Finding flexibility in body and mind – my journey with scoliosis

Before spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis


Less than three years ago I couldn’t try on high heeled shoes in a store without being in pain for hours afterwards. Let alone go out dancing all night without paying for it the next day.

I struggled to run for even 20 seconds to make the train without cramps forming in my lower back to the point where I struggled to stand up to actually get off the train. I would then sit at my desk at work with my right shoulder blade digging into my chair.

Instead of being a carefree 24 year old when I went on holidays to Bali, I was anxious about how my back would hold up if I went on a waterslide or white water rafting.

How would I feel if I slept in a different bed on a weekend away? God forbid I accidentally leave my pillow at home as I knew I would pay for it afterwards.

For nearly 10 years of my life my head space was taken over with worry about my back.

My xray post spinal fusion surgery

My xray post spinal fusion surgery

At the time it was all I knew, looking back I see that my back was taking over. Clearly, if I couldn’t even try on shoes without being concerned about the pain that would follow!

That’s why I decided to do something, something more permanent than the natural therapies I regularly relied on. I had found great relief through chiropractic and massage but there was no denying the curve was taking over.

In March 2012 I underwent spinal fusion surgery to correct my 65 degree thoracic spinal curve to 33 degrees, fusing from T5 to T12. From this adjustment, my lower spine corrected itself from 44 degrees to 28 degrees.

To cut a very long story short, this experience released me of the past pain – the pain in my back, but also in my head. It freed me of my self-limiting behaviours and my self-limiting thoughts that I had no control over my own life.

I am yet to regret the pain I went through to get me where I am today. Instead I feel encouraged to keep leading myself in the direction I want to go, and if I can empower even just one other person to do the same then that is definitely worth it.

Today I am grateful for my body and what it is capable of.

Today I am grateful for my body and what it is capable of.

After my surgery I made a decision to be grateful for my body and what it is capable of. It was capable of so much before, but it wasn’t until I made the decision to do something for me that I truly acknowledged my own physical and mental strength and flexibility to adapt with life.

I feel that this applies to all areas of life, not just for me, but for anybody who is looking to make a change to lead a healthier and meaningful life.

Going through pain to come out the other side is definitely worth it, no matter what challenge you face.

Living with scoliosis hasn’t been all bad. It is a part of who I am, and I am proud to be reminded everyday of just how far I have come.

Especially after I finish a Body Pump or Body Attack class with only genuine muscle soreness the next day! Winning 🙂

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