Over the past two years, school closures were supposed to keep the children safe from the coronavirus. However, for some children, closures have had a completely opposite effect. A recent study revealed that student anxiety and depression levels went up since lockdown.
Dealing with emotions is hard for any teenager. However, it's especially hard when that teenager is dealing with scoliosis bracing. For many students, including myself, having to wear a brace is a constant reminder that you're different from your peers.
There are a lot of articles dealing with the physical effects of scoliosis out there. Let's discuss some of the emotional and social effects of scoliosis bracing, and see how you can help your child deal with them.
Body Image Problems
Due to the discomfort and awkwardness of scoliosis bracing, young children can develop body image problems. They may feel self-conscious about wearing a brace and begin avoiding social situations. A decline in confidence and a lack of self-esteem can happen as a consequence, especially as the brace becomes more noticeable during adolescence.
There are many ways you can help your child deal with body image problems from scoliosis bracing. First, make sure your child understands that the brace doesn't define who they are. Scoliosis is just one part of your child, not the entire person. Second, encourage them to speak with their doctor about potential weight loss options if necessary.
Finally, help them find other outlets in life that don't involve appearance. For example, you could take up a sport together or attempt cooking lessons.
Due to the nature of scoliosis surgery and recovery, many children will be forced to miss a few months of school. That can lead to social isolation when returning to school.
Since your child is already feeling isolated from wearing the brace, try to find friends in similar situations. That could mean finding a patient support group for scoliosis surgery or joining a club at school. Often, children suffering from scoliosis bracing issues won't seek out help themselves, so this is where you can be proactive in protecting their social life.
As far as how your child should react when meeting someone new, there's no exact science. However, it's important that they're honest about the situation. Your child shouldn't lie about their scoliosis, but they should also avoid talking too much about it. If your child is comfortable enough to speak on the subject, encourage them to focus on positive aspects of scoliosis bracing such as physical improvements and how it allows them to be stronger.
A common misconception is that bracing alone leads to low self-esteem. Many children wearing scoliosis braces feel like their condition makes them less social and more awkward. This, in turn, can lead to low self-esteem issues.
You can help your young one deal with self-esteem issues from scoliosis bracing by making sure you are a constant source of support. During the day, talk with them about their condition and encourage them during physical therapy appointments. At night, work on strengthening your child's mental health by building up their self-esteem through compliments and doing activities they enjoy.
As far as how your child should react when meeting someone new, there's no exact science. However, it's important that they're honest about the situation. Your child shouldn't lie about their scoliosis, but they should also avoid talking too much about it. If your child is comfortable enough to speak on the subject, encourage them to focus on positive aspects of bracing such as physical improvements and how it allows them to be stronger.
Emotional Effects on Family Life
Suffering from a condition that requires bracing can also have an emotional effect on the family as a whole. Your child may become discouraged during times of scoliosis pain, leading to tension at home.
The best way you can help your family deal with the emotional effects of scoliosis bracing is to be direct and open about your feelings. Don't hide your emotions from each other, as this can lead to misunderstandings and false hope. Instead, work on communicating with one another during times of distress.
While scoliosis bracing can cause self-esteem issues, it can also cause self-worth issues. Many children with scoliosis feel like their bodies will never be acceptable because of the brace.
You can help your child deal with self-worth issues by ensuring that you are a constant source of support. During the day, talk with them about their condition and encourage them during physical therapy appointments. At night, work on strengthening your child's mental health by building up their self-esteem through compliments and doing activities they enjoy.
There is no easy answer to how a child should react when meeting someone new, but many children find it easier to be straightforward from the beginning. That is especially true if the other children in their social circle already know about their condition.
Encourage your child to be honest, but not overshare. If they are comfortable enough to speak on the subject, encourage them to focus on positive aspects of scoliosis bracing such as physical improvements and how it allows them to be stronger.
Coping With the Emotional Effects of Scoliosis Bracing
Scoliosis is a condition that many children must deal with on a daily basis. Because there are no easy answers when it comes to the emotional effects of scoliosis bracing, here are some suggestions for helping your child deal with negative emotions:
Speak to a Medical Professional
Talking to a professional will help both the child and the parents cope with the challenges that come with dealing with scoliosis bracing. A medical professional can support you and your child and give you the resources you need to deal with the situation. If you need any assistance, make sure to contact the Align Clinic today and schedule an appointment.
An ankle foot orthosis (AFO) is an external biomechanical device, which uses the lower limbs to stabilize the joints, and in turn, improve the physical function of the foot and ankle. It is mainly used as a supportive device through various gait stages, by improving the patient’s range of motion (ROM). We’re going to explain everything you need to know about AFOs.
What is Foot Drop?
Foot drop is defined as a lack of ability to raise the foot high enough during walking. Ankle dorsiflexion (lifting up foot) may be limited due to muscle weakness or paralysis, or a loss of sensory function in the ankle and toes. Ankle dorsiflexion normally occurs in the first half of the stance phase as a response to heel lift during gait.
What causes foot drop? There are several causes, including:
Ankle foot orthoses are devices that help people walk more normally, safely, and comfortably. AFOs can also provide therapeutic benefits for a person recovering from an injury or a leg amputation. An AFO is used to treat foot drop. Ankle-foot orthoses include braces and shoes with built-in devices.
An AFO brace is a supportive device worn around the ankle and foot, designed to hold the foot in a normal position (or as close as possible to normal) during walking or other movements. Ankle-foot orthoses work by transferring weight from the diseased or injured part of the lower leg to the healthy part of the lower leg.
Ankle-foot orthoses can be made to fit either on your left or right foot, depending on the type of weak muscle, nerve function, and strength you have in each leg. AFOs may include a heel lift to compensate for ankle dorsiflexion (bending forward) problems.
They may also include other features to help control the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Ankle-foot orthoses do not cure diseases or injuries. However, they can improve walking ability by limiting abnormal movements in the ankle and foot.
Why do AFOs work? Ankle foot orthosis works by supporting the ankle in a neutral position during functional weight-bearing during walking, which helps increase foot clearance and allows for proper heel strike of the contralateral foot.
How Does an AFO Brace Work?
AFO braces work by decreasing muscle contractions and balancing the Ankle DRG (Dorsal Root Ganglion). Ankle foot orthosis braces also allow for wear during nighttime, which is beneficial to the patient’s sleep cycle.
Ankle foot orthosis braces are required to have an Ankle Joint Range of Motion (ROM) of at least 20-30 degrees to prevent skin breakdown. Ankle foot orthosis braces should also be durable, comfortable, easy to care for, and functional. This ensures that the brace is worn properly during ambulation.
Types of AFO BracesThere are different ankle foot orthosis braces that are created for different purposes.
How to Select the Right Type of AFO Brace
There are a lot of things to consider when selecting an AFO brace. Every situation is different. You need to talk to your doctor first, so they can guide you through the process. Of course, there are certain things you should pay attention to, no matter how many options you have.
As you're comparing AFO braces, you need to consider:
With the right ankle foot orthosis, you will be able to walk more easily and comfortably than before. A proper AFO brace will relieve most of your symptoms and allow you to live your life to the fullest. If you need any consultation regarding AFO braces, don’t hesitate to contact the Align Clinic, talk to one of our experts.
Among school-age children, scoliosis is the most common deformity. Each year, nearly 450,000 hospital visits are made by children with scoliosis. It is a serious condition that requires extensive treatment. The burden of scoliosis bracing on life quality can be severe.
A study has shown that children with scoliosis have lower self-esteem compared to children with other common conditions. A 12-year-old child facing the possibility of being braced for life must wonder what their future holds. What sports can I play?
Days are gone when you had to sit out of all physical activities during treatment. A new generation of lighter and flexible braces is available for your child to wear during physical activities.
Benefits of Sports for Mental Health
A plethora of studies have found that active lifestyles reduce stress and contribute to mental well-being. What does scoliosis have to do with this?
Scoliosis is a physical condition that causes major debilitating pain. A scoliotic child starts to feel his scoliosis affecting his life quality at an early age. What is more worrisome than scoliosis is the possibility of being braced for life and scoliosis treatment side effects such as back pain, a rib hump, shoulder pain, headaches, and so on. The scoliosis brace can be uncomfortable to wear during physical activities.
Scoliotic children are less physically active than their peers without scoliosis. They spend more time in sedentary activities such as watching TV or playing computer games. It is not surprising then that scoliotic children have a higher body mass index (BMI) and more scoliosis treatment side effects.
However, it doesn't have to be this way. While many parents are not aware of it, there are many sports a child can enjoy, whether they are dealing with scoliosis bracing or not.
What Sports Are Safe for Scoliosis?
Cobb angles are used to determine the severity of scoliosis. The Cobb angle is measured by taking two X-ray pictures of your child's back; one while they are standing straight and another when they are bending forward. The difference between these two measurements is expressed in degrees (angle), with smaller numbers representing less severe scoliosis.
Scoliosis brace restrictions vary according to the type of scoliosis your child is dealing with:
Some sports should be completely avoided by scoliosis patients, regardless of the severity of their condition:
You will also want to make sure that your child wears their scoliosis brace while participating in any physical activity, even if it is low-impact. A good idea would be for your child to wear their scoliosis brace while playing these sports with their friends or siblings. That way they still get the exercise they need but make sure their scoliosis condition doesn't worsen.
Keep Your Child Active and Safe!
Whether a child or an adult is suffering from scoliosis and is in a need of scoliosis bracing, there’s no real reason why they should not participate in sports. Of course, it’s important to avoid activities that will put pressure on the spine and make the condition worse.
It’s well worth consulting with a specialist, to make sure you’re participating in sports in a way that’s not only safe, but that will also assist your treatment. Feel free to contact the Align Clinic today via phone, email, or fax, and schedule an appointment.
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