Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine that, in severe cases, can cause health complications. It can also lead to pain. Both emotional and physical scoliosis support are available from a variety of sources, such as scoliosis exercise specialists, hospital and outpatient support centers, and research foundations and charities.
The development of scoliosis can usually be identified at a very young age. When this is the case, early scoliosis support in the form of regularly engaging in exercises and other activities at a scoliosis correction center or under the direction of a scoliosis specialist can be very beneficial. Specialist can help patients develop exercise regimens that can help prevent further curvatures.
Orthopedic specialists also can provide support of a more physical nature. Individually fitted back braces are commonly used to provide physical scoliosis support. Braces come in several forms, some of which are meant to be worn all day, while others may only be worn while sleeping. It is more difficult to help fully-grown adults with this condition, as their spines have already fully formed, but it is also uncommon for adults to have their curvatures increase dramatically from what they had as children.
Patients also can receive information and scoliosis help by calling hotlines and visiting hospital departments and scoliosis support centers. People working in these areas can connect patients with local support groups and provide information about the condition and answer questions. They may also provide support for family members of scoliosis patients, to help them better understand the condition and suggest the best ways to help their loved ones. While hotline workers and medical professionals can provide some informal counseling, they are not necessarily trained psychologists. Those who feel they suffer serious psychological problems related to their scoliosis should consider professional counseling.
To share experiences, concerns and a gain a sense of solidarity, some patients join scoliosis support groups. Support groups provide a community environment for patients to discuss their conditions with others who are experiencing the same issues. Online support forums also are available and provide a place where patients and their families can pose questions, answer questions others may have, and discuss new and emerging technologies.
Scoliosis support also comes in the form of research and education. Organizations exist that seek to raise awareness, provide information to the general public about scoliosis, and raise money for research. Donations made to research facilities, centers and charities help ensure future patients a higher level of scoliosis support.
It is important to note that scoliosis itself is not a diagnosis. The vast majority of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which means the cause of the condition remains undetermined. Scoliosis support specialists generally concur that, while specific causes are usually unknown, genetic conditions such as congenital spinal column abnormalities are involved. It is a myth that scoliosis comes from lifting heavy weights, poor posture or other minor conditions, such as one leg being slightly shorter than the other.