Scoliosis and Sensory Issues related to the Asperger Synrome

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leojewels91
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04 Jan 2013, 8:27 pm

I have a moderate form of scoliosis and I was wondering if anyone with Asperger can relate to me like this. If my back is being massaged it feels like its bruised when no one is touching it it feels like my whole back is stiff, tightens and puts me in an aching, throbbing and stabbing pain. When I do lauundry, clean or hold bags in my hands my back tends to be in more pain, along with my neck and shoulders, it even goes into pain when I am sitting down and relaxing like now. Could the back pain be caused from sensory issues from the asperger. I also notice how misaligned my body is when laying in bed I keep moving around and then iI have to strip naked in bed just to feel comfortable, my bed also has to be a certain way for me to sit, stand or lay down on.


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blueroses
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04 Jan 2013, 9:12 pm

I don't have scoliosis, but I do have chronic neck and back pain, due to being injured when I was hit by a drunk driver a while ago. I've wondered before if my reaction to the pain and way of dealing with it might be somewhat different than that of some other people, due to sensory issues and/or a tendency to get preoccupied with things and having trouble getting them off my mind. (It's really hard for me to block out pain, even when I'm having somewhat of a 'good day' and I have to work hard sometimes not to hyper-focus on it).

But, then again, many typical people have trouble dealing with chronic musculoskeletal problems and wind up having it pretty much rule their lives. It's no walk in the park, for sure. So, it's kind of hard to say how much my AS relates to how I cope.



unsortable
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10 Jan 2013, 9:06 am

I have scoliosis and in my teens went to the hospital twice a year for x-rays and check-ups. They monitored my condition until I was fully grown, though no treatment was offered. My body was significantly shorter on the left side and also rotated toward the left when standing. At the last check-up the doctor said he wouldn't be surprised if I ended up in a wheelchair before i turned 40. Idk maybe he was just trying to scare me into taking my condition seriously. If so, it worked! I tried all kinds of physical therapy and exercises through the years, before finding the one that worked.

This is it: McKenzie method physiotherapy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McKenzie_method
http://www.mckenziemdt.org/

Instead of the 'old style' physiotherapy, where you are the passive recipient of massages and whatnot (tried this for years with no result) the McKenzie method is based mainly on self-treatment through exercises that target you specific problem, only using manual therapy if necessary. This means you don't get touched as much, which for people with sensory issues is a plus. Also self-treatment means you are in control. You need less time with the therapist, which saves money. You get educated about your condition, and gain tools that you can use the rest of your life if need be. The hard part is having the discipline necessary to do the exercises by yourself. I was lucky that the clinic I went to had exercise classes where I could work out with about ten other patients and a supervising physiotherapist, who knew our individual needs.

This is what worked for me, and its just a suggestion for you to look into. I'm not trying to push you into anything, and I can't promise that this can help every person with scoliosis - we're all different.

Anyway, today my scoliosis is hardly noticeable. When my latest 'family doctor' saw me for the first time - at age 40 - she couldn't see it at first. So - no wheelchair for me :D
Still, I have to be very careful with how much strain I put on my back. My physiotherapist gave me this rule of thumb: If you work for an hour, you need to rest for an hour immediately afterwards. This is of course an ideal, and not always possible in the real world, but when I don't remember to get enough rest I pay for it in pain. Of course being on disability pension helps a lot.


Now - about pain. Yes, I think that Asperger's might give you a different way of experiencing pain. If you are highly sensitive to sensory input from the outside world, why not also to stimuli from inside your own body? I think I read somewhere that a typical brain has a way of filtering out pain signals from the nervous system that are deemed irrelevant or insignificant by the brain (e.g. not associated with danger or actual damage to the body). These signals are suppressed by the brain, and so go unnoticed by the persons consciousness. My suggestion is that the brain of a person with ASD may not have this filter, or it could be less effective in some way, so that these pain signals would register as important, and so not be suppressed, and thereby experienced by the persons consciousness as actual pain. This way conditions that may not be actually severe, may be experienced as very painful.

I myself have a low threshold for pain originating inside my body, though I have a high tolerance for pain induced from the outside. I suffer from several chronic conditions that are painful, but other than that, they don't seem to cause any real damage to my health (or so a whole bunch of doctors has assured me). I have to some extent learned to live with that pain and tolerate it every day. I refuse to be medicated with painkillers all the time and so use mindfulness and other buddhist practices that I find helpful to deal with it.



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10 Jan 2013, 12:15 pm

I've never been diagnosed with it but when I have told others about my back problems growing up, they almost always say "oh, you had scholiosis?" I went to the medical literature and along with Aspergers, it explains all my difficulties. I used to have debilitating back pain as a teen but it's almost non-existent now (knock on wood). My "cure" is likely based on two things I did at 21: 1) I started playing hockey and back exercises were a MUST to be successful and 2) I spent a boatload of cash on a new mattress. Expensive yes but getting rid of the back/neck pain was a godsend.

I have recently started getting bad neck pains which I trace to having such a long neck and not stretching properly. Hopefully that will solve the issue. Yes, I also have both an incredibly low and incredibly high pain tolerance depending on whether the pain is internal or external.



leojewels91
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17 Jan 2013, 8:46 pm

Thanks everyone. Unsortable you helped me solve my question, about feeling the pain differently either though my scoliosis is moderate it feels like its in exttreme pain. Hockey fan your idea of a new mattress might help but Im not sure. Thanks everyone.


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FluttercordAspie93
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05 Oct 2016, 11:59 am

My school nurse actually thought I had scoliosis, but our family doctor said I didn't have it, sooo... I really have no idea, actually.

I admit, I did have some back problems when I was younger, but now it's not nearly as bad.


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 112 of 200
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