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mom31257

Mild Scoliosis

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If you or your child has mild scoliosis, do you or he/she ever have back pain from standing a long time? 

Ds was diagnosed with a mild form of it, which the orthopedic doctor said did not need treating. He also has pectus carniatum that was mild enough to not need treating. Ds has mentioned  in that last year that his back hurts when he has to stand for several hours. He mentioned it after serving at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse and after serving as an usher last night at a convention center. Both were concrete floors. He had on dress shoes last night, but had on his Nike shoes at the other. 

Is this common with a mild form of scoliosis, or should we consider going back to the doctor? 

 

Edited by mom31257

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I'm 56 and have scoliosis, although I don't know how it would be classified. My lower back (not the part that's curved, more like the SI joint area) hurts and often locks when I stand still or even partially still for more than 30 minutes or so. I think mine is age more than anything. DS20 has scoliosis that required monitoring during his prime growing years but didn't require any treatment. He also has spondylolisthesis. He says his back never hurts.

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My daughter does complain about it. For example, we went on a tour of a national lab this weekend. 3 hours of little bit of walking and a lot of standing on concrete floors. She said her back hurt from standing on the drive home and took some advil. Her curve was moderate and required bracing, but she has been out of the brace for a year now - no further treatment. 

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Hi. I have a mild scoliosis. When I was a teenager I had a growth spurt and it got quite painful. Carrying a bag at school, standing for a long time and even sitting at a desk for long periods would cause pain or discomfort. To me, what your son is experiencing is quite normal. I had a short course if physiotherapy and started swimming weekly to build up the muscles in my back.

Nowadays I rarely have problems with my back. Even when I was pregnant. Occasionally, my husband says there's a bit of swelling on my back where the scoliosis is but that's usually after I've worked out. Hopefully your son will stop growing and it'll calm down.

Hope that helps 😊

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2 minutes ago, MummyJess said:

Hi. I have a mild scoliosis. When I was a teenager I had a growth spurt and it got quite painful. Carrying a bag at school, standing for a long time and even sitting at a desk for long periods would cause pain or discomfort. To me, what your son is experiencing is quite normal. I had a short course if physiotherapy and started swimming weekly to build up the muscles in my back.

Nowadays I rarely have problems with my back. Even when I was pregnant. Occasionally, my husband says there's a bit of swelling on my back where the scoliosis is but that's usually after I've worked out. Hopefully your son will stop growing and it'll calm down.

Hope that helps 😊

He is actually on a swim team, so maybe that's why it rarely happens. He does it more for exercise and to do something fun with friends than to compete, but he swims 3 days a week most of the time. 

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My son does not have scoliosis- but he does have one leg slightly shorter than the other. So when he stands, his back looks curved. Even when he wears a lift and good shoes, all morning coaching sessions are hard on his back.

The best thing we found was a good physical therapist and doing the proscribed exercises. It has gotten better, now that he has stopped growing (he's 22).

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1 minute ago, MysteryJen said:

My son does not have scoliosis- but he does have one leg slightly shorter than the other. So when he stands, his back looks curved. Even when he wears a lift and good shoes, all morning coaching sessions are hard on his back.

The best thing we found was a good physical therapist and doing the proscribed exercises. It has gotten better, now that he has stopped growing (he's 22).


For anyone else with a kid with this problem, it can be corrected if caught while still growing.  They scrape the growth plate at the knee of the longer leg.  

Mine wasn't quite caught early enough so I still have about 1/2" difference.  Yes, standing for a long time can be a problem. Despite getting yearly physical exams, it was the school nurse checking everyone that caught it.  School nurses are awesome!   

For me, sleeping on my back with a pillow or few under my knees has helped a lot.  It allows my back a chance to recover every night.  Having a computer job seems to have helped a lot too.  

 

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ds1's difference isn't very large and really wasn't apparent until he was about 16. We thought he had scoliosis, but nope.

It is just enough (a little over 1/8 inch) to cause discomfort in standing for hours.

Apparently, his great-grandfather had one arm almost an inch longer than the other- all his shirts had to be altered. 

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I have scoliosis, and yes, back pain positionally is a factor.

I get angry when I hear of doctors stating mild scoliosis does not need treatment. The reality is that aggressive core exercise makes a HUGE difference in pain, comfort, and spine degeneration, especially for mild cases. I would urge your son to add core strengthening and weight lifting to his life.

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My son has similar dx to yours. Although he does not need treatment in the major medical sense, he does have to take extra care with his back.  He sees a chiropractor every week and likely always will. Partly bc he, like most of us in our youth, is harder on his body than he should be and partly bc he has a physically demanding job.  He has to be reminded on how to properly lift things. And he can’t wear cheap shoes. He has to have a quality orthodox shoe or he ends up with referred back pain. Also, lots of driving is hard on his back too.   Muscle training would do wonders for him, but he is 6’2” and a string bean and just not interested. I suspect necessity will make him more interested as he ages and I pray there won’t be too much degeneration before he gets that enlightenment. 

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Everyone in our family finds standing to be difficult and standing on concrete to be super difficult. Only one has noticeable scoliosis, but two others have slight rounding. 

Our kiddo with scoliosis at risk for progression has had wonderful results with a PT that knows about connective tissue disorders and from chiropractic (not high velocity treatments).

Sometimes dural ectasia goes along with these sorts of issues and can cause standing pain.

PSA: Scoliosis + pectus issues is partway to other diagnoses. You might check into a connective tissue disorder at the very least. This particular disorder has a neat little tool with the potential to save lives: https://www.marfan.org/dx/score

You can expand sections to see the details for the screening tool. 

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I had scoliosis serious enough to be treated with a back brace and regular physical therapy. I never experienced any back pain until I underwent treatment. But I was a very active athlete, even through treatment, so maybe that helped.

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I remembered something last night.   If you think your kid might have one leg longer than the other take a photo of the kid in shorts standing straight.  Then show the photo to someone else and ask if the kid was standing straight or on one leg with the other bent.  The little bit of difference in knee height is interpreted by the eye as standing on one leg.  

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On 4/20/2019 at 10:30 PM, kbutton said:

Everyone in our family finds standing to be difficult and standing on concrete to be super difficult. Only one has noticeable scoliosis, but two others have slight rounding. 

Our kiddo with scoliosis at risk for progression has had wonderful results with a PT that knows about connective tissue disorders and from chiropractic (not high velocity treatments).

Sometimes dural ectasia goes along with these sorts of issues and can cause standing pain.

PSA: Scoliosis + pectus issues is partway to other diagnoses. You might check into a connective tissue disorder at the very least. This particular disorder has a neat little tool with the potential to save lives: https://www.marfan.org/dx/score

You can expand sections to see the details for the screening tool. 

He is what I would call "double jointed" in that his elbows can bend backwards some. He can do something weird with his shoulder blades, too. I don't know anything about connective tissue disorders, so I will have to look into that. Why would an orthopedic doctor not have mentioned that if those two go together, or does that mean he probably looked at other things? He did do x-rays of his chest, too.

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It never hurts to get a second opinion on whether or not the scoliosis needs to be treated. It also may be that if measurements alone are considered, it doesn't warrant treatment, but measurements + other symptoms may warrant treatment.

I worked on concrete floors daily, 4-8 hours per day, as a teen and never had any back pain issues, so I am wondering if it's considered normal for someone at that age to have pain after such a comparatively short period of time. It could also be true that I had a different set of muscles built up because I did it regularly so that it didn't cause pain, I don't know.

 

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1 hour ago, mom31257 said:

He is what I would call "double jointed" in that his elbows can bend backwards some. He can do something weird with his shoulder blades, too. I don't know anything about connective tissue disorders, so I will have to look into that. Why would an orthopedic doctor not have mentioned that if those two go together, or does that mean he probably looked at other things? He did do x-rays of his chest, too.

I am not a very good apologist for doctors. I have a friend who shows a lot of signs of connective tissue disorder, and after I told her that, she found out that her doctor had already listed her as having one. He didn't specify which one (there are many). He didn't ever tell her, and it had been in her chart a long time. Some forms are not particularly rare or have been found to be much more common than expected. The perception that a doctor won't really ever see patients with a certain disorder or will only see a couple in their entire careers seems anecdotally to drive under-diagnosis of these things.

Hypermobility is what you are describing with your son, and it's common with CTDs. Sometimes the kind of hypermobility even points toward one kind over another, but some people also have hypermobility that doesn't fit a pattern. Sometimes it's benign, but you have to check it out in order to determine that.

The big deal, besides lots of orthopedic issues, is that some people have heart issues or other conditions that tend to go together (POTS, etc.). The kind my son has is very serious due to cardiac issues. Half of the people with his condition do not know they have it, but frighteningly, life expectancy with the untreated condition drops to 40-ish years old. 

The good news is that if you show enough signs, you can see a geneticist, and many of the CTDs now have genetic testing available to confirm or categorize what's going on vs. going solely by clinical judgment. 

If you decide to follow up on this line of thought, you might post a general question about connective tissue disorders on the chat board, asking how to get evaluated. The kind my son has is more of a cardiac thing, so the path to being diagnosed with another kind might deviate from our experience a bit.

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41 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I am not a very good apologist for doctors. I have a friend who shows a lot of signs of connective tissue disorder, and after I told her that, she found out that her doctor had already listed her as having one. He didn't specify which one (there are many). He didn't ever tell her, and it had been in her chart a long time. Some forms are not particularly rare or have been found to be much more common than expected. The perception that a doctor won't really ever see patients with a certain disorder or will only see a couple in their entire careers seems anecdotally to drive under-diagnosis of these things.

Hypermobility is what you are describing with your son, and it's common with CTDs. Sometimes the kind of hypermobility even points toward one kind over another, but some people also have hypermobility that doesn't fit a pattern. Sometimes it's benign, but you have to check it out in order to determine that.

The big deal, besides lots of orthopedic issues, is that some people have heart issues or other conditions that tend to go together (POTS, etc.). The kind my son has is very serious due to cardiac issues. Half of the people with his condition do not know they have it, but frighteningly, life expectancy with the untreated condition drops to 40-ish years old. 

The good news is that if you show enough signs, you can see a geneticist, and many of the CTDs now have genetic testing available to confirm or categorize what's going on vs. going solely by clinical judgment. 

If you decide to follow up on this line of thought, you might post a general question about connective tissue disorders on the chat board, asking how to get evaluated. The kind my son has is more of a cardiac thing, so the path to being diagnosed with another kind might deviate from our experience a bit.

So now I'm really concerned about this. I definitely want to follow up more with it. 

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1 minute ago, mom31257 said:

So now I'm really concerned about this. I definitely want to follow up more with it. 

I can be more specific for some kind of CTD stuff in a PM if you want to talk. 

I wouldn't worry yet, but I think it's good to be asking more questions and also researching for your own answers (so you know if the doctor is doing due diligence or relying on old information--it's hard to keep up with everything unusual that can present). 

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3 hours ago, kbutton said:

I can be more specific for some kind of CTD stuff in a PM if you want to talk. 

I wouldn't worry yet, but I think it's good to be asking more questions and also researching for your own answers (so you know if the doctor is doing due diligence or relying on old information--it's hard to keep up with everything unusual that can present). 

Thank you! I tried to message you, but it says that I can't send you one. 

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My daughter has mild scoliosis and yes if she stands or sits too long she can have back pain.  She has seen a physical therapist who prescribed specific exercises, suggested a pillow to sit on (when she was in school sitting in hard chairs) and more recently as a young adult she has chosen to see a chiropractor- she said this has helped like nothing else!

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2 hours ago, mom31257 said:

Thank you! I tried to message you, but it says that I can't send you one. 

Let me check my inbox--it's getting full. I will see what I can dump.

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