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.
Learn More About The Problem
When your child is diagnosed with scoliosis, make it a priority to learn all that you can about the disease. You should, of course, seek professional help and guidance for treatments. However, knowing about the illness yourself can help you keep tabs on the situation and make the right decisions. Parents can learn to use a scoliometer to check the spinal curve regularly, to keep track of the deformity.
Understand Your Child’s Situation And Emotional State
Aside from the initial feelings of shock and fear your adolescent faces upon learning they have scoliosis, more worries may surface along the line. Your child might fear that their disease will affect their social-life, worrying that they’ll be treated differently because of their condition. It’s important to remind them that their disease doesn’t change who they are, and to encourage them to carry on participating in their lives.
If the spinal curvature develops significantly, to the point where physical deformities become prominently visible, it’s likely that your adolescent will face issues with their appearance. The patient may worry about being seen in public, and might start to avoid social situations altogether. As a parent, it’s your duty to help your child feel comfortable in their own skin; remind them that there’s nothing wrong with how they look, and make efforts to ensure they don’t remain isolated. To prevent your adolescent from falling into isolation, look for people they’re most comfortable around; perhaps their friends, or cousins, and arrange for them to spend time with them regularly.
Treating The Disease
Perhaps the most challenging part of caring for a child with scoliosis is making the decisions regarding how to treat it. For scoliosis, there are many treatments available: exercises, medicines, bracing and surgery, for example. If the disease is identified in its early stages, it’s possible to keep it in check with exercises and other non-invasive treatments. A very effective non-invasive treatment for scoliosis is changing your adolescent’s diet. Nutrition is believed to be an effective way to treat scoliosis ailments. Furthermore, it boosts your child’s ability to exercise well, which is another effective means of treating the disease.
However, if the spinal curvature has developed significantly, more drastic actions need to be taken. Bracing, which involves encompassing the spinal cord, can prevent the spinal curve from getting worse. However, it can prove to be uncomfortable for the patient, and does not correct the curve. If you’re considering bracing as an option for your adolescent, make sure to take their opinion on the matter, and see if they’re comfortable with the idea of it.
The most drastic treatment for scoliosis is invasive-surgery, to correct the spinal curve. In this process, spinal fusion is carried out, which is a welding method used to fuse painful vertebrae together. The surgery, if successful, can rid your child of the disease. However, it is a risky operation, and if it fails your adolescent will face consequences, such as disability in extreme cases. Thus, if you consider taking this course of action, take the advice and opinions of professionals, and have tests performed before making a final decision.