Recently, I was listening to a lecture on inventions at my children’s school. My kids were learning about early America and how inventions improved people’s lives. At the end of the talk, the speaker said, “is there any aspect of your life where you could invent something to make it easier or better?” This struck a chord with me as the scoliosis world could certainly use some inventions to change people’s lives for the better!
The scoliosis world is archaic and broken. There are too many people who fall through the cracks of this system, which unfortunately, works something like this:
- Someone, either a pediatrician or a school nurse, identifies the scoliosis.
- The child is referred to an orthopedic surgeon for x-rays.
- That doctor offers options for treatment:
- Watch and wait, which, for the record is not treatment.
- Wear a hard, plastic back brace. Most of these are basic compression braces and don’t work. In addition, insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the multi-thousand-dollar brace, which the child will grow out of quickly. This is to say nothing of the the emotional toll the child will endure while wearing the brace.
- Undergo a spinal fusion. This very expensive surgery doesn’t take scoliosis out of the body, meaning there continue to be issues post-surgery…and now your spine can’t move.
The system is broken and desperately needs new ideas and inventions.
Every person and scoliotic back is different and has specialized needs in order to live a happy and healthy life. This one-size-fits-all, in-and-out of doctor’s appointments in 15 minutes approach isn’t working.
I’ve pondered this situation over the last six years and come up with a few ideas to help improve this broken system.
Here are my inventions to improve the scoliosis world:
- The Scoliometer by Spiral Spine app (available for iPhone and Android) and free Scoliometer Tracking Chart. These two items are quick and inexpensive, giving users tools to determine whether a particular therapy is helping their scoli.
- The Starting Point Series, a set of free, short videos designed to educate those new to scoliosis on ways to take control of their scoli and lives
- A book, The Beautiful Scoliotic Back, written to help calm people’s fears after a scoliosis diagnosis and provide proactive steps to managing their new life
- My Scoli Journal, a way to help readers work through the emotional and physical sides of scoliosis
- My own Pilates studio, Spiral Spine Pilates, designed to give those with scoliosis a place to feel safe while learning to be strong and flexible, all under the eyes of well-trained Pilates instructors
- The Spiral Spine Scoliosis Education videos, episodes that teach people how to move and love on their own bodies. The first video, Untwisting Scoli: Maya, is now available in both DVD and streaming format. This series integrates relevant medical research into real-life, proactive exercises that can be done at home or with a Pilates practitioner. More videos will be added soon.
These are a few ways to improve the scoliosis world. What ideas do you have that could help this broken system? Have you taken action on any of them?
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below!