Scoliosis is far from uncommon in the US.
As many as 9 million Americans suffer from the abnormal lateral curvature of the spine that characterizes the condition.
Clearly, a lot of men, women, and children out there are living with scoliosis.
It’s no laughing matter. Indeed, the pain and discomfort that it causes can be a significant burden. Pressure is put on spinal disks, nerves are pinched and impinged upon, and joints can suffer inflammation and wear.
Everything from back pain and postural problems to fatigue and stiffness can arise. Thousands of people seek medical and surgical support each year to reduce the issues.
Thankfully, though, a lot can be done to manage the pain without going to these extremes.
Want to discover a selection of tips for managing scoliosis-derived pain?
1. Know Your Pain
Not all scoliosis pain is the same.
Because each person’s scoliosis is different, the pain they might feel can have varying causes as well. It’s important to know the particular causes of your pain. Don’t, and your risk using an inappropriate treatment approach. Do that and there’s a chance you’ll exacerbate the pain.
Generally speaking, there are 3 different types of scoliosis pain:
The mechanical variety might involve intense fatigue, pain, and stiffness in the lower back, as well as dull spasms to boot. It’s usually caused by poor posture, which leads to strained muscles around the spine.
Nerve pain is caused by pressure that’s put on the nerves. Alongside the intense pain, you might feel weak and uncoordinated. The culprit here is spinal degeneration and deformity from scoliosis.
Finally, joint inflammation in the spine can cause progressive pain during activity; mornings and evenings are often the worst. Stiffness is also a common bugbear as a result of the inflammation.
2. Regular and Appropriate Exercise
Having defined the pain you’re experiencing, it’s time to get practical.
One of the most effective treatments for scoliosis is regular exercise. Now, in times of extreme pain, you might wonder how on earth you’re expected to get active.
Of course, if the pain is too severe, then exercise is unlikely to be possible.
Strive to partake in the right kinds of exercise as much as possible.
It can help you select low-impact activities. Exercises such as pilates and yoga can help strengthen the muscles of your stomach and around the spine.
That alone can help relieve the pain. However, it also has a preventative function. Exercise regularly and you can prevent the pain from worsening, or, at the very least, slow its development over time.
Swimming and stretching are two further examples of exercises that can help in this way.
3. Taking Pain-Killers
Let’s face it, pain can sometimes get too much for anybody to handle.
The pain distracts you from the present and stops you doing anything productive. It becomes a battle that leaves you bereft of energy.
The sad irony is that the pain is so intense that it stops you from sleeping.
Taking pain-relieving medication can be a lifeline in these situations.
Heavy pain meds aren’t without their issues. Sometimes, though, they’re the lesser of two evils. Yet if it’s a choice between writhing around in pain all day and taking a pain killer, then the latter option makes far more sense.
Try over the counter medication first. However, if that’s not strong enough you should speak to your doctor. While you’re there you could inquire about anti-depressant medication as well. These often have pain-relieving qualities, while simultaneously lifting your mood.
4. Pain Counselling
Seeing a pain counselor can be a great complement to other treatment approaches.
Few things in life are as debilitating and traumatizing as chronic pain.
When the discomfort is severe and enduring, as scoliosis pain can be, then it’s sure to take its toll. In time, your mental health can begin to suffer as well.
Medication can often make a difference at a physiological level. It might, though, be unable to touch the mental side of the issue. Moreover, medication doesn’t always prove 100% effective. Sometimes, it doesn’t touch the pain at all.
A counselor can work with you to help manage the pain from a psychological standpoint. The pain itself might not diminish. However, your ability to cope with it can improve dramatically. You’ll learn strategies to better contend with the pain and, perhaps, enhance your mood as well.
5. Orthotic Treatment
Worsening scoliosis is a recipe for experiencing greater pain.
The curve of the spine gets worse and all of the associated problems are exacerbated in the process.
As such, preventing the progression of the curve is key. More often than not, you’ll need surgery to accomplish that task. However, orthotics treatment can also help. Current curvature might not lessen, but strict adherence to wearing a brace can stop it from getting worse.
If they haven’t already suggested it, then consider speaking with your doctor about cutting edge scoliosis braces. It might be just the ticket for reducing the onset of more serious pain.
6. Injections in the Spine
Just reading that subheading might make some people feel faint!
After all, few of us would revel in the thought of getting a spinal injection. The prospect is unlikely to stimulate enthusiasm in many people.
When the pain reaches unbearable levels, though, it might be exactly what you need. This isn’t a long-term treatment; when the effects of the injection wear off, the pain will come back.
However, the brief reprieve that it delivers can be of genuine value.
Even a short break from extreme pain can replenish your energy levels. It might give you the fortitude required to keep up the fight.
Lessen the Pain of Living with Scoliosis
Millions of people around the US are currently living with scoliosis.
Unfortunately, that also means that millions of Americans are struggling with the acute pain and discomfort it can cause. Hopefully, this post will help anyone in that predicament manage their pain that little bit better.
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