With scoliosis affecting two to three percent of the population, it’s a condition that deserves attention. Scoliosis impacts the spine in many ways, and while scoliosis can also affect adults, it’s more commonly seen in children. If your child has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis, keep reading for these important things parents should know about scoliosis.
What Is Scoliosis?
The spine is composed of vertebrae that form a column down the middle of your back. When scoliosis develops, the spine is no longer aligned vertically and instead curves to the left or the right. The curved spine can also pull the ribs out of position. When this happens, breathing problems may occur as it’s harder to expand the lungs due to a lack of space in the ribs.
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Scoliosis Pain Management
No parent wants to see their child go through pain; scoliosis pain is no exception. Understanding the pain management options available to your child will help you know which treatment plan to follow and what you can do as a parent to support them.
There are many ways specialists can help manage the symptoms and reduce scoliosis pain. Finding suitable scoliosis treatment methods for your teenagers and young children might not be a cure, but it can help alleviate discomfort and help them continue to lead their lives.
Surgery for scoliosis is an invasive treatment that can involve a spinal fusion. During this procedure, parts of the spine are fused together with bone grafts to stabilize the spine. This procedure prevents further curvature from occurring while allowing your child’s body to grow normally. Surgery is usually only recommended if other treatments aren’t effective or for severe spinal curvature.
A brace is a worn device that helps straighten the spine. The brace is usually prescribed for children who are still growing and helps prevent the curve from worsening. Your child will typically need to wear the brace all day, except when bathing or sleeping.
Physical therapy may be recommended to help your child manage scoliosis pain. A physical therapist may prescribe exercises that strengthen the back, chest, and abdomen muscles. Activites like stretching can also improve flexibility and reduce tension in the spine and muscles.
You should never give your child any medications without consulting their doctor first. If they’ve been prescribed medication, it’s important that you give them the correct dose at the right time.
Physical Activities: Do’s and Don’ts
One of the most important things parents should know about scoliosis is that physical activity is encouraged. Encourage your child to participate in activities that require stretching, such as:
Activities To Avoid
Some activities aren’t recommended because they may make the pain worse or cause further curvature of the spine. Avoid activities such as:
- Horseback Riding
- Contact Sports
- Ice Skating
Scoliosis might appear like a difficult condition to live with and manage. However, your child can still lead a full and active life with proper pain management techniques, proper exercise, and a positive attitude. For more information on managing scoliosis, please talk to your doctor.