Scoliosis is more than just a condition that causes the spine to curve to the side. People with scoliosis often have trouble coping with the pain and emotional stress of the condition. They can feel isolated and alone, making the situation even harder to deal with.
The good news is that there are things you can do as a family member to help your loved one cope with scoliosis. Here are some tips:
Help Them Find the Right Specialist
The first step is to find a specialist to help your loved one manage their condition. This is crucial because the right expert can develop a treatment plan that meets your loved one’s needs. They’ll also be able to provide support and guidance throughout the scoliosis journey.
Suppose they feel like asking for a second opinion. In that case, you can find another reputable scoliosis specialist who can offer non-surgical treatment options like the Schroth method. This method can stop the progression of scoliosis and improve quality of life. Talk to a specialist and encourage your loved one to consider this option.
Be sure to ask their doctor all of your questions. If your loved one is resistant to seeking professional help, try to be understanding and patient. They may just need some time to come to terms with their diagnosis.
Educate Yourself and Others about Scoliosis
It will be hard for you to help your loved one if you barely know their condition. So make sure to educate yourself about scoliosis. This way, you will better understand what they are going through and how to best help them.
You can start by reading articles or books about scoliosis or searching for support groups online. You can also ask your loved one to explain their condition to you in as much detail as they feel comfortable sharing. It would be even better if you could talk to their doctor on their next appointment to get a professional’s input if you haven’t already.
After educating yourself about scoliosis, take the time to educate others. This is especially true with the people they live with, other family members, and their friends. This way, your loved one will feel less alone and more understood.
Be There for Your Loved One Emotionally
Scoliosis can be a very emotionally taxing condition. Your loved one may sometimes feel angry, frustrated, or even helpless. This is especially true if the condition is now negatively affecting your loved ones’ daily life. Make sure to be there for them emotionally during these challenging times.
Listen to them when they need to vent and share words of encouragement when appropriate. You can also distract them from their thoughts by doing fun activities together or just chatting about other things.
It would also be helpful if you could be optimistic around them. This doesn’t mean you must downplay their condition or act like everything is perfect. Try to focus on the bright side and look for ways to make the best out of a tough situation.
Encourage Them to Stay Active
Many people believe having scoliosis means you can only lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, this isn’t true. People with scoliosis can still lead active and healthy lives. Exercise is even recommended to most patients as part of the treatment plan for scoliosis.
People with scoliosis need to stay active because it helps strengthen the muscles around the spine, improve flexibility, and boost their overall well-being. This can help alleviate some pain associated with scoliosis. So encourage your loved one to stay active and to participate in physical activities they enjoy.
Of course, they should still avoid activities that may put too much strain on their spine or worsen their condition. Make sure to talk to their doctor before starting any new exercise routine. They can recommend the best exercises that are suitable for their situation.
Don’t forget to join in their physical activities as well. This way, you can bond with them while helping them stay active and healthy. This will also make exercising more fun for your loved one.
Help Them Stay Positive and Look on the Bright Side
While it is crucial to be there for your loved one when they are feeling down, you should also try to help them stay positive and look on the bright side. Remind them of all of their accomplishments and good qualities. Help them focus on their goals and what they want to achieve in life.
It also helps to try to find humor in situations when appropriate. Studies show that laughter can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall well-being. So watch their favorite comedies together or just make silly jokes with each other to brighten up their day.
You should also avoid negative people as much as possible. These people always see the glass as half empty and focus on the wrong things in life. Being around them will only make your loved one feel worse. So try to distance yourself from these people or, at the very least, limit your interactions with them.
Though scoliosis can be a complex condition to deal with, there are things family members can do to help their loved ones manage it. Educating yourself about scoliosis and being there for your loved ones emotionally can make a world of difference in the lives of those dealing with this condition.