Log in
Pain Concern
23,769 members8,032 posts

Do I have scoliosis?

I was unable to upload a photo- apologies. If you look at my previous post you will see that I suffer from scapular dyskensis or winged scpaular, which despite intensive muscular rehab and strengthening has not stopped winging and hurts a lot more than previously. I stand with poor posture, slanted to the side with a winged scapular. My shoulder blades are not in line and my shoulders are uneven. I get a lot of hip pain along with pain in my middle back right along the spine. Is it possible that the reason the winging scapular is not going away is because my spine is tilted/ scoliotic? I am just asking this as I want to know why my shoulder blade is not recovering. My head is not in line with my pelvis as well! I can stand straight however due to my shoulder condition I always stand slanted to the side to relieve pain.

12 Replies

I have a very mild scoliosis which was diagnosed by an osteopath within seconds of him looking at my back. Physiotherapists have also made that diagnosis very quickly. I could not have done it myself from looking at photos or in a mirror, so I think it was definitely worth getting a professional to have a look. (I've had doctors examine my back before and miss it because it's quite mild, so worth getting a back expert to have a look).

I have been told from being a teenager onwards that my posture is "wrong" but no one could explain what they meant. My left shoulder sticks out more than the right - and until a recent and lengthy burst of physio it was very prominant. If I wear horizontal stripes on a t-shirt they slant diagonally (something I wasn't aware of until I spotted it in a changing room mirror one day - that really helped me to change my posture). I also get aching in my left hip and have noticed a mismatch between the shape and distance of my torso on left and right, although this is more equal now (thanks to physio, and going to a zumba class with a dance teacher who has helped me work on my posture). If I lie on my back my feet and head aren't in a straight line.

Like you I can stand up straight but I guess my default posture is to lean. I have had chronic pain for over 8 years and my left shoulder muscles had become so hard and painful I've had botox injections in there for 3 years, and I paid for private physio for 9 months (fortnightly) to get it into the state it's in now.

Osteopathy & deep massage made it hurt much more. My latest round of physio hurt to start with. It's like firing up all the little trigger points in the muscles. The physio also used ultrasound and heat treatment immediately after the massage which reduced the post-treatment pain a lot.

I'm now a lot better and thinking I can perhaps stop the botox. I haven't physio for weeks and haven't yet had a massive relapse for the first time in all these years! I have read on soliosis websites that scoliosis in itself is "not painful", but as far as I'm concerned it's led to my wonky posture and that has caused my pain.

I hope this is of interest and helpful to you.


wow thank you! that is all very helpful information! did you have an x ray? How big is your curve? I have never been told I have scoliosis but I stand straight when with the physio because I want them and my mum to think I am getting better and that I am standing with the correct posture! And i guess if they are not looking for scoliosis then they will not spot a very mild case. Im seeing a specialist soon about my shoulder blades and will ask him then!


Not had an x-ray of my back, it's not always necessary to have one to spot scoliosis. My curve isn't that big (according to my latest physio) and I know she's right so I don't worry about it. It's good that you can stand straight, but if I were you, I would ask your physio about the scoliosis. And yes, a good idea to ask the specialist.


In the early nineties I saw a consulant surgeon who announced I had a scoliosis.The chronic pain I suffer from is not directly linked to this,I think, but I have osteo arthritis in spine causing referred pain down right arm and leg.After mri etc he said the problem was inoperable and that I would have to learn to live with it. I have since become a cyclist and do not allow the pain to rule my life and only stop doing anything when pain becomes intolerable,because I know it will settle a bit in time.I always remember when making his diagnosis he invited medical students to attend and I presumed from this, that perhaps this wasn't too common a scenario.Like you ,looking back in every photo one shoulder is higher than the other.


oh god! I feel for you, but I'm a teenager and I just don't want to learn to 'live with it', like im county tennis and hockey (was) and also a piano and oboe player and all of these have become extremley laborious and painful! Seeing a surgeon in 2 days hopefully will clear some stuff up! thank you so much for sharing your story, really helps!


it's me again! I am no sportswoman (but that's got nothing to do with my spine), but I can do exercise classes as well as most other people. I played the clarinet when I was young and have started playing the piano again.Exercise and piano do cause some pain sometimes but with therapy it's not as bad as it once was. I have learnt to pace myself and not overdo it. And I am much older than you!

The phrase "learn to live with it" gets right up my nose because we "live with it" everyday. But it doesn't mean it has to ruin your life or rule you completely.


sorry for late reply! I went to see a specialist and he said while I assume a scoliotic posture I show no signs of having any curvature of my spine! I have been referred to pain management, not quite sure what that entails...

1 like

Be careful with pain management doctors...here in California they do not address ways to solve the pain...only mask it with narcotics which after any length of time you will develop dependence. The withdrawls can be a nhtmare....be sure to askyur pain management Dr tobe cautions of " opiate induced hyperalgesia" I developed this and it magnifies the pain ten fold. Best wishes xx


I know, the last thing i want is to be put on drugs or anything like that! im very worried.... hopefully it will be more like massage and light exercises


I do not know what s meant by muscular strengthening. Nor do I know what is meant by muscular rehab. Is is likely that you want neither of those.

Muscular strengthening often means I have stronger muscles which carry on doing the same muscular dysfunction but with more strength.

Muscular rehab can mean relax this muscle more with the result that underlying muscles get tighter in order to carry on doing the same muscular dysfunction.

Have a look at anatomytrains.com/ It lists some of the new wave of ideas about posture that is beginning to be aired in some places. It may help give you another way of looking at things. How accurate it is I do not know. But some of the ideas that are advanced in the book "Anatomy Trains" by Thomas Myers matches what I have determined by experience. Note the word some. The ideas put forward by Thomas Myers sound right but I do not have the experience or capability to verify all of them.

The other website to look at is stat.org.uk/.

Both groups are anti "Muscular strengthening" and "Muscular rehab" as put forward by the NHS physios. Both groups use their hands to understand muscular functioning and retraining of muscular usage. I am very familiar with the Alexander Technique from personal experience. I have no experience of the Anatomy Trains technique, although I have experience of re-aligning muscular function and usage.

Muscular weakening could be of more benefit because it will force you to move with balance. The body needs particularly no strength to stand upright. It will need a lot of co-ordination and good spinal feedback reflexes. My understanding is that strong muscles interfere and can prevent good spinal feedback reflexes.

Hope this helps


Thank you! I have checked out the link and am looking into it!


Hi I have scoliosis of the spine, it was spotted after an X-ray ,as I had lots of pain in my lower back ,I also have hip displacier ,and thought that was why I had pain in my spine ,you can get an answer to confirm scoliosis from a simple back X-ray ,you symptoms sound like this May be the case , hope this may help you . Regards Dalrymple


You may also like...