Norfolk group offers support for people with scoliosis

A group is hoping to raise awareness and offer support to people with scoliosis.

The Norfolk and Norwich Scoliosis Group meets bi-monthly for members to share their experiences of living with the condition, which is a sideways curvature of the spine.

Martin Symons, 44, from Poringland, started the group in April, and said: 'It's been a good way to learn more about the condition and to make new friends and share experiences.'

Lee-Gemma Crockford, from Neatishead, was just 14 when she had surgery for her scoliosis. Now 15, the Broadland High School pupil said it had helped her to be able to talk to people of different ages about their experiences.

Although many people have not heard of scoliosis, it is suprisingly common, especially in early adolescence, but it is only severe enough to need hospital supervision in about three out of every 1,000 teenagers. The earlier scoliosis is detected and treated, the better for the patient, and cases where there is a high degree of curvature could require surgery.

Karen Reading, 30, from Sprowston, said she felt it was still very important for checks to take place in schools, as that is how her sister's condition was picked up, and subsequently why she was checked and found to have scoliosis too.

The administrator at the John Innes Centre said: 'Everyone has had different experiences and treatment has changed so much over the years.'

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Stephen Cole, 35, travelled from his home in Ipswich for the meeting, and said that as scoliosis in adolescence affects six times as many girls as boys, coming to the group offered a good chance to chat to other men with the condition. He said: 'I have had three operations and meeting with others means you don't feel so alone.'

The group meets on the first Saturday every other month, from midday to 3pm at the Queen of Iceni in Riverside and Martin Symons can be contacted at, or on 07747 666255.

More information is also available from the Scoliosis Association at or by calling 020 8964 1166.

Do you have a health story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 011603 772419 or email