A diagnosis of scoliosis is news no parent or child wants to hear. Though scoliosis is a medical condition of the spine common to children during a growth spurt, it can still impact a child’s life forever.
Children diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis are usually between 10 and 12 years old. During this time, doctors check a child’s condition and recommend treatment. In most cases, doctors advise patients to consider wearing a scoliosis brace.
Scoliosis bracing is an effective treatment to prevent the curve from worsening. It requires patients to support their back with a vest for a couple of hours every day. That could be overwhelming initially and may take a while for a child to get used to.
That is why parents and children should know what to expect and how to cope with this condition.
Each scoliosis case is unique. Having a glimpse of your child’s journey can reduce the stigma, manage the pain, and improve the quality of life.
Introducing Scoliosis Bracing
Children at this age are transitioning to adolescence. The transition makes children more private and sensitive, causing an emotional stir.
It can be uncomfortable and overwhelming at first for both parties. But this shouldn't shut down the conversation.
It’s necessary to establish the importance of therapy and introduce the need for scoliosis bracing. Doing so lets the children know that recovery is possible and the journey isn’t as scary and hard as they think.
After all, failing to engage in treatment can cause tremendous harm, so it's better to get treated.
Scoliosis Brace: What Is It and Why Wear It
A scoliosis brace is a small jacket-like brace, usually made out of stiff plastic. It’s designed to be wrapped underneath a patient’s arms, covering the torso, down to the waist.
No two scoliosis cases are the same, so a scoliosis brace is custom designed for a patient's back.
The primary purpose is to prevent the condition from progressing. And through time, correcting as much as possible. Wearing a brace lowers the chances of necessary surgery.
To simply put, a child must wear a scoliosis brace to prevent the curve from getting worse. For bracing to work, a patient should still be growing, and the curve must not be too big.
A key to a quicker recovery is early treatment. Failing to engage in treatment can cause tremendous harm. That’s why parents and guardians must take the lead in supporting their children in this journey.
Finding the Right Fit
Getting your child’s first scoliosis brace can somehow be terrifying. With ample options for a brace, finding the right fit for your child's condition can become overwhelming.
To know which kind of scoliosis brace fits your child’s condition, consultation is a must. Visit a reputable clinic that specializes in scoliosis bracing. For free evaluation and recommendation, set an appointment with us so that we can help.
Wearing a Scoliosis Brace
A doctor evaluates your child's case then recommends the kind of brace to wear.
According to Dr. Timothy Hresko, a spine doctor from Boston children’s hospital, how long a patient must wear a brace depends on the curve and their stage of growth. Ensure to follow the doctor's prescription and guidance when wearing a brace.
Here are some things your child must remember when putting on a scoliosis brace.
1. Put On a Tight-Fitting, Seamless Shirt Under the Brace
Before wearing a brace, it’s advisable to wear a tight-fitting, seamless undershirt. That is to help with the sweating and avoid the skin from breaking out.
Children sweat a lot as they perform their daily activities in school, at home, or during therapy. The brace then rubs on the exposed skin, causing the skin to break down. Hence, an undershirt is needed to protect the skin.
2. Align the Brace on the Back
It’s easy to open a brace. Just separate the edges and position them in the body. Here's an easy trick. Place the brace in the bed, then lie down. You should align the back with the brace. Then, connect the straps from the bottom up.
3. Lock the Buckles
A child may struggle to wear a brace the first time, especially when locking the buckles. The doctor often marks the straps so patients can quickly identify how far the pulling should go and when to buckle up. In front of a mirror, check to see if the brace fits well.
4. Put On a Loose, Regular Shirt on Top
After putting on the scoliosis brace, select a comfortable, loose shirt to put on. Your child may or may not have clothes that fit well with a brace. Wear more oversized clothing for more breathing room.
Getting Used to It
Your child may find the first couple of days uncomfortable. When this happens, encouragement goes a long way.
There are challenges, which is why it’s necessary to educate your child on the difficulties they’ll encounter as they go.
More Discomfort During Summer
Putting on a brace during summer may feel like boiling. Remind your child to stay hydrated and opt for a loose, airy shirt on top. A portable fan has its wonders too.
Skin Breakout Is Possible
When a breakout happens, reach out to the orthotist right away for brace adjustment. Check if your child wears a tight-fitting undershirt. It should prevent the brace from rubbing the skin.
Emotions Can Take Over
It is understandable to feel anxious, angry, or sad throughout the scoliosis journey. Some children feel embarrassed to have to wear a scoliosis brace. Parents and guardians shouldn't disregard these emotions.
Connect your child to a support group. Help them feel accepted and loved. Explain that completing the treatment leads to recovery.
A child’s journey to scoliosis bracing is not easy. As parents and guardians, your role is to be the primary source of encouragement and strength.
The road to recovery may take some time, but the journey will be worth it. Scoliosis bracing is effective and can prevent the condition from worsening.
If you need more information, feel free to contact us. We provide free evaluation and support.