Whenever an individual receives a medical diagnosis, it’s common for fears to arise. People wonder how certain conditions will affect their lives and relationships. They worry about their ability to participate in activities they love. And they feel anxiety about the unknown. This is particularly true when someone has been diagnosed with scoliosis.
Scoliosis fears are quite prevalent among those who have recently received their diagnosis, largely because the condition is so misunderstood. For parents, the worries are amplified because they fear the potential limitations on the lives and futures of their children. They want to ensure limitless possibilities for their young ones, but the threat of scoliosis limits those possibilities, or so they think.
I can understand exactly why scoliosis fears exist. As understood by the average person, scoliosis can only be treated effectively by undergoing expensive, invasive surgery. And because the condition is so misunderstood, misinformation dominates people’s attempts to learn more, which only leads to greater fear and anxiety.
It breaks my heart to know that patients and parents experience such fear and anxiety surrounding scoliosis, especially when I know most of those fears are based on information that is untrue or outdated. Scoliosis is actually nothing to be afraid of.
I want to share my expertise so patients and parents can move forward proactively, confidently and with a true understanding of the condition and its potential impacts. Armed with knowledge and awareness, people can make empowered decisions for treatment, taking steps that are no longer guided by fear.
Why Scoliosis Is Scary
The most common scoliosis fears are very persistent, but are mostly based on misunderstandings or untrue assumptions.
Generally, when patients and parents express their fears around scoliosis, they are concerned about surgery. Surgery is the mainstream standard of care for scoliosis, of course, so when a patient receives their diagnosis, their mind immediately goes to the operating room. They envision worst-case scenarios that involve outrageous expenses, extreme physical limitations, debilitating side effects and the many potential dangers of going under the knife.
Young people with scoliosis are not typically impacted by scoliosis pain, but they worry about how their condition will progress and how it will affect their lives in the future. They are often told that surgery is inevitable, which can be terrifying. While their peers plan for college and careers, young people with scoliosis find themselves preoccupied with fears about surgery and a highly limited adult life.
Some other common scoliosis fears include:
The possibility of severe deformity
An inability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term
Life becoming characterized by increasing amounts of discomfort and pain
Reduction in the amount and types of physical activity that can be performed
Treatment that necessitates wearing a cumbersome, uncomfortable brace most of the time
Making the condition worse by engaging in practices like carrying heavy objects or participating in sports
Collapse of the spine due to continuous progression
As much as I would like to tell patients and parents that they have nothing to fear, I respect that these fears are very real. However, I recognize that many of these very real fears are based on assumptions that are not necessarily true.
People with scoliosis develop these fears because they have only been exposed to traditional, mainstream ideas about the condition and its treatment.
Thankfully, there are other, more promising perspectives on scoliosis.
Here are some of the reasons why a scoliosis diagnosis is nothing to be afraid of.
#1 — Surgery Is Not the Only Treatment Method
Contrary to popular belief, surgery for scoliosis is not inevitable. Taking a chiropractic-centered approach to treatment opens up a new range of possibilities, all of which are intended to provide relief and improvement without requiring surgery.
I believe that the mainstream approach to treatment is backwards — traditional treatment methods place people on the road toward surgery; instead, I believe that all treatment should be focused on avoiding surgery.
Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, we work with patients every day who once feared surgery. Thanks to our comprehensive, chiropractic-centered approach, they have been able to experience improvements without expensive, invasive operations. And with a continued focus on treating their condition through chiropractic care, therapy, exercise and corrective bracing, they no longer need to feel dread about future surgery.
#2 — Severe Deformity Is Extremely Rare
And it’s even more rare when patients are proactive and undergo chiropractic-centered treatment. Watching and waiting, which is the traditional approach, only leads to increased curvature — and increased fear.
#3 — Women with Scoliosis Have Normal Pregnancies and Births
Scoliosis does not cause any complications related to the ability to get pregnant, carry a pregnancy to term or give birth. Additionally, it does not limit fertility, nor does it increase the possibility of miscarriage or birth defects. If you are a woman with scoliosis, or if you have a daughter with the condition, you can rest assured knowing that it will not have a negative impact on the ability to have children.
#4 — People with Scoliosis Do Not Necessarily Need to Limit Physical Activity
#5 — Corrective Bracing Does Not Need to Be Cumbersome
Yes, traditional bracing apparatus are intimidating to young people with scoliosis, but there are alternatives. The ScoliBrace®, for example, pushes the spine into a corrected position while the traditional bracing technologies squeeze the spine, causing discomfort.
#6 — Scoliosis Is Not a Result of Carrying Heavy Objects
Many times when a patient first receives their diagnosis, they wonder if it’s their fault. Did they wear a backpack incorrectly? Did they lift too many heavy objects? Did they sit with improper posture? Will the scoliosis get worse by engaging in certain physical activities?
Scoliosis is not caused by wearing a backpack incorrectly or by lifting too many heavy objects. It is an idiopathic condition, which means that there is no single known cause. Furthermore, patients can let go of fears about whether they will exacerbate the condition through their own actions. The truth is that the only thing that will increase the curvature of the spine is inaction.
#7 — Spinal Collapse Is Highly Unlikely
Adults who fear a complete breakdown of the spine due to continuous progression of a curvature need not worry, especially if they take a proactive, chiropractic-centered approach to treatment.
Scoliosis Is Nothing to Be Afraid Of!
I understand why there are so many fears surrounding scoliosis, but I also know the truth about the condition. Yes, scoliosis can be scary. But when you are informed and you are willing to put in the work to treat the condition, you can live a normal, healthy active life.