Figuring out what is fact or fiction when reading or hearing about scoliosis can be difficult when coming from an unknown source. At Perth Scoliosis Clinic we often hear patients say “well I read that ‘this’ caused my scoliosis” or “I have scoliosis so now I can do ‘xyz’”.
This is where we try to step in. Part of our mission here is to educate and inform, not just our patients and families but also the wider community. We have compiled a list of some of the most common myths we hear about scoliosis to put your mind at ease.
- My Scoliosis was caused by…One of our favourite conversations to have with patients is informing them that most forms (80% of cases) of scoliosis are ‘idiopathic’, meaning that doctors are unable to find a clear cause of scoliosis. In some rare cases, there is an association between neuromuscular conditions and scoliosis.
While getting an answer that consists of “we aren’t actually sure what causes scoliosis” isn’t what most people find comforting, it is nice to remind yourself that it’s not your fault.
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that carrying heavy backpacks or doing certain activities has directly caused scoliosis so don’t be quick to blame yourself or the activities you have been enjoying.
- Only girls have Scoliosis.Whilst data supports the fact that Scoliosis is more common to require treatment in girls. The data supports that there is the same prevalence but it is 8 times more likely to progress and require treatment in girls v boys.
We support many young boys and men on their scoliosis journey, from diagnosis, bracing, surgery, and more.
- I can’t participate in ANY sport.While there are some sports that we suggest avoiding or limiting play-time we do not want to cease movement. Being active and doing most sports can work hand in hand with your scoliosis management, working on strength, balance, and coordination.
We still believe in kids being kids and being able to live a fulfilling and quality life. If you are wanting to play sports speak to our team of physiotherapists to best manage your scoliosis and sporting commitments, to get the best advice possible.
- My scoliosis can’t get worse now that I have finished growing.It is true that scoliosis can rapidly develop during periods of high growth, such as puberty, that is not to say it can’t progress further after reaching skeletal maturity.
Typically curves over 45/50 degrees are said to continue to progress at a rate or 1-2 degree per year if left untreated. Other high risk times and pregnancy and post natal phases and menopause due to changes in hormones and bone health.
Scoliosis is a daunting journey and getting the right information can be difficult. If you are ever unsure about your scoliosis please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We love to assist our community and no question is a dumb question when it comes to learning about Scoliosis.