The front-man for the legendary 90’s rock band “Nirvana” was diagnosed with scoliosis in junior high school. Kurt Cobain’s many mental and physical health struggles were well documented through the early 90’s until his untimely death in 1994.
Cobain struggled with chronic stomach problems, psychological troubles and drug abuse, but his growing back pain due to the worsening curve in his spine is less documented. Cobain told reporter Jon Savage, he blames his music for both his stomach issues and his back pain.
“My body is damaged from music in two ways. I have a red irritation in my stomach. It’s psychosomatic, caused by all the anger and the screaming. I have scoliosis, where the curvature of your spine is bent, and the weight of my guitar has made it worse. I’m always in pain, and that adds to the anger in our music.”
“I had minor scoliosis in junior high, and since I’ve been playing guitar ever since, the weight to the guitar has made my back grow in this curvature. So when I stand, everything is sideways. It’s weird.” – Kurt Cobain
At the time of the interview, Cobain said he used his physical struggles to write and perform his music.
“That really adds to the pain in our music. It really does. I’m kind of grateful for it”
Cobain claims he sought chiropractic treatments for his scoliosis through his life. It’s never been confirmed whether or not he considered a spine surgery.
The older ways of performing surgeries to treat scoliosis would call for fusing the spine without any support system in place. From the 1960’s to the early 90’s, “Harrington Rods” were used in scoliosis surgeries to reduce the curvature in the low back and provide stability. The rods could also end up causing more back pain. The lumbar spine (or low back) has a natural curve to it. This is called the natural lordosis of the lower back. The Harrington Rods could cause the spine to straighten the lordosis of the spine and cause more pain.
Spine Surgeons today have a technique that experts say will give patients more relief for a longer amount of time. Current procedures include new spine fusion techniques that allow a surgeon to straighten and fuse vertebrae in a natural position. If you are looking for more information on these procedures, you can make an appointment to speak with one of our spine specialists by calling 985-400-5778.