I know that many of you are dealing with, or know someone dealing with Scoliosis. It is one of the toughest things to go through. You can either be born with a twisted spine, or gradually develop it. It is more common in girls than in boys but if caught in the early stages it can be an easier fix. I know schools around the US, do Scoliosis checks(how I found mine) But if you are concerned or want to find out, talking to your kid’s Doctor will give you answers.

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I had pain for years and never knew why until my middle school did a Scoliosis screening and found that my Scoliosis was pretty severe. It was too late for me to wear a brace, which is usually the first thing Orthopedic Doctors put you in. Some can have a curved spine in the top only, Thoracic scoliosis, or down in the lower back, Lumbar Scoliosis. What I have is Thoracolumbar Scoliosis, which is where the curving occurs in the upper and lower part of the spine. My spine has been fused, repaired, and rehabbed, many many times. Only to get temporary relief.

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I know that this is a life long battle, as I call it. There has NEVER been a day that goes by with no pain. I always have pain, sometimes it gets out of control, but mostly its pain I can still function through. I spent a lot of time trying to find a way to take my pains away but I have never found the solution and probably never will. I am willing to accept that and have probably have developed a high pain tolerance because of it.

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The only thing besides running that helps keep my pain under control is KT Tape. KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. KT Tape gives you confidence to perform your best. (from kttape.com)

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Having Scoliosis has definitely given my life a challenge. I’ve dealt with Doctors, 14+ hours at a time in the operating room, and countless appointments with physical therapists, since I was 13. Now being 32, nothing has changed except I feel worse. Having more pain often than not, my clothes doesn’t fit right, can’t sit, stand, or sleep comfortably, and even reaching for a hug hurts. The only time I am sort of pain free is when I run. It sounds weird I know, but its the only time I feel I AM in control of my body and not my Scoliosis pain. I am not saying I always run pain free, but using the KT Tape certainly makes it doable.

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Being that I have opened up my usually private struggle, I have inspired many to things you never thought possible and I take that to heart. Please know that your emails, messages, comments about how I’ve helped you, REALLY means tons to me. I also know that many of you have either just discovered yourself, or a loved one has been diagnosed with Scoliosis. It is a very scary moment and can’t help but worry. Like I said, the early its caught, and treated, the easier the process is. If you can seek second opinions, talk to Doctors all over the United States, world renowned specialists, DO IT! Not many orthopedic surgeons are strong in the spinal fusion department so talking to many different ones will help.

Technology has grown so so much lately that doing a spinal fusion shouldn’t be the first and only option, in my opinion of course. Having gone through 4 of them, I wish I had done a little more digging and searching. My first spinal fusion was perfection! But getting into a car accident soon after changed everything. I was never right again.

There are so many different forms of braces now, like suits and aqua therapy that can fix a mild diagnosis of Scoliosis. Having GREAT posture is a must! DO NOT allow your child to carry a large backpack full of books! That is one of the top causes of Scoliosis(it affected mine greatly). Do the check ups and talk to people. Find others who are dealing with it, or have dealt with it, like myself. There isn’t as much online support for Scoliosis awareness as there should be, I’ve checked. If it’s your child that was diagnosed, the most important thing you can do for them is support them and be there. As a parent, I know that we would all love to have magical powers to heal our children, but being there every step of the way is vital. It’s just as scary to them as it is to you, probably worse since they are the ones dealing with the pains.

But PLEASE know that I AM here to support, guide you, and hold your hand through the process. Many have already reached out to me for advice through their recent discovery and I am doing the best I can to be there for all of you. Know that you are NOT ALONE! I am all over social media, easy to find, easy to contact, FacebookTwitter, here on my blog and email gelcys@runnerunleashed.com. If you have an questions, I will gladly share my experiences and thoughts being I have pretty much been through it all and continue to do so. I don’t want you all to suffer, feel lost, and alone like I did. I am HERE.

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-cheetah g

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