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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Useful exercises for Scoliosis

Hey guys. I was looking up some exercises that are ideal for Scoliosis and came across some very useful ones. 

Stretch Up and Reach Down

The stretch up and reach down exercise is recommended for those with scoliosis by Stand with your back against a wall, both arms dangling freely at your side. Standing with your back against the wall to perform this exercise helps you avoid bending forward or backward. If the left side of your back is your tight side, lift up your left arm so that it's pointing straight toward the ceiling. Reach up toward the ceiling with your left hand. At the same time, reach toward the floor with your right hand. You should feel a subtle shift in your spinal alignment with this stretch. Hold your stretch for five seconds, then relax. Repeat your stretch up and reach down exercise a total of 10 times, and perform your stretch two to three times per day. If you're not sure which side of your back is tighter or which arm you should raise, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or a bodyworker trained in the treatment of scoliosis to have your spine and back assessed.

Side Stretch also recommends the side stretch for those with scoliosis. This exercise is intended to stretch your tight back muscles and provide you with relief from symptomatic back complaints. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your back against a wall, both arms dangling freely at your side. This is your starting position. If the left side of your back is your tight side, lift your left arm above your head and bend sideways to your right, away from your tight muscles. Put your right hand on your right hip to brace your movement, and apply gentle pressure into your right hip to augment your stretch. Reach over your head with your left arm as far as you're capable of reaching. You should feel a gentle stretch in your tight, left-sided back muscles and in the muscles between your ribs. Hold your stretch for five seconds before slowly returning to your starting position. Repeat your side stretch exercise a total of 10 times, two to three times per day.

Arm and Leg Extensions recommends you perform arm and leg extension exercises on an exercise ball or stability ball to help strengthen your back and improve your posture. Begin your arm and leg extension exercise by carefully centering your hips on an exercise ball. The exercise ball should be supporting almost your full body weight. With your left toes and right fingertips contacting the floor for balance and support, extend your left arm and lift your left hand up to the level of your head. At the same time that you're lifting your left arm, lift up your right leg using your right gluteus maximus muscle until your leg is at the level of your buttocks. Hold your pose for three to four seconds before lowering your limbs and repeating the exercise. Perform a total of 10 repetitions before switching directions and lifting your opposite limbs for 10 more repetitions. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds before performing another set of arm and leg extensions. Perform a total of three sets of 10 repetitions on both sides of your body. Breathe in during the lowering phase and breathe out during the lifting phase.

I hope you guys find these exercises useful to you. Hopefully they'll subside the pain a little and make your day a lot more easier!
Kat x

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shailene Woodley's Scoliosis

Many teenagers will probably recognize Shailene Woodley. She plays Hazel Grace in "The Fault in our Stars" and Tris Prior in "Divergent". But did you know that she also suffers from Scoliosis?

Shailene Woodley was diagnosed with Scoliosis when she was 15 years old. She had to also wear a back brace,18 hours a day for two years. When doing an interview for Marie Claire, Woodley said "Some people have crooked teeth, some people have broken fingers; and I've got a back that has my initial on it". Such an inspiration to us twisties, eh? 

There are many more celebrities that have scoliosis; whether they've had bracing, or whether they've had the surgery. But I will be posting more celebrities, possibly once a week! I find that many of their stories are such an inspiration, and it shows that you can still go out there and do what you want even with Scoliosis! 

If you want to read more about Shailene Woodley's Scoliosis then here's a link to an article about it:

Kat x

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Blogger!

I thought for my first blog I'd introduce myself and tell you a bit about my Scoliosis journey.

So, my name's Kat and I'm currently 16 years old. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis in 2009 after a holiday to Florida where my Dad noticed my ribs were sticking out. My first appointment with my surgeon was 2 months later, where I was told I'd have to have surgery as my curve was already at 44 degrees and was too late for bracing. When I had surgery in January 2010, my curve had increased to 53 degrees. My surgery took 6 hours and I came out with an almost fully straight spine (3 degrees). My recovery was quite a speedy one, so when I finally went back to school I only missed an hour of it as I went home early.

From having the surgery, I can tell you that having the surgery is really worth it! The pain decreases a lot after surgery. You may get a few bad days, but nowhere near as many bad days as you had before surgery. There are so many reasons why having the surgery is worth it! If you're scared or need someone to talk to, I'll be here to listen and help you out! Just comment on this post if you have any questions.

I'll be blogging frequently about different topics, mainly about pain management tips that I've picked up along my journey; so I hope I can help as many of you as I can!

Kat x

Friday, March 21, 2014

Scoliosis Brace Correction & Quality of Life

ScoliosisJournal posted a new article which talks about the correlation study between in-brace correction, compliance to spinal orthosis and health-related quality of life of patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Authors:  Siu Ling Chan, Kenneth MC Cheung, Keith DK Luk, Kenneth WH Wong and Man Sang Wong

It has been proposed that in-brace correction is the best guideline for prediction of the results of brace treatment for patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). However, bracing may be a stressful experience for patients and bracing non-compliance could be psychologically related. The purpose of this study was to assess the correlation between brace compliance, in-brace correction and QoL of patients with AIS.

Fifty-five patients with a diagnosis of AIS were recruited. All were female and aged 10?years or above when a brace was prescribed, none had undergone prior treatment, and all had a Risser sign of 0?2 and a Cobb angle of 25-40?. The patients were examined in three consecutive visits with 4 to 6?months between each visit. The Chinese translated Trunk Appearance Perception Scale (TAPS), the Chinese translated Brace Questionnaires (BrQ) and the Chinese translated SRS-22 Questionnaires were used in the study. The in-brace Cobb angle, vertebral rotation and trunk listing were also measured. Patients? compliance, in-brace correction and patients? QoL were assessed. To identify the relationship among these three areas, logistic regression model and generalized linear model were used. Result For the compliance measure, a significant difference (p?=?0.008) was detected on TAPS mean score difference between Visit 1 and Visit 2 in the least compliant group (0?8?hours) and the most compliant group (17?23?hours). In addition, a significant difference (p?=?0.000) was detected on BrQ mean score difference between Visit 2 and Visit 3 in the least compliant group (0?8?hours) and the most compliant group (17?23?hours). For the orthosis effectiveness measure, no significant difference was detected between the three groups of bracing hours (0?8?hours, 9?16?hours, 17?23?hours) on in-brace correction (below 40% and 40% or above). For the QoL measure, no significant difference was detected between the two different in-brace correction groups (below 40% and 40% or above) on QoL as reflected by the TAPS, BrQ and SRS-22r mean scores.

The results showed a positive relationship between patients? brace wear compliance and patients? QoL. Poor compliance would cause a lower QoL.

To read the completre article please follow the link for a PDF version.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Simone: From the Heart

Simone Icough August 2011
Well, I haven't posted here for some time, not from my own words anyway! I wanted to try and touch base with everyone again as it seems my Scoliosis support has lacked some enthusiasm since the death of my husband (Chris Icough) and I have been trying to find the strength to get involved again and be who I used to be - this journey has been hard so far and I know I will struggle with it for the rest of my life, however, Chris helped me start my great support group (which ended up being called "howtolookgoodtwisted") and he would be sad if I chose to give it up, we helped create so many great friendships for people with Scoliosis and when all is said and done, I hope that can continue.

I suppose this post is mainly an apology to the members of the group for slipping away into the darkness and hiding, but to be honest I didn't know what else to do, this was an inevitable reaction from my mind, body and soul and I guess it has taken me this long (30 months) to step back into the light and fight again. These days I struggle to focus, before I could do 10 things at once and not be fased by it but now the majority of my thoughts are filled with wonderful memories of Chris and this sidetracks me quite a bit, don't get me wrong I am not complaining about that but it does make me very, very sad and then the rest of my day just seems so pointless. The easiest way I can explain the feelings is; every thought or feeling you have which is remotely happy and makes you laugh or smile, you are left feeling guilty because you are alive and they are not - it has taken me 30 months to find a way to swallow those thoughts................and place them deep inside me so I can continue my day.

My life is a lot more hectic now as I am still running the business which Chris and I did together but now I am doing a lot more of the work so my time is very limited. I am trying my best to organise myself efficiently so I have plenty of time for my twisty friends, my group and the website, however, this is what I have been failing to do the most: ORGANISE, it always used to one of my biggest strengths but due to the trauma of losing Chris I have lost my way somehow, however, I am now back in our home and I can feel Chris all around me which is helping me build the strength to fight, not only for me but for the cause of Scoliosis.

Scoliosis: Making People Stronger from Within
I have had many a moment where I have hovered over the delete button for the howtolookgoodtwisted facebook group as I felt I couldn't cope. I felt I was letting the members and the moderators down, I wasn't replying to messages, creating new content and fund raising ideas; I just stopped. BUT, from somewhere within me there has always been a voice telling me that I would actually be heartbroken if I walked away after 9 years of running support groups. Luckily that voice was right and I walked away from the button!

It has been a rocky road, for me, my family and friends, but in so many ways I am lucky girl, I have a great family on both sides, some stunning friends and I know Chris will always be with me; I just wish it didn't have to hurt this much!

Thanks to all the members of the group for bearing with me and for offering support. To my amazing moderators, I love and adore you all so much you have no idea, thanks sooooooooo much for all that you do, you all deerve a medal!

I will be making more of an appearance from now on and gathering information from as many places as I can to keep supporting you through your journey - let's do it together and in true TWISTED style!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pulmonary Function after Anterior Instrumentation

iScoliosis recently published an article in relation to: Pulmonary function after less invasive anterior instrumentation and fusion for idiopathic thoracic scoliosis

Published: 21 August 2013

Purpose: Standard thoracotomy for anterior instrumentation and fusion of the thoracic spine in idiopathic scoliosis may have detrimental effects on pulmonary function. In this study we describe a less invasive anterior surgical technique and show the pre- and postoperative pulmonary function with a minimum follow-up of 2 years.


Twenty patients with Lenke type 1 adolescent thoracic idiopathic scoliosis were treated with anterior spinal fusion and instrumentation. The mean preoperative Cobb angle of the thoracic curve was 53[degree sign] +/- 5.8. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) and radiographic evaluation was performed.


The mean postoperative correction in Cobb angle of the thoracic curve was 27[degree sign] +/- 8.2 (49%).
The mean preoperative FEV1 was 2.81 +/- 0.43 L, which increased to 3.14 +/- 0.50 L at 2 years postoperatively (P = 0.000). The mean FEV1% did not change (89.60 +/- 7.49% preoperatively, versus 90.53 +/- 5.95% at 2 years follow-up, P = 0.467). The TLC increased from 4.62 +/- 0.62 L preoperatively to 5.17 +/- 0.63 L at 2 years follow-up (P = 0.000). The FEV1% at two years of follow-up improved to 104% of the FEV1% predicted value. The FEV1 improved to 97% of the FEV1 predicted value.


Anterior spinal fusion for idiopathic scoliosis by means of a minimal open thoracotomy proved to be a safe surgical technique that resulted in an improvement of pulmonary function. Our results are similar to those of thoracoscopic procedures reported in literature. 

Download this article about pulmonary function after less invasive anterior instrumentation and fusion for idiopathic thoracic scoliosis as a pdf

Monday, March 4, 2013

Scoliosis Charity Ball

Jess contact How To Look Good twisted to talk to us about her Scoliosis Charity Ball which is taking place on the same day as our own event in York.
Jess is 15 years old and is raising money for Scoliosis, her event will be held at Jocasta's Lincoln. 
Jess says "Scolio is a charity that I set up which sends gifts and grants wishes to children around the UK with serious conditions and illnesses. I set up Scolio after an operation to correct my Scoliosis where unfortunately I suffered rare complications (I have now made an almost full recovery)"
Tickets for the ball are £40 which includes a welcome drink, 3 course meal, coffee, raffle, disco, auction, photographer and live entertainment by Off Limits! 
This will be a brilliant night which shouldn't be missed, says Jess.
"I really hope you are able to join us as it would be great to see as many people as possible there."
For tickets to the Scolio Ball, please contact Jess via her Facebook Page: Scolio Ball
The How To Look Good twisted team would like to wish Jess the best of luck for her event and hope she has some fun and raises the amount she needs.