Living with a medical condition can limit us in various ways, especially with overprotective parents who exaggerate the doctors' precautions. Having a skeletal disorder, in particular, should always be taken seriously because it can progress and cause disability. You don't have to worry though, because educating yourself on your illness can put you in the right direction towards coping or recovery. Scoliosis is an idiopathic disease that science has failed to understand its causes. Your spine twists sideways, causing pain and backaches. It can even affect how a person walks in severe cases.
That's why the goal is to intervene early and prevent any progression. Here's what you can and cannot do when living with scoliosis.
What to Go For
It's not the end of all adventures when you get diagnosed with scoliosis. There are a lot of activities and fun outings you can join. Here are a few tips and activities that will help improve your quality of life.
Some poses help relieve the tension in the muscles and get rid of pain and discomfort. Exercises, such as bird-dog and cat-camel are great for reducing tension in your back. Additionally, yoga helps your mind relax and can also change the way you perceive any damage you have, so you become more accepting of yourself.
Improve Your Back and Core Strength
Core muscles support your back and carry the weight along with your spine, so strengthening them will help improve your overall movements. The weakness that comes with scoliosis will slowly be alleviated the stronger your back and core muscles become.
Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to a better prognosis. Some doctors recommend surgical intervention to correct the curvature. You might hesitate and ask for second opinions but, in the end, surgery is better than a lifetime of suffering.
In some cases, surgery isn't necessary and there are other, less invasive treatment options that you can consider. For instance, back support is recommended by orthopedics at https://www.align-clinic.com/ as it corrects the posture and lessens the angle of the curvature. As the curve becomes less sharp, the pain becomes more tolerable.
As opposed to what you hear, dance moves will improve your flexibility so you can have better control over your posture. You are no longer tied down to the position dictated to you by your illness. But, avoid excessive backbends to benefit from dancing without hurting your spine.
Your choice of mattress is really important because you spend 8-10 hours in bed, so you have to ensure a good posture. A moderately firm one is healthy and keeps your back straight while sleeping. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach, it's preferable to sleep on your back with pillows under your shoulders.
Things to Steer Clear From
It's hard to stay away from activities or outings because you are somehow limited, but you should know that you can enjoy what others do differently. Each one of us has their limitations, so we will explain the things you should avoid to lead a comfortable life.
The issue with texting is that you bend your neck for hours without even noticing. As a result, your neck compresses and the vertebra degenerates over time. That can worsen scoliosis drastically. If you have to text, hold your phone at eye-level to avoid looking down.
Carrying Heavy Weights
Generally, wearing a heavy backpack is horrible for your spine, so imagine having a curvature that is pulled down by gravity because of the heavyweight. Moreover, hitting the gym is a good thing, but don't lift weights, especially during deadlifts and squats because you rely mainly on your back muscles during these exercises.
When you jump, you exert pressure on the discs squeezing them together, and since there is a curvature, the discs decompress without returning to their original position. It is safer to avoid jumping especially in case of children with scoliosis because the spine is still developing, and one wrong move can progress the case and turn it from mild to severe.
You should certainly look the other way if you were offered to be on the lacrosse or rugby team. These are violent games that even the best athlete gets bruises and injuries. One hit on your back or a fall on the ground while playing these sports and you will kiss your back goodbye.
High or Flat Shoes
We know that fashion is sometimes worth a bit of pain, but that is for people with ordinary backs. In the case of spinal curvature, your back won't withstand the stress resulting from high-heels or flip-flops. You should wear comfortable shoes or sneakers that provide good support for the whole body.
Living with a chronic illness doesn't mean that your life is over; it just means that you need to be extra cautious while playing sports, dancing, or sleeping. You will become unstoppable after understanding the nature of scoliosis and what exactly you should avoid to make your situation much better.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist