Health

Coping With Scoliosis As An Adult

Chris Surrency

I’ve come to accept that I will likely live the rest of my days walking this planet in varying degrees of pain, it’s just a sad reality that I’ve beat my body up so much that I’ll never be “normal” again. From the destruction of my ankles that has lead to the formation of spurs on one that tend to lock up as I walk and require breaking loose to keep moving, to the arthritic knee I’ve mentioned previously, and my degenerative disk disease. Basically I will carry my old nickname if “Red Cross” with me until the day the send my coffin out to sea and set that sum’bitch on fire with a flaming arrow. This is a name I inherited on the football field back in high school as I had a propensity for finding myself on the injured list, the aforementioned ankles were a major focus of said injury report designations. I got a diagnosis in middle school of scoliosis, and as I lost a ton of weight in high school it became apparent that the degree of my spinal twist was pretty severe. One member of the weightlifting team mentioned my spine looked like an S was right in the middle of my back. I did use this twist to my advantage on the football field, making my swim technique nearly unstoppable. Unfortunately as time has progressed it’s devolved into more pain than I can typically handle.

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I’ve spent a lot of time looking into ways to treat the different pains that beat me down every day, one of the most common treatments I find myself coming back to is stem cell therapy. The use of stem cells has had moments of controversy over the years, but recently it’s starting to pick up due to the ability to use cells from the adult patient rather than embryonic stem cells. I’ve researched the benefits of using stem cells in my knees after hearing a former NFL offensive lineman, Ian Beckles, mention how much it helped him recently. My thought has been that if this therapy can help a person with knee injuries, or in some studies possibly be used to help treat those struggling with Alzheimer’s, then stem cells should be capable of easing a bit of the pain in my back. My scoliosis has progressed over time, as expected, to the point where I find myself at times trying to find any way possible to shift my entire body to the right in the hopes of breaking something loose and easing some of the pressure on my back. As a very temporary fix this seems to help out at times, but as I said it’s very temporary, usually I’m back to needing to support myself to remain standing within 30 minutes on a particularly bad day.

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It seems that stem cell treatment for scoliosis doesn’t work the same as knee pain, you can’t just stick a needle in and inject the stem cells in order to help with your issues. Instead there are different treatments required and while stem cells can be used they’re primarily used just to help cut inflammation to the area when your pain is from the deterioration of facet joints. This is done, as well as platelet-rich plasma therapy, in order to slow the progression of your scoliosis as an adult, it can’t fully heal you but will usually at least help you get your pain to a more manageable level. There is also the option of prolotherapy, or proliferation therapy, which is another injection option for people with certain musculoskeletal ailments. With prolotherapy an irritant solution is injected into the damaged area. Neither option will result in a permanent cure to the pain we live with every day. In the end it seems the only real option for healing scoliosis is to go through with the surgery, but this is only an option after you’ve tried the non-surgical routes and have found no relief from your pain, so unfortunately you wind up going through everything just to get into being cut open in the end. We may reach a day when you have a less painful and less evasive option to treatment, but at the moment there really isn’t a “quick fix” of any type for adult scoliosis. I suppose the positive side is that science is continually unlocking new treatments, so while we may not reach that level in my lifetime I have to believe it could occur down the road for the sake of my children, and their children, anyway.

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Chris Surrency

Chris Surrency is an aspiring author and article writer with opinions on many different topics. He fell in love with writing as a child in elementary school and has taken any occasion possible to let the words that roll around in his head come out whether it be in a notebook or on a computer. Chris got his first opportunity to write online at WWENews.net, a subsidiary site for Wrestling News World, posting opinion pieces. He later joined the Yahoo Contributor's Network, covering many topics from science to video games and back to sports, and almost all points in between, he posted well over one hundred articles up until the moment Yahoo dismantled the network. Since that time he's provided content to different sites online, written his first novel, and eventually made his way to MCXV where he's finally capturing the enjoyment he once found while writing at Yahoo once again.