Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Back, Part 2-The CF Connection (?)

A few months ago, someone asked me if my back problems where connected with CF. My answer...Maybe, but probably not.  First, I do know my back problems are genetic.  Both my dad and my grandma (dad's mom) have similar back problems and we have all now had the same spinal fusion surgery.  The big difference is I had my surgery at a very young age.  And I am the only person with scoliosis.  The cause of scoliosis is unknown.  Doctors speculate the herniated disks and spondyloithesis was cause from the pressure of the spinal curvature being so low in my lumbar spine (the portion of the spine just above the tail bone).  Those lower vertebrae hold the weight of the entire spine, neck and head.  Scoliosis cause that weight to be off balance, putting more pressure on different parts of the vertebrae.  It is possible the disks and lower vertebrae couldn't handle that pressure and just collapsed.  It is just a theory.  I think the really question is...What made my back so weak in the first place?  It makes sense for this to happen to people as they get older, but not to a 12 year old.

So, is there a CF connection to my condition?  In the Fall addition of CFRI News, author Shelby Cass published an article "Posture and Pain: Can't We Deal With This Later?"  The article follows Mary Massery's, PT, theory about the connection between CF and bad posture leading to spinal cord compression and neurological symptoms such as pain and weakness.  Her theory: the stress of coughing can lead to thoracic kyphosis (the appearance of bad posture).  This can lead to damage of the spinal cord, joint pain, and neurological pain.  The article goes on to stress the importance of stretching and exercise to keep joints healthy.

I don't know if this theory applies to me and I don't know if my back problems have anything to do with CF.  The truth is, I will never know.  I am interested in this topic, however.  I am going to continue to research more about this and talk to the CF clinic to see if they have any opinions about back problems connected to CF.  I'll report any interesting findings.


  1. Good to know! I hope your back feels better. You take pretty good care of yourself! Good job! :)

  2. I agree with Jen. You are always very conscious of what's going on with your health. You listen to everyone make educated decision based on what's the best for you rather than what everyone else is doing. Smart cookie, Leeners.