Friday, March 19, 2010

The Importance of Diagnosing Scoliosis

I always believe that you are the expert of your own body.

Many people with Scoliosis out there have been diagnosed and have received treatments, or receiving treatments right now. But there are also many individuals out there who suspect, or know that there is something wrong with their bodies. With their spines. And everyday they live in worry or pain or even fear, because they are unsure of what to do.

This might come a little late, but lets look into some definitions of what "Scoliosis" is. Before I begin, again please bear in mind that this site is not a medical site. All contents are based on personal experience, personal research and personal opinions. So please forgive any mistakes on my part and I welcome inputs from better-informed individuals :)

This wikipedia article gives a simple but thorough explanation of what Scoliosis is.

From the article, we concur that Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved, from side to side. The two common curves for Scoliosis patients are usually either "S"-shaped curve, or "C"-shaped curve.

The first thing that Scoliosis patients must realise is that every two patients' curves are not the same. The curves, its severity, its degree, and the discomfort or even pain that a patient goes through is not similar and alike to all other patients.

Lets take a look at the different curves pictured below.





The illustrations above show the different types of Scoliosis curves. Curves can be thoracic (upper spine), lumbar (lower spine) or even thoracic-lumbar (involving both the upper and lower spine). Patients with Scoliosis might have a curve curving to the right side of their bodies, or to the left, or both (in S-shaped cases). Some people have slight curves which some doctors would choose to monitor, or treat with bracing. Some people have moderate to severe curves that require bracing or even surgery.

The point that I am trying to make is that each person's Scoliosis is unique.

And this leads me to the next point...

This unique reason is why it is very VERY important to get proper diagnosis for your Scoliosis.

By proper diagnosis I mean a diagnosis made by a spinal specialist, a doctor who can tell you exactly what your curves look like, how un-severe or severe it is, and what treatment options are there for you specific situation.

My friends, going to the doctor and hearing their explanation can sometimes be a daunting prospect. Scary, even. But getting a proper diagnosis for your condition is vital because only then you can decide which course of action to take for yourself.

Noone can force you to wear the braces or have a surgery. Not even a frightening-looking doctor. Forgive me, dear doctors; please know this is not a personal attack on doctors as a whole!

What I am trying to say is that it is important to know the reality of the situation you are facing, and what might lay in the future for you if actions are not taken.

Don't postpone your diagnosis. Don't postpone hearing your treatment options. Because one day you may very well regret it.

Today your condition may be treatable. Today your condition may allow you to live like a normal person.

But ten years from now the pain may be severe. Ten years from now the curves may have doubled. Ten years from now you might have to resort to corrective treatments which could have been avoided if you are treated now.

Trust me on this. I know this because I've made that mistake before.

Back in 1994, they said I needed a surgery. My curves were about 50 degrees back then, and although I did experience some pain on a daily basis, it wasn't anything I could handle.

By 2002, my curves had progressed to between 80-95 degrees each. I had a huge hump on my back (I looked like the Hunchback of Notredam), clothes didn't fit well at all, and worst of all was that I had pain every single day. It hurt to exercise. It hurt to breathe sometimes (because the curve was pressing against my lungs).

In life there is no "should have", "could have" or "would have". You cannot look back and change things even if you wanted to.

So.. as daunting as it may seem... go get a diagnosis.

And then, where you choose to go from there is entirely up to you. Noone can force you to do anything you are not willing to. But this is something you can do for yourself.

You can learn the truth and deal with it now, rather than kicking yourself in the hind region perhaps ten years down the line.

2 comments:

althafunnisa' said...

salam... hello..wow you really like doctors..so great..thx for sharing with us..'scoliosisian'

soory for distubing you..can i know something...before that, i want to introduce myself, i'm nur adilah, studying at egypt..

1st diagnosis was when i'm 16, now i'm 19...urm..in your ophinion, can i b normal person if i don't follow up at the hospital?

i hope so...you know why..actually, i w'll make a surgery..but..something was happen, and i know, if i make the surgery, i will left 1 year in studying..and, i don't want that..

hm...lastly, if i don;t want to make surgery, any deformities will b happen to me when im old?
and what's complication if i'm pregnant? if there any effect to my lungs or my spine?
please help me...i need someone to me advice..

please send to my email..
dila_shouran@yahoo.com

Nina said...

hi there,
sorry for the delay in replying to your comment! i'll email u asap :)