Good afternoon everyone. I would like to talk about National Scoliosis Awareness Month today. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to educating others about scoliosis and spreading awareness about it throughout your community. Scoliosis is the curvature of the spine. The curve can be either shaped like the letter “c” or like the letter “s”. This medical condition can range in severity from mild to severe. In mild cases, the curve can be five or ten degrees. The most severe cases can have a curve that is forty five or fifty degrees. This can result in the person having back surgery to correct the curvature. There are many symptoms of scoliosis such as uneven shoulders or hips, lower back pains, and the person may walk with their body leaning over to the side.
There are several different types of scoliosis. It is mainly based on when scoliosis develops, the cause of scoliosis, and where scoliosis is located at. Congenital scoliosis is caused by a birth defect in the spine. It is present at birth but may not be noticed until later on. Neuromuscular scoliosis is a very common form of scoliosis and is seen in people who have neuromuscular disorders. This type of scoliosis is caused by disorders that affect the central nervous system, for example, cerebral palsy. The forms of scoliosis that are based on age are adult scoliosis, adolescent scoliosis, and juvenile scoliosis. Adult scoliosis develops during adulthood. Adolescent scoliosis occurs in people between the ages of ten and eighteen. Juvenile scoliosis happens in people who are between the ages of four and ten. Juvenile scoliosis is more common in males, and adolescent scoliosis is more common in females. Thoracic curve scoliosis, lumbar curve scoliosis, and thoracolumbar curve scoliosis are based on the location of the curve. Thoracic curve scoliosis happens when the curve is within the twelve thoracic vertebrae, between the cervical vertebrae and thoracic vertebrae. Lumbar curve scoliosis happens in the lower back. Thoracolumbar curve scoliosis affects both the lumbar vertebrae and thoracic vertebrae.
With me, I was diagnosed with levoscoliosis when I was 17 years old while I was still living in Chicago, Illinois. Levoscoliosis is when the curve is facing to the left and is shaped like the letter “c”. I really didn’t notice any symptoms of scoliosis. No back pains. No leaning over of my body. No uneven shoulders or hips. Nothing. Maybe I wasn’t aware because I was used to walking with a limp. I had an appointment with my neurologist to talk about my epilepsy and he decided to check my back. He discovered that I had a five to ten degree curve in my lower back. After two years, I started having intense back pains. I made the decision to start going to physical therapy to build up the strength in my back and develop a better sitting and standing position. It worked to a certain degree. It stopped the pain but I still have terrible posture. My scoliosis is directly related to my cerebral palsy. So, I have neuromuscular scoliosis because of the cerebral palsy, and I also have adolescent scoliosis because I was diagnosed before I was 18 years old.
Feel free to spread awareness about scoliosis the best that you can. Educate yourself and educate others about the types, causes, and treatments of this medical condition. The awareness color for scoliosis is white. Recently, I bought new awareness bracelets for cerebral palsy and epilepsy, as well as an awareness bracelet for scoliosis. I personalized all of these bracelets. They will have my name on them. Yessss!!!! I am so excited. I cannot wait for them to arrive so I can show them off.
Be proud. Be fearless. Be strong.
ELIAES (Express, Love, Include, Advocate, Educate, and Support)