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Scoliosis Research Society
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Living with Scoliosis

Should I avoid certain activities because of my scoliosis?

Physical activity is generally beneficial to kids with scoliosis. So unless you are in pain or your doctor gives you certain instructions, you should continue to participate in the activities and sports you love?even if you wear a brace. In fact, keeping your core trunk strong is good for your back.

The weight of the backpack is often a concern for newly diagnosed scoliosis patients. While carrying a heavy backpack is not good for your back or posture in general, it will not worsen scoliosis.

I have scoliosis; how do I cope?

Give yourself a break. If you wear a brace, be assured that you are much more aware of its presence than others. In many instances, others don’t notice the brace unless you bring it to their attention!

Find a support group. Start with your friends and explain to them how your scoliosis diagnosis affects your life. Once you have their support, try to find a support system of other scoliosis patients who can share their experiences with you and give you advice.

How can I connect with other kids who have scoliosis?

  • Ask your doctor to recommend a group of adolescent scoliosis patients that meets (online or in person) to discuss life with scoliosis.
  • If you are a brace-wearing girl, check out Curvy Girls (CurvyGirlsScoliosis.com). The organization has 75 groups nationwide, which host meetings where girls can discuss the challenges of wearing a brace and how they overcome them. You can also participate in online forums to learn everything from fashion and accessorizing with a brace to reading personal stories from scoliosis patients.

Will my curves get worse?

Even with research of and evidence from the general population, predicting the curve progression in individuals remains difficult. That said, evidence collected by researchers over the years shows the following “trends” in the general population:

  • Thoracic (upper and middle back) curves typically progress more rapidly than lumbar curves
  • Among S-curve patterns, right-sided thoracic (upper and middle back) with left-sided lumbar (lower back) curves are more likely to progress
  • Larger curves are more likely to progress
  • The further away the scoliosis patient is from reaching full growth, the likelihood for curve progression is greater

Can my scoliosis be cured?

Generally, the curves in a spine with scoliosis can’t be reversed without surgery. The goal of wearing a brace is to stop the curves from getting bigger, not to cure scoliosis. We believe that exercise does have a role in the treatment of scoliosis, along with more conventional treatments like bracing. We are partnering with other professional societies to design studies to help us better understand the role of different exercises and its impact on treatment. You should discuss any scoliosis-specific exercises with your doctor.