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Scoliosis
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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?

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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.

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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...

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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.)

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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".

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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.

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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 ;)

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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 )

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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.

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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.)

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Both dd and I have scoliosis, both are celiacs.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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. 

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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.

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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? 

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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.

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