It may be challenging for adults to imagine how a scoliosis diagnosis sounds like the end of the world for a teenager. “Honey, the bright side of it is that you may become exempted from P.E. throughout high school,” a parent may say to cheer up the adolescent. In case the mom or dad thinks that their child worries about the curving of their spine, they might speak, “You can wear a brace, for sure.”
What many parents rarely perceive in this situation is that being idle or putting on a back contraption – regardless of how helpful it is – may not be the ideal way for youngsters to spend their teenage life. If they are into athletics, after all, having scoliosis entails that they need to slow down or stop doing sports at some point. However, even when they don’t play any outdoor activity, the possibility of wearing a brace that spans from the back to the thigh and being unable to hide it underneath clothes may be nightmarish for them.
“Everyone handles positive and negative stress differently. And yes, for some, positive stress can lead to a negative response to stress, depending on the situation.” Jessica Harris, LCPC, LPC said. Considering your teenage kid continues to stress over their scoliosis, here are some tips to share with them.
1. Avoid Over-Competitiveness
A child’s stress level may decrease immensely once you start encouraging him or her from the beginning to not compete with anyone too much. That is especially true when it comes to sports or other events at school that necessitates physical exertion. While a friendly rivalry is healthy, it can undeniably make your kid push himself or herself to the limit.
2. Do Activities That Don’t Often Require Back Bending
In case your teenager still wants to be active physically despite scoliosis, you can encourage your child to try sports that will rarely or never require him or her to bend backward. For instance, he or she can be a goalie at a soccer game. There are also dance routines in which you don’t need to perform back bending.
3. Stretch With Caution
Remember that not using the muscles surrounding the spine may be as bad as abusing them every day. Your teen kid may still work out to improve his or her core strength, yet he or she should stay away from exercises that involve stretching without a care about their back. The ones that someone with scoliosis can do include spinal molding, hanging on a bar, and stretching sideways.
4. Say No To Jumping
“Stress can seem omnipresent. Between working, socializing and taking care of the home, it sometimes seems we don’t have a minute to ourselves, let alone enough time to really take care of our bodies and minds.” Sonja Seglin, LCPC said. So for your child to not get stressed about his or her bad back, it may be best to ask him or her to refrain from jumping. Don’t do it on a hard surface; don’t even attempt it on a trampoline. The reason is that the bouncing movement might agitate your teenager’s back, to the extent that his or her mild scoliosis becomes severe is a short period.
5. Turn Lights Off
Lastly, to lower the chances of progressing your kid’s condition, you may want to advise him or her to avoid keeping the lights on at night. Some studies reveal that scoliosis patients happen to deal with melatonin deficiency as well, you see. This hormone comes from the pineal gland, which sits between and above the eyes. When someone has a spinal problem, even a sliver of light touching that region might stop the production of melatonin.
According to Dr. David Ballard, PsyD. “When stress becomes chronic, this narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.” Stress may often try to break down your teenage child’s confidence, primarily when he or she is dealing with a health condition that affects him or her physically. Nonetheless, once you remind your kid about the things mentioned above, he or she may be able to find a way not to let scoliosis control their life.
There’s a significant effect brought about by scoliosis not only on the person suffering from it but to the family, friends, and relatives of the person as well. The following guide will help us better understand our loved one who is living with scoliosis and allow us to gain better knowledge on how we can support them.
Be Mindful Of Your Words
Our words can be very influential so we should use them to provide a positive perspective in life. “Harsh words are just as damaging whether they come from someone else or whether they come from you,” says licensed psychologist Cindy T. Graham, PhD. Instead of negative references like “hunchback” or “hump,” it is better to use “arch” or “curve” as these words sound better.
Be Supportive And Encouraging
In the United States alone, up to nine million people are believed to have scoliosis, and an estimate of 100,000 people are annually diagnosed with it. Let them know that they are not alone and scoliosis can happen to anyone even to famous athletes, celebrities and many others who didn’t allow it to hinder their success.
Joining support groups for people with scoliosis can help us learn more about the concerns they encounter daily. These support groups also welcome the family and friends as their members. Getting involved in these groups will allow you to achieve better knowledge about scoliosis and its impact on the lives of other people. The sharing of experiences, ideas, and points of view are essential tools for you to be able to support your loved one better.
People who have scoliosis deal with the condition either openly or reserved. However, there’s no correct way to deal with it. There are just some people who are not afraid of talking about it but let’s not tell the others that they should be doing the same. It is necessary to learn how they feel about it first before taking matters into our hands which they may not appreciate. Ask permission first if you want to bring it up. Listen to what the person with scoliosis has to say and learn their state of emotion. Remember that it is up to them to decide if they want to share it or not.
There can be times we tend to offend a person with scoliosis without realizing that they are living with it. It is difficult to take back a misspoken word. The person who heard it will get hurt. Your intention may be good asking them to sit up straight until you realize the case afterward. Remember that posture is something more natural than being controlled.
Be Alert For Signs Of Depression
The University of Minnesota conducted a study that teens with scoliosis are more susceptible to depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, we often disregard the impact of scoliosis on the emotional state and self-image of the person. If you know someone with scoliosis who shows signs of depression, take time to ask them if they want to talk about what’s bothering them. Understand that “Depression is different from passing sadness or temporary frustration with life’s issues. There are number of common signs for depression and they tend to be persistent.” Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC said.
However, if their state of depression seemed severe or they show no signs of recovering, then help your friend seek immediate professional counseling. If you notice that your friend with scoliosis is struggling with mental health issues, it is best to acknowledge it and get professional help.
Be Compassionate But Not Condescending
Some of us may have thought about scoliosis as something not severe, or it is just a little “curve,” but we are gravely mistaken. Scoliosis can cause muscle pains and difficulty in breathing. It lessens the ability of the affected person to do daily chores, and these chores become more difficult and stressful. People with scoliosis may have been complaining about it but think about how long they bore with it and stayed silent.
At this point, they may be at their limit and need to say how they feel. In this situation, your pity may not be helpful and may even make them feel sorry for their condition, and we don’t want that. As much as possible, try to encourage them and help them overcome their challenges.
Be Honest And Optimistic
At some point, we all need to know the truth about our loved one’s condition. We can be afraid and unsettled knowing about the facts of their scoliosis. However, we should not be crushed by it and instead keep a positive outlook. We must believe that there are plenty of things to enjoy in life and these “curves” should never stop us.
A lot of scoliotic patients who are looking for an efficient cure for their condition are hesitant but curious if chiropractors can help them alleviate their symptoms and possibly fix their scoliosis.
Chiropractors are aware of the skepticism of people around their profession, especially from those who have had unpleasant experiences. Perhaps some were assured of something but didn’t get the results they were hoping for. Or maybe they just were not satisfied with the chiropractor who treated them, or they could be dealing with common psychological issues people face during challenging times, which might need psychiatric attention according to BetterHelp.
“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” — Jon Kabat Zinn.
We all have worries about the small and big things of life that we cannot escape. For some of the unfortunate, it is growing up homeless, and good thing there are agencies such as this that help make it easier for the homeless child. Unable to control these worries leads to anxiety and stress that affects our mental health. If you are confused, BetterHelp can explain more about it for you.
With the high availability of counseling and therapy, every second person who suffers from anxiety prefer going for a Talk Therapy, Counselling or pharmacotherapy. We pay less heed to how we can contribute to reducing the worries.
How can we help ourselves?
Psychologists believe that most of our worries and griefs lie either in the past or is related to the future. Being mindful is being fully present in the ‘here and now’ and experience without any judgment.Have you ever tried doing this?
Exploring the mindful ways of reducing depression and anxiety
There are different mindful exercises that can be done to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Though not all apply to all individuals, most of these truly help. While some are regulated by breathing, others are just by using all the sensory channels to be aware. Let us discuss the ways mindfulness can help us have a healthy mind.
- Mindful Breathing – Mindful exercise should be initiated with breathing. You can count your breaths. Slow breathing by counting 5 and exhale by counting 7. This can be done at any time of the day for as long you want. Notice how your chest rises and falls with each inhale and exhale and feel the changes in yourself as you breathe. Focus on your breathing and nothing else around. Elizabeth S. York, M.Ed., LPC, LMFT once said, “A client once taught me an invaluable technique for reducing stress. Taking a slow deep breath”
- The STOP method – This is an acronym for a step-by-step mindfulness practice.
- S (Stop) – Stop yourself whenever you feel you are worrying too much. Be aware of your thoughts and know when to draw the line. According to clinical psychologist Danielle Forshee, Psy.D. “those who worry — meaning everybody — can control the intensity and duration of their worry thoughts.”
- T (Take a break) – Take out some time for yourself where you can do or think about things that make you happy. It is a time-out from sadness and worries.
- O (Observe) – Observe the small things that we often overlook when our mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts. Observe yourself as you do the everyday works and notice how you feel as you do them.
- P (Proceed) – Do not hold yourself back with the worries. Focus on what you have and bring your attention on what you are doing ‘now’.
- Musical Mindfulness – Choose your favorite music (preferably slow ones) and play them at a moderate volume while you just sit back and relax. Listen to the music with all your attention and let your mind wander for a while. It has a soothing effect and lets us forget our worries. Practice it as often you want for 15-20 minutes and notice how your mood changes after that.
- Mindful Appreciation – We are often so busy worrying about the bigger things that we often fail to be thankful for the small things we have. For example, have you ever thanked your postman who brings you important mails everyday? Or have you ever thanked the man at the coffee bar who is always ready for serving you? Noticing these small things around and appreciating them help in seeing the goodness around. “Putting things in perspective and treating yourself with love and compassion can be such a gift.” Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT said.
The 7 steps to happiness
- Think positive.
- Smile as often as you can.
- Listen to others patiently.
- Judge less and accept more.
- Never complain.
- Be thankful.
- Give love and respect to others.
Mindfulness is not a remedy – it is an assurance that we can give ourselves and prevent any external force from de-motivating us. It is the re-invention of our hidden strengths and is the way to let the light into our lives. It is merely a choice we need to consider in our lives.
So start training your mind to be able to see the good in everything and establish a connection with the present.
Being diagnosed with scoliosis, a disease which affects the spinal-cord and can have lasting effects, is a scary ordeal for anyone. If your child, or adolescent, suffers from scoliosis, it’s important for you to handle the situation with care, and be completely supportive. As a parent, you should read-up on the disease and familiarize yourself with its symptoms, treatments, side-effects and severity. There are many important decisions you’ll have to make regarding your child’s health, so don’t be afraid to ask around for advice before deciding what to do.
A large number of cases of scoliosis, a spinal-disease which affects around 3 percent of the population, are mild and cause no significant harm. However, in cases where the spinal-curve is bent dangerously, the situation can worsen significantly over time. This can lead to numerous health problems.
The most troublesome part of scoliosis is the alarming rate at which it damages the spine. More often than not, treatments carried out by doctors struggle to prevent the disease from escalating. As the spinal curve becomes more prominent, the patient’s symptoms become worse. In extreme cases, the patient can even be subject to an early death. Here are some of the long-term effects which scoliosis patients have to face.
The spinal curvature caused by scoliosis causes a number of problems for the patient suffering from the disease. While a large majority of scoliosis cases are minor, patients which suffer from a more advanced form of the disease may need to take extreme measures. Over the years, people have adopted different approaches towards treating the illness and its symptoms. Such methods involve medication, surgery, and even natural methods. If you or someone you know is suffering from scoliosis, then it’s best to be familiar with the different treatment options available and their possible side-effects, before making an informed decision. Here are some of the most commonly used treatments.
Scoliosis is a disease which expands rapidly. The illness is quick to damage the spine, and the spinal curvature can continue to increase at an alarming rate. Scoliosis curves can rarely be corrected except by surgery, which is a daunting option for some. However, bracing has proven to stop the progression of the curvature. Bracing is the invasive coating of the spinal cord, which holds the spine in a fixed position. In this treatment, corrective forces are used to apply pressure on the outer part of the curve, as well as to lessen load on the inner curve. This can prevent the patient’s condition from worsening, albeit the brace may make life uncomfortable for the person. Some victims find it difficult to sleep with the brace, and further experience some restrictions in their mobility.
Research has shown that some advanced exercise techniques, such as certain forms of yoga, can improve the condition of scoliosis patients. Basic exercises, such as stretching techniques, act as temporarily pain-relievers for people suffering from the disease. However, these exercises don’t provide long-term relief. Fortunately, there are advanced exercises which aim to correct the interaction between the brain and spinal curve, prompting the curve to assume its proper shape. This can be accomplished through a series of poses and exercises which govern the patient’s body’s response to certain stimuli, which ‘trains’ the spine to grow properly. It’s best to consult an expert, and take advice from your physician, before attempting such exercises. This is because certain exercises could further degenerate the spine, and thus a professional opinion is necessary.
Spinal injections are a temporary treatment for scoliosis patients. The disease tends to pressurize the victim’s nerves, which causes the patient pain and sometimes even numbness. To counter this, people suffering from the disease can opt for steroid injections to provide temporarily relief. Local anaesthesia can also be administered to reduce the pain. However, the comfort offered by these injections is not long-term, and the effects will wear off after a couple of months.
The last resort and most extreme method for treating scoliosis is surgery. The reason surgery is put off until no other options remain is simply because it is a high-risk treatment. If the surgery isn’t successful, patients can suffer nerve-damage, chronic pain and infection. Sometimes, the victim may even face permanent disability if the surgery goes terribly wrong. Thus, patients are advised only to proceed with surgery if their scoliosis becomes life-threatening.
There are 3 main types of surgery to treat the disease; fusion, fusionless, and growing systems. Fusion surgery is the most effective method of surgery. It involves the spinal fusion of two or more adjacent vertebrae, which forms a single-bone that can no longer move. Modern advances have led to the use of tools such as rods, hooks and sometimes even wires, which have increased the efficiency of the surgery and the patient’s recovery time. A drawback to fusion surgery is that it limits the patient’s spine mobility. However, it has a history of successfully treating scoliosis.
Do you think rare diseases are found in small numbers? You are so wrong because there are millions of rare diseases and they are causing a lot of trouble for people every day. It’s not fun having a rare disease and it can be life-changing. However, rare diseases have been well documented over the last few years and it’s not hard to see why. They are causing a lot of trouble and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon either. Read more here!
Medical conditions can vary considerably. There are some conditions and diseases which are fairly minor and disrupt life in very small ways. Then again, there are diseases which overtake life and how you are used to running it. Medicine has come a long way since the early 1900s and yet there isn’t always a cure to some illnesses that plague us. However, there are some diseases which are prone to women only.