Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, can be a daunting discovery for parents. As a caregiver, the first question you ask yourself is “What should I do if my child has scoliosis?” and your first reaction may be a mix of concern and uncertainty about the best course of action. Dr. Andrew Strauss will guide you through the crucial steps to consider if your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis.
So what should I do if my child has scoliosis?
Evaluate Your Options: Watch and Wait or Take Action?
The initial decision-making process is crucial. You must consider whether to adopt a “watch and wait” approach or to take immediate action. In many cases, the conventional medical model suggests monitoring the condition over time before exploring more aggressive interventions such as surgery or bracing. However, it’s essential to question this approach and assess the potential risks and benefits.
Seek Out Conservative Care: Early Intervention Matters
Rather than adopting a passive approach, consider seeking conservative care early on. Waiting for the condition to worsen might not always be the most effective strategy. Consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in the conservative treatment of scoliosis can make a significant difference. It’s crucial to find someone with substantial experience in managing scoliosis through exercise-based methods.
Orthopedic surgeons, while experts in surgical interventions, might not possess an in-depth understanding of conservative care for scoliosis. Look for practitioners who focus on exercise-based treatments and have a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in scoliosis management.
Choose the Right Professional: Experience Matters
When it comes to your child’s health, experience matters. Selecting the right healthcare professional is paramount in ensuring the best possible outcome for your child’s scoliosis treatment. Opt for a practitioner who not only has experience in treating scoliosis but also specializes in conservative approaches.
These specialists understand the nuances of exercise-based treatments and can tailor a plan that suits your child’s specific condition. The goal is to start intervention early when the spinal curvature is smaller, making the treatment process more manageable and less stressful for both the child and the family.
Understand the Importance of Early Intervention
Early intervention can significantly impact the effectiveness of scoliosis treatment. Starting your child on a conservative care plan when the curvature is smaller can lead to better outcomes. It not only makes the treatment process more manageable but also minimizes the potential physical and emotional strain on your child.
Collaborate with the Healthcare Team: A Unified Approach
Effective scoliosis management often requires a multidisciplinary approach. Collaborate with the healthcare team, which may include physical therapists, orthopedic specialists, and other professionals experienced in scoliosis care. This unified approach ensures that all aspects of your child’s condition are addressed comprehensively.
Educate Yourself and Your Child: Empowerment through Knowledge
Understanding scoliosis and its treatment options empowers both you and your child. Take the time to educate yourself about the condition, available treatments, and potential outcomes. This knowledge not only enables you to make informed decisions but also helps your child actively participate in their care.
Monitor Progress and Adjust Treatment Accordingly
Scoliosis treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Regular monitoring of your child’s progress is essential. Based on the feedback from healthcare professionals, be prepared to adjust the treatment plan accordingly. Flexibility and adaptability are key components of successful scoliosis management.
Emotional Support: Navigating the Journey Together
Coping with scoliosis can be emotionally challenging for both you and your child. Ensure that emotional support is an integral part of your approach. Seek out support groups or counseling services that can provide guidance and understanding as you navigate this journey together.
Discovering that your child has scoliosis can be overwhelming, but with the right approach, it is a challenge that can be effectively managed. From the initial decision-making process to seeking out conservative care, choosing the right professionals, and providing emotional support, a comprehensive strategy is key. Remember, early intervention and a proactive mindset can significantly improve the outcome of scoliosis treatment for your child.
Also read: Am I too Old for a Scoliosis Brace?
Dr. Strauss is the director of the Hudson Valley Scoliosis Correction Center in New York. He has been actively engaged in scoliosis treatment for the past 30 years and has authored two books on the subject, Your Child Has Scoliosis and The Truth About Adult Scoliosis.
He is Vice President of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute and a lecturer for their introductory and advanced workshops. He is certified in scoliosis bracing and in the use of scoliosis specific exercises. Dr. Strauss is a graduate of the ISICO World Masters of Scoliosis.His postgraduate studies also include a Masters Degree in Acupuncture as well as training in Grostic, Pettibon, CBP, Clinical Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Manipulation under Anesthesia, and Electrodiagnosis.
His scoliosis practice has treated patients from 25 states and 32 other foreign countries.If you have questions about childhood and adult scoliosis and how it can be successfully treated without surgery subscribe to our channel!