I recently read a great article about Emm Arruda, a model with scoliosis, and I thought it would be the perfect thing to share with you. If you'd like to read it, click here.
Arruda is an ambassador for Setting Scoliosis Straight, a nonprofit organization for scoliosis, and she's a supermodel! Talk about well rounded! Arruda talked about he experience with scoliosis and how she has used social media to raise awareness about scoliosis.
It is always heart warming to hear about celebrities using their platform to make the world a better place, and Arruda is one of them. Seeing a scoliosis patient became a successful model is evidence that we're bent, not broken! :)
Your Orthopedist The most obvious option, and the most trustworthy. Of course, meeting with the doctor who will be performing your surgery is essential. It is important that a doctor is able to give you a valid evaluation before any actions are taken. I would also recommend getting multiple consultations. When my spine was getting worse quickly, and for no apparent reason, a few years ago, my family and I saw several other doctors to get an information or see if they could find a solution for me.
Research While it is important not to do so much research that you get panicky (I’m sure you’ve all heard of the WebMD stories...there have been multiple occasions when I’ve had a minor headache or stubbed my toe and somehow convinced myself that I had cancer), the internet has great resources to keep you informed. Mayo Clinic, OrthoInfo, and WebMD are a couple great credible resources.
Physical Therapy After surgery, physical therapy can help with pain and recovery. So, meeting with a physical therapist who can offer a targeted routine specific to your experience can be very helpful. Another option that is completely free is YouTube! There are many videos that scoliosis patients have made with yoga and other stretches that are super easy to follow and can be done anywhere - from your living room to the park.
Support Groups Family and friends have proven it be extremely important to my journey with scoliosis, but it can be hard to be surrounded by people who don’t really know what you’re going through. We’ve all thought it at one point or another. But there are SO many people who have gone through similar experiences to you. There are many support groups, such as the Curvy Girls, that offer meetings where you can talk to other patients.
Social Media Aside from support groups, virtual “support groups” are a great option as well. There are many social media accounts on instagram and facebook that are usually open to messaging. In the past couple of months, I’ve been able to use instagram to communicate with a few other patients, and talking to other people helps more than I would have ever imagined. Feel free to email/dm me, too if you need someone to talk to!
Whatever is going through your mind as you go into or recover from surgery, know that there are resources for everything you are feeling, and remember, we’re bent, not broken! :)
There are many different treatment methods for scoliosis, but one of the most popular is bracing. I wear a Boston brace, which has been successful in correcting my curve. I use this brace because it is what my doctor recommended when I was first diagnosed. Doctors are, in my opinion, the best resource when it comes to deciding on a brace. But if you want to have a look at other options, here are my top picks for helpful brace websites.
Spine Health discusses the different types of braces and their purposes. This is the perfect article for anyone who is trying to learn about the best brace for their curve.
Ortho Info is a great website to learn the basics about bracing. It answers general, common questions about bracing and is an overall great resource for scoliosis patients that want to learn more about bracing.
CHOC is my favorite resource to learn about bracing. I used this website a few months ago, when my curve was getting worse and I wanted to see if I should change braces or pursue some other treatment for my scoliosis. The website is a very reliable source, and explains the process of gradually starting to wear the brace, as well as caring for the brace.
It’s hard to find resources that talk about living with scoliosis, rather than just the numbers. In the past few years, I have found a few great blogs that have helped me on my journey. I hope that Bent not Broken, in addition to some of these other blogs, can help you guys on your journeys. Just remember...we’re bent, not broken! :)
Top 25 Scoliosis Blogs and Websites for People Living with Scoliosis
This is a great resource if you are just beginning to research scoliosis. Not only do these 25 websites contain resources involving scoliosis research, but they also have a few great blogs listed that I enjoyed to read growing up.
This is a blog about a dancer and how she copes with her scoliosis and still continues to dance. This really inspired me, as I was able to understand her struggles in relation to my swimming with scoliosis.
The Curvy Spine
This blog is a written by an amazing scoliosis patient who underwent spinal fusion surgery. Even though I braced my back, and the brace was successful in correcting my spine, I still found that reading her blog helped me to learn more about scoliosis in general and reading her inspiring story helped me realize that we are not broken.
You may have heard about Curvy Girls...recently, they were featured at the Nickelodeon Halo Awards. They administer meet ups with scoliosis patients and have raised awareness for scoliosis.
Scoliosis can be confusing, especially when you are first diagnosed. I was diagnosed young, so I didn’t do a ton of research myself, but my parents did. However, as I’ve grown up and become more curious about my spine and brace, I have found a few very handy resources that give the factual side of scoliosis. So here is a compiled list of some of mine and my parent’s favorite research websites. Reading the facts can make scoliosis seem scary, so it is important to, when doing research, that we are bent, not broken! :)
Mayo Clinic: Scoliosis Symptoms and Causes
This Mayo Clinic Summary provides a great general debriefing of scoliosis . It also provides a little bit of insight into the causes and symptoms of scoliosis.
Mayo Clinic: Diagnosis and Treatment
As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of Mayo Clinic when it comes to early research. It is easy to understand and can be great for some basic information. This page is all about diagnosis and treatment.
Scoliosis Research Society
Scoliosis Research Society is a great resource with a lot of information. An added bonus is that the website can be viewed in several different languages. Under the Patients and Families tab, there is a lot of great general information.