Scoliosis Stories

Written by a Teen for Teens

                                              Galina's Story


Hey! My name is Galina, I am almost 17 and here is a short story about my scoliosis history. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 11. The doctor said that I needed surgery and that it wasn't too late for a brace even though my two curves were only about 30 degrees. My parents freaked out and said no way! So for two years, I did a lot of swimming, running, and basketball. When I was 13, we took x-rays again and my scoliosis had gotten worse. It was now 47 degrees on the top and 43 on the bottom. I had to quit running and playing basketball because it caused me way too much back pain. I had difficulty breathing and I had a huge rib hump. That summer, my parents found an alternative for surgery treatment in North Carolina. I went there for a two week intensive treatment. My rib hump got a lot smaller and it was easier to breathe but my curves only improved five degrees on the top and three degrees on the bottom. I had to do five hours of exercises every day when I came back home (including the scoliosis traction chair) so I started home-schooling. Three months later, I went back to North Carolina. I had faithfully done all the exercises but my back had still gotten worse. I was now 14 years old and my curves were 52 degrees on the top and 49 on the bottom. I was very disappointed! I went through another intensive treatment and continued the five hours of exercises at home. Two months later, my parents found a similar alternative for surgery treatment in Seattle. I started going there every month for a few days of treatment and I would do four hours of exercises at home. It took six months for my back to become stable enough to the point where it wasn't getting worse. About seven months later, we took x-rays and my scoliosis had improved! It was now 38 degrees on the top and 40 on the bottom. I kept going to Seattle every month and my back exercises were shortened to two hours a day. When I was 15, my dad lost his job and we couldn't continue the treatment (my parents are in a hard financial situation because of my back). Our church raised some money and we were able to go to Europe for back treatment. It was a mixture of massage, chiropractic, cupping, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It was extremely painful but helped a lot! My back didn't hurt at all for half a year after that and it looked a lot straighter. Half a year after I came back from Europe, my back started hurting again and I started going to physical therapy (which was covered by insurance). In October 2011 my physical therapist sent me to take x-rays. My back had reversed and gotten worse again. It was now 57 degrees on the top and 53 on the bottom. I keep wondering what my back would've been like if I continued the treatment in Seattle or went to Europe again. Throughout the years I also tried yoga, pilates, and I took a beginners ballet class this year because I was told it would help with my posture and would make me stronger. Currently I am still doing physical therapy. I tried this new thing called Spinal Integration last week, and I will be going to Shriners Hospital in Spokane this month to discuss surgery. If any of you have any questions feel free to ask or email me at :)


  Thank you so much Galina for letting me post your story!