The Curve Of Your Back – Scoliosis

The human spine is meant to bend and move. A certain amount of curvature in our spine is necessary for us to balance, move and walk properly.  Unfortunately for almost six million people in the United States, their spine curves a bit too much.

Called scoliosis, this condition is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that get more severe as they grow, often needing treatment to straighten the spine.

Here in the Science & Technology Division we have a number of books to help the newly diagnosed.

Stopping Scoliosis: The Whole Family Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment by Nancy Schommer offers a first hand account of this disorder from the author who suffered with it as a young woman. She offers a compassionate and informative guide through various surgical and non-surgical treatment options, as well as multiple personal case histories.

Scoliosis: Ascending the Curve by Brooke Lyons gives practical advice on coping with a back brace, managing pain and preparing for surgery. It has a great chapter on famous athletes, actors/actresses and beauty queens who have triumphantly overcome the challanges associated with this disorder.

Finally, Yoga and Scoliosis: A Journey to Health and Healing by Marcia Monroe uses modified postures of yoga to help acheive balance and stablility for scoliosis sufferers. As with any new physical activity, never, never start an exercise program without checking with your physician first, especially for someone with scoliosis.

For more information on scoliosis, check out the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease for frequently asked questions, treatment options and links to current scoliosis research studies.

X-Ray photo courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art

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