Skating Fridays

Scoliosis

WARNING: Graphic images below. Close your browser/tab if you do not want to see photos of x-rays.

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scoliosis

That, my friends, is a photo of my upper back. The top section is right below my neck, and the bottom section is towards where my belly button would be. This view is from behind, so if you stood directly behind me, this is how my spine would look.

But wait! It gets worse!

scoliosis

This x-ray is of my lower back, which has a very curved section. Now, I always knew that I had some curvature in my lower back, but I never thought that it was this extreme.

I had been experiencing some lower back problems that wouldn’t go away. Mostly, it manifested itself as sciatica pain, where I would get an intense shooting pain down my left side towards the back of my knee. It escalated to the point where my left foot would go numb. That’s when I sought the help of a chiropractor.

She suggested that I get some x-rays before we discussed a method of treatment. The x-ray technicians were all amazed that I wasn’t in constant pain. Amazingly enough, I believe that I’ve had some degree of scoliosis for most of my life. My guess is that it was caused (or enhanced) by competitive gymnastics at a young age.

Now, you’re probably thinking the same thing as those x-ray techs. Isn’t this level of scoliosis really painful? How do I stand up straight? (Answer: I don’t) The scoliosis has not bothered me for the past ~30 years, other than the occasional sciatica.

My chiropractor has said that people with this degree of curvature typically have a lot of internal organ issues – digestive problems, breathing difficulty and heart issues. Thankfully, I have so far (knock on wood) avoided all three. She said that my choices in activities – namely ballet, ice skating and flute playing – have all played a role in keeping my body healthy, flexible and mobile. She told me to keep up with these hobbies since they seem to be helping.

After viewing these images, things start to make sense. Maybe that’s why I can’t do a certain element very well, or maybe that’s why my leg position on certain things is strange. My back is so crooked that I can’t stand up straight and perform some other movements. Well, at least that is my new excuse now!

In all seriousness, I’m happy to be able to keep skating at the level that I do. I’m not letting this curved spine prevent me from doing what I love. In fact, I should keep doing it to stay flexible and nimble.

6 Comments

  1. May 20, 2022 / 6:46 pm

    Wow, Eva, that is a revelation! I am so glad that you’ve stayed active and now you have an even better excuse to skate! I also have some curvature of the spine but this really seems pronounced. Hope they find some good therapies to give you relief.

    • evabakes
      Author
      May 20, 2022 / 7:06 pm

      I’ve been pain-free for 3 weeks after seeing a chiropractor. It’s been like magic!

  2. Wynne
    May 21, 2022 / 1:31 pm

    Wow, that seems to have slowed you down not at all! Glad the chiropractor helped and you have a good plan. That’s amazing. I’m surprised it was invisible in your pics.

    • evabakes
      Author
      May 21, 2022 / 5:48 pm

      I knew I had a bit of scoliosis but not to the extent that it was! I don’t feel like my back is curved at all… thankfully, I am still able to participate in my favorite activities. 😁

  3. June
    May 27, 2022 / 11:25 am

    My husband was born with extreme curvature of his rib cage, so that his heart’s more to one side than near the middle of the chest. When he was 4, they tried to operate to open up his rib cage & his heart stopped. They decided to leave things as is, & for the most part, it doesn’t bother him. I hope you continue to be healthy too.

    • evabakes
      Author
      May 27, 2022 / 11:50 am

      Wow – I haven’t heard of a curved rib cage before! I’m glad it doesn’t bother him and I’m hoping my curved spine doesn’t impact me when I’m older.

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