Hello! I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was around 13, now I'm 21. My question is, does anyone else with scoliosis experience rib cage pain? I know it sounds odd but it is what it is. I have not been to a doctor for my scoliosis since I was 13, I can't remember the exact degree of the curve but it is in my lower back, I think it was 20 degrees. I have had back pain and occasionally rib pain which hurts terribly. This all started when I was in high school. When I look in the mirror at myself my one shoulder is noticeably higher than the other. Can scoliosis get worse? When I was younger I brought up the pain in my back and ribs to my primary care doctor and she shrugged it off. What are some good treatments out there?
Yes, unfortunately Scoliosis can & does get worse if it was not taken care of as a child. I have Severe Scoliosis, it wasn't always Severe, I had it since childhood like you, but my mother never told me about it. A Soft Brace was all that was necessary as you were growing; it would have pulled the spine up and straightened it as you grew. But I didn't have that, did the usual heavy lifting, pushing, jumping and things kids & teenagers & then adults do with their bodies like there was nothing wrong with me, until I started having pain. Well this Slight Curve in my Spine in youth Started Collapsing with all the things I did in life. I should have been told, NOT to Lift heavy things, NOT to push Cars and such, because eventually it Ruptured the Discs. It only makes sense, that the curve would Increase with Abuse, and it did. Now I am not a candidate for surgery due to my age, osteoarthritis in the spine and osteoporosis too. I am on pain medications, probably for the rest of my life, and the Scoliosis can cause other problems, like breathing problems (the spine can press on a lung) and the pain in the lower back from bearing the upper body is unbearable, I will probably be in a wheel chair from this in a few years. My advice to you is to see a Good Physiatrist, they are one up on a Rheumatologist, some pain clinics are good but you're taking a stab in the dark on that one, some are surgery happy, or they give you so much pain medication you feel like a drug addict (and the pharmacy treats you like one too). The Physiatrist will order Cat Scans or MRI's or X-rays to see how far your Scoliosis has Progressed and treat you from there. If it's not as bad as mine (It can't be), you may just benefit from a "Prescribed" Back Brace, these have the Stays in them (like a corset) for when you're going to be doing alot of walking or anything physical. The Dr. Will Know What you Need. Mine has even progressed to my Neck...it's sort of Double Scoliosis, so beleive me, I know what I'm talking about. I wear a back brace (I hate it, it's hot, & you can't swallow your food with it on, it squeezes where your stomache is) and I wear a Neck Brace. I wish I had known that I had Scoliosis at a younger age, I certainly wouldn't have done alot of the things I did with my body. So Don't do anything more that is Heavy Lifting or pushing, anything you use your back for, if it's heavy or forceful...you'll rupture discs & the discs will pinch nerves, and then you'll have problems in other areas of your body that the nerves lead to. The Nerves to your Entire Body are in your spine, and alot of things can go wrong that you wouldn't even think to attribute to your back. So get to a PHYSIATRIST (that's the correct spelling) and go from there. I'm certain you can be helped ALOT or you would be Screaming about your Pain & you're not, so take care of it ASAP.....You Can and Should be Helped; Before your quality of life is affected like mine is. I hope for the Best for you, and I hope this helped answer your question, because My Slight Shoulder Slope, Definately Got Worse; Perhaps they can Still Straighten Yours Out or Keep it from Progressing.
Hi, I was only diagnoised with scolosis when I was 40, 5 years ago I have a 18 degree curve in my spine. I do experience rib cage pain constantly but have never been told what was causing it. Not sure if you have expereinced this yet but at time the rib will get really bad where it will actually pop out of place and will cause me not to be able lift my arm (Right). I actually have to see a chiropractor to have him pop it back it. Talk to your doctor to see if he can help.
Yes, the ribcage can press outward as the scoliosis progress's. It can also make your ribs press into your lungs, making your breathing shallower. It all depends on that curve, and the only way you'll find that out is by seeing a Pain Physciasist or a Pain Specialist. It does not show up on an MRI or Cat Scan. So you need an X-ray. A Chiropractor can do an X-ray too, I had mine done by one, and then he actually loaned me the film to show my physicacist. Be ready to be shocked by the X-ray...when he called me to the X-ray room & I saw that film, I said "Who's Back is that"....and he said "Yours"....and I said "Jeeeeeze....is it Broken?"...because mine is just not a Soft curve anymore, it's a sideways "V" and then he showed me all the ruptured vertebrae & pinched nerves. If you have nerve impingement, you can have alot of problems with other areas of your body, like MY EYES.....one is going blurry & turning in toward my nose (it never did that before) and it's only when that Vertebrae is Squeezing that nerve that leads to the eyes. Hands & fingers, same thing. So ya see, you have got to find out HOW BAD is it? Of course the chiropractor would not adjust me, because he could do more bad than good. So be careful, there are chiropracters out there that WILL adjust you, and you don't want a guy who WANTED to be a dr. but couldn't cut the mustard, so he settled for being a Chiropracter, that's why they cannot write prescriptions. They are not real doctors. So you get the X-ray or have your primary care write a referal & get an X-ray at your hospital, and find yourself a good spine doctor. Ask People, that's the Best way. Don't let Anyone Cut your Back.....You get more than one opinion on that. But YES...it can affect your lungs and Rib cage.
Hope that info helps a bit........My guy has got to do something more, because this eye thing is Not Cutting it with me. Can't even watch TV & the Computer...Really Brings it on. That's because the Nerve is in the upper area of my body & you bend over the computer.
Good Luck.....Ask if you need to.....there are NO stupid questions!
The Following User Says Thank You to wishiwasbetter For This Useful Post: spiralfall (03-15-2013)
Thanks for the info wishiwasbetter. I have never done much research on scoliosis until recently. Your information is very informative. I do have nerve problems as well, in my back, arms and chest. However according to my doctor he thinks that is MS after looking at the MRI. Waiting to get in to see a MS specialist. Unforturnetly I have a lot of different health issues. so some symptoms seem to over lap. I have learn a lot on the different information for this board. Its a great place to find info and advice.
Hi, it is good that you are still kind of young. I agree about seeing a physiatrist but a pain mgt dr w/ a psyiatry background initially. He or she will get those tests ordered and help get your pain under control, you may need an injection, done under a florecope (like an X-ray) to guide him. This will help a lot.
If needed he will point you to a surgeon. Only if needed. The pm dr. Can order you a race as well. Cathy
In Regards to the question about the tight band about the chest.I just read in the "MERCK" Manual, and in it's exact words, "A Person may feel a BELT like band of discomfort where the spinal cord is injured." Mine is right under my breasts, like a waaaay too tight bra, I have a ruptured vertebrae there, and it is also where my scoliosis takes it's bend to the right. They also state that the earlier you have it looked at, the better chance for irreversible treatment. They say without surgery (and they do not suggest it) if it's brought to attention soon enough, it can sometimes be straightened out with physical therapy, traction, or injections (to reduce inflammation which reduces the pressure on the nerve)..and you can go a long while before you, as I say, "Throw your back out again"....that way you will keep it from worsening, and then you'd call your Dr. and do it again. You have to make sure you get a doctor that makes sense to you, one that isn't Surgery happy, some just want to go in there and cut. Make sure he gives you options. Drs. are like Hairdressers or Mechanics you know, just because they passed the bookwork & got a diploma, doesn't mean they're a good one. There are alot of bad hairdressers out there & they're all licensed. I'm a mess today.....I tried sleeping on my side with a pillow under my waist to sort of align my spine, it didn't work, and my back is hurting. Beds & How you sleep are important when you have Scoliosis. I have a firm mattress with Two Wide Boards in between the mattress & box spring with a memory foam pad on top, and then of course the sheets, but I still can never get comfortable, and if you don't sleep well the pain is greater. But I also have Fibromyalgia and that doesn't help matters at all.
I am a 44 year old female who also has scoliosis. It is hereditary, my mother had it. I also found this out at 13 years of age. Three years ago i was in a very serious accident and herniated 5 discs, from my thorasic spine all the way down to L5/S1. Since then, If i sit too long or drive too long (30-40 mins.) I get severe pain in my left lower rib. The pain is so severe that i have to IMMEDIATELY lay down flat and apply ice, it takes my breath away so I have to just try to relax and consentrate on my breathing. It's very scary! Thank God my husband helps me when this happens, but I can't go to far from home or be out too long because what would I do if this happens when I am out? Lay in the middle of the grocery store or at the beach, or the street? I have talked to my primary care Dr., my pain management Dr., and they just say, "oh, it's the nerve from your back". Well obviously! I have yet to get an answer of, is it the scoliosis, or the herniations, can it be fixed? I will be getting social security disability soon and I will get to the bottom of this because I just can't live like this any more and I feel your pain! Plus your so young. I hope you can get the answers you need. If you find anything out as far as what can be done for you to stop it or relieve it, please post me. Good luck!
I have been reading your replies and you seem very knowledgable regarding back issues from first hand knowledg. I am also expiericing some similar problems such as, scoliosis, disc herniations, neuropothy and god knows what else. You mentioned going to a phychiatrist for the back problems. I find that very interesting. I go to pain management and see a mytherapist just to talk about my depression and then see my primary care, I would like to discuss more with you.
Hello everybody! I dont just suffer from rib cage pain. Loaer and midback pain have been annoying me fir a very long time. Went to a chiropractor due to terrible pain in my upper back. Took XRays and holy cow!! That was definitely shocking. Curve progressed to 29 degrees being the highest amount and I think it was 18 degrees at another point and then another degree which I cannot recall. the X-ray showed my neck bone is a reverse curve, and my spine is twisting. Very odd thing to see and makes you feel weird when the person is pointing to things on the X-ray, " see this? Yes, that's not where it's supposed to be.." Awesome. should have read these posts here before hand but i didnt see any posts on it for a few days. Now, I just got into a car accident. A lady cut me off and well, car doesn't look too nice. And neither do i. Sprained my scapula and so now I look even more crooked than I did before. Have an MRI on Saturday so maybe since the X-ray doesn't show why I suffer from chronic back pain, maybe the MRI might show things. Also have an appointment with an orthopedic next week. Also, I was working at FedEx ( yes, I know I shouldn't have worked there) but I quit there due to hoping to reduce some pain. Then got in an a cider and now I'm in more pain haha. I never heard of a physiatrist. Is that comparable to a physiologist? I regret not taking care of this at a younger age. My mom even told me she knew about it prior to when I found it in middle school. I wasn't too happy about that. People think it doesn't hurt you or cause pain. Certainly not true I'm sure all of you here would agree. Starting to finally take care of myself
I am so sorry for all of you having pain from you scoliosis. I will be 72 May 22, 13 and have suffered from Scoliosis since age 14. Wore the Milwaukee Body Brace for 2 years which kept me from turning on my axis,ie(spine). To see me straight on no one knows I have a bad back. Not much to tell from behind either with clothes on. But my 11,12, & 13 vertebrae lie on their side pointing to the right. As it was developing the pain was excruciating. I never had surg. for it and am prob. all the better off for it. Now my back hurts if I run a heavy sweeper, or try to lean over for a long period like planting flowers etc. My hands get numb now and then prob. from nerve damage. I get occ. headaches, but all and all I am not too bad off.
Wishing you all better days and pain free ones to boot.
PS sleeping on my left side is best for me as curve is to the right and that is the scapula that protrudes. Also, even with the bad back I was able to carry and deliver two babies with no back probs.
The Following User Says Thank You to Former Surgical For This Useful Post: UNEARTHED (04-25-2013)
I did buy a new mattress at the end of last year. Was think " hey those memory foam mattresses MUST be wonderful!" Latex down on one flat on my back and ouch! Went with a firm mattress with some pillow top so comfort. One would think the other would have made me feel good, I guess with spines like ours we need it to be firm. Just had my MRI done, hopefully they can explain my usual and my new pains, and if they can't then its on to the next doctor! And I agree that some doctors are good and some are bad. Some only want a paycheck and others are very caring. I hate being ignored when I tell a doctor I have pain and they look at me like I should be crawling on the floor in and bleeding from ears in order to get help haha. Just because I'm young some must think I just want pills and that's definitely not the case. One doctor a long time ago said " scoliosis doesn't cause pain..." I wanted to smack them. Take a walk in our shoes! I'm sure they'd disagree after that. Some have an ageist attitude towards it. Pain isn't fun and in my opinion pain medication masks pain, it doesn't cure it!
The following user gives a hug of support to UNEARTHED: Former Surgical (04-20-2013)
Well I got the MRI results. 2 acute herniations in my neck, and 2 herniations in my lower back. Good think i have an injury attorney. never knew my spine was THAT fragile. Well that explains my traveling pain. And on Saturday I was miserable. First time I felt pain radiating down towards my buttocks. Yuck Never ending doctor appointments! Curious, does anyone know what treatment i might go through? They aren't severe enough for surgery (thankfully). Looking on the bright side.
Every now and then I wear a TENS UNIT to aid in relief of back pain. It really works to give me help. If they want to give you one take it. Of course your insur. will pay for it....Also standing in a hot shower helps and I have an item called a BODY BRIDGE. You may have seen it advertised in a mag. Looks like a half of a barrel and you lean over it to relax your spine. This helps right before bedtime or when my back feels really tight. I bought it in 1995 and I think they are still selling them. It is very sturdy. Everyone who sees mine wants to try it out.
My best to all of you who are suffering.