Archive of ‘Scoliosis Clipboard’ category

Orthopedic Specialist and Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist

Rehabilitation SpecialistMost of the readers of my blogpost, Dealing With Dextroscoliosis, would often ask me where to go to have their scoliosis checked or how to go about having it checked.  The first step in dealing with your scoliosis is to see a Rehabilitation Specialist or Physiatrist. In most cases, people with dextroscoliosis tend to consult an orthopedic doctor first. To a certain extent, orthopedic doctors can diagnose scoliosistic condition and give possible treatment but for a more comprehensive physical management of scoliosistic illness or any other physical injuries in that matter, Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist or Physiatrist is your best bet. So what is the difference between an Orthopedic Specialist and Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist? The difference lies in their nature of practice.

Orthopedic Specialist

An Orthopedic Specialist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system which includes the bones, joints, muscles, and any related painful conditions. If, for example, you seek advice and treatment from an orthopedic specialist regarding your scoliosis, he will recommend you to undergo a scoliosistic sequence xray or a spine xray. Based on the results and findings, he will be able to tell you the degree of your curvature as well as the kind of scoliosis that you have. But then, for proper management of your condition, he will refer you to a Rehab Medicine specialist or Physiatrist since it is not like a broken leg or foot that needs casting or surgery.

Rehabilitation Specialist or Physiatrist

A Rehabilitation Specialist or Physiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the non-surgical treatment of the musculoskeletal system. They usually work with a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, rehabilitation nurses, and therapeutic recreation specialists in a comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation program. Combined with the use of medications, physical modalities, physical training with therapeutic exercise, movement & activities modification, adaptive equipment and assistive device, orthotics (braces), prosthesis, and experiential training approaches, they work to restore optimal functioning of the affected part of the body. If you are a patient with scoliosistic condition you can go straight to a Rehabilitation Medicine Specialist to save time and cut costs since the Rehab Specialist will handle the long term management of your condition. But in cases where surgery is required, the Rehab Specialist will refer you back to an Orthopedic doctor.

Rehabilitation Specialists in the Philippines

Most of the major hospitals here in the Philippines such as University of Santo Tomas, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Asian Hospital, University of Perpetual Help to name a few, as well as health clinics in malls such as Healthway and Tokyo Healthlink, have resident Rehabilitation Medicine Specialists in their Bone Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Department, who can work well with you in managing your scoliosis.

Fitflop: Setting the Tone of Fitness and Health

We cannot deny the fact that Fitflop to date is the most sought after footwear. It has taken the market by storm with the swiftness and sureness of a true winner. It can be said that the secret to its success can be attributed not only to its relentless marketing strategies but more so to the innovative, breakthrough product behind its name. Many have claimed benefits from using Fitflop, as proven by its unprecedented 100,000 (and still counting) fan base mark in facebook alone. And this 2010, it continues to prove itself unstoppable, as it skyrockets to fame with the opening of its first concept store in SM MOA and the successive launch of an impressive Lifestyle Footwear Collection that boast of stylish designs and its trademark microwobbleboard technology. Fitflop’s fan page in facebook has already seen a steady influx of fan photos and testimonies eversince it was set up. Just about anybody would kill (figuratively speaking of course) for a pair, as evidence by the overwhelming response it usually gets everytime it posts promos and contest. And I am proud to admit that I am one of those, as I myself can personally attest to its greatness, having benefitted much from its microwobbleboard technology. It is no secret that I have been struggling with scoliosis for quite a number of years now (see my related post Dealing with Scoliosis and Managing Scoliosis Through Exercise). For the longest time, I had been in search of that perfect footwear that will help reduce back stress and give strength to my lower extremity muscles. As we all know, these muscles are important to people with scoliosis like me (even for the ones who don’t have actually) for they provide utmost strength and support to our lower back, hips and legs, our body parts that are prone to pain and misalignment. It is necessary that these are well-toned at all times, with strong muscles developing at just the right places. I have found that perfect footwear in Fitflop. It’s innovative engineering design has made my bottom, hamstrings and leg muscles exactly that—firm, strong and well-toned. It truly lives up to its tag, shoe with a gym built-in.

my well-toned thigh, leg and rear end- much thanks to Fitflop.:)

Recently the launch of its utra-chic, thigh-toning, foot-flexing, bottom-benefitting, Fitflop Supertone, the current “sneaker of the hour” was waited upon with great anticipation. It had fitness fanatics scrambling to get their hands full of this latest genius. This new muscle-toning sneaker is a product of more than a year of intensive technology and design research. Fitflop was able to seamlessly merged the brand’s microwobbleboard technology and the wearability of a classic sneaker. A mean feat actually if you think about it. This new energizing, shock absorbing footwear can be considered a heavensent for it would allow people especially those with certain conditions like scoliosis to get a regular workout, one of the fitness activities that usually gets compromised . The toning sole, which by the way is cleverly hidden, is bio-mechanically designed to absorb the shock of a brisk walk/run in just the right way, thereby giving only the gentlest of pressure to the spine as it tones and strengthens the leg, thigh and hip muscles.

FF Supertone-the current "to die for" sneakers.:)

It is not everyday that we come across a perfect footwear that would take care of our needs. I guess that is why people buy Fitflop in a heartbeat. Some even boast of a collection. The way Fiflop has managed to encourage people to give paramount importance to their fitness and health is also something quite admirable. The overwhelming support it receives as it continues its fight against counterfeit products is a living proof to this. They were able to make people become fully aware of the dangers that using this kind of products bring. Our future well being does look very promising indeed as Fitflop continues to set the tone of Fitness and Health in our country.

Managing (Dextro)Scoliosis Through Exercise

I have been receiving a lot of inquiries from visitors of my previous blogs, Dealing with Dextroscoliosis and Struggling with Dextrolscoliosis, about the type of exercises that I have been doing to manage my scoliosis. Here are some of the exercises that I do and think would be safe for all kinds of scoliosis:

you can do this 10 counts, in 5 repetitions

tuck your tummy in, hold for about 15 counts then release (repeat)

strengthens the hamstrings of the legs

I do these kneeling down, going to the direction opposite my curvature

These exercises generally are geared toward stretching and strengthening abdominal, hamstrings and back muscles which are important in avoiding back pains. For exercises that would target your specific needs, it is best to consult a Physical Therapist and Rehabilitation doctor.

Dealing with Dextroscoliosis

You wake up in the morning still feeling overly tired after a long night of sleep and sometimes with a humongous headache to top it all of.  You do your usual thing and feel little bones snapping here and there as you move.  You also have leg or hip pains especially after a long, tiring day. You just can’t stand being on your feet too long and sitting in that same position for long periods of time.  These are generally  what people with dextroscoliosis usually go through.

It is a burden, literally and figuratively, having dextroscoliosis  because it affects the spine which supports our body and the rib cage which protects our internal organs.  Dextroscoliosis is a slow, sideways rotation of the spine together with the rib cage which results in its curvature.  Well, that’s actually to put it mildly and simply.  If detected early, there’s a big chance for the spine to be corrected back to its proper, normal curve through series of therapy and back braces. But if detected too late, like in my case which is 45 degrees already, series of therapy not to correct the spine but to slow down the progress of the curve is highly recommended.  Spine surgery is also the only way at this point to correct the spine.  There is also dextroscoliosis, like again in my case, where a simultaneous curvature at the lower back or what you call “S” curve happens.  The lower curvature compensates for the curvature in the upper back.

There’s no scientific evidences yet that suggest that scoliosis of any kind is hereditary or is in the genes.  Rehab medicine points out to the kind of lifestyle a person has as the main reason for the development of scoliosis.  Improper posture, constant carrying of heavy loads, lack of exercise, strenuous activities and sometimes accidents are just some of the major culprits.  There are no medicines either that can cure scoliosis.  Change of lifestyle is the only cure for scoliosis.  Daily exercises recommended by your rehab doctor which sometimes consist of: Strengthening exercises for the back such as stretching in the direction opposite the curve, curl ups or crunches to strengthen abdomen which should bear the brunt of the heavy load we carry, and stretching/strengthening exercises for the hips and hamstrings of the legs are highly recommended.  Scheduled therapies for the back and hips for pain management are also required.  The therapy machines which have internal heating capabilities, help relax the bunched up muscles which most often causes the pains.  Adapting a healthy lifestyle such as eating healthy food especially those rich in calcium is very important.  Loosing weight or keeping your weight in proportion with  your height should also be practiced because excess weight strains the spine.

A person with scoliosis should adapt a positive attitude.  For without this, you will feel that self-management of scoliosis will just be too hard and will just be too much too handle.  Self-discipline should also be developed because without that all efforts of fighting off the progress of the curve will just go to waste.  For those who have scoliosis like me, always remember that our back doesn’t set us apart from others, what sets us apart is our determination to not let this thing get in our way of enjoying and embracing life and everything that it has to offer…

Vive bene’ spesso l’ amore di risata molto (live well, laugh much and love often)

See my some of my management exercises here : Managing Dextro(Scoliosis) Through Exercise

Struggling with Dextroscoliosis

I had been coming in and out of therapy for the past two weeks. I had been experiencing backpains again due to my dextroscoliosis that the doctor decided to let me go through a series of physical therapy sessions again that were a bit strenuous but relaxing at the same time. My sessions are finally done but my struggle with dextroscoliosis is not yet over. I was formally diagnosed with this physical ailment 12 years ago. By that time it was too late to correct the spine because it was forty five degrees already. The only option that time was spine surgery. For lack of money and fear of the major operation and its after effects, my family decided against it. So I had to go through the physical therapy and back braces to stop the progress of the curve. I wore the back brace all through college, well not all the time since being strapped with metal is kind of uncomfortable and hard so I wore it only some days. When I was working already, I decided to discard the back braces and just stick with the series of exercises that I had to do for the rest of my life. My rehab doctor advised me not to get pregnant for it would be risky. But nothing can stop those raging hormones and the promising stage of motherhood so I went ahead with my pregnancy which drove my father crazy. The whole pregnancy was without problems, I didn’t experience back pains and the other horrors that my rehab doctor was telling me about. But come delivery time, I never thought it’ll be that traumatic. At the last minute, my doctor decided to cut me up because the baby wouldn’t fit into that thing where she was supposed to come out. It required epidural anesthesia because my doctor ruled out general anesthesia for it was too risky.  They had a hard time inserting the needle in my twisting “S” curve spine. It seemed endless, I felt each poke of the needle, each hit and miss. It took three anesthesiologist before they were able to insert the anesthesia in my spine. Each poke of the needle was like a poke in my soul because I feared not only for my life but for the life of my baby as well because time was running out. But that’s all water under the bridge now, I was able to deliver my baby safely sans dextoscoliosis.

My daughter always asks me about the hump in my back before but unlike some people who will just come up to me, feel my hump and tactlessly say “ano to? Kuba ka?”, she would say it and feel it with awe and reverence. Lately, when I’m rubbing her back, she would asks me “mommy do you feel any hump?” and when I tell her no, she would get disappointed because she wants to have one like me because she wants to look like me. It was a long time coming, my acceptance that I’ll never have the perfect back like other people. It was a constant source of insecurity for me. I tried to hide it by growing long, black gloriously beautiful hair back in high school. It was like a deep dark secret. I was successful in hiding it well until college. I was conscious with the way I move and with the clothes I wear. I detested tight fitting clothes and develop this snobby air more as a defense mechanism rather than an attitude. It took my husband who loves me hunchback and all for me to slowly accept that I’m never going to have that perfect back like other people. He doesn’t know that each time he rubs my back and says I’m beautiful, he strips away one layer of insecurity. It took a while before I can easily explain to others about the hump and not feel any stab of pain or embarrassment. A while before I was able to accept, understand and be comfortable with myself. I still have long way to go I know, there are still moments of uneasiness and self-consciousness.  I took a big step though last summer which tells me that I’m slowly getting there, I finally cut my hair short.

I always say that how people see you is not important but how you view yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what matters. I learned that the hard way. I’ve been labeled maliciously “kuba or hunchback’ a lot of times by playmates when I was young and by somebody who truly hates me before, they bruised my ego big time. But the people who see me, like me and love me everyday despite my hunchback, my family and friends, they do more than just give my ego a good rub, they fill and lift my spirit up and bless my soul.  You guys just don’t know how important your presence and friendship are to somebody like me who up until now is still struggling with dextroscoliosis…