I was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2014, when I was around 16 years old. I was really concerned about how it looked more than anything else, although it didn’t really cause me much pain at this point. After a few X-rays and an MRI scan, my consultant diagnosed me with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, with a ‘S shaped’ curve of approximately 41 degrees. My curvature wasn’t severe enough to need corrective surgery, however I did go on to have physiotherapy for a short while. Now, being 23 and having gone through many different journeys in life, I can safely say that I’m quite glad I didn’t have corrective surgery.

I manage pain now with lots of scoliosis-safe yoga and stretches that build strength and elongate the spine. I try to take it easy and be realistic about what I can manage in terms of lifting and moving things – if it means asking for help, then don’t be afraid to do so! Of course, it does still cause me a bit of grief. I have days where no matter what stretch, fold or position I try to get myself in, the pain just doesn’t subside. I also experience days where the slightest move can trap a nerve in my back, which can take many days to relieve (those are the days where movies, heat-packs and small walks are essential) Most importantly though, I’ve come to just accept it. I’ve realised that it’s a part of me I cannot change and that I’m not going to let it stop me from doing the things I want to do.

I’m not afraid to tell someone when a task is too much for me – like those all-night bar shifts I did as a student, which would leave my back in pieces (I do not recommend) I’m also not afraid to wear that amazing dress which shows a lot of my back, because I am genuinely proud of what it looks like. I’ve realised that it’s who I am, and that everything that I experience as a result of it is unique to me. You too should be proud of your curves! We all have our down days, and that’s okay. But keep exploring new ways to ease pain and to feel confident. Share your story, and each day you will blossom.

If you would like to talk further about any aspect of scoliosis, SAUK is here to help; please call our helpline or contact us via post or using our e-mail address info@sauk.org.uk.