If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may feel various emotions, from worry and fear to confusion and frustration. You are not alone in this; many parents feel overwhelmed when they learn their child has scoliosis. However, there are ways you can help your child deal with scoliosis and make the most of their treatment.
Here are some tips for helping your child deal with scoliosis:
1. Educate yourself and your child about scoliosis
The most important thing you can do is educate yourself and your child about scoliosis. Understanding what scoliosis is, what causes it, and what treatment options are available will help you and your child feel more in control. It is also important to dispel any myths or misconceptions about scoliosis. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to help your child.
You can find reliable information about scoliosis from a variety of sources, including:
- Your child’s doctor
- Scoliosis specialty clinics
- The Scoliosis Research Society
- National Institutes of Health
When you are armed with accurate information, you can help your child dispel any myths or fears they may have about scoliosis. Always consult with your child’s doctor before making any treatment decisions.
2. Seek medical help immediately if your child is experiencing pain
Scoliosis can cause back pain, which can range from mild to severe. If your child is experiencing pain, it is essential to seek medical help immediately. Early intervention is key to managing scoliosis and preventing further curve progression.
Your child’s doctor will be able to determine the cause of the pain and recommend the best course of treatment. This may include non-surgical scoliosis treatment like pain medication, physical therapy, and braces. But if the curve is severe, surgery may be necessary.
3. Help your child maintain a positive outlook
It is common for children with scoliosis to feel self-conscious about their bodies. They may feel like they are different from other kids or are somehow to blame for their scoliosis. It is essential to help your child maintain a positive outlook.
To help your child feel good about themselves, you can:
- Encourage them to express their feelings
- Help them find a support group for kids with scoliosis
- Teach them how to manage their pain
- Encourage them to stay active and involved in activities they enjoy
It is also essential to keep your attitude positive. Children are very attuned to their parents’ moods and quickly pick up on negative emotions. If you feel worried or stressed, try to find ways to cope so you can be there for your child.
4. Be there to help manage their pain
As mentioned, scoliosis can cause a certain level of pain. Your child will likely need help managing their pain, and you can be there for them. There are several ways to manage and ease pains from scoliosis.
One way to help your child manage their pain is to use ice or heat therapy. Applying ice packs for 20 minutes can help ease pain and inflammation. You can also have your child take a warm bath to help relax their muscles.
Another way to ease the pain is by massaging the affected area. This can help increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension. Only massage the site if it is not too painful for your child.
You can also teach them how to stretch and do strengthening exercises. These can help increase flexibility and reduce pain. However, it is important to only have your child do exercises that their doctor or physical therapist recommends.
5. Help them stay active
All children need to stay active and exercise regularly, but this is especially true for children with scoliosis. Exercise can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and prevent further curve progression. If your child is not active, their muscles can become weak and lead to more pain.
There are many different types of exercises that are safe for children with scoliosis. These may include swimming, yoga, and Pilates. Ask your child’s doctor or physical therapist for recommendations.
6. Encourage them to wear their brace
If your child has been prescribed a brace, it is vital to encourage them to wear it as directed. The brace will not cure scoliosis, but it can stop the curve from getting worse. Wearing a brace can also help reduce pain and improve quality of life.
Some children may be reluctant to wear a brace because they are self-conscious. Talk to your child about their concerns and help them find a comfortable brace that fits well. There are many different types of braces available, so you should be able to find one that meets your child’s needs.
Scoliosis is a condition that can cause pain and discomfort in children. However, there are many ways to help manage the condition and ease your child’s pain. Your child can lead a normal and active life with the proper treatment and support.