This week is the ten year anniversary of the day our family was jolted into the world of scoliosis. I remember it as if it were yesterday, including the sick feeling of helplessness. As many parents know, receiving a diagnosis that has the potential to alter your child’s well being can shake your world, and soon worry, concern and fear become your constant companions.
I recall only too well the appointments in the cold, sterile hospital environment. We shuffled from the doctor to the x-ray department and back to the doctor. Then we waited while two doctors in white coats conferred in the hall. Then, back to the x-ray department and back up to the doctors again. All of this culminated in inconclusive advice about the way to make scoliosis STOP. It was scary, depressing and confusing – for parents and child alike. When the doctor mentioned surgery, our journey began.
Since then, scoliosis has become much more than a condition to make decisions about, worry about and manage. Marc, always a dedicated back care practitioner, gained insights which have provided him with added vigor and purpose. Having a child with scoliosis seemed to add to his compassion for those with back troubles. The ability to give guidance and offer hope to those who thought they would just have to suffer their way through life has resulted in heartwarming consequences.
In those early years, our focus was the quandary of “how to stop scoliosis.’ Upon discovering the benefits of Schroth, informing others became a calling.
My involvement stems from my desire to help Marc pursue something he is so passionate about and to help other parents avoid, in some small way, the amount of stress and worry we experienced. We are reminded of that angst almost daily in emails and phone calls.
Obviously, the internet has changed the dissemination of information. In 2001, we’d stay up into the wee hours reading and searching for alternatives that were just not there. Now, parents searching the web are inundated with information, perhaps too much, since not everyone online is qualified or well-intentioned. One concern of mine is that patients and parents pursuing a non-invasive remedy for scoliosis will trust the wrong people. Of even greater concern is why most of the medical profession does not know of, admit to knowing of, acknowledge, or inform patients about the existence of this viable alternative for scoliosis management? Why should parents be up all night searching the internet for help?
During the last few years Marc has seen patients with various curves – from mild to extremely severe – some have tried or currently wear different types of braces, still others have tried numerous approaches promising to help-as we did, some are adamantly opposed to surgery and others are post-surgical. Each time a patient shares his/her unique experience with various techniques it underscores my belief that we absolutely did the right thing in pursuing the three-dimensional exercise approach. Why would people continue in search of answers if other approaches work so well?
Believe me, I am happy when others find success, in any way possible. We look forward to hearing of others positive experiences since first and foremost, we are parents of children with scoliosis. Who knows, perhaps someday a synergy between Schroth and another non-invasive approach may be discovered as the way for mature curved spines to achieve even greater symptomatic relief and hopefully, reduction! But for now, I believe, in conjunction with proper bracing, the Schroth method is the best chance of halting progression and sustaining an improved quality of life.
I would be remiss if I didn’t express our appreciation to Dr. T, Martha, Hans, Axel, Udo, Frau Christa, Dr. R, Joe O., Jim W, Gerry, Annie C., Matt, and, of course, our beautiful daughter. Your direction, guidance, knowledge, support, patience, and/or cooperation has allowed us to move forward helping others interested in pursuing conservative care for scoliosis. Along the way we’ve been lucky to come to know some very committed professionals, like-minded parents, and many wonderful patients, adult and adolescent.
As we begin our second decade as proponents for the conservative treatment of scoliosis, it is by pure coincidence we just spent a few days with our daughter – now grown and on her own. Whenever we see her it is always a relief to hear Marc comment on how good her back looks, now ten years after. As all moms and dads know, you never stop worrying about your kids, no matter how old. We are grateful for the peace of mind the Schroth Method has given us when it comes to living with scoliosis!