scoliosis and pregnancy Posted in: Understanding Scoliosis

Scoliosis and pregnancy can be scary undertakings on their own, much less combined. However, it’s important to note, the baby is not at risk simply because the mother has scoliosis. It’s true that you may need to take certain precautions, but the health and well-being of your baby are in no way at risk solely due to scoliosis.

If you’re a first time mother simultaneously battling your Cobb angle, you probably have questions about scoliosis and pregnancy. We’re here to provide you with some answers. We put together a Q&A of some common questions and answers asked by expecting mothers with scoliosis.

Q: Is scoliosis hereditary?

A: Scoliosis is not hereditary, but it is familial. This means that there are genes that may be passed on that predispose someone to scoliosis, however there is no scoliosis gene. Scoliosis results from a varying combination of environment and genes. Just because you have certain genes doesn’t guarantee you’ll develop scoliosis, but it can make it more likely.

Q: Will an ultrasound show scoliosis in a fetus?

A: It’s rare, but possible, to see abnormalities in the spine through an ultrasound. However, most variations of scoliosis are virtually indiscernible due to the baby’s twisting and turning in the womb.

Q: What precautionary measures can I take during pregnancy to ensure my child does not develop scoliosis?

A: Not much is known about what causes scoliosis or what can be done to prevent it. Some research suggests that exposure to indoor swimming pools or excessive amounts of chlorine during pregnancy may result in the child developing scoliosis. There are also more preliminary theories that heavy metals and mercury are not good for the baby’s development.

Q: Are there OB/GYNs who specialize in scoliosis patients?

A: OB/GYNs generally know very little about the intricacies of scoliosis. This is why it’s important to alert them of your situation as it may affect your pregnancy as well as your delivery. Doing so in advance can give them adequate time to develop a plan that’s right for you.

Q: Is there increased risk in a pregnancy when the mother has scoliosis?

A: The baby is not at risk simply because the mother has scoliosis. In fact, most women with scoliosis don’t have any problem bearing children. However, be sure to let your OB/GYN and anesthesiologist know about your scoliosis ahead of time. Depending on the curve of the spine, an epidural may be difficult or even impossible for some women with scoliosis. There is also a higher risk of needing to induce labor or have a Cesarean section in women with scoliosis.

Q: Do I need to have a C-section if I have scoliosis?

A: No, a Cesarean section is not necessary for most women with scoliosis. However, it’s important your OB/GYN and anesthesiologist are aware of your scoliosis in the event that you’d like an epidural. Depending on your curve, an epidural may be difficult to perform without advanced notice. Lumbar spine rotation, not spine curvature, is the primary reason epidurals fail in people with scoliosis.

Q: Can a C-section cause scoliosis in the baby?

A: During a Cesarean section, when the baby is pulled from the womb, it is possible for the ligaments in the baby’s neck to be destabilized or damaged. Birth trauma is one known cause for scoliosis, though it can be difficult to pinpoint this as the cause if the scoliosis is not diagnosed in infancy.

Q: Is it safe to get an epidural after scoliosis surgery?

A: A spinal fusion rod may cause problems with an epidural. If the rod is low in the spine, an epidural will be difficult if not impossible. Many OB/GYNs refuse to provide epidurals to women with scoliosis fusions. Pregnancy with a rod is possible. However, the whole birthing team needs to be made aware of the rod, so that they may attempt to work around it.

Q: Can pregnancy worsen my scoliosis?

A: In the third trimester, women with scoliosis should be especially careful with their backs. Because of the hormones released during pregnancy, the ligaments are naturally more relaxed. This may lead to an increase of the Cobb angle and the resulting back, hip or leg pain in some women. For those who have had spinal fusion surgery, long-term back pain and decreased satisfaction with the surgery are common after pregnancy.

Q: Is pregnancy more uncomfortable for people with scoliosis?

A: Women with scoliosis may have more pronounced hip, leg and back pain during pregnancy. Depending on the measurement of the Cobb angle, you may have a harder time catching your breath. After the baby is born, the curve could worsen if the mother consistently holds the baby on one side of her body. A body carrier that will balance the weight of the infant is a great investment for women with scoliosis.

Q: Can you do CLEAR treatment while pregnant?

A: If you have already begun treatment, you can continue. The only alteration would be reducing the amount and intensity of exercises during the third trimester. If you decide to stop CLEAR treatment completely during your pregnancy, any damage done may be reversed once you begin treatment again afterward. Unfortunately, you cannot begin CLEAR treatment if you’re already pregnant. We require x-rays to assess the intricacies of your scoliosis, which aren’t safe to perform on pregnant women. But we’d be happy to discuss your options during pregnancy and begin CLEAR treatment after you’ve given birth.

Scoliosis and pregnancy don’t need to be scary. If you talk honestly with your OB/GYN and chiropractor about your situation, the whole process can go seamlessly. Most women with scoliosis don’t have any problem bearing children. However, it’s important to know the risks and what you can do to avoid them.

Do you have any other questions on scoliosis and pregnancy? Have you been through a pregnancy with scoliosis? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

106 comments on “Scoliosis and Pregnancy: Common Questions and Answers”

  1. 1
    Sirisha on August 20, 2016

    Hi, my age is 31 years. One year back I was diagnosed with lumber scoliosis at l5-s1 and doctor said that it is mild scoliosis. Now we are planning for first pregnancy. Does pregnancy can increase the curve of spine? please tell me after my delivery how the spine curve would be, it will worsen?

    1. 2
      Dr. Josh Woggon on August 22, 2016

      Hello, and congratulations! While it is possible for scoliosis to get worse during pregnancy, most likely it will not, particularly with mild cases of scoliosis. Danielsson and Nachemon published a study in Spine in 2001 that did not find a relationship between curve progression and the number of pregnancies. However, there are a limited number of studies on the topic of scoliosis and pregnancy, and certainly some people have reported their scoliosis getting worse after pregnancy. Personally, I think it is always a good idea for women to be under good-quality chiropractic care during pregnancy, simply due to the stress that pregnancy can place upon the hips and low back, and there is some evidence in the literature to support this opinion. I would recommend getting in touch with a chiropractor specializing in the Webster Chiropractic Technique; you can find more information about this at http://icpa4kids.com/about/webster_technique.htm.
      Warmest Blessings to you and your family, and congratulations again!

  2. 3
    Nelemor on November 26, 2016

    I have experiencing lower back pain but I can’t determine what type of scoliosis I have. I am 21 yrs. old Iam 31 weeks pregnant. Do you think it will harm my baby because of my scoliosis? Or it may cause Caesarean?

    1. 4
      Dr. Josh Woggon on November 29, 2016

      The good news is that there’s no evidence that the mother having scoliosis places the baby at any higher risk whatsoever. Having scoliosis does not increase the risk of birth complications for you or your baby, nor does it increase the chance that a Cesarean section will be necessary. Make sure your doctor or midwife knows in advance that you have scoliosis, as well as the anesthesiologist, as it is important to know if you have an epidural for any reason.
      Warmest Blessings to you both!

  3. 5
    INTAN on November 26, 2016

    Hi. I was diagnosed as mild scoliosis pt when I was 18. Now that Im 22 and pregnant (34w). Starting from 31w Im having a very bad pain on pelvic bone. I did google and found it is pelvic girdle pain. I feel all the symptoms. Is it related with scoliosis im having? Thank you ☺

    1. 6
      Dr. Josh Woggon on November 29, 2016

      Pelvic rotation is commonly seen in scoliosis, and this can lead to pain, so yes, it is possible. Chiropractic care is safe and effective for pregnant women; although no x-rays can be taken, your local CLEAR doctor may be able to help you. I highly recommend that you reach out to the CLEAR doctor nearest you, and inquire about scheduling a consultation to find out if we can help.
      We wish all the best of health and happiness to you and to your baby!

  4. 7
    Amsya on December 8, 2016

    Hi, i was diagnosed with severe scoliosis with 48 degree at the age of 20. Does my scoliosis will affect my pregnancy?

    1. 8
      Dr. Josh Woggon on December 8, 2016

      Scoliosis can increase the chance of back pain during pregnancy, but it does not pose any serious danger to the mother or the new baby. Most women with scoliosis will have no problems with labor or delivery, and the risks of complications during delivery are not any higher for women with scoliosis. The most important thing is to alert the anesthesiologist to the presence of the scoliosis well in advance of the due date, as some anesthesiologists will refuse to provide epidurals to women with severe scoliosis.

  5. 9
    Karen Dorn on December 9, 2016

    I have scoliosis and had a spinal fusion as a teenager. Had my first baby two years ago and she was frank breech. Is it possible there’s a link between her presentation and my scoliosis or fusion? Pregnant with number 2 and wondering if it’s likely she will also be breech. Ill add the first pregnancy was complication free outside breech presentation.

    1. 10
      Dr. Josh Woggon on December 12, 2016

      It’s very unlikely that the breech presentation and the scoliosis (or spinal fusion surgery) are related. While we must keep in mind that not a great deal of research has been conducted on scoliosis & pregnancy, and there is still a great deal that we do not know, most cases of scoliosis will not cause any complications during delivery. It is possible that, if the scoliosis is accompanied by significant asymmetry of the pelvis and/or rotation of the hips, that this could affect the shape of the pelvic bowl, and this may have an effect upon the presentation of the newborn. However, this has not been studied through research.
      If you have not heard of it before, I would recommend searching for a chiropractor who specializes in prenatal care and the Webster technique. This chiropractic technique was developed specifically to help improve pelvic alignment in pregnant women, and decrease the chances of a breech presentation. You can find out more information here: http://icpa4kids.com/about/webster_technique.htm

  6. 11
    Jo on December 15, 2016

    I have mild scoliosis with a 25 degree curve and similar rotation. I’m worried about pregnancy and if it will effect my internal organs, as they are already moved around due to the rotation. Are there any risks to the internal organs during pregnancy with scoliosis?

    1. 12
      Dr. Josh Woggon on December 16, 2016

      While the rotation of the spine (and ribs) does not always correlate well with the Cobb angle, most cases of scoliosis under 30 degrees will not cause any problems with the organs due to rotation. Although the best course of action if you are worried is to consult with a scoliosis specialist in person, there is no research showing that scoliosis causes any risks to the internal organs during pregnancy.

  7. 13
    Franciska on December 18, 2016

    Hi!

    I have scoliosis which is around 38 degrees. I’m sleeping with a corset in the nights, and some days ago I was thinking about my scoliosis when I get pregnant. Will it be harmful for me? Or the baby? How is to give birth? Can I give birth in the normal way or do I have to have a caesarean? I’m so afraid I will get a lot of pain in my back.

    1. 14
      Dr. Josh Woggon on December 19, 2016

      There is not a lot of research on scoliosis & pregnancy, but the research that does exist suggests that there is no greater risk of harm for either the mother or the baby, with pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Neither does having scoliosis mean that you will need to have a C-section. The most important thing is to be sure your birthing team (particularly the anesthesiologist) knows that you have scoliosis in advance. Having scoliosis in the lumbar spine can make it more difficult to administer an epidural, and some anesthesiologists will refuse to perform epidurals on women with scoliosis. I would highly recommend that you consult with a scoliosis specialist as well; while it is true that most cases of scoliosis will not cause any problems with any aspect of pregnancy, it’s always best to have a scoliosis specialist review your individual case to be sure.

  8. 15
    Heather on December 29, 2016

    Hi, I have a curve of nearly 58 degrees and are thinking about pregnancy.. what are the effects of this on my own body and the baby?

    1. 16
      Dr. Josh Woggon on December 30, 2016

      Hello,
      A 58 degree scoliosis is considered severe, and depending upon which areas of the spine are involved, can begin to cause problems with the lungs. It may also place more strain upon the muscles and joints of the body, leading to low back pain, hip or leg pain, and other complaints. Because pregnancy also places more strain upon the body and is often associated with low back pain, a severe scoliosis can increase the likelihood of these problems developing during pregnancy. If the scoliosis is in the lumbar spine, it may also make certain types of pain management during labor (such as epidurals) much more difficult; for this reason, some anesthesiologists will refuse to provide epidurals to women with severe lumbar scoliosis.
      There isn’t any evidence, however, that the mother having scoliosis results in any increased risk for the baby during labor or delivery (although, because scoliosis does have a tendency to run in families, it will be very important to ensure your son or daughter receives regular screenings for scoliosis, starting around age 7 if not sooner).

  9. 17
    lynleigh on December 29, 2016

    hi. i’m 29 with severe scoliosis since my teenage years and is now 11 weeks pregnant with our third child. the pain is there i must say. sometimes so much pain since my first pregnancy. i think it’s really normal specialy in our special cases… breathing difficulties not just because of pregnancy but with the severity of the curve also adds to it. but being scoliotic i’ve learned we are more tolerant to pain. scary at times but it always amazes me how God works for me. for me it’s not just a blessing. it’s miracle 🙂
    by the way, it’s always a CS for me with GA coz my OB told me it will be difficult for me, for my lungs to deliver normally… my oldest son is 4yrs old, and our daughter is a year and a half 🙂

    1. 18
      Robyn on April 7, 2017

      Thank you for your story. This helps me a lot as I have a S curve and moderate to severe scoliosis, especially in the lumbar spine and have rotoscoliosis.

      I have been given the go ahead to get pregnant. My biggest worry is the pain. Even after just doing a bit of stretches after gain 10 pounds and sitting too much, my back pain is gone for a least a bit. I agree, we do seem more tolerant to pain.

      Your story gave me chills and tears of joy. Thank you so much. I should have read this story earlier. 🙂

  10. 19
    moipone on January 9, 2017

    hy,im 22 years and was diagnosed with scoliosis 5 years back,im taking some meds but they not helping..can u please come to my rescue as im planning to have my first child

    1. 20
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 9, 2017

      Absolutely! Please visit https://www.clear-institute.org/find-a-doctor/ to find your closest CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Center, and reach out to the doctor there. I’m fond of saying that treating a mechanical problem with chemicals is an exercise in futility. Pain medication and muscle relaxers will never correct misalignments of the spine, and plus, pregnant women must always be cautious of what they put into their bodies – especially drugs! CLEAR chiropractic is a natural way to manage the pain that can come from spinal misalignments and pregnancy. Please reach out to us at care@clear-institute.org or (866) 663-7030 if you need any help finding a doctor in your area. Warmest Wishes to you and your family in 2017!

  11. 21
    Dhel on January 15, 2017

    Hi,

    I’m 9 weeks pregnant, 31 years old who has had a spinal infusion at age 12 years old. I have a Harrington Rod placed. I had severe scoliosis where my spine curved right and my ribs also rotated. My right shoulder blade still sticks out along with my ribs more prominent than my left side. I believe my spinal fusion was from C3 to L4 from what I remember one doctor mentioned when I had x-rays a few years back. He told me to remember where my fusion started and ender but I forgot.

    This is my first pregnacy. I am worried about my spinal fusion and scoliosis giving me a hard time during this pregnancy. I did notice 2 weeks ago my mid upper back between my shoulder blades. It was a shock for me to experience this kind of pain. I had pain and stiffness where one small movement it was sharp and stabbing to the area. I had difficulty time moving and breathing for no more than 10 minutess until the pain lessen. Since then the pain has not went away. It is a manageable pain but some times I feel the abrut pain hit. When I touched the area this week to find where the source is coming from. It felt like the bone was tender to touch.

    I have not gone to my first OB yet and will do next week Friday. I am concern if my rods will affect my pregnancy. Along with my mid back pain I also have lower back pain. Sometimes I feel like my lower back pulses.

    Please advise. I will ask the OB doctor about my symptoms and inform about my scoliosis.

    1. 22
      Dhel on January 15, 2017

      I also checked if there is any CLEAR location in Las Vegas but the only closest one to me is in Tustin, CA

    2. 23
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 16, 2017

      I’m terribly sorry, but we can’t provide medical advice over the Internet. We would definitely recommend that you meet with a CLEAR Certified Doctor, who will be able to perform a physical examination & review your medical history, so that you can get individual, detailed answers to your questions. Sharp, stabbing pain that worsens when you breathe is especially worrisome, as it could be a sign that the instrumentation has broken inside your body. Please consult with a scoliosis specialist right away!

  12. 24
    Jessica on January 18, 2017

    Hello,
    I am 26 and planning to become pregnant next month. I am a professional photographer and my curve is about 20°. My mom has made me very worrisome about becoming pregnant with me having scoliosis. I already go to a professional chiropractor every week and eat pretty healthy. Does exercise and yoga as well as movement help really wore pain when I am pregnant or does it not make a difference?

    1. 25
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 19, 2017

      This is a very good question; thank you for taking the time to post it! Many sources of pain can be traced back to restrictions, fixations, and misalignments of the spine. The form and function of your spine are connected, so the alignment of the bones will change how they move, and vice versa. In my opinion, exercise & yoga make a huge difference in preserving & enabling proper motion, which then helps the joints to stay healthy and the muscles to stay loose. It is important to follow a yoga program that takes your unique curvature into consideration; this is why we recommend good-quality, scoliosis-specific yoga and pilates programs like Elise Miller’s Yoga for Scoliosis, and Karena Thek Lineback’s ScolioPilates. These programs were developed with scoliosis in mind by people with years of training and personal experience in the condition, and are much more likely to provide significant benefits, without buckling or moving the curve in the wrong direction.
      On a side-note, I would also offer some re-assurance to your mother, as a 20 degree scoliosis is considered mild. Since you are 26 and done growing, it’s highly unlikely that it will progress during your pregnancy or after, and it’s especially unlikely that such a minor curve will complicate things for you or your baby at all. My recommendation to someone in your shoes would be to keep doing exactly what you’re doing – healthy diet, proper exercise, and regular visits to a chiropractor. If you do experience any pain or problems that your typical program can’t help, you can always reach out to a CLEAR chiropractor for an assessment and additional specialized care, and perhaps he or she could also have some insights you could incorporate with your health & fitness regimen to maximize their benefits to you.
      Best wishes to you, your family, and your family-to-be!

  13. 26
    Krysten on January 27, 2017

    I have scoliosis and had surgery when I was 16. They went in from my side and inserted screws and rods in my lower back. We are planning our first pregnancy and I am terrified of having an epidural…I’m worried they may stick the needle in the wrong place and cause permanent damage to me. Can this happen?!

    1. 27
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 30, 2017

      The risk associated with an epidural varies depending upon the severity of the scoliosis, and the extent & type of the fusion. This is why it’s very important to bring your scoliosis fusion to the attention of your birthing team, and have a discussion with your anesthesiologist in advance. It is possible that administering your epidural could be a very simple procedure with very little risk; it is also possible that the anesthesiologist would refuse to perform the epidural at all in your case due to the potential risk, in which case you would need to consider alternative pain management strategies. The best thing to do is have a discussion with your ob/gyn, midwife, and/or anesthesiologist regarding your specific case and the potential risks as soon as possible, so that you have the time to plan accordingly.

  14. 28
    Sammy on January 30, 2017

    I usually take over the counter meds to help with my back pain from my scoliosis but I know most pain relievers are not recommended during pregnancy. What is the best pain reliever I should/could take in order to relieve the strain off my back without harming the baby? I just found out I am pregnant I believe I am no more than about 8 weeks

    1. 29
      Dr. Josh Woggon on February 1, 2017

      Excellent question! In order to determine the best form of pain relief, it’s important to understand what the source of the pain is. Most low back pain during pregnancy comes from muscle soreness, and scoliosis tends to place more tension upon the muscles on one side of the spine, leading to chronic over-usage of the muscle and pain. If the pain is due to physical stresses upon the muscles, then in my opinion, the best treatment is a physical chiropractic adjustment, supplemented with deep-tissue, therapeutic massage (the best massage is one that hurts a little!) and specific spinal exercises. You can’t truly treat the cause of a mechanical problem with chemicals – be they drugs or supplements. Drugs typically aim at blocking the pain signal in the nervous system; technically it’s still there, you’re just taking away your body’s ability to perceive it. This can be dangerous, because the source of the problem (the muscle tension) is still there, but because the pain is gone, you end up placing even more strain upon the muscle, since the pain isn’t there to limit you. Nutritional supplements can sometimes help to relieve pain; exactly how they do so has not been shown, but many people report decreased pain with foods, herbs & spices that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, boswelia, willow bark, comfrey, capsaicin/capsicum (the ingredient that makes peppers spicy), and devil’s claw, as well as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, omega 3’s (especially important during pregnancy!), Additionally, vitamin D and C may also be beneficial.
      I hope this information is helpful. Also, congratulations!!!

  15. 30
    Mathilda on February 18, 2017

    I am 26 years old and my scoliosis 53 degrees in the thoracic spine. My problem is that I’m choosing beween getting a surgery now and have children after the surgery, or try to get pregnant before surgery and then having the surgery after the pregnancy. I don’t know what is best for my body & spine.

    How long after the surgery is it Ok to get pregnant? How will a pregnancy affect my spine before or after surgery?
    Thank you!

    1. 31
      Dr. Josh Woggon on February 21, 2017

      This is a very good question! I am glad you asked I’m sure there are many other women in similar situations who are wondering the same thing.
      It would probably be best to consult with a scoliosis surgeon in-person, and review your options with them. There may be some specific factors in your case that would make one course of action much more appealing than the other.
      One important factor to consider would be the extent of the fusion, particularly in the lower back (lumbar spine). You mentioned that your curve is 53 degrees in the thoracic; is there a compensatory curve in the low back that would motivate the surgeon to anchor the fusion at L2 or lower? It’s more likely that scoliosis surgery will cause problems with epidurals and increase the risk of low back pain when it extends into the lower vertebrae.
      It’s difficult to say exactly how long one should wait after the surgery before trying to get pregnant. Assuming the surgery goes well and there are no complications, six months would seem like a reasonable time. If there are complications or problems after the surgery, however, it would definitely make sense to delay getting pregnant until several months after things have been resolved. Pregnancy puts a lot of stress on the body and the spine, and you certainly want to make sure everything is fully healed before embracing the challenges of pregnancy!
      Pregnancy can have different effects upon a person’s spine, depending upon a lot of factors. The alignment of the spine (in all three dimensions) must be carefully considered. Pregnancy tends to increase the lumbar lordosis and/or sacral slope; if a hyperlordosis (too much curve) or spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of one or more vertebrae) is present prior to getting pregnant, the added stresses can worsen these conditions. Similarly, a compensated spine (where the hips and shoulders are aligned in the frontal plane) is less likely to experience problems during pregnancy than in a case where there is a significant shift of the torso over the pelvis. A well-trained chiropractor could help to reduce some of these postural issues, which might make both pregnancy and the surgery go a little easier, and reduce the chance of complications or problems.
      Hopefully this information will give you a little bit of an idea about the factors that need to be evaluated before making a decision. The best course of action would be for to find one (or more) scoliosis specialists in your area who can evaluate your case & your x-rays in-person, and explain which course of action they would recommend and why. Our List of Questions to Ask Your Doctor might help you to find the doctor that is right for you! https://www.clear-institute.org/treating-scoliosis/questions-to-ask-your-doctor/

  16. 32
    Patricia on February 22, 2017

    Hi,
    I have been diagnosed scoliosis since age 13. I am now 30 and pregnant. It is a mild curve, but my right rib is positioned lower than my left. I am only in week 11, but for some weeks now I have had a mild pain in the right side of my tummy. It’s sort of like a mild burning sensation right under the right rib cage. It gets worse if I lay on my right side, so I try to avoid it. It’s not a constant pain. Have you ever heard on something similar?
    Thank you very much in advance

    1. 33
      Dr. Josh Woggon on February 22, 2017

      Hello,
      Pain around the right rib is indeed common with many cases of scoliosis. However, there’s no way of being able to tell over the Internet if your pain is related to your scoliosis, or something else. I highly recommend that you consult with your doctor and bring it up to them, so they may perform a more thorough diagnosis in person.
      Congratulations, and warmest blessings to you on your pregnancy!

  17. 34
    Anjum Ara on March 4, 2017

    Hi. After three months of my delivering a baby, i had spasm in my back and due to which at that time i was managing my baby in whatever position i found convenient. After sometime i found that my left hip had come somewhat out from its actual position. I was advised some excercises by a physiotherapist and after following those my hip came back to its normal position. Bt once i left those exercises i again suffered from the same. Finally i did an x-ray which is showing mild scoliosis. So what could have been the reason of this mild scoliosis……muscular spasm or something else????

    1. 35
      Dr. Josh Woggon on March 7, 2017

      Spinal misalignments are often associated with muscle spasms. When the spine goes out of place or isn’t moving properly, it places greater strain upon the muscles. In order to be successfully rehabilitated, every component of the problem needs to be addressed simultaneously. Good chiropractic care involves not only correcting restrictions that impede normal function, but also prescribing exercises, massage, and other therapies to achieve a more lasting correction. A good exercise program is a lot like following good diet and nutrition, as well, in that it’s really about incorporating it into your life as a regular part of your day; if you stop doing the exercises, the problem may come back, just like if you stop eating healthy.

  18. 36
    Sonya on March 8, 2017

    Hello! I have had scoliosis since adolescence and am now 36 and expecting my fourth child. I experience increased back pain, since delivering my first child, with each subsequent pregnancy and delivery. Is it possible to correct or improve scoliosis with a splint or back brace during the early recovery period after delivering, while the hormone relaxin is still in my system?

    1. 37
      Dr. Josh Woggon on March 8, 2017

      Hello,
      Scoliosis braces are prescribed during adolescence, when the spine is still growing, to reduce the chances that the scoliosis will get worse to the point of requiring surgery. The goal of bracing is not to reduce or correct the scoliosis. In adults, scoliosis braces are only useful for taking some pressure off the muscles in the short-term; they will not have any effect upon the scoliosis, since the spine is done growing. Although there have never been any research articles published specifically on whether bracing could influence scoliosis after pregnancy, the most probable answer is that no, it would not reduce or correct the curvature.

  19. 38
    mirabicha on March 19, 2017

    Please doctor answer me…i’m 24 years old i have congenital scoliosis with 35 degree thoracic curve and 32 degree lumber curve my doctor recommended getting surgery because my back is also twisting and i lost my cervical lordosis but i’m scared of having it and I want to have kids in your opinion do i have to do this surgery now or after i have kids …and if i didn’t get the surgery is there any chance for my back to get worse during the pregnancy?

    1. 39
      Dr. Josh Woggon on March 20, 2017

      Congenital scoliosis can be more complicated than idiopathic cases, depending upon the exact nature of the congenital malformations. Certain types are less stable than others, and have a greater risk of progressing. If you are 24 years old with only a 35 degree curve, it’s most likely that your curve is more stable than most. Surgery is typically recommended for adults only when the Cobb angle reaches 45 degrees, and even then only if it is also accompanied by pain, functional limitations, or other overt symptoms. Having surgery for scoliosis is not a medical emergency, and it is not a decision which can be reversed; you should not rush into it. Also, in my opinion, it does not make sense to jump straight to surgery without exploring conservative options (such as the CLEAR methods first). If conservative care does not work, you can always have the surgery, but once the surgery is done, it limits your options for future treatment. While I cannot make any recommendations or provide medical advice without knowing all of the details, according to the traditional orthopedic guidelines, surgery would not be indicated for you at this time.
      There is some risk of scoliosis progressing during pregnancy (due to the influence of the hormones upon the ligaments in the body), but it doesn’t happen to everyone, and typically it’s only after multiple pregnancies. Again, though, it depends upon the exact nature of the congenital scoliosis; a scoliosis specialist like a CLEAR chiropractor would be able to evaluate your x-rays and help you to understand your individual risk. They would also be able to help with your cervical lordosis.
      I hope this information is helpful!

  20. 40
    brittany on March 19, 2017

    hi there, my husband and i are just starting to plan for pregnancy, i am 28 with a 39 degree curve, i was diagnosed at age 15, but what concerns me is that i had a bone scan performed at that time and it determined a stress fracture in my lower spine, above my tailbone and stated that because of constant pressure it may never heal. does this cause a risk for me getting pregnant?

    1. 41
      Dr. Josh Woggon on March 20, 2017

      Roughly half of these types of fractures do not cause any pain. Do you have any pain in extension (bending backwards)? Pregnancy sometimes increases the extension angle of the low back (lumbar lordosis); if pain is already present in extension prior to your pregnancy, it could be a warning that this pain will become worse in the second and third trimesters. Personally, I would be very surprised if some degree of healing has not occurred after 13 years, though. Unless you are a highly competitive athlete, most of these fractures will resolve with time. Have you had any x-rays recently? If not, it might be worth the peace of mind to have one taken, and to compare it to the older x-ray. Many cases of stress fractures in the spine are caused when the muscles fatigue and the spinal discs get worn down, so too much stress gets placed upon the bones themselves. Exercises like the Spinal Rotation Exercise (https://www.clear-institute.org/living-with-scoliosis/scoliosis-exercises/back-exercises/) can help to “pump up” the spinal discs, and advanced chiropractic care can help to restore normal motion and alignment in the lumbar spine. It’s particularly important to understand if the vertebra has slipped backwards (retrolisthesis) or forwards (spondylolisthesis); knowing this information, you can modify your activities of daily living and exercises to reduce the risk of further injury. Taking an x-ray of the low back seated (as opposed to standing) places more pressure upon the spine, and can sometimes make these conditions stand out a bit more. Overall, stress fractures in the low back are somewhat common, affecting roughly one in every ten people and women more frequently. Besides the potential for increased low back pain, most women with this condition will not experience any complications or problems with their pregnancy as a direct result. I will say that it’s important to get the x-ray soon; if you become pregnant, you cannot have low back x-rays taken, and that will make it much harder for the doctor to treat your condition effectively.

    2. 42
      brittany on March 20, 2017

      thank you for all the advice! I do have pain when bending foward and experience about 3-4 flare ups a year where swelling will occur over the area of the stress fracture. i often feel a lot of pressure in that area of my back, but it has become my norm, but the flare ups create a lot of discomfort. I will definitely do a follow up with x-ray to see where everything is at. i just really hope it does not create a huge risk for pregnancy or labor

  21. 43
    Paris on March 20, 2017

    Hi
    I am 18. I did a surgery on late October to correct my scoliosis . Will the surgery prevents pregnancy ?

    1. 44
      Dr. Josh Woggon on March 20, 2017

      Hello,
      No, having scoliosis surgery does not mean you cannot get pregnant. If you get pregnant, it’s important to keep your birth team aware of the instrumentation, particularly the anesthesiologist. If the fusion extends into the lumbar spine (below T12), it can cause some difficulties in receiving an epidural.

  22. 45
    mirabicha on March 20, 2017

    Thank you so much for answering me…my doctor remmended the surgery for me because my scoliosis has got worse although i’m an adult, when i was 18, i had only a C curve with 25° curve, the compensory curve in my lumbar spine showed recently, i have a constant pain and a hump when i band, unfortunately we don’t have chiropractic in my country we only have physiotherapie and that’s devestating… my surgeon scared me a lot when he told me that surgery is needed now or later in life because my scoliosis is developing and the risk of complications gets higher with age ..please do you have an email to contact you and send you my “x rays MRI and ct scan ” to give me your opinion ?!

    1. 46
      Dr. Josh Woggon on March 20, 2017

      I am happy to share my e-mail address, which is is jwoggon@clear-institute.org. I should mention that it can be difficult to send images (particularly MRI’s) via e-mail, so if you can, send physical CD’s with the images (typically by contacting the imaging center and filling out a medical records release form, asking they be sent to our location). You can find my address & clinic info at http://www.clear-institute.org/find-a-doctor.
      I also must disclose that I cannot provide healthcare advice or recommendations without establishing a doctor/patient relationship; this typically requires me to meet you in person, perform a physical exam, review past medical records, etcetera. I would be happy to review your information and make some observations or suggestions for when you meet with specialists in your area, but I won’t be able to tell you whether or not you need to have the surgery, nor what you should do to treat your scoliosis. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience, but in my opinion, it’s better to give limited information than wrong information. Thank you for understanding!

  23. 47
    Yasi on April 17, 2017

    Hello,
    I am 31 years old, when I was 29 I have scoliosis (37 degree) and Kyphosis (67 degree) the doctors recognized that I should have surgery so I had a big surgery when I was 29. Now because of my uterus problems, should become pregnant. May have problems during pregnancy?
    Thanks

    1. 48
      Dr. Josh Woggon on April 18, 2017

      Hello,
      Neither scoliosis nor scoliosis surgery will usually cause problems during pregnancy. There may be an increased risk of back pain in some individuals. It is also possible that scoliosis can progress faster, particularly after multiple pregnancies; however, this has not been extensively researched. Scoliosis can cause some problems with receiving an epidural during labor, though, so make sure your birthing team (and particularly the anesthesiologist) is aware of your scoliosis in advance of the delivery.

  24. 49
    Debra buffham on May 9, 2017

    Hello im 6 weeks pregnant. I have scoliosis and I was wondering if there are any medications I can take that wont my baby that will take away my pain. Where I work im constantly on my feet. Actually the only time I aint on my feet at work is when im on break. But I cant work with my back hurting all the time and I stopped taking everything BC of im pregnant but I ant stand the pain any longer.

    1. 50
      Dr. Josh Woggon on May 11, 2017

      As chiropractors, we cannot recommend nor prescribe any medications; you will need to consult with a medical doctor to find out what pain medications would be safe for your baby during pregnancy. However, we can recommend natural forms of pain relief, such as herbs, vitamins, massage, and chiropractic care. Many pregnant women find that chiropractic and massage therapy are very helpful, natural ways of relieving their back pain. You may also want to look into foods, herbs & spices that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, boswelia, willow bark, comfrey, capsaicin/capsicum (the ingredient that makes peppers spicy), and devil’s claw, as well as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, omega 3’s (especially important during pregnancy!). Additionally, vitamin D and C can also be beneficial in relieving pain. I hope this is helpful!

  25. 51
    LeAnn S. on May 10, 2017

    I’m fourteen and in a few months I may have a surgery to straighten my spine. They’re going to put rods and bolts into my spine, and during the third trimester of pregnancy there is pain in the back. Is there a possibility that the surgery will effect my ability to have a child in the future?

    1. 52
      Dr. Josh Woggon on May 11, 2017

      Scoliosis surgery usually does not affect your ability to get pregnant or deliver a child. However, it does increase the risk of back pain during pregnancy and can also make it difficult to receive certain types of pain management (such as epidurals) during labor.

  26. 53
    Amy M. on May 12, 2017

    I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12 with a backwards ‘S’ curve (64 degrees at top, 67 degrees at bottom) and have since been fused to L1 with two rods put in place. Currently I’m 19 weeks pregnant with no complications thus far. I have just met with my OB/GYN and he says I shouldn’t have a problem delivering the baby. However, I cannot arch my back to bear down and will find laying on my back for an extended period of time to be quite uncomfortable. Would natural labour be recommended? I know that my situation could change in the second half of my pregnancy, resulting in a c-section, but I’m curious to know if anyone has given birth to children with a similar set of circumstances.

    1. 54
      Dr. Josh Woggon on May 12, 2017

      Please allow me to preface my comments but stating that I’m not a qualified midwife or OB/GYN, but my wife has delivered all three of our sons via water birth, and two at home, all without any complications, so I’ve learned a great deal through her experiences. If you speak with a midwife, they will tell you that lying on the back is actually a very unnatural position for childbirth. I would definitely encourage you to speak with your birthing team about whether a water birth or alternative birthing position would be suitable for you, because personally I would imagine that these could be excellent options!

  27. 55
    Christina on May 14, 2017

    I had an 56 degree S curve I have can my rods break during labor?

    1. 56
      Dr. Josh Woggon on May 15, 2017

      I haven’t seen any case studies or heard of any stories of this happening, so I would say no, it’s probably not very likely at all.

  28. 57
    Elexus Pena on May 19, 2017

    Hi I have scoliosis nd I have a 90 degree curve and small I have 3 surgery wen I was small do u think I would be ok havin a baby

    1. 58
      Dr. Josh Woggon on May 24, 2017

      While most cases of scoliosis do not cause any problems with labor or delivery, a 90 degree curve is very severe. It is possible that pregnancy could cause back pain, and that the surgery could make pain management during labor more problematic for you. I highly recommend that you consult with a scoliosis specialist in-person for a more thorough evaluation and a more detailed response to your question.

  29. 59
    Tamia Daniels on May 29, 2017

    I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in 6th grade at 9 degrees and I didn’t receive my spinal surgery until I was in 11th grade at around 60 degrees. My rods are in my upper and middle back areas but I am now 20y/o and 17 weeks pregnant. I keep experiencing lower back pain and lately have had this constant pain in the lower right side of my back that’s making it nearly impossible to walk. Is there anything I can do besides taking Tylenol and using a heating pad?

    1. 60
      Dr. Josh Woggon on May 30, 2017

      I’m fond of saying that you can never fix a mechanical or physical problem with chemicals. If the alignment on your car is off, changing the oil won’t help! Taking drugs to dull the pain is like unscrewing your “Check Engine” light; it doesn’t remove the problem, only your ability to perceive it. The pain in your body is probably coming from overworked muscles and restrictions in your spine. I highly recommend chiropractic (especially scoliosis-specific chiropractic, like CLEAR) as well as scoliosis-specific exercises (Schroth, SEAS, DoboMed, and others), yoga (like Elise Miller’s Yoga for Scoliosis), pilates (ScolioPilates is a great program), and massage (look into SOM Therapy with Diana Herec). These approaches can help to address the root cause of the problem, without any risk of side effects to you or your baby!

  30. 61
    Denise on May 31, 2017

    I had scoliosis surgery as a teenager, but a year later the rods had to be removed because they became infected. The fusion at the base of my spine is completely healed and I still have mild curvatures but they have not increased at all in the last 20 years. Will it still be difficult for me to have an epidural even though I no longer have metal in my spine?

    1. 62
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 1, 2017

      This is a very good question! While the metal rods may be removed, part of the scoliosis surgery involves fusing certain segments of the spine with bone, which could still make an epidural more difficult. Your situation is rather unique (not many people have the rods removed without having another set installed in their place), so you’ll definitely want to consult with an experienced anesthesiologist if you do decide to have the epidural. I think it would be a good idea to look into alternative pain management techniques too, though – just in case!

  31. 63
    Bella on June 3, 2017

    Hi, I’m currently pregnant and the fetus tibia length is 40.3 mm n femur length 46.7mm at 27 weeks. I have mild scoliosis with the measurement above how likely is the baby to have scoliosis – is the specific questions I can ask my consultant ?

    1. 64
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 5, 2017

      Unfortunately there is currently no way to predict if a baby will develop scoliosis before he or she is born. There are some types of scoliosis that run in families, but it’s unlikely that scoliosis caused by a leg length inequality will be passed down.

  32. 65
    Awa on June 3, 2017

    Hi , I’m 23 , I had the scoliosis surgery when I was 14. I’m concerned about my rods , as my partner and I are planning on having a baby. Will it affect my rods and will the weight of the baby put pressure on my spine? Is there any long term effects I should be concerned about?

    1. 66
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 5, 2017

      What is the extent of your fusion? If it extends into the lower (lumbar) spine, it can make it difficult for you to receive an epidural. You should discuss this with your anesthesiologist in advance. There is also a risk of increased back pain when you have had the fusion. The CLEAR method can help reduce pain and improve function even in people who have had scoliosis surgery; you may want to consider scheduling a consultation so that you can be proactive with your treatment, and obtain x-rays before you become pregnant. The x-rays will help to determine the exact type of adjustments and exercises that would be best for you, and starting care now could reduce the chance that back pain develops later during your pregnancy.

  33. 67
    Shash on June 12, 2017

    The information provided is a gold mine to all of us in this situation. This basically answered most of the doubts I had on pregnancy and scoliosis. I just have one more clarification to make. Is it possible that the curve may worsten with age despite being carrying a baby or not?
    Also, I’m 26 and was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 19, and hoping to get pregnant sometime soon (say within the next 2 years). I havnt being following any specific physiotherapy for scoliosis, since my doctor back home really dint stress much on my curve. If I start now will it be too late?

    1. 68
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 12, 2017

      Thank you so much for your kind words! It is an honor to be a resource to you and others in similar situations. I’m so glad you found the information helpful!
      It is possible for scoliosis to progress with age; it depends upon many factors, but generally curves below 25 degrees will not progress or will do so extremely slowly, while curves above 30 degrees may progress a degree or two every year (but it’s possible that they can progress faster under certain circumstances). Curves above 45 degrees can also progress throughout life more rapidly, even in adulthood.
      In my opinion, it is never too late to start treatment for your scoliosis! While bracing has an effective window for only when the spine is growing, scoliosis physiotherapy programs (and CLEAR) can be done at any age, and still achieve very impressive results. We have helped patients from ages 4 to 84, from all walks of life. You can read more about their stories in our Success Story section: https://www.clear-institute.org/about/patient-success-stories/

  34. 69
    Morgan P on June 12, 2017

    I am pregnant with my first child. I have close to a 60 degree curve in my spine. I have an S curve with a slight curve at the top of my spine and a huge curve in the middle. One of my hips sticks out further than the other and my shoulders are uneven. I have always had discomfort and pain. I opted out of surgery a long time ago. I am extremely nervous about my pregnancy having such a huge curve. I have always weight trained and that has helped tremendously with my back pain but I cannot do as much as I used to now that I am pregnant. I also see a massage specialist when I can. Do you have any advice for me?

    1. 70
      Morgan P on June 12, 2017

      I also am not getting an epidural, I am going the all natural route at a birthing center with this pregnancy. Reading a lot of the comments I see chiropractor over and over. What should I look for in a chiropractor? Any and all advice is welcomed please.

    2. 71
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 12, 2017
    3. 72
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 13, 2017

      For someone with severe scoliosis, it’s very important to select scoliosis-specific approaches to your back pain. You don’t want to do just any general exercise program, but rather one that is customized for people living with scoliosis. Yoga has Elise Miller’s Yoga For Scoliosis; Pilates has ScolioPilates; massage has Diana Herec’s SOM therapy. There are also many wonderful scoliosis exercise programs like Schroth, SEAS, ScolioGold, and others. Chiropractic techniques such as Webster are designed specifically to help with pregnancy. The full application of the CLEAR protocols requires taking x-rays, which isn’t possible when you are pregnant, but therevi may still be some limited adjustments and therapies that a CLEAR scoliosis chiropractor could provide to you, even without x-rays.
      I hope this information is helpful and gives you a place to start!

  35. 73
    Nora on June 15, 2017

    Hi i am 29 years old and last week i did my xray and found i have s shape dorsolumbar scoliosis at 45 degree i have lower back pain which lately i found out collapse L3 vertebral is seen.my doctor said i dont necesserely need the surgery .. also he said my degree is on the boarder line which makes it a yes or no. But i found out i could get extra 7 cm if i do the surgery, Depending on the pain. I have alot of pain .. and i dont know wether its duo to the scoliosis or the L3 collapse.i dont want surgery but he said i could do Clear chiropractor could help. Is it possible in my age? Or i am too old to gain height? And what the cure of the collapse? Is it going to affect my pregnancy in the future? My most important question is could my scoliosis degree progress overtime even thought i am an adult and my growth has stopped already.

    1. 74
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 15, 2017

      The CLEAR Scoliosis Protocols have helped people from ages 4 to 84 – there’s really no limit to when you can begin care! Many adults have experienced significant corrections and improvements (and gained a cm or two) with the CLEAR method. Your CLEAR doctor would be able to examine your x-rays to help determine what’s happening at L3 and why, and what the best treatment approach might be. Most cases of scoliosis will not adversely affect your pregnancy, but it’s important to consult with a doctor to be sure. Curves above 30 degrees CAN continue to progress even in adulthood, after growth has stopped, so I would definitely recommend seeking treatment for a 45 degree curve.

  36. 75
    Rainbow on June 18, 2017

    Hi, I was told by my parents that when I was born I was fine, however when I started walking I was walking in a funny way n standing mainly on one leg – is this really a cause of scoliosis ?

    1. 76
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 19, 2017

      Scoliosis can be caused by a leg length inequality; however, this is not very common, and when this leg length inequality is corrected, the scoliosis usually disappears (unless it has been there for a very long time). It’s more likely that there is an imbalance in the pelvis, but you would need to visit a chiropractor that specializes in postural and spinal corrective care, and probably have some x-rays taken, to be sure.

  37. 77
    Ari on June 24, 2017

    I have scoliosis with the basic S curve. The degrees measure in the forties for both of them, as they have gotten worse and worse within the coming years. I used to get shots in my lower muscle area of my spine as well as the muscle area of my neck from my chiropractor and I had very bad spasms that came along with that. My chiropractor also told me that I had a pinched nerve in my right side, which I’m not positive this is true, but have noticed a lot of numbness, tingling, & cramping of my right foot only and my right shoulder where my spine curves. My question is, do you think that someone with scoliosis & occasional back spams would be at risk for nerve damage during an epidural if a spasm did occur? Or what is your take on that?

    1. 78
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 26, 2017

      If the anesthesiologist was not aware of the presence of the scoliosis, and did not have access to the x-rays nor an opportunity to properly plan the insertion, they would most likely refuse to perform the procedure due to the (very low) risk of possible nerve damage. However, I would imagine that with proper planning, it’s highly unlikely that nerve damage would occur. It would most likely depend upon the skill & experience of the anesthesiologist, especially in regards to delivering injections for people with scoliosis.

  38. 79
    Brittany on June 26, 2017

    I am 22 now, and just found out we are having our first child! I had spinal fusion surgery when i was 12 and have 2 rods and 13 screws, from the top of my shoulder blades to the bottom of my back. This has always been a concern of mine. Will I still be able to have a vaginal birth? Or will I more than likely end up getting a c-section? If i have a vaginal birth, chances are slim of getting and epidural, right? Thanks in advance!

    1. 80
      Dr. Josh Woggon on June 27, 2017

      There are a few factors that can help to determine whether or not it’s safe to have a natural labor after scoliosis surgery. How much lumbar lordosis is remaining? If the rods were straight and not contoured to the natural curves of the spine, it can make a vaginal delivery in the standard supine/stirrup position very painful. But if there is a decent amount of lordosis remaining in the low back, and your birthing team is open to the idea of a water birth, it is possible that a vaginal birth could go very well for you. It’s also important to consider the extent of the fusion; one that down to L3 or L4 could be more problematic than one that ends at T12 or L1. I would definitely recommend consulting together with a scoliosis specialist and your birthing team regarding the particulars of your individual case presentation before making a decision.

  39. 81
    Lelo nana on July 12, 2017

    I am 33 years old and i have s shape scoliosis 110/90 degrees . I am planning to get third baby and i want to know if the curve will be worse during pregnancy especially that i am having breathing trouble . Whats is your recommendation because i am not getting any scoliosis treatment

    1. 82
      Dr. Josh Woggon on July 12, 2017

      Some NEW RESEARCH on scoliosis and pregnancy just came out, which is very exciting because so little has been published so far. You can access the abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28664223
      According to this article, some women with scoliosis do experience a slightly increased rate of curve progression during pregnancy. They also have an increased risk of back pain, infertility, and loss of pregnancy before 20 weeks.
      Personally, I believe women with scoliosis benefit greatly from receiving scoliosis-specific chiropractic treatment (such as CLEAR) during pregnancy. Chiropractic isn’t just for low back pain and neck pain; it can also improve labor and help with fertility and achieving a full-term pregnancy. The book, “Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul,” has several stories of women achieving their dream of becoming pregnant after years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, by trying chiropractic care. CLEAR treatment can also help to reduce the chance of scoliosis getting worse during pregnancy. I would recommend that you contact a CLEAR doctor and ask them about the experiences of their pregnant patients! https://www.clear-institute.org/find-a-doctor/

  40. 83
    Claire on July 13, 2017

    Hi I’m 33 next month, I was diagnosed with kyphoscoliosis age 2 and had 2 Harrington rods inserted, as well as 3 ribs removed and then fused in my spine, my left side is squashed and was compressing on my lungs. I had the rods removed age 14 due to them snapping. My spine was never corrected only supported, in 2006 I had a major fall on my coxic bone which lead to a month or so in hospital, since then my nerves in my left leg has deteriorated, I now do use a wheelchair, I can walk very small distance from my front door to my car. As stated above my organs are squashed and I use a Vpap machine to help me breathe, my kyphosis is Iv been told round 180 and my scoliosis is round 70, Iv been told throughout my life I would not be able to conceive, my today I found out I’m 5 weeks pregnant! The emotions I’m going through are crazy! I’m going to the hospital on Monday to obviously be checked over etc, but what are my chances here in going full term? I’m aware il be in a lot more pain but my partner knows he has to give me more massages, I’m also aware that I might not be able to deliver naturally. Any advice will be appreciated. TIA

    1. 84
      Dr. Josh Woggon on July 17, 2017

      Congratulations! Your story is very inspiring. What a wonderful blessing for you!
      In my opinion, the chances of achieving a full-term pregnancy are always higher when the mother is under good chiropractic care. If you cannot find a CLEAR doctor near you, you might want to see if you can find a doctor who is certified in pediatrics through the ICPA, or in the Webster technique. Both of these sub-specialties include a great deal of advanced training and teaching in how to help women manage the aches & pains of pregnancy, and ensure a healthy and safe delivery for both mother and child.
      All the best to you and your new one!

  41. 85
    Jordan on August 23, 2017

    I have had a spinal fusion about 8 years ago with a scar going directly down my spine. About 2 years ago a had to be opened back up due to an infection and have my screws removed. My question is, would any of that effect me getting an epidural & if so what effects could it have, also what long term effects could I have if I were to receive it (I already suffer from light back pains due to my surgeries).

    1. 86
      Dr. Josh Woggon on August 23, 2017

      While the answer is likely no, it would probably not change the situation with the epidural than if you had not had the screws removed, this would be a question best presented to your anesthesiologist and birthing team. If the anesthesiologist has experience with scoliosis and spinal fusions, they may feel comfortable performing the procedure. If not, they may be able to contact another anesthesiologist, or prepare a different pain management plan. With an experienced anesthesiologist, the risks of performing an epidural (and the potential long-term side effects) are no greater in a patient with spinal fusion than others.

  42. 87
    Ginger on August 31, 2017

    I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis around age 28, am 31 now and 39 weeks along. I had my daughter at 26 years old and had zero clue that I had scoliosis. The epidural partially worked but I still felt a ton of pain in my lower back. I just didn’t know why at the time. But, it’s okay ladies, after the baby was born, all the pain was gone and I didn’t care a thing about it. Planning on talking with an anesthesiologist asap now thank to this information though. Maybe we can get it to work better if they know about it ahead of time. Thanks for the information! (By the way daughter was super healthy, is 5 years old and still is!)

  43. 88
    Abagail on September 1, 2017

    I have what seems to be a rare curve, top is 132 degrees, lower is 66 I think.. I haven’t been able to find many other cases like mine or let alone those who have gotten pregnant and things were fine. My top curve is compressing one of my lungs. I am currently 9 weeks pregnant and hoping this will be my rainbow baby. But please if you know of any successful cases that were high curves, over a 100 degrees and still had a healthy baby I would love to hear about them thank you 🙂

  44. 89
    Snow on September 8, 2017

    Hi. I am 20 and I have the S curve type of scoliosis since I’m not sure about the name if it is Thoracolumbar Scoliosis, am I going to have hard time in my pregnancy in the future?

    1. 90
      Dr. Josh Woggon on September 12, 2017

      Thoracolumbar scoliosis refers to a scoliosis that is present in both the mid back (thoracic spine, where the ribs attach) and the low back (lumbar spine). Our glossary might be helpful in understanding additional commonly used terms in the scoliosis field: https://www.clear-institute.org/learning-about-scoliosis/glossary/

      Whether your scoliosis will cause problems in the future or with your pregnancy depends upon many different factors, including the severity of the curve, which sections of the spine are involved, and how it has affected your health in the past. For the best information, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with a CLEAR Certified Doctor who can review your x-rays and medical history, and provide you with detailed and personal answers to your questions. You can find a list of CLEAR Doctors here: https://www.clear-institute.org/find-a-doctor/

  45. 91
    Mel on October 22, 2017

    Hi,
    Im 33 yrs old and been diagnosed with mild scoliosis convex to the left (spine curves to the left) and slight degeneration of my L5/S1.
    we are wanting to have one more child, will any of this cause my additional dicomfort during pregnancy? should i avoid pregnancy altogether?

    1. 92
      Dr. Josh Woggon on October 22, 2017

      Having scoliosis, in my opinion, should never be a reason to avoid getting pregnant. While a mild scoliosis might slightly increase the chance of back pain during pregnancy, it won’t cause any problems with the pregnancy or the delivery. Most people with mild scoliosis won’t have any problems with epidurals, either, but it’s always best to let the anesthesiologist and the birthing team know about it ahead of time.
      I’d recommend getting under the care of a well-trained chiropractor (if there isn’t a CLEAR doctor in your area, check out http://www.icpa4kids.com, and scroll down to the “Find a Chiropractor” button), preferably before getting pregnant. They can help manage and/or prevent back pain, without the use of drugs.

  46. 93
    Rowenna on October 27, 2017

    I am 20 and have an upper curve of 91 degrees and a lower curve of 120 degrees and have not had the surgery. I currently have no pain and it does not affect my day to day life, I have normal vertebral height and disc spacing but and unsure about the effects pregnancy could have on my body.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

    1. 94
      Dr. Josh Woggon on October 29, 2017

      Wow, it is very fortunate that you have no pain or impairment with your scoliosis! Curves of this magnitude are considered very severe. With severe curves, it is more likely that the scoliosis will increase during pregnancy, and more likely that you may develop back pain. However, there are no substantial risks to you or your future baby. Although admittedly the research in this area is limited, so far scoliosis has not been found to increase the risk of birth complications, breech presentation, C-section, or any other serious events. That said, I would encourage you to take a proactive approach, and find a conservative scoliosis specialist (such as a CLEAR doctor, or a physiotherapist trained in Schroth, SEAS, or similar scoliosis-specific exercise program) in your area now; once you become pregnant, you cannot have x-rays taken of your spine, which can make it much more difficult to design an effective treatment plan.

  47. 95
    Lana on November 7, 2017

    Hi ! I’m 33 years old and have scoliosis since I was 15 years old . It’s about 45 degrees ( s shape ) I’m planning to get pregnant but I’m terrified of the back pain and labor with scoliosis . Will I be able to have an epidural?? What’s the best or safest way for labor for people with scoliosis??

    1. 96
      Dr. Josh Woggon on November 8, 2017

      Hello,
      As you put together your birth plan, search for an anesthesiologist who has experience working with scoliosis, and has previously given epidurals to people with scoliosis. You may need to try some of the larger hospitals to find a suitable individual. In addition, I’d suggest looking into a “Plan B” of other methods of pain relief, just in case if, when the time comes, an experienced anesthesiogist is not available.

      I would also recommend undergoing CLEAR treatment prior to beginning your pregnancy; in my (admittedly biased) opinion, this is the best way to prepare your spine for labor and reduce the risk of back pain as much as possible, plus educate you regarding good postural habits & exercises that may help to alleviate any pains that might arise during your pregnancy.

      Based upon my knowledge of scoliosis and my personal experiences as a father of three, I would recommend a water birth as the best way to deliver with scoliosis. The transition from the amniotic sac to the water-filled tub is less stressful for the baby, and the water naturally decompresses and supports the spine, allowing the paraspinal muscles to relax much more effectively.

  48. 97
    kiran on December 6, 2017

    Actually I need your help I was searching about scoliosis and sexual relation and find your site. Actually I am patient of scoliosis and someone told me that Scoliosis patient can’t having sex or intercourse or If a girls is married of course she wants her baby but without intercourse its not possible. Can you please told me scoliosis problem could having sex or not? I am thoracolumbar scoliosis problem. Please tell me

    1. 98
      Dr. Josh Woggon on December 8, 2017

      Recent research in this area has shown that women with scoliosis do not experience sexual disorders or sexual dysfunction any more commonly than people without scoliosis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555290/), so I would say that your friend is mistaken; there’s no reason scoliosis would prevent normal sexual function. However, the visible cosmetic alterations in the appearance of the torso can affect a woman’s self-esteem and sexual confidence, and this should never be ignored or taken lightly. I am reminded of the quote by Annie Cotrel (who I believe is the daughter of the French surgeon Yves Cotrel, one of the co-developers of the Cotrel-Dubousset scoliosis surgery): “The real beauty of a human being does not necessarily reside in the symmetry of the body. It is most often found elsewhere, way beyond…”

  49. 99
    Wendy on December 18, 2017

    Hi, I’m 16 years old this year and have a 31 degree curve in my lumbar spine and a bit of rotation (according to an x-ray done in August). I also have a very mild curve in my thoracic region of the spine however, that curve is not rotated. They also said that my left leg is about a cm shorter than the right leg and that this may be a factor in my scoliosis? The specialist at the hospital said that I am almost skeletally mature and therefore, do not require surgery or a back brace. I am very worried about my future and how pregnancy will affect my spine, and if I will need surgery when I’m older?

    1. 100
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 2, 2018

      Hello,
      It is the official position of CLEAR Institute that all people living with scoliosis should have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they would like to receive treatment for their scoliosis. Recent research has shown that even a mild scoliosis (less than 20 degrees) can limit a person’s ability to function at their full potential, and can increase the risk of pain & future impairments. While bracing is typically only recommended for adolescents with Cobb angles between 20 and 40 degrees, and surgery only when the Cobb angle exceeds 40 degrees in an adolescent or 45 degrees in an adult, the CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Protocols are effective at any age from 3 to 103, and with any degree Cobb angle. Cobb angles above 25 degrees do have the potential of worsening throughout adulthood. If you would like to reduce the risk of future problems from your scoliosis, including with pregnancy & childbirth, CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment is always an option for you!
      Regarding leg length inequality, less than 5% of the population has a true anatomical short leg. The majority of diagnosed leg length inequalities are in fact functional, and can be successfully reduced and treated by addressing imbalances in the hips and/or spine.

  50. 101
    Azharudeen on January 13, 2018

    Hi Im 25 year male. I had scoliosis. I got married. Scoliosis is transmitted disease. Disease will transfer from me to baby?

    1. 102
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 14, 2018

      Scoliosis does run in families, and there is a genetic component, but it’s not a heritable disease.

      While having scoliosis does increase the risk that your children will have scoliosis, most people with scoliosis have kids who don’t have scoliosis.

      Scoliosis should never be a reason to not have kids. If you have scoliosis, be observant of the possibility that scoliosis could develop in your children. Read our section on the symptoms of scoliosis. If you see signs, or when they turn age 10, bring them to a CLEAR chiropractor or scoliosis specialist for evaluation; early detection offers a much greater chance of long-term treatment success, with a greatly reduced investment of time & resources.

      Congratulations on getting married! All the blessings of happiness to you and your wife, and many years to come. 🙂

  51. 103
    Virginia on January 22, 2018

    Hi there! I am 28 and just found out I am pregnant. I have had scoliosis since age 11. And in 2015 it worsened. I lost 3 inches in height. I have a misalignment in my hips. So I lean to the left which is also where my spine curves out. I’m very limited on what I can lift. My curve is almost like a question mark shape. I am very concerned on what difficulties this may cause.

    1. 104
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 23, 2018

      Hello,
      Do you know what your Cobb angle measurements were at age 11, age 18, and currently? The rate of progression in adulthood is often linear; by looking at what your Cobb angle was at age 18 and what it is today, it may be possible to obtain a rough estimate of where it will be ten years from now. This would then help you to determine what future problems might be caused by your scoliosis.
      I will say that it is very concerning to lose 3 whole inches of height; if this is accurate, it is quite severe. Most people with severe scoliosis (at or above surgical levels) lose around 1 or 2 inches of their height from scoliosis (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27001137).
      It may be a good idea to consider sending your x-rays to a CLEAR Certified Doctor, and scheduling a phone or in-person consultation for more detailed feedback regarding your specific case. You can find the doctor closest to you here: https://www.clear-institute.org/find-a-doctor/

  52. 105
    Amelia on January 26, 2018

    Hello, I have always had a problem with my back, and for some reason not till recently have I been diagnosed with scoliosis with a angle of 28degrees. I am currently waiting for a orthopedic surgeon to call and make an appointment.. But I was just wondering what would be the common way to treat that.. I am 29 years of age, and also planning on having a baby in the next 2 years.
    Thank you for al the amazing information on this site!!
    Amelia

    1. 106
      Dr. Josh Woggon on January 27, 2018

      Thank you for your kind words Amelia! It’s an honor to be of service.
      The traditional orthopedic method of treating scoliosis is through bracing and surgery. Bracing is prescribed when the Cobb angle is between 20 and 40 degrees, in an individual whose spine is not yet done growing (typically around the age of 13). Surgery is recommended when the Cobb angle exceeds 40 degrees.
      There are many new exercise-based approaches to scoliosis which are not yet supported by the orthopedic profession in the United States. CLEAR is one of these, as are many other excellent schools which originated in Europe and are just now finding their way to the US. These approaches have the advantage of helping people of all ages, without the potential complications of surgery, and the scientific evidence behind them continues to grow. While they may not yet be the common way of treating scoliosis, I remain convinced they represent the future of scoliosis treatment! For more information, please visit our page on Treating Scoliosis: https://www.clear-institute.org/treating-scoliosis/

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