Welcoming Charlotte Wyatt- our new Regional Representative

8 June 2020

In my experience of having scoliosis, treatment often focuses on the curve itself and the physical pain that accompanies this. It can bypass the emotional pain and the impact that negative body image can have on someone’s mental health. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is without the curved spine and uneven waist-physical traits that don’t conform to society’s definition of what a ‘normal’ body should look like. Throughout the course of my scoliosis journey, body image has been a difficult subject for me. I was diagnosed at aged 14 with a severe case of idiopathic scoliosis- my spine had started curving into an “S” shape and I was told it would have to be operated on. At first, I was weirdly excited about the prospect of surgery, as to me this meant fixing my ‘wrong body’. I went into my operation with slightly unrealistic expectations. I thought that all the insecurities I had surrounding my back, wonky shoulders and uneven hips would go away immediately. But my recovery didn’t end the second I walked out of the hospital doors or when I took my back brace off for the very last time. The surgery wasn’t the quick fix I had assumed it would be and it didn’t address the physiological effects that the condition had left me with.

When I look back, I was bottling up a lot of my emotions and it wasn’t really until I began to talk about these negative feelings that I began to make sense of them and change my frame of mind. I started to celebrate all of my little ‘wins’ …finally being able to do sport again, going out with my friends and getting back on stage (which was a huge win for me as acting has always played a big part of my life).

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, one of the top drama schools in the UK, where I trained as a professional actor. I was initially scared that my scoliosis would get in the way of my training as a number of the classes involved stage combat and movement. However, rather than getting frustrated when I couldn’t do certain things, I would remind myself that I’m am built differently, and that’s okay.

It was at drama school that I was introduced to the Alexander Technique which has been instrumental in my recovery and my scoliosis journey. I stopped constantly obsessing over my posture and the way by body looked and started appreciating what it was capable of. Scoliosis has made me stronger and more resilient; it’s made me appreciate the body I have, but most importantly, it’s made me realise that no one is perfect. It’s all our imperfections, quirks, and differences that make us who we are.

By becoming a member you are put in contact with the Regional Representatives in your area whose main role is to support other members in their area, through email, on the phone, using the members’ online forum or meeting for a cup of tea and a chat. 

Having scoliosis can sometimes be a lonely experience. Our membership scheme allows people with scoliosis to connect with each other.

As a member we can put you in contact with others who have been through similar experiences to yourself. 

We have a member's magazine Backbone, which goes out twice yearly and is filled with members' stories, scoliosis information and advice and much more. As a member you will also be the first to hear about SAUK activities, meetings and news.

Membership costs £15 per year in the UK and £25 overseas. The membership fee helps us to continue the work that we do.

Join online or download a membership application form (92KB pdf) and post it back to us. 

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