Scoliosis is the irregular curvature of the spine that causes it to appear sideways and typically occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty. The cause is unknown in most cases, but the condition may be hereditary. With early diagnosis and treatment, the majority of people with scoliosis can manage the condition and prevent it from getting worse.
There are several different ways to live with scoliosis without sacrificing fun. With the right treatment plan, people with scoliosis can still participate in activities they enjoy and lead active, fulfilling lives. Here are some tips:
Try scoliosis exercises.
Many scoliosis exercises designed for adults can help reduce the curvature of the spine and improve your posture. These originated from the Schroth method, which is a physical therapy approach that has been used to treat scoliosis for over 100 years.
There are a number of different scoliosis exercises that you can do, and they can be tailored to your specific needs. These exercises can be done at home or with the help of a physical therapist. You may need to do them daily or just a few times weekly. Ask your doctor or physical therapist for a list of exercises that are right for you.
Wear a corrective brace.
A scoliosis brace is often recommended for children and teenagers with scoliosis. Wearing a brace can stop the curve from getting worse and may even reduce it. The type of brace you need will depend on the severity of your scoliosis.
There are different types of braces, including:
- Boston brace: This is the most common type of brace used to treat scoliosis. It covers the torso and is usually made of plastic, metal, or a combination of both.
- Milwaukee brace: This type of brace is used for more severe cases of scoliosis. It covers the head, neck, and torso and is made of metal and leather.
- Charleston bending brace: This newer type of brace is less visible under clothing. It is made of carbon fiber and is designed to be worn for only a few hours a day.
- SpineCor brace: This type of brace is made of elastic bands and is less visible than other braces. It can be adjusted as your body changes and is comfortable to wear.
Your doctor will help you choose the best type of brace for you. They will also fit you for the brace and teach you how to put it on and take it off.
Get regular checkups.
If you have scoliosis, it’s essential to see your doctor or spine specialist regularly to monitor the condition. In most cases, scoliosis doesn’t get worse and doesn’t need treatment. But in some cases, the curve can get worse over time.
Your doctor will check your spine for any changes and take X-rays to track the curve’s progression. If the curve worsens, they may recommend treatment, such as wearing a brace or having surgery.
Regular checkups are important, even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms. Scoliosis can progress slowly, so it’s important to catch any changes early.
Use proper posture.
Good posture is vital for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with scoliosis. Poor posture can make the curve worse and lead to pain.
There are a few simple things you can do to improve your posture:
- Stand up straight. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head, and allow your body to hang down evenly.
- Pull your shoulders back. This will help open up your chest and improve your breathing.
- Tuck your chin in. This will help align your head with your spine.
You may need to practice good posture several times a day to make it a habit. But over time, it will become second nature.
Undergo scoliosis surgery.
In some cases, scoliosis surgery may be recommended. This is usually done as a last resort when other treatments haven’t worked or the curvature of the spine is severe.
Scoliosis surgery involves correcting the curve of the spine by fusing together some of the vertebrae. This stops the curve from getting worse and relieves pain. In some cases, metal rods or screws may be used to hold the spine in place while it heals.
Scoliosis surgery is a major operation, so it’s crucial to weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor before making a decision.
Scoliosis doesn’t have to limit your life. With the right treatment plan, you can still participate in activities you enjoy and lead an active, fulfilling life. These tips can help you live with scoliosis without sacrificing fun.