Wearing a brace for scoliosis is an important step to preventing surgery. Without a brace, a spinal curve may worsen. Braces are designed to help, but sometimes they can be a lifestyle adjustment. Check out our helpful tips to help you adjust to life in a scoliosis brace.
Mentally Prepare for Bracing
Any feelings you experience while going through a change are rational and normal. Regardless of your age, you might feel a range of emotions about bracing. For instance, you might be anxious about how well the treatment will work and what others will think about you. Further, the way your brace physically feels may be completely new to you. Still, you may be excited about the treatment and eager to begin.
Pro Tip: To deal with the emotions that come with bracing, talk to a trusted friend or family member. Utilize support groups in your area or online.
Tell Close Friends and Family
Especially if you are embarrassed about your brace or condition, it may help to disclose what you’re going through to your peers. Those who love you most won’t judge you; they’ll stick up for you and help you when you need it most.
Pro Tip: Embrace your brace when you share it with others. Let your friends help you decorate the plastic with vinyl stickers to make it your own unique device.
Take Care of Your Skin
Skin can break down beneath your brace if you don’t take care of it. Remember to wash daily with an antibacterial soap. Wear a thin layer between the brace and your skin to capture sweat. Further, you should monitor your skin for sores and rashes. If red spots remain for more than a minute after you remove your brace, you may need to have it readjusted by your orthotist.
Pro Tip: Take care of your brace too! Wipe the brace down daily with rubbing alcohol and clean it weekly with soap and water.
Sleep in Your Brace
Many scoliosis brace options exist. Some are only worn at night, while others are worn at all hours of the day. Sleeping in a brace may pose challenges, especially during early brace wear, but you will quickly get used to it. While lying down, you should sleep on the side of your back that is curved outward.
Get back to your normal life as soon as possible once you start wearing your brace. It’s essential to stay active to maintain back strength, core strength and posture. You can engage in non-contact sports like tennis, golf, biking, and more. If you swim, ask your doctor about removing your brace.
Follow these helpful tips to help you adjust to life in a scoliosis brace. You aren’t alone in your diagnosis. Rely on your doctors, family, and friends to support you. The people around you are there because they want to help. You’ll manage your condition better when you let them.