A British teen is re-starting her modeling career after successfully completing a series of non-surgical treatments for her severe scoliosis. Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine, forming an S-shape. Leanne Roberts, 18, has a double-S shaped spine. She first noticed that there was something wrong at around age 14 when she began to have back pain. She didn’t think much of it and dismissed it as growing pains that some teens suffer from.
When finally reaching out to her general practitioner, she was told she had scoliosis, “I was paranoid I would end up looking awful and would end up in a wheelchair,” she says. The doctor told her that the only way to correct it was by undergoing major surgery. Scoliosis in adults is most often treated through surgery, with the insertion of metal rods on either side of the spine. Roberts, who had already done some modeling for catalogues, did not want the surgery, fearing it would damage her modeling career.
Roberts decided not to undergo surgery and instead sought out alternative treatments. She found a center that specialized in non-surgical treatment of scoliosis and decided to enlist their help. Although her scoliosis is severe, she found that the exercises she was taught at the Scoliosis SOS clinic helped to greatly reduce her pain. She says she saw a difference within a few days of practicing the exercises, “I am so happy now,–it’s remarkable how far I’ve come. I was in constant pain on a daily basis and my whole world had fallen apart.” Though the exercises cannot cure her scoliosis, they are intended to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine, which in turn stabilize her scoliosis.
Now that her treatment is completed, Roberts says she is looking into auditions in hopes of returning to modeling. Her mood has also drastically improved. After her diagnosis, she says she lost interest in everything and had no quality of life at all. Roberts says she went from being confident in her body, to “wanting to hide away at every opportunity.” Her family says that she has completely bounced back and is the person she was before her diagnosis. Roberts is doing much better, saying, “I feel I can now finally look forward.”