Scoliosis Books

Scoliosis Books: 4 books you should read if you have scoliosis

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Scoliosis Books: 4 Books you should read if you have scoliosis



1. Scoliosis Surgery: The Definitive Patient’s Reference by David Wolpert

I talk about this book a lot on this blog. That’s because when I was deciding whether I should have scoliosis surgery this book really helped me. It helped me to understand the facts, which helped me to prepare. It’s written by someone who has been through the surgery and describes in fantastic detail:

  • What is involved in scoliosis surgery.
  • How to decide whether surgery is right for you.
  • What the surgical options are and risks.
  • Other scoliosis treatments.
  • How to prepare for surgery.
  • Practical recovery tips.

It doesn’t use medical jargon and is very easy to read and understand. After reading this book I felt more in control and better equipped to make a decision about scoliosis surgery. It also helped me to speak with my surgeon, ask the right questions and understand the options available to me. If you or someone you know may need scoliosis surgery, I highly recommend this book. 

 


2. Curves, Twists and Bends: A Practical Guide to Pilates for Scoliosis by Annette Wellings and Alan Herdman

I recently purchased this book and I have to say I think it’s great – you can read my review here: Pilates for Scoliosis: A Review of Curves Twists and Bends. This book is aimed at those who have not had scoliosis surgery but even if you have had surgery, the exercises are still incredibly useful. I wish I’d have known about this book before I had surgery as I think the exercises would be very useful in strengthening my back and core prior to surgery. It’s a practical book, written by a Pilates instructor with scoliosis and contains diagrams of stretches and exercises that can help scoliosis and reduce pain. There are also informative sections on what scoliosis is and strategies for coping with the condition.


Scoliosis Books

3. Deenie by Judy Blume

Ah Deenie. This is a classic fictional scoliosis book. It’s a short book aimed at teenagers/pre-teens and gives a great insight into what it is like to grow up with scoliosis. Deenie is a teenage girl whose mum wants her to become a model. However, this all changes when she gets diagnosed with scoliosis and has to wear a back brace for four years. As I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 14, I can relate to Deenie and her emotions. The shock of being diagnosed and the denial, anger, fear and insecurities it caused. This book would be inspiring and encouraging for any teenager or pre-teen struggling with scoliosis. It may also help parents to understand what it’s like for their child. Most adults who have been through a similar ordeal with scoliosis as a teenager would be able to relate to this book.


4. Help, My Daughter Has Scoliosis by Hilary Lowne

I wish this book was around when I was diagnosed to help my own parents. Getting diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager is tough but not just for the patient. I know for a fact that my parents had a hard time with it all and my mum blamed herself. This book is different from the rest, as it is written from the point of view of a parent whose daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis at 14. It’s full of useful information about scoliosis, the surgery and recovery and is written in and easy to read style. If you are the parent of a child with scoliosis I think you would find this book extremely helpful. That being said, I think the information in this book would also be useful for anyone preparing for scoliosis surgery.


There are also a few other scoliosis books that I’ve got my eye on and want to read, one of them is Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives as it looks inspirational. I’ll add to this post as and when I find and read new scoliosis books that I think would be helpful. I’d also like to create my own book about my own experiences with scoliosis one day…watch this space!

So, there you have it! These are my recommended scoliosis books, what are yours? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to my reading list 🙂

Louise X


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Scoliosis Books

parkrun

Park Run Delamere Forest…a new PB!!

I’m so happy right now!

I just came home from my second Park Run at Delamere Forest and I managed to get a new PB!

Back in January, I went to my first ever Park Run at Delamere Forest. It was cold, dark, raining and generally bad conditions for running.

Despite this though, I still managed to get a time of 33 minutes and I was so proud of myself.

I haven’t managed to get back to Park Run since January as life has kind of got in the way. I was determined to go this weekend though as I’m conscious that my 10K London race for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund is coming up and Park Run is great training for that. Plus, it was a lovely sunny morning and perfect conditions for running.

This time, I was much more organised as I knew the drill. I arrived 10 minutes before the start time of 9am and made sure I was wearing my heart rate monitor and that my Runkeeper app was ready to go. I also made sure I had my headphones on ready so I could listen to my music and Runkeeper progress. Last time I didn’t get myself sorted in time and so had no music to listen to!

This time there were also A LOT more runners there, I think because it was such a sunny day compared to last time.

Park Run

I also wore better trainers this time. Last time I wore my gym trainers and they pretty much got ruined as it was sooo wet and muddy. I also nearly slipped on the mud last time and nearly twisted my ankle a few times too as it’s quite rocky underfoot and there are tree roots and things sticking out.  After my first Park Run, I bought some Karrimor trail runner trainers which are much better for the off-road conditions, like those at Delamere Forest.

park run

It was the first time I wore these trainers but I have to say I was impressed. They weren’t particularly expensive but the grip made such a difference. They are also waterproof too so if I do go on a wet day again in future, I don’t need to worry. The other thing I did was purchase a Park Run card. This is basically just a card with your name, phone number and barcode on the back. It just makes it easier as if you pop it in your purse you never have to worry about forgetting your barcode in future. I got one because on the first Park Run it was so wet that my paper barcode wouldn’t scan properly which caused a bit of delay at the finish line. So all in all, I felt like this time everything went much more smoothly!

A new PB

Last time my time was 33 minutes and 27 seconds. For me, this was a HUGE achievement! I didn’t even know if I’d be able to run the full 5K let alone finish at a decent time. This time last year, it took my around 40 minutes to run 5K, so I’ve improved so much. Today, I did push myself. I knew I wanted to beat my last time, the conditions were better this time and I was better prepared.

Today, I managed to get a time of 31 minutes!

I’m so pleased with this, although it wasn’t easy. Especially the last hill at the end! I did push myself quite a bit and I’m slightly worried how I will manage to do my 10K race as I was completely knackered after running 5K at this pace… I’m going to keep going though and will hopefully find it easier over time and keep improving. The best thing is that, even though it was a struggle, my back felt great! It may have been down to the adrenaline, or maybe the trainers I’m not sure but my back didn’t hurt one bit. I have been working on strengthening my back over the last 9 months so I feel like this is really paying off. Although, of course I have good and bad days and it will probably start hurting tomorrow!

#LoveParkRun

Overall, I think I run much better in a group like Park Run than when I run by myself. I think it’s because my competitive side comes out and I push myself more. It’s a fantastic, friendly atmosphere and I really can’t recommend it enough. I feel on a high all day 🙂

Have you ever been to Park Run? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!

Until next time!

Louise X

Park Run

Love your scars

5 Reasons to Love your Scars

My scoliosis surgery left me with a huge scoliosis scar which runs down the length of my back. I for one am extremely proud of my scar and I never try to hide it. For me, it highlights what I have gone through and how far I have come in my battle with scoliosis. If you have a scoliosis scar, or any other kind of scar, you too should be proud of what it represents.


Here are my 5 reasons to love your scars…

1. Your scars are a sign of survival

Love Your Scars - Scar Quote

For me, my scoliosis scar is a sign that I survived. I survived the pain, the tears, the lengthy recovery, the psychological damage of living with a physical deformity.  My scoliosis scar is like a battle wound or a medal of honour that says “I survived it all.”


2. They are what make you unique

Love Your Scars - Scoliosis Scar Quote

I used to be ashamed of my back. When I was a teenager it was especially hard living with a physical deformity. I would do anything I could to hide my back. I would wear baggy clothes and cry myself to sleep at night. I would ask “Why me?” and I longed for straight spine and to be “normal.” Over the years though, I’ve come to realise that my condition is what makes me unique. I’m not ashamed anymore. It’s made me the person I am today and there’s a lot of positive things I wouldn’t have done had I not had my condition. My scar encompasses all of that,  it represents the journey I have been on with scoliosis and makes me who I am.


3. They show your strength and determination

Love your scars - scoliosis scar quote

No-one else can know what you’ve been through to be left with the scars you have. For me, going through scoliosis surgery was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to go through. I fought my condition head on, I’ve come out the other side and I’m now stronger and more determined than ever.


4. They tell a story

Love Your Scars - Scars are tattoos with better stories

Your scars makes you interesting and almost always have stories attached to them! This can often be a good ice-breaker or conversation starter.

Once I was at a training seminar for work and the trainer asked us all to share an interesting fact about ourselves. In the past I would have struggled with a question like this. On this occasion my scar story was one of the most well-received “facts” and everyone was really intrigued.

I used to be ashamed of my story, but now I enjoy showing my scar, telling my story and raising awareness of scoliosis.


5. They are beautiful

Love Your Scars
My Scoliosis Scar – On a beach in Australia

All scars are beautiful – love your scars and show them off with pride!


Have you got a scoliosis scar or any other kind of scar?
How do you feel about your scars? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Louise X

Feedspot's Top 25 Scoliosis Blogs

Feedspot: Top 25 Scoliosis Blogs

Last week, I was really pleased to have my blog selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 25 Scoliosis Blogs on the web.

I have been working hard on my blog recently and so this really means a lot to me.

I thought I would share the article as it contains some useful resources and scoliosis blogs that may be of interest.

You can check it out here:

Top 25 Scoliosis Blogs And Websites For People Living With Scoliosis

 

Please feel free to share on social media and Pin this post for later!

You can also follow my blog on Bloglovin’ 🙂

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Thank you!

Louise X


Have you got any favourite scoliosis websites or blogs? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Top 25 Scoliosis Blogs

3 Days in Rome

3 Days in Rome!

I’ve just got back from an amazing 3 days in Rome for my birthday and thought I’d share what I got up to 🙂

We arrived late at night and so checked into the hotel and basically just went to sleep, as we were tired from a day of travelling! We had also booked onto a full day Vatican Museum and Colloseum tour the next day which started early (8am), so we needed to get some rest in preparation.

Day 1: AM

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel

3 days in Rome - Vatican Museum

St Peter’s Basicalla

3 Days in Rome - St Peters Basicalla

We spent the morning on a tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basicalla. It was very tiring and and my back started to hurt around mid morning as there was A LOT of walking (I wasn’t wearing the best shoes – flat black boots as opposed to my memory foam trainers). Despite this though, it was pretty interesting, albeit a bit rushed trying to fit everything in – and VERY BUSY. I would advise booking tickets before you go to skip the queues (which are massive) and also go early as there is a lot to see. I’m not really that knowledgeable about art so we booked a tour which made it more interesting.

You are not allowed to take any pictures in the Sistine Chapel but it was very impressive! I think my favourite of the three was St Peter’s Basicalla, this was an absolutely amazing church – probably the most beautiful church I’ve ever been in.

3 Days in Rome

Day 1: PM

Colosseum

3 Days in Rome - Colloseum

No trip to Rome is complete without a trip to see the Colosseum!

After our tour of the Vatican, we headed towards the Colosseum for our afternoon tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Again, lots of walking and a lot to see. It was a bit rushed trying to get across the city and at one point we got lost and thought we had missed the tour (panic averted when we finally found the meeting point and the tour hadn’t left yet!) We also didn’t have time to eat lunch so had a pizza on the go. There are luckily lots of takeaway pizza places in Rome! I think the Colosseum was my favorite part of the trip. It’s definitely worth booking a tour online in advance as we didn’t have to queue and walked straight in. I thought the Colosseum was amazing and it was really interesting to hear about the history of it from our guide. After our tour of the Colosseum, we headed towards the Roman Forum and then up to Palatine Hill, where the views were spectacular.

Roman Forum

3 Days in Rome - Roman Forum

Palatine Hill

3 Days in Rome - Palatine Hill

Hard Rock Cafe

After all the walking (by this point I had done well over 30K steps according to my Fitbit and my back was killing me), we decided to find Hard Rock Cafe. We always try and visit a Hard Rock Cafe wherever we go (if there is one). It’s like a tradition! Anyway the cocktail and sit down was much needed! I realised by this point that we hadn’t actually sat down properly all day.

3 Days in Rome - Hard Rock Cafe

Trevi Fountain

3 Days in Rome - Trevi Fountain

On the walk back to the hotel, we decided to check out the famous Trevi fountain. It really looked beautiful at night all lit up. The only downside was, even at night it was an incredibly busy tourist attraction. There were so many people and it was difficult to get a photo without people in it. I managed it though – just! There were also lots of street sellers trying to flog selfie sticks, this gets very tiresome after a while.

3 Days in Rome - Trevi Fountain

We found a bar to have a quick drink and then headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest!

Day 2

Trastevere

3 Days in Rome - Trastevere

After a rushed day on Day 1, we decided to take things easier on Day 2 and explore the sights we hadn’t seen yet at our own pace. I think this was necessary for my back to cope with the rest of the trip! I also made sure I wore my memory foam trainers on Day 2 which helped LOADS.

To start Day 2, we decided to explore the area we were staying in (called Trastevere). I think this was my favourite area of Rome! It’s a maze of pretty narrow, cobbled streets, piazzas and cute little restaurants and bars. It’s easy to get lost in this area (and that’s exactly what we did – several times!) Some of the best restaurants in Rome can be found in this area. We ate breakfast at a cute little local Italian cafe called Dolce bar. It was full of locals enjoying their expressos and extremely happy staff singing along to the radio, great atmosphere to start a day of sightseeing.

3 Days in Rome - Coffee

Campo de’ Fiori & Piazza Navona

After exploring Trastevere, we headed across the river to explore Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.

Campo de’ Fiori is a charming Piazza or square where they have a bustling market. Unfortunately the market wasn’t on when we arrived (although we did witness it later on in the trip and it was crazy!)

Piazza Navona is a very touristy square, full of street entertainers and street sellers trying to flog selfie sticks and roses (although these are EVERYWHERE!) It’s also very busy. The main square has many restaurants vying for attention and trying to get tourists in. I preferred the side streets around this area, which were very charming and full of quieter (and cheaper) bars and restaurants.

3 Days in Rome - Piazza Navona

We avoided the restaurants on the main square and ventured down the side streets for lunch. I’m glad we did because we found an amazing restaurant called Saltimbocca (which was almost empty, in contrast to the restaurants on the main piazza and cheaper too). The pizza and pasta we had was just amazing.

3 Days in Rome - Piazza Navona

Pantheon

After lunch we headed to the Pantheon to have a quick look around (as it’s free and was recommended on Trip Advisor). Again, it was another very very busy, overcrowded area. The building was impressive though and you can have a look inside for free.

3 Days in Rome - Pantheon 3 Days in Rome - Pantheon

Della Palma

After this it was a quick stop for some yummy Gelato. We went to a place called Della Palma after reading reviews on Trip Advisor. They had over 100 flavours of Gelato! I had cheesecake flavour. It was amazing..

3 Days in Rome - Gelato

Piazza del Popolo & Villa Borghese

We then headed to Piazza del Popolo (Piazza of the people) and Villa Borghese – a pretty park with stunning views of Rome. Piazza del Popolo was very busy with street sellers trying to sell, you guessed it, selfie sticks! And also roses and scarves.. very annoying. The park is gorgeous and peaceful though. It’s actually really big and you could spend a good few hours here, relaxing, having a picnic or taking a bike ride.

 

3 Days in Rome - Piazza Del Popolo

3 Days in Rome

3 Days in Rome
Views from Villa Borghese

3 Days in Rome

Spanish Steps

3 Days in Rome - Spanish Steps

As you can see from the photograph, the Spanish Steps were incredibly busy, with pushy street vendors everywhere, like all the main tourist attractions in Rome. In this respect, I think they were a bit over-rated. However, the area itself (Spagna) is very nice with lots of designer and upmarket shops.

We finished day two with a drink in a bar near the Spanish Steps (called Dilla) and then headed back to Trastevere for a meal and drinks.

Day 3

We started day 3 with a lovely Italian breakfast (and free smiles!) for just 3 euro at a nice restaurant in Trastevere called Tonnarello.

3 Days in Rome 3 Days in Rome

We sat outside in the warm sunshine to eat breakfast, which is a novelty for us Brits. Our third day was lovely and warm (about 22 degrees, not bad for early March!) so we wanted to enjoy the sunshine. By day 3, we felt like we had seen most of the main sights, so we decided to revisit the Roman Forum and Colloseum, as it was a bit rushed on the first day, as well as see a few of the remaining sights shown below.

Roman Forum

3 Days in Rome

Circus Maximus

Now an empty field, but this is where chariot races took place in ancient Rome.

3 Days in Rome

Piazza Venezia

3 Days in Rome - Piaza Venezia

Quirinale Palace

3 Days in Rome

Quattro Fontane

3 Days in Rome

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

This was a really pretty church and free to enter so definitely worth a visit.

3 Days in Rome

Castel Sant’ Angelo

After the church, we walked back to our hotel via the Colosseum to take some more pictures (and have some more gelato!) We then walked back to Trastevere along the river, passing the castle on the way.

3 Days in Rome

3 Days in Rome

For dinner, we headed back to Trastevere and stumbled across a cute little place down a side street called Pasta e Vino.

3 Days in Rome

It was basically like a little takeaway place (but you can also eat in). They make fresh, handmade pasta and sauces and you choose your combination and order at the till. This was hands down the best pasta I’ve ever had!

3 Days in Rome

We then found an amazing wine bar down the side streets of Travestere, called Essenza, and shared a bottle of Prosecco 🙂

Day 4 – going home 🙁

Today was going home day – boo! We had a late flight, so we checked out of the hotel and found a really cute place for breakfast called Mammo street food. They do amazing pancakes and bagels!

3 Days in Rome

We then wandered around for a bit in the sunshine until it was time to head back to the hotel for our airport pickup.

So, there you have it! That’s how I spent 3 days in Rome. Overall, I had a lovely time in and would definitely recommend Rome for a short break. I loved the food and all the cute restaurants and wine bars. The best parts of Rome for me were away from the main busy tourist attractions, where you get pestered quite a bit by street sellers. I preferred the quiet little side streets which were just so pretty and full of amazing bars and restaurants.

Weather in Rome in March

I think March is a great time to visit Rome because it’s nice and sunny but not too hot, in fact it was perfect weather for walking round sightseeing (around 16-22 degrees).

You do ALOT of walking though, the most steps I did in a day was over 37,000, which is the most I’ve ever done in a day!

3 Days in Rome - STEPS
3 Days in Rome – Steps in one day!

So if you do visit Rome, good walking shoes are a MUST.

My back did suffer a bit, but I noticed my back pain was worse on the days that I didn’t wear my memory foam trainers, I really can’t recommend them enough.

Check out my post here for more tips on travelling with scoliosis.

Would you like to visit Rome? Have you ever been? What sights would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Travelling with Scoliosis

Travelling with Scoliosis: My 5 Top Tips

This post contains affiliate links.


It’s my birthday next week and I’m off to Rome! (SO excited!)

Anyway, it got me thinking about travelling with scoliosis. I LOVE to travel and I am lucky enough to have travelled to some amazing places since I had my scoliosis surgery.

I don’t let my scoliosis stop me from going anywhere or doing anything. In fact, it makes me more determined to see as many places as possible. I have survived many long haul flights with my back since my surgery, including a 24 hour flight to Australia, flights to Thailand, Singapore, Dubai, USA and Mexico to name a few!

My first few trips after surgery were pretty difficult and VERY uncomfortable but over the years it’s got much easier as I’ve recovered and learnt how to cope with travelling with a spinal fusion.

So, in light of my trip next week and in preparation for the holiday season, I thought I’d write a post on travelling with scoliosis and share some of my tips.

Travelling with Scoliosis


Tip # 1 – Get a decent cushion

After I had my scoliosis surgery, I invested in a travel memory foam cushion and it is honestly one of the BEST things I have ever bought. I take it with me on EVERY trip I go on and for me it’s a lifesaver. It is basically a square shaped memory foam cushion that I can put behind me when I’m on a plane for example. It rolls up too and comes with a travel bag so I can easily carry it around with me. I have used it everywhere when travelling – sun loungers, restaurant chairs, hotel rooms you name it.

Since my scoliosis surgery, I find most chairs uncomfortable, but plane and airport seating are the worst. This is mainly because my back doesn’t bend to mould to the seats so I end up sitting bolt upright with a gap between the seat and my lower back. After a few hours on a plane or waiting around at an airport this can be very uncomfortable and painful.

I had a look online and I can’t find the exact cushion I have but it’s very much like the one below, available from Amazon. For me, having a decent cushion makes travelling that much more bearable.

Don’t be afraid to take a cushion with you to public places if you feel uncomfortable – it can make a world of difference!


Tip # 2 – Get some decent trainers / walking shoes

I’ve learnt this the hard way over the years! Travelling often involves a lot of standing around, queuing, walking etc. This can take its toll on anyone’s back but when you have scoliosis, it can be extremely painful. I find having decent shoes really helps take the strain away. When I went to Australia a few years ago, I knew I would be doing a lot of walking and I knew this would be painful on my back. So I invested in some Sketchers memory foam trainers (like the ones below).

I found these really comfy and I was able to walk round for hours with minimal back pain, the memory foam helped to take the pressure off my back. I really think these helped a lot and I wouldn’t have been able to walk around as much without them. I tend not to wear heels very much nowadays when travelling, especially if I know I’m walking  or standing a lot – it’s just not worth the pain.

 


Tip #3 – Try not to carry/lift too much

This can be difficult, especially if you are travelling alone. I have a tendency to over pack but then I never need or use half of what I take and my case just ends up too heavy to carry. It’s important to pack light so that you can actually lift your case if you need to. For example, you often have to lift your case to put it through the security scanners or into the overhead compartments in the plane. If you can’t lift it, it’s too heavy!

Invest in a light weight wheelie suitcase, these offer the least amount of strain on your back. I have a case like the one below and it’s a lifesaver because it’s so light and the 4 wheels means I can just wheel it around without feeling the weight of it.

I avoid back packs in general and if I need a handbag, I find the type that cross over the front of my body to be the best for my back. Avoid one shoulder bags when travelling as these put strain on your back, especially if they are heavy.


Tip #4 – Stand up and stretch regularly

This is important for anyone and not just those of us with scoliosis. It’s important to get up and walk around when on a long journey. I try and get up several times to stretch my legs and back out. This helps with keeping the pain and stiffness at bay. I have been known to do my stretches in the toilets of the plane if I can!


Tip # 5 – Don’t forget your pain killers

If I know I have a long flight I make sure I take my painkillers before I get on the plane so they have time to kick in.

When travelling abroad, if you have strong prescription painkillers, it is best to keep a copy of your prescription with you for when you go through security. Also, it’s best to check if your painkillers are allowed in the country you are travelling to. For example, some strong prescription painkillers are banned in Dubai (e.g. tramadol). If this is the case, you will need to take a copy of your prescription and to be safe, a letter from your Doctor.

Heat can also help. On a long flight to Las Vegas, I bought some Nurofen Heat Patches from the airport pharmacy and this relieved the pressure on my back during the flight. Heat Patches like the ones below can be great for long haul flights or long car/train journeys as they provide relief for hours. However, as many contain gel, if you are planning on using one of these on the plane, it’s probably best to buy them at the airport (once you’ve gone through security).


So there you have it, these are some of my top tips for travelling with scoliosis. Do you have any tips for travelling with scoliosis that you can share? Please comment below and let me know 🙂

Louise X

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Travelling with Scoliosis