Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Scoliosis
1 1

21 posts in this topic

I have had severe scoliosis since I was five years old. I wore a back brace for three years and had to endure cortisone shots. I was also told that scoliosis is an idiopathic condition... no one else in my family has it.

My question is: Is there a correlation between scoliosis and celiac? I have been able to connect literally every other health problem I have to celiac. Does anyone else have it? Has any one been told or read that there is a connection?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

I have mild scoliosis and pronounced kyphosis as well. I think I have read somwhere on the net there is a connection. I assume it has to do with bone density loss in the vertebrae from calcium and mineral malabsorbtion.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scoliosis and kyphosis here as well. I try not to get angry about it, lol. It's mild, but no one ever caught it and it caused me a LOT of pain as a teenager (and no one caught it cause no one took me to a doctor). It's caused more problems over the years than I care to mention...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, structural scoliosis is idiopathic, but not all scoliosis is structural. Structural scoliosis occurs when the bones (usually the vertebrae) are "misformed" in some fashion. A number of things - from infections to connective tissue disorders to birth defects to tumors can cause structural scoliosis, and sometimes they just don't know why the bones formed oddly. Functional scoliosis, however, is generally "caused" by the person who has it; it's a product of bad posture causing the muscles to pull the spine out of position.

It's not always possible to determine if a particular case of scoliosis is functional or structural, but it is in many cases. From what I've heard from my chiropractor, it is quite certainly possible that even a five year old would develop a functional case of scoliosis (particularly from a fall off a bike, or trip over a tree root... he had to work on his son after a fall off a bike to avoid that sort of thing). If possible, I would *strongly* encourage you to find a *GOOD* chiropractor to work with who will help you determine what type of scoliosis it is and how to best minimize it.

As trents mentioned, it's fairly reasonable to assume that if you have bone density issues from celiac since infancy, it could contribute to scoliosis. But whatever the true cause, there is a lot of work you can do to help better align your spine and reduce the stress (and pain) on your body.

(I have students in my yoga classes with scoliosis, and it's one of the things we work on - to a small degree. It's not easy to work on it, but with a lot of practice and awareness it's possible. One of the yoga teachers I know in the area is in her... 70's? She has very severe structural scoliosis (you can easily see on her x-rays the wedge shape of the vertebrae that should look more like a disc) giving her, originally, a 90 degree curve in both the thoracic and lumbar spine. With a lot of work with the chiropractor, yoga, exercises every morning w/ foam rollers, and keeping awareness on her posture and the use of all the supporting muscles, she has reduced her curve somewhat, and is keeping the curve from getting worse and literally crushing her internal organs and causing death. As a side note, a number of my students have kyphosis as well - and it usually is postural in nature, and can *definitely* be worked at and reduced.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I found out after having x-rays for a back problem in my 30's that I had a "slight curvature of the spine".

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




I have never had scoliosis before, but have developed it in later years in my thoracic spine. I don't know if it had anything to do with the surgical removal of my first rib??? or how to explain its presence. No osteoporosis, no change in posture. It's a puzzlement. I'm working with a physio at the moment; do you think a chiropractor would be better? I have always been afraid of the "bonecrushers"; only use chiros who use the Activator method.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My orthopedic surgeon advised me NOT to go to chiropractors - but I did go to physical therapy for six weeks to learn exercises to strengthen my back. Eventually, when I stopped growing, my back no longer bothered me. Unfortunately, I have both a 45 degree thoracic curve and a 47 degree lumbar curve (my spine is shaped like an S). Of all the different things I have done, the back brace was the most helpful, but extremely bulky and embarrassing and restrictive. It did help with the pain, though... oddly enough ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but most orthopedic surgeons do not BELIEVE in chiropractors. I was treated very rudely by an ortho when I told him I had been treated by a chiropractor (of course, this Rx was because the orthos had failed to diagnose what my problem was and the chiro fixed it (a different problem--I have had so many, it seems :P )

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was born with my scoliosis. The doc that saw me at birth mentioned it briefly to my father, and said it would never bother me (ha!).

The kyphosis was only recently diagnosed b/c I mentioned something to the chiro, and he said "Oh its this". Oh, thanks...

My back hurt so bad when I was a teen, I used to cry. I didn't find out about the scoliosis til I was 26, and only then b/c I went to my chiro b/c my 1 year old knocked me down and I couldn't get back up. I had sharp, shooting pain down my back. It was awful.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was my doctor who sent me to my chiropractor.

I think that the problem is that it's hard to find a *good* chiropractor. A good chiro won't just have you walk in, crank you various ways, and then tell you to leave. A good chiropractor is going to talk to you about posture and strengthening exercises, may have you do traction of some variety, and may do some adjustments as well - but only in the range that you feel comfortable with. (For instance, I am working on my neck, but have done manual adjustments on my neck less than half a dozen times in the past two years, and only when I've got a neck-induced migraine going for a couple days. We'd use the actuator (a little thing that applies an impulse in a very localized location) on my neck, and now that I'm pregnant and laying on my belly is no longer an option, we'll be using it on my back.)

I think that chiropractors can be very helpful, not helpful at all, or harmful. The same can be said of GPs, orthopaedists, and other specialists. (It was a crappy orthopaedist that correctly diagnosed, but poorly treated my knee issue, and the chiro has been the first one (including PT's who did their best) who has so far *kept* me from throwing my sacrum out.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both dd and I have scoliosis, both are celiacs.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Concerning bad posture causing scoliosis or kyphosis, I wonder if its more often the other way around. One thing I have seen that might cause spinal misalignment is weight traiing done in such a way as to strengthen the chest muscles without doing anything to strengthen the upper back muscles. The higher muscle tone in the front then pulls the shoulders and upper back forward.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow......I'm amazed at all the posts! I also have scoliosis and Celiacs. I had a spinal fusion done in 1990 after high school. (Lumbar curve of 53 degrees reduced to 8) Never experienced back problems after that. I think pregnancy set off my Celiac 6 years ago because I never ever ever ever ever ever had stomach issues before that. I really thought there may be some connection also, but was also thinking about all the titanium hardware in my back........still don't know and I have a lot of other crazy undiagnosed symptoms......also a history of connective tissue disorders in the family and very flexible joints!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Concerning bad posture causing scoliosis or kyphosis, I wonder if its more often the other way around. One thing I have seen that might cause spinal misalignment is weight traiing done in such a way as to strengthen the chest muscles without doing anything to strengthen the upper back muscles. The higher muscle tone in the front then pulls the shoulders and upper back forward.

Do you tend to slouch to the side at the computer, or in the car, or on the couch? Do you tend to slouch forward or stick the head forward at the computer or in the car? Both of those cause imbalance of muscles on different sides of the body (side to side, or front to back). Computer use for hours on end is a HUGE cause of kyphosis.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you tend to slouch to the side at the computer, or in the car, or on the couch? Do you tend to slouch forward or stick the head forward at the computer or in the car? Both of those cause imbalance of muscles on different sides of the body (side to side, or front to back). Computer use for hours on end is a HUGE cause of kyphosis.

Very interesting! I've not heard that before - that lots of computing time is a major cause of kyphosis. I sat up straighter at the keyboard as soon as I read that! Actually, when I look at pictures of myself in Jr. High I can see the beginnings of kyphosis. It runs in my mother's side of the family big time. I wonder if my osteopenia from celiac disease has contributed to it, however.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My orthopedic surgeon advised me NOT to go to chiropractors - but I did go to physical therapy for six weeks to learn exercises to strengthen my back.

I trust my chiro MUCH more than the orthos I have seen. The chiro does bone crunching and gives me massage and exercises. My degree of curvature ( triple curve ) has been reduced from 17 degrees at its worst to almost straight. I only see the chiro about twice a year now for a check. And have almost no pain. I have managed my own back for 30 years this way. Mine developed when I was about 10 and when I first became hypothyroid.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am absolutely shocked at how many people here have scoliosis. I do know that it is quite common - 1 in 10 women have scoliosis and something like 1 in 25 men - although the vast majority of cases are ten degrees or less. Severe scoliosis is not nearly as common (although I do work with two other women who both have scoliosis in the thirty degree range).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the celiac can cause inflammation and that can irritate existing back problems. While celiac might not cause scoliosis, it can make existing scoliosis feel much worse. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too. Diagnosed as a child in the early 1980's but again no real suggestions for treatment. I was not severe enough for a brace. My back issues get bad if not gluten-free, stiff lower back etc when I get glutened last 2-3 months after exposure. I have been seeing DC' s since my mid 20's they help. I can tell pretty quickly with my response if they DC is a good fit for me. Stayming gluten-free is crucial to maintain an asymptomatic back and sacroilliac/hip issues. Count me in for an opinion of related to G based on personal experience.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have complex kypho-scoliosis and celiac.  I absolutely believe that the 2 are connected, considering that gluten intolerance has such a myriad of symptoms and related disorders.  I'm sure you have all seen that tooth formation can be affected by celiac, then why not bones as well? 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have scoliosis and kyphosis, and i remember reading on the net that celiac and scoliosis are connected.  i have 2 rods and 12 screws in my back, surgery back in the 1980's. There are so many problems associated with gluten intolerance, it is highly likely that abnormal spine growth could be one of them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
1 1

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,640
    • Total Posts
      921,551
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hi Kasia2016, Yes, celiac disease symptoms can vary widely.  Some people have no symptoms, we call that silent celiac.  Other have difficulty walking (gluten ataxia), skin rashes (dermatitis herpetiformis), and thyroid disease (Hashimoto's thyroiditis).  The list goes on and on.  GI symptoms can vary widely too, from mild symptoms at times to severe symptoms.
    • Hi egs1707, Welcome to the forum! Irene is right, you should not be gluten-free until all testing is completed.  The celiac disease tests are checking for immune system reactions and damage, and when you go gluten-free that starts to decline.  So the tests may not show the true immune reaction that is going on or the normal damage.  They may not show any damage in fact and you could get a false negative diagnosis.  You body starts healing and out the window go the test results.  Your doctor gets an "F" grade if they told you to go gluten-free now. But you aren't alone in having a doctor who doesn't understand the celiac disease testing process.  Many of them are woefully ignorant of proper testing for celiac disease.  That why the current estimate is somewhere in the range of 85% of celiacs in the USA are undiagnosed.  It doesn't help when doctors screw up the testing themselves.  Or refuse to test people.  Which is also far too common. I was vegetarian for 5 years.  I am not anymore and don't recommend it.  It is hard enough living gluten-free and finding safe food to eat and adequate nutrition for healing a damaged body.  I used to eat a lot of soy products when I Was vegetarian, but now soy makes me physically sick.  We can sometimes develop reactions to foods we eat a lot of while our guts are inflamed IMHO.  Soy is not a healthy food anyway from my reading. I can't do dairy now but may people who start out lactose intolerant end up being able to eat dairy after they have recovered. The best advice I can give is to avoid as much processed food as you can, and eat mostly whole foods you cook yourself at home.  When you do cook, cook big, and freeze the leftovers.  That way you can quickly take a small portion of food out of the freezer and reheat it.  Being celiac it is more important to learn how to cook.  Unless you are wealthy all those gluten-free processed foods add up quick.  Plus gluten-free processed foods often are lacking in fiber and vitamins. You'll want to watch out for vitamin deficiencies also.  Since celiac disease damages the villi in the small intestine, the vitamins and minerals etc are not digested and absorbed well.  So celiacs can be low on vitamin D, calcium,  and one other one I forget.  Vitamin B-12 may be low also ( it is important for nerve health).  Then there are some vitamins that vegetarians tend to have problems getting enough of also to consider. Adjusting to living with celiac disease means adjusting to a new diet and some lifestyle changes.  There's lots of us that make that change every year though, it's not impossible.  You will most likely end up eating better, more nutritious food than many of your peers.  And you will avoid a pletora of additional health concerns that can come along with untreated celiac disease. Learning to cook can be an adventure and you may enjoy it once you start.  you may find your taste in foods changes once you have been gluten-free for a while too. Recovery from celiac disease can take some months.  The immune system is very serious about protecting us and doesn't give up quickly.  Also it always remembers so it will react to even small amounts of gluten.  I live with gluten eaters at home and I do fine.  I just am careful about rinsing dishes off and so forth before using them. There is a Newbie 101 thread at the top of the coping with forum subsection.  It may provide some helpful info.  
    • That's great to hear you are feeling better Nightsky.  I really think when our GI systems are in distress already that it doesn't take much to set off symptoms.  Once I eliminated the other foods that cause me symptoms that helped a lot too.  And added some extra vitamin D to my diet and selenium. Many of us have developed reactions to other foods besides gluten and need to avoid them to keep symptoms at bay.  For me nightshades, carrots, soy, dairy, and celery all cause symptoms.  It took me awhile to figure out all those food culprits, but it made a big difference getting them out of my diet. But we are all individuals, and our bodies react individually.  So you may or may not have additional food intolerances develop. Celiac is one of those life journey things and we learn as we go.  Just keep the bottle of aspirin handy!
    • I know that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce  in the US is gluten free, I also know that in Canada it is NOT. This is a very reliable site: http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/vinegar/ But it is in the US. I'm agast that the Irish Celiac Society says malt vinegar is gluten free.  I wouldn't use it. No sense taking any chance at all.
    • You should never have cut out gluten until you had the biopsy done. It's much worse to have to go back on after you've been off gluten for a while. There's no way I could ever do the gluten challenge after being off gluten for even a month because my reactions got so dramatically worse.  Stress definately can trigger celiac- before I was diagnosed - it got the worst after surgery and after a stressful time planning my daughters wedding. 
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,643
    • Most Online
      3,093

    Newest Member
    moojoo
    Joined