June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month.
As the month of June progresses I will be posting information about Scoliosis, what it is, who is affected, treatment options and more. Most of all during the month of June I will be sharing my story and my life with Scoliosis. Yes, I have Scoliosis and I am a Survivor!
Scoliosis affects 7 million people in the U.S. alone. Of the 7 million people affected 85% of those are young girls and women. 85%! It is unknown why young girls and women are affected more, but if young boys or men have it it is less severe for them.
“Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.”
Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis.
My name is Joey (Jo) Lea Baird and I have Scoliosis. I was diagnosed with Congenital Lumbar Scoliosis when I was 13 years old. Congenital means my Scoliosis is hereditary, that someone else in my family has it. I was taken to see many doctors with a year of my diagnoses. I went to a number of specialists and they all pretty much said the same thing, that with staying active, with special exercises, and staying healthy I would be fine. During my high school years I was able to perform the regular activities in Gym class; I played on an all girls’ Softball teams; I was asked to join Track; basically I stayed active. I seen a Chiropractor for 3 years and would get routine treatments and adjustments.
I never had any back aches or pain associated with my Scoliosis until I was 18. When I was 18 I got pregnant and had a son, after that I started having back aches, leg cramps, and muscle spasms. I never had any noticeable signs in my body until I gave birth and my Sacroiliac Joints shifted causing my spinal deformity to show. My right hip shifted out, my left hip twisted in, and my left shoulder started curving forward. The image below shows a pretty good adaptation of what I looked like after the birth of my son, except my Scoliosis curves to the right, not the left.
This should be enough information to get you thinking about Scoliosis and who is affected by it. Be sure to stop back by for another addition to My Story and more on Scoliosis.