10 Things I Wish My Friends Knew about Scoliosis

Across the globe, roughly 3% of the population live with scoliosis. While more and more people are becoming aware of the condition, here are some things users of Align Brace share that they wish people around them knew about scoliosis.

    1. Everyday is a struggle. It could be mental, physical, or emotional, but we are dealing with some form of pain daily.
    2. There are some things we are repeatedly told to avoid, as much as we would like to participate. This does not make us anti social or lazy, we just want to keep everyone around us happy and not over-worried.
    3. We are trying to maintain correct posture as much as we can. Your comments merely make us feel more self conscious about how we look.
    4. Sometimes standing up is easier than slouching uncomfortably in a chair.
    5. It’s not just our spine that’s crooked. The curves cause an imbalance to shoulders and hips too. Together with the unending scrutiny of our posture, scoliosis slowly changes how we feel about ourselves. 
    6. We would really like to be a part of group activities, so please think of roles that we can help with, rather than leaving us out altogether.
    7. We are happy to explain scoliosis when asked. At the same time please be mindful that we may not want the whole world to know about our condition.
    8. We have trouble with clothes- to hide our brace, or physical imbalances. Finding clothes that fit well, hide things and highlight other areas can be hard.
    9. Scoliosis does not define me. Yes, I have the condition but I am trying my best to not let that hold me back. Even the best of us could use a little kindness and understanding everyday.
    10. Sometimes I need to make a quick exit to go home and lie down. Back spasms have no warnings and they affect individuals differently but lying down is the fastest and easiest relief until they tide over.

Scoliosis is permanent, and this may take some time for those with the condition to come to terms with. Majority who have it start out with a very mild form that developed during a growth spurt before puberty. Of these, some gradually worsen as years go by. Others develop a very mild form that stays very mild all of their lives. Still, there are people who experience more complications as adults.

If you or someone close to you lives with the condition, please show them a little more kindness through patience and sensitive understanding. A listening ear can do wonders.