You are not alone

Being diagnosed with scoliosis can be a daunting experience.  When people first learn that they themselves, their child or a family member has a scoliosis, they also discover a confusing world of specialised physical therapies, bracing, and surgical procedures. There is a lot to consider, and often some big decisions to make.

While much of the focus becomes on a person’s back, often this focus can affect how they feel about themselves. Teenagers in particular may be concerned about their physical appearance, and how others will perceive them.

We all know what it’s like to be young, it’s a time when image is key.  In situations where bracing may be involved there may also be fears about being restricted in activities, being seen as different or even a fear of being in pain. It can be tough.

Like with anything though, there are ways friends and family can help.

Reassurance and positivity is a must when someone is diagnosed with scoliosis.  As with any challenge, parents and family members can help by listening. Try to understand how someone is feeling before you try to give advice. It’s important to accept their feelings, and communicate that you understand.

Learn all you can, and understand the nature of the diagnosis. Knowledge can help reduce stress and worry, particularly with children involved. It’s the role of your Scoliosis Clinician to provide you with an honest and realistic view of the situation – not to scare you. Ask them for an expected timetable of treatment – they are an important information resource.

Having a strategy to integrate any treatment plans, such as bracing, into daily life is a good idea. Studies have found that patients who wear scoliosis braces get better results the longer they wear the brace each day.

It’s important to encourage children or teens to stick with their treatment plan, whether it be brace wear or scoliosis exercise programs, and not relent even if there is resistance from them. Establishing a daily routine which helps keep things as normal as possible will help everyone cope with the challenges and keep focused on the long term goals.

While most families are well placed to provide emotional support, sometimes those with scoliosis will need to talk to someone who is going through something similar. A number of peer led support groups and online forums exist in the community – the most well known being Curvy Girls. The aim of these groups is to support those with scoliosis and their family and friends, and encourage interaction between members on shared topics and daily challenges.

At ScoliCare Clinics, we understand that every journey is unique and that no patient or treatment is quite the same, so we promise to work alongside you and provide you with all of the answers, advice and individualised care that you or your child deserves, so you know you are not alone in your journey.

Please get in touch if we can assist with any advice or support for you or a family member.