What is Scoliosis?
- Scoliosis is the lateral bending and twisting of the spine that, when progressed, causes body deformities and compromises internal organs. It affects seven million people in the U.S., with diagnosis most commonly occurring in pre-adolescence and there is no cure.
- The disease shows progression ten times more frequently in girls than boys, and the primary age of onset for scoliosis is 10-15 years old. Scoliosis can impact the quality of life with limited activity, pain, reduced respiratory function, or diminished self-esteem.
- The vast majority of people with this condition are not expected to require treatment. The problem is we do not know who will get it, why they get it, which will progress, or how far they will progress. Each year scoliosis patients make more than 600,000 visits to private physician offices, and an estimated 30,000 children are put into a brace for scoliosis, while 38,000 patients undergo spinal fusion surgery.
- Despite physicians trying to treat this spinal deformity for centuries, 85% of the cases are classified as idiopathic. Consequently, a scoliosis patient's life is exacerbated by many unknowns, and treatments therefore that are often ineffective, invasive, and/or costly. Scoliosis patients also have increased health risks due to frequent x-ray exposure.
- June is National Scoliosis month.
The National Scoliosis Foundation
The National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF organization dedicated since 1976 to helping children, parents, adults, and health-care providers to understand the complexities of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.
Severe scoliosis impacts the quality of life, putting pressure on the heart, diminishing lung capacity, and limiting physical activity. Thankfully, through early detection and treatment advances, the worst effects of scoliosis may be prevented.
We are involved in all aspects of scoliosis support, whether the issue is early detection through screening programs, treatment methods, pain management, or patient care. Our focus is on promoting public awareness, providing reliable information, fostering ongoing research in the field, and educating and nurturing the community of those affected by scoliosis.
- Curvy Girls groups are peer led support groups empowering pre-teen and teen girls to become leaders, make healthy lifestyle choices, and improve self esteem by diminishing the emotional impact of scoliosis. We seek to help girls find their voice through support and acceptance. We help girls understand and accept a scoliosis diagnosis as well as treatment plans whether it be observation, bracing or surgery.
- Curvy Girls has thirty two groups in the United States and two in Canada. We are growing every day.
- Late February, 2012, Kaitlyn went to her doctor for a routine sports physical. She wanted to try out for her school track team. During that appointment, her pediatrician discovered she had scoliosis. Kaitlyn was sent to the hospital for x-rays and then to Vanderbilt to meet with a Pediatric Orthopedist. He recommended she wear a brace sixteen hours a day.
- She began doing so in May. It was during that time that Kaitlyn found the Curvy Girls Scoliosis website and began talking to other girls with the same diagnosis. She started the Tennessee group in May 2012 after discovering there was not a state group.
- In June, Kaitlyn and her mom attended the first Curvy Girl International Convention and met with other girls and parents and learned more about leading a group. In July, she went back for to Vanderbilt for a check up and the x-rays showed that her curve had progressed significantly and surgery would be required. At this time, a surgery date has not been scheduled. Kaitlyn can be contacted at CurvyGirlsTennessee@gmail.com
- Face-to-face meetings
- Online support
- Hospital and home visits
- Scoliosis awareness
- Shopping Consultants
- Family Support