how to age gracefully with scoliosis: will it get worse?

***This post is NOT sponsored, but may contain affiliate links.***

***I AM NOT A DOCTOR or medical professional. Please consult your doctor before trying any of these tips. I am simply sharing suggestions based on my personal experience and research.***

Hello, my scoliosis sistas!

The other day, I just realized that my 10-year Spine-iversary is coming up! Dang! I had my first spinal fusion for my severe S-shaped scoliosis when I was 13! I am now 23 and where has the time gone?

Anyway, this had me thinking about the future. I often wonder if my chronic pain will increase with age or if I will develop another condition in old age, such as kyphosis or osteoporosis, which are commonly linked together.

According to Clear Scoliosis Institute, scoliosis, even after skeletal maturity, will continue to worsen over time. Regardless, of the degree of your curvature, the imbalance in the spine can slowly cause changes to the joints, discs, and muscles over time, leading to pain and muscle tension.

Yes, I am only 23, but just like skincare, you must start preventative measures early! It’s much easier to continually maintain your health and youth, than to try to “fix it” when it is already a problem.

I am always telling y’all… Do little things consistently everyday! Set your future self up for success! She will thank you!

So, what should you do to prevent your scoliosis from annoying you during your retirement in Hawaii?

1.) Stretch At Your Desk!

If you have a desk job, and most of us do (hello bloggers), you probably spend a large amount of time on your computer or hunched over a desk. If you read my post about Surviving Your 9-5 with Scoliosis, then you will know how badly looking down and having bad posture can be for your health.

Even for people who don’t have a spinal deformity, desk jobs cause a lot of pain from the psoas muscle, located in the lower lumbar region of the spine and extends through the pelvis to the femur.

This is because sitting doesn’t allow for the psoas to stretch and receive healthy blood flow. This causes it to tighten greatly, which prevents you from standing up straight!

When you see elderly people walking, hunched in a c shape with their hips pulled in, this is from tight psoas muscles after years of sitting and not stretching! Many people think that bending forward is a great stretch for your lower back, but not when you break it down..

What position are you in for most of the day? Sitting? Standing?

If you like it, pin it!

Either way, you are probably not in a cobra pose or a position where your hips are getting great oxygen and blood flow. I know it is not socially acceptable in most offices (Unless you live in Japan, lucky hoe) to bust out your yoga mat every hour to stretch out your hips…

You gotta do it on the low-low…. I adore these 2-5 minute desk stretch routines on my FitOn app! You can stay seated at your desk and still get a good stretch on! If your boss won’t let you do that, just stretch a little each time you use the restroom.

2.) Stay Hydrated!

Hydration is key for optimal mobility without pain! Like I mentioned before, the imbalance in your spine from scoliosis will cause your joints to become compressed on the load-bearing side of your body.

One of the many ways to help this, is to just DRINK YOUR DAMN WATER!

The Synovial fluid that directly lubricates your joints is made up primarily of water. Plus, it will keep your meniscus nice and cushy!

What happens when you don’t put oil in a car? It wouldn’t be lubricated to protect the engine from friction and will cause the metal to heat up and eventually fuse with the other metals causing it to be immobile.

Now, imagine that as your knees or your hips!

3.) Indulge In Healthy Fats!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help lubricate your joints and are yummy to eat!

You can find this in a variety of foods such as salmon (I have a killer salmon recipe here!), almonds, dark chocolate, avocados, olive oil, and so much more!

As a dark chocolate lover, I enjoy the occasional munchies induced midnight snack of air-popped popcorn drizzled with dark chocolate and Pink Himalayan Salt.

4.) Enjoyable Low-Impact Cardio!

My mom hates working out with a passion. Her typical workout is walking on the treadmill in front of a TV. I don’t know about you, but I would literally never work out if that was my only option. It gets so dull. We have all seen those memes about how long a “treadmill minute” feels like 10 regular minutes. Hilarious because it’s absolutely true.

If you love the treadmill or going jogging, that’s great! It’s just not for everyone!

There is a whole world out there of different and FUN ways to move your body and even build your self-confidence. Working out is not about trying the latest trend or even doing what your friends do, it’s about finding something you enjoy so much, that you want to incorporate it into your day. And, yes that is possible!

Do you like pole dancing classes? Keep it up! Do you like hiking on the weekends? Great! Do you like swimming around in a pool? Awesome!

There are so many ways our bodies can move, even with scoliosis. Every type of workout can be modified to accommodate your abilities. When in doubt Google it!

Here’s a list of some fun workouts to try!

5.) Maintain A Healthy Weight!

Your joints are already under enough pressure and strain, so why add to that? I’m not saying you have to be a certain weight, but be in touch with your body enough to know if your weight is adding pressure and inflammation to your knees or hips.

Personally, I have a weight range of 15-20 lbs. that I feel optimal in! When I lose more than 20 lbs. it really takes away from my curves that I like. But, when I gain more than 20 lbs. I find it harder to do certain tasks because of how sluggish and weighed down I feel.

So, if I am in my sweet spot for weight, I feel healthy and confident!

6.) Take The Right Suppliments!

A few weeks ago, I made a post about the best supplements for mental health. I talked about all of the benefits of turmeric, one of which is decreasing inflammation!

Glucosamine is another supplement I absolutely love! In college, when I played club Ultimate Frisbee, my knees would hurt and ache from all the running in cleats and the conditioning we did. When I would take glucosamine, I could feel a total difference in my knees even just the next day!

7.) Cupping To Break Down Fascia!

If you read my post about this $3 back pain trick, you got the lowdown on what fascia is and how important it is to know about!

In a nutshell, fascia is the webbing of connective tissue between your skin and your muscles (and in between your muscles). It’s kind of how we stay put together! Healthy fascia is moist and stretchy like a rubber band (yes, those are technical terms lmao), while unhealthy fascia is firm and bunched up constricting the muscles and skin. This is what also causes cellulite!

The $3 You Need For Your Scoliosis Pain

Cupping has been around since ancient times and used for a variety of illnesses. Nowadays, it typically is done during a massage to help bring healthy blood flow and oxygen supply to damaged tissue, also releasing toxins. The suction also rips apart the dehydrated, firm fascia (or scar tissue from spinal fusion) in your skin, which is what causes the bruising,

On healthy tissue, you will have little to no bruising because the fascia is hydrated (again, it is crucial to drink your damn water) and stretchy, so it won’t tear apart. Breaking down unhealthy fascia allows for new, oxygenated blood to come and help nourish the tissue as it heals into nice, healthy fascia.

8.) Massage Therapy Bi-Weekly!

I have a membership at Massage Heights, so I can get massages at a reduced rate! If I could afford every week, I would totally do that, but every other week is still a game changer!

I have a standing appointment with my masseuse for an hour long deep tissue massage with cupping! It doesn’t magically cure my pain, but it really gives my back a rest, reduces flair ups, and is a lovely form of self-care!

Speaking of self-care, starting in August I am having a free 4-week scoliosis self-care challenge! We will be focusing on self-care, body, mind, and soul, each day! If you sign up for the course, you’ll get your daily homework and encouragement send directly to your inbox every morning! So, join me and other scoliosis sisters this August! More Info next Fusion Friday!

9.) Use Shape Wear As A Back Brace!

I learned this trick from my grandma! Since before I was born, she always wore her “waist nipper” to not only feel more confident in clothes, but also to help support her back. She has kyphosis, not scoliosis, but it helps her keep her posture as straight as it can be.

As someone with scoliosis, I can say that it definitely helps! I use a Faja type shape wear to hold me in when I have to run around town and be on my feet a lot! It’s also great for cleaning the house!

If you like it, pin it!

10.) Have Good Balance And A Tight Core!

Falling is a huge hazard when you become a certain age. Many people live in fear of falling and will become sedentary which causes weakness and breakdown of the muscle and connective tissue.

Avoid being scared and trapped in your body!

Build your muscle, take care of yourself, and show your body who’s boss! No one ever said you have to let your body fall apart as you age. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a generation of buff old ladies who have gym dates with their bffs and then go get brunch!? Now, that sounds like a much better retirement to me!

To wrap this all up, I just want to say that only YOU can decide your path in life. Yes, you have scoliosis. Yes, your body hurts and you will always have chronic pain. But, you can actively pursue a healthy lifestyle and minimize the potential damage your scoliosis could do to your body over the years.

Which path do you choose and why? Comment below!

Love you all,

Tay

Follow me on Instagram! @_taylor.wells_

Hey! Don’t forget to get your copy of “3-Days of Scoliosis“! This workbook will help you come to terms with your chronic pain and trauma from surgeries.

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If you liked this post, then you’ll LOVE this book! I read this book a few years ago, when it first came out, and I was in a very dark place and extremely insecure. This book actually helped me immensely with self-acceptance! Later on, when we found out my mother had cancer, she lost her hair. So, I introduced her to the voluntarily bald queen, Amber Rose. She helped us both find our inner bad bitch. My mother almost never wears her wig now! Honestly, she has the face for it and looks amazing!

how to age gracefully with scoliosis: will it get worse?

Hello, my scoliosis sistas! The other day, I just realized that my 10-year Spine-iversary is coming up! Dang! I had my first spinal fusion for my severe S-shaped scoliosis when I was 13! I am now 23 and where has the time gone? Anyway, this had me thinking about the future. I often wonder if […]

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