Oscar's scoliosis has increased again -- he's now up to a 30 degree curve. I know I've written here before about the various opinions we've received about how to treat.
Brace? Surgery? Exercise? Ignore?
Our main orthopedist - the one in San Francisco who always takes the time to talk to Oscar about their shared interest in basketball -- has been telling us since Oscar was three that rowing would be great for Oscar's back. I didn't think a three year old who was just learning to pedal a tricycle could row, and neither honestly did he, but he did suggest therabands and tug-of-war and all kinds of other things that engage the back and core in the same way.
Well, we didn't do any of it. We have done horseback riding in the summer, and swimming (which he also recommends) and various other things, but nothing consistent.
At this last appointment Dr. Gray gave me the choice -- brace again or drastically increase the exercise and see if there's improvement. He said that he treats dancers with scoliosis whose curves increase when they get injured and then improve as soon as they start dancing again. He believes in strengthening the muscles around the spine to help it align which is why we started seeing him in the first place.
And of course he recommend rowing, again. I took Oscar to check out a WaterRower on Saturday. Oscar LOVED it. He quickly figured out the motion and then did not want to get off. He talked about it for an hour afterward -- about how strong he's going to get and about how fun it is. Ruby loved it too, which is great because she too has low trunk tone. Honestly, we all need the extra core and upper body workout so I'm really excited. The machine gets great reviews, stores easily (perfect for our small house) and looks nice. An added bonus -- the swishing of the water circulating in the drum is very soothing!
We're going to rent to start, just to make sure it doesn't stay folded up against the wall unused despite our best intentions.