
- Sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground when you work at your desk.
- Give Pilates a try. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies has shown that Pilates improves flexibility and pain in young adults suffering from scoliosis.