Saturday, 13 October 2018

"I'm so grateful to be alive." Vanessa Sunshine opens up about her large back scar.

Bachelor favourite Vanessa Sunshine has opened up about a large scar on her back and the life-changing surgery that caused it.
In a series of Instagram snaps of x-ray images and her recovery, the former contestant (whose last name is Bennet) revealed that she underwent spinal fusion surgery to treat her scoliosis.
The 27-year-old described the mental and physical toll the major surgery had on her in an accompanying YouTube video.
“It was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” she said of attempting to walk just 48 hours post-surgery.

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/vanessa.sunshine/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_loading_state_camera

Vanessa said she underwent the spinal fusion in June 2016 – but that it was a step she had hoped to avoid.
“Surgery is a last resort, getting a spinal surgery is not the first route that people take when they have scoliosis, it’s literally the last option. For me it was the last option,” she said.
The legal secretary explained that she had found out at 16 years old that she had the condition idiopathic scoliosis – which is sideways curving of the spine. She also learned that the two curves in her spine would worsen each year.
“There are things you can do to slow down the process, but for me that wasn’t working and my spine was definitely curving a degree or more every year.”
Despite the pain her curved spine was causing her, she said the decision to fuse her spine was “confronting” and “isn’t something you should take lightheartedly at all”.
Vanessa had reason to be wary. She said those few days and weeks post-surgery she felt like she had become “a baby again”.
She began tearing up when talking about how difficult it was to walk after her surgery and to feel “weak”, when she was usually so “independent”.
The metal plates in her body that have fused her spine mean she cannot bend over without pain and will cause her “awful” pain in really cold weather.
“Anyone considering this operation, it’s honestly so taxing on your physical and mental state,” she said.
“I wasn’t someone who just bounced back like a spring chicken. It really took everything out of me.”
However, Vanessa also said the surgery was “worth it” in the end.
“I’m just so grateful to be alive and that I got through this.”
To other people suffering from scoliosis and considering undergoing a spinal fusion, she was honest but encouraging.
“I’m just telling you, you’ll get through it. It’s okay.”
Vanessa Sunshine wasn’t all too impressed to meet Nick Cummins on the red carpet of the Bachelor mansion

More info : https://www.mamamia.com.au/vanessa-sunshine-scoliosis-spinal-fusion/

Source : Mamamia , 9th october 2018 

Scoliosis linked to essential mineral

Scoliosis linked to essential mineral

Children with severely curved spines may be unable to use manganese

October 9, 2018
Washington University School of Medicine
An inability to properly use the essential mineral manganese could be to blame for some cases of severe scoliosis, according to a new study.

Zebrafish that lacked a manganese-related gene grew curved spines. An inability to properly use the essential mineral manganese could be to blame for some cases of severe scoliosis, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Credit: Gabriel Haller

Nobody knows why some children's backs start to curve to one side just as they hit puberty. Most children diagnosed with scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, have no known risk factors.
A new study suggests that the body's inability to fully utilize the essential dietary mineral manganese might be to blame for some cases of severe scoliosis. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that children with severe scoliosis are twice as likely as children without the disease to carry a gene variant that makes it hard for their cells to take in and use manganese. Manganese is required for growing bones and cartilage.
"Our study links a common disease -- scoliosis -- to something that's potentially modifiable in the diet," said senior author Christina Gurnett, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology, of orthopedic surgery and of pediatrics. "But we don't want people to go out right now and start manganese supplements, because we already know that too much manganese can be harmful."
The study is published Oct. 9 in Nature Communications.
About 3 million new cases of scoliosis are diagnosed every year. Most are mild and require only that doctors keep a watchful eye on the condition. Children who develop a moderate bend to their spine may need to wear a back brace until they finish growing. In rare cases, the curvature is so pronounced that it requires surgery to correct.
Cases of scoliosis tend to cluster in families, but not in a simple way, which suggests that many different genes each play a small role in increasing the risk of the disease. To identify such genes, Gurnett and a research team including Matthew Dobbs, MD, the Dr. Asa C and Mrs. Dorothy W. Jones Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and postdoctoral researcher and first author Gabriel Haller, PhD, scanned all the genes in 457 children with severe scoliosis and 987 children without scoliosis.
They found a variant in the gene SLC39A8 in only 6 percent of the healthy children but 12 percent of the children with severe scoliosis. A second analysis in a separate group of 1,095 healthy children and 841 children with moderate to severe scoliosis also found that children with scoliosis were about twice as likely to carry the variant.
When the researchers bred zebrafish with a disabled SLC39A8 gene, the fish developed movement and skeletal abnormalities, including curves in their spines.
This gene hasn't been studied much, but there are some reports that it helps cells take in minerals such as zinc, iron and manganese. Haller and Gurnett found that human cells with the gene variant successfully took up zinc and iron but failed to take in manganese. They also discovered that children with the gene variant had significantly lower levels of manganese in their blood than those with the more common form -- although both groups were still within the normal range.
"Our goal in studying the genetics of this disorder was to see if there was anything we could learn that might change how we treat patients," said Gurnett, who is also director of the Division of Pediatric and Developmental Neurology and neurologist-in-chief at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "And we came across this gene variant that affects the level of manganese in the body. That tells me maybe we should start thinking about studying nutritional treatments for some children at risk."
Manganese is both an essential mineral and a toxin. High doses can cause manganism, a permanent neurological condition characterized by tremors and difficulty walking, as well as psychiatric symptoms such as aggression and hallucinations. The mineral also has been linked to Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and high blood pressure. Too little manganese, on the other hand, can cause manganese deficiency -- although this is rarely seen in people because the human body needs only trace amounts that are easily obtained from food. But animal studies show that lack of manganese can result in problems metabolizing fat and sugar, impaired growth, difficulty walking and curvature of the spine.
The children with the genetic variant did not have manganese deficiency, but they may be unable to use manganese as efficiently as others.
"The genetic variant does not stop the gene from working entirely, it's just not working optimally," Haller said. "So maybe most people need a certain level of manganese in their blood, but if you have a bad gene variant like this one, you need more."
Any manganese supplementation would have to be carefully measured to avoid raising the risk for other serious diseases, the researchers cautioned.
"We've started doing these studies in zebrafish by adding manganese to their water," Gurnett said. "But we still need to do human studies to figure out how much exactly is both safe and effective."
Story Source:
Materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Original written by Tamara Bhandari. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Gabe Haller, Kevin McCall, Supak Jenkitkasemwong, Brooke Sadler, Lilian Antunes, Momchil Nikolov, Julia Whittle, Zachary Upshaw, Jimann Shin, Erin Baschal, Carlos Cruchaga, Matthew Harms, Cathleen Raggio, Jose A. Morcuende, Philip Giampietro, Nancy H. Miller, Carol Wise, Ryan S. Gray, Lila Solnica-Krezel, Mitchell Knutson, Matthew B. Dobbs, Christina A. Gurnett. A missense variant in SLC39A8 is associated with severe idiopathic scoliosisNature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06705-0

    Source :  Science Daily , 9th October 2018 

3-year-old girl needs help paying for spinal surgery

IMAGE: Henna O'Deay

A 13-year-old girl is in need of surgery, but her insurance won't cover the tab.
Jen O’Deay said her 13-year-old daughter Henna O’Deay has always loved sports.
Henna plays volleyball, basketball and softball at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Saginaw.
Now everything is on the line after an unexpected and rare diagnosis.
“I found out I had scoliosis on Aug. 13. I had a sport physical,” Henna said.
Things didn’t look too bad at first, but doctors became very concerned about how quickly problems have progressed by her second scan.
“They found her at 51. By the time we checked with another surgeon on Sept. 4 she was at 70. That’s a 19-degree difference in three weeks. The last X-ray on Oct. 2, she was at 78 degrees thoracic and 42 degrees lumbar,” Jen said.
Doctors told the family Henna needs surgery within the next few months to prevent her from getting something called kyphosis.
“The body starts to curve inward and there’s harm to your heart and lungs as your spine is coming forward and that happens around 80 to 90 degrees. Henna’s is at 78,” Jen said.
The most common type of surgery is a spinal fusion, but it’s very invasive and one that would leave Henna with little to no flexibility in her back – which is not ideal for her active lifestyle.
After a lot of research, Jen stumbled on a less invasive option – another scoliosis correction. She thinks it would give Henna a better chance at living a completely normal life.
“There is no fusion. Her spine won’t be fused. It will be intact. The integrity and flexibility of her spine is maintained,” Jen said.
The surgery comes with a large price tag and one that insurance won’t cover because it has to be done out of state. The family is hoping someone can help.
“It would mean everything,” Henna said.

Source : WNEM, 11 Oct 2018 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

5 Astounding Benefits Of Yoga for Scoliosis

5 Astounding Benefits Of Yoga for Scoliosis

5 Astounding Benefits Of Yoga for Scoliosis : Are you a health and fitness addict? Or you are just curious about the article’s subject, so you clicked and took the time to read? Or simply, you have scoliosis and you want to know something that you can do for the improvement of your condition? Don’t worry, whether you are a health and fitness addict or a person with scoliosis, you are welcome here and I’m going to tell that you landed and clicked on the right and page.
Know these shocking truths about how yoga can help people with scoliosis by simply doing the proper and appropriate yoga poses.

Improves Breath Awareness

The severe spine curvature can badly affect your breathing process. In what way? If you are suffering from this kind of spine disorder, it is possible that your chest is malformed due to the abnormal curvature of your spine. If that happens, your lungs and your heart may possibly be affected, and that leads to breathing problems such as fatigue and even heart failure.
But don’t worry because these severe symptoms are fortunately rare. Yoga exercise is a good practice for you to divert your breathing from your lungs to your nose.  If you are not aware, yoga is a form of exercise that requires proper breathing control, relaxation, and meditation. So, if you do yoga, you are forced to practice your breathing which may highly be affected by scoliosis.

Lengthens the Spine

Yoga exercise can be a good practice to develop your bone structures and health. Correlating to suffering from scoliosis, yoga can help you lengthens your spine by doing the appropriate positions or poses. If you do yoga exercises right, you might possibly see the improvement in your spine. These are some of the yoga poses that you could apply to your daily exercise routine.
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana) – this yoga pose is primarily the starting pose for many other yoga poses. This yoga pose requires you to stand strong and tall. Its Sanskrit name is Tadasana – tada means mountain and asana mean posture.
  • Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)– another yoga pose that can lengthen your spine is the downward dog pose. This pose is one of the most recognized poses in the West – Adho Mukha Svanasana; adho for downward, mukha for face, and svana for dog.

  • Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasan)– this is a pose otherwise known as upward facing bow that benefits your body, mind, and spirit by doing an advanced backbend. Its Sanskrit name is Urdhva Dhanurasan – urdhva means upward and dhanu means bow.

Strengthens the Weak Muscles

When you have scoliosis, some of the muscles in your body weakens. This is because the abnormal curvature of the spine can stretch, irritate, and squeeze nerves.
Also, it is can possibly strain joints that would cause them to become worn or inflamed. Some of the major effects of scoliosis are visible in your posture that leads to the weakening of the muscles or becoming tired. If these undesirable circumstances bother you, do yourself a favor by executing yoga exercises as frequent as you can. Yoga can strengthen your weakening muscles by doing standing poses.
Moreover, through yoga, you would know how to build strength in your abdominal muscles, core muscles, and the muscles that run along the spine which can help to prevent the worsening of the lateral curve in your spine.

Enhances the Spine Curvature

According to a study, around 32% of scoliosis patients had improvement on the curve of their spine with one basic yoga pose which is the side plank. On the first week of the study, the patients or the participants were instructed to do a side plank on the side of their spine was curved for only 10-20 seconds daily. After the first week, they were then told to do the pose for as long as possible similarly on the side of their curvature.
That is because yoga focuses on strengthening the weak muscles. By doing the yoga poses right and as often as you should, you could probably see better results in only a month or two.

Develops Posture

People with scoliosis have poor body posture and that is because of the spine curvature. However, posture can be developed when yoga exercise is included in your daily or weekly health and fitness routine. It doesn’t only benefit those who have normal bone structure but apparently those who need posture improvement.
Upon gaining your posture or by simply having little improvement, your self-esteem increases, and you become more confident about how you look and especially on how you stand and walk. You only need to be consistent and determined enough so you can see the most awaited results at the end of the day.
So, are you planning on trying the yoga exercises? Well, that’s good. If you are just reading this article and you have a normal bone structure, you can spread this little knowledge especially if you know someone who is suffering from scoliosis.
Or, if you are one of them, don’t be afraid to stand up and gain your fullest confidence again. Start by buying your yoga mat or any exercise equipment. Most importantly, get yourself a daily dose of determination and dedication, improvements may take some time but the self-satisfaction towards the best results are to be treasured for a lifetime.


Kath Ramirez is a journalism graduate who aims to turn her dreams into her passion. Her love for writing started when she was seven years old, reading illustrated books. Writing articles, reading books, and dancing is her passion and she breathes into life with these. Kath is also engaged in exploring different places to stay for vacation or Holidays, a food addict but health conscious. She now works as a dedicated writer for Fitbiz, a health and fitness equipment provider based in Australia.

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Source : Women Fitness Magazine , 3rd October 2018 

Teenager who wore baggy clothes to cover the 70 degree curve in her spine can now do the splits

Lily was diagnosed with scoliosis - a condition where the spine twists and curves to the side - and had surgery.
PA Real Life - Julie Ritchie - scoliosis

A  teenager with a spine shaped “like a question mark” can now do the splits, following gruelling six-hour surgery.

So self-conscious she spent a scorching holiday in Greece wearing a baggy T-shirt over her bikini, to hide her curved back, just a year after Lily Sidebottom, 15, had a spinal fusion operation, she has become an accomplished dancer.
Her mum Julie Ritchie, 38, a pension scheme administrator, of South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, said: “Seeing Lily dance, with her back straight, is such a delight because of how bad things got.”

Lily and Julie in Ibiza (Collect/PA Real Life)

She continued: “I remember seeing her in her bikini on previous holiday in Ibiza in 2016 and spotting a curve to her back. I felt really bad as I had never noticed it before.
“We were away as part of a group of 20 parents and children and some of the other adults asked me about it.
“But by the time I saw it on holiday in Greece a year later, her spine was straight at the bottom, then curved at the top, like a question mark.”
Lily showing off her moves (Collect/PA Real Life)
Lily, whose mum and dad are no longer together, was 12 when she first told her mum she was “bent” on one side of her body.
Putting it down to hormones, Julie thought nothing of it.
But, when they came home from their Ibizan trip, the curve could be seen in their photos.
Lily’s curve before her operation (PA Real Life/Nuffield Health)
Julie took her to the doctor, who diagnosed scoliosis – a condition where the spine twists and curves to the side.
Referred to a specialist at Leeds General Infirmary, in September 2016 she was told would eventually need surgery in the future, or it could lead to a deformity.
Julie said: “Lily was really upset.  We were told she needed a spinal fusion, to fuse the vertebrae, to correct any deformity.”
Seeing Lily dance, with her back straight, is such a delight because of how bad things got.
Mum Julie
She continued: “It involved six hours of surgery, with a week-long recovery period, during which she tried to take small steps daily and didn’t go back to school until October.
“Initially, she didn’t want such a major operation. But the curve had got worse and before the operation was curved at 70 degrees.
“She was so self-conscious that she would avoid PE classes, so friends didn’t see her undress.”
Lily’s spine after the operation (PA Real Life/Nuffield Health)
When Lily agreed to the surgery, her mum added her to the private health insurance she had through her job.
Booked to go under the knife in August 2017, at the private Centre for Spinal and Neurosurgery at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital, that May, before the op,  she joined Julie and her partner, web design company manager Mathew  Gornall, 31, on a trip to the Greek island of Crete.
Julie said: “Lily was much more self-conscious about her ‘bent’ back. She wore baggy T-shirts the whole time, even in the pool when it was just us. I’d tell her not to worry and just to wear her bikini, but she wouldn’t. Normally she has a great tan after a holiday, but when we came home, you wouldn’t have thought she’d been away.”
Lily showing off her moves (Collect/PA Real Life)
So, when the date for her operation arrived, instead of being a bag of nerves, Lily was eager to go down to theatre.
Julie added: “She was in hospital for six days afterwards, to recover, and we looked after her at home, just to make sure everything was ok.”
Then, in January this year, Lily surprised her mum by announcing that she wanted to started dancing to musical theatre tracks.
Julie and Lily, wearing a baggy top, in Crete before the operation (Collect/PA Real Life)
Lily said: “I did some classes when I was younger, but when a friend said she was going to learn some moves, I decided to go, too.
“Now I can even do the splits, I’ve performed in live shows and am preparing for a dance competition next month.
“I wouldn’t have done any of that before my operation. I wouldn’t have had the confidence.”
L-R Lily, Mathew and Julie in Crete (Collect/PA Real Life)
Now attending weekly classes, which she loves, Julie is delighted to see her doing so well.
She said: “Nuffield Leeds were brilliant. The surgery by Mr Almas Khan was scheduled really quickly and Lily was so brave.
“Seeing her performing on stage, now me and Mathew are bursting with pride.”

Source : Virgin Media Television , 3rd October 2018 

Yoga for Scoliosis: 8 Yoga Poses To Correct Spinal Curvature

Scoliosis is a condition which is related to spine in which the spine is not perfectly straight but has a curve to it. If this curvature is more than 10 degrees either on right or left, or even front or back, he or she can be called as suffering from scoliosis.

If you suffer from scoliosis, here are 8 best yoga asanas that will help alleviate discomfort and realign your spine.

Virabhadrasana II - Warrior II

Warrior 2 — Virabhadrasana II is a standing yoga pose named after a mythological Hindu warrior, Virabhadra. A powerful stretch for the legs, groins, and chest, Virabhadrasana II also increases stamina. It helps to relieve backaches, and stimulates healthy digestion. This is a deep hip-opening pose that strengthens the muscles in the thighs and buttocks. It tones the abdomen, ankles, and arches of the feet.

Trikonasana - Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose is a standing yoga pose that tones the legs, reduces stress, and increases stability. The word "Trikonasana" comes from the Sanskrit words "tri," (meaning "three"), "kona"(meaning "angle"), and "asana" (meaning "pose"). It refers to the triangular shape created by your body in the full version of the pose. A deep stretch for the hamstrings, groins, and hips, Trikonasana also opens the chest and shoulders. It helps relieve lower back pain, stress, and sluggish digestion.

Paschimottanasana - Seated Forward Bend

aschimottanasana or the Seated Forward Bend pose is a ‘forward bend asana. Paschimottanasana is also known as the Intense Dorsal Stretch pose as it engages the dorsal muscles of the back. “Paschima” means your “back” and “Uttana” means “stretching“. This asana covers the stretching of the whole body from head to heels so it is called as Paschimottanasna.

Salabhasana - Locust Pose

Salabhasana - the name comes from the Sanskrit words "shalabh" which means "grasshopper". It is back bend, or spine stretch, using the strength of the upper and middle back to lift the weight of the legs as high as possible from a starting position face down on the floor. It improves flexibility and coordination and increases strength and stamina. It helps to exercise the spine.

Setu Bandhasana - Bridge Pose

In sanskrit ‘Bridge’ means ‘Setu’, ‘Bandha’ means ‘Lock’ and ‘Asana’ means ‘Pose’. The poses look like the shape of the bridge, so this pose is called as bridge pose. This rejuvenating backbend will open your chest up and keep your spine flexible. Setu Bandhasana will also help to prepare you for more intense backbends. Basically this pose is effective in relaxing the body and reducing stress.

Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana posture replicates a dog bending forward, hence the name downward facing dog pose. This asana can be practiced by any beginner too and with all its benefits, one should include it as a part of daily yoga practice. It is a standing pose and mild inversion that builds strength while stretching the whole body. 

Salamba Sarvangasana - Supported Shoulder Stand

Inversions are considered some of the most essential of yoga poses. Supported Shoulderstand is a powerful pose to practice for gradually and safely learning inversions. It stretches the back of the neck while strengthening the spine and core muscles. It is appropriate for intermediate to advanced yoga students.

Cat - Cow Pose

Cat-Cow is a gentle sequence of two poses that stretches the spine and prepares the body for activity. A wonderful way to start off any yoga practice is with a round Cat Pose to Cow Pose. This Cat Cow pose helps relieving back pain and also helps to stregthen the back during pregancy.

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Source: Deccan Chronicle,  2nd October 2018