Scoliosis and Self-Esteem

Adolescence is an extraordinarily tumultuous time as a child’s mental and physical health undergo significant changes. Even the slightest deviation from a typical developmental path can lead to self-esteem problems, which is especially true of scoliosis.

Here at Texas Spine Consultants, Dr. Michael Ware Hennessy and our team understand the effects that scoliosis can have on a person’s physical and mental health, and we’re here to help.

Scoliosis and teens

Scoliosis is a condition that describes an abnormal curvature in the spine. In most cases, scoliosis makes itself known during adolescence between the ages of 10 and 15 and affects both boys and girls equally. Progression of scoliosis that requires treatment, however, affects girls far more, as they outpace boys by more than eight to one on this front.

There are varying degrees of scoliosis, which can lead to progressive problems with:

In mild cases, these symptoms may not be noticeable, but the curvature can worsen as your child goes through adolescence, leading to problems with self-esteem.

Scoliosis and emotional health

The teenage years are an emotional roller coaster ride under the best of circumstances as hormones come on-line and bodies change. When these changes don’t proceed according to “normal” standards, the effects can take their toll.

To illustrate this point, one study found that, among adolescents with scoliosis, their odds for having suicidal thoughts or feelings about poor body developmental were substantially higher than those without scoliosis.

While it may seem logical that the more severe the curvature, the more your child may suffer from self-esteem issues, studies reviewed here have found that the degree of curvature may not play a role. This means that any degree of scoliosis can impact your child’s emotional health, as it represents a deviation from their peers.

Treating teenage scoliosis from all angles

As a parent, you may be focused on correcting the physical problem in order to give your child the best possible start in life, but you need to be mindful of the impact that treatment can have.

For example, putting your child in a brace, which is our frontline treatment for scoliosis in adolescents, should be approached carefully. Your child may put on a brave face and you may content yourself knowing that you’re doing what’s best for their future, but teens aren’t future thinkers. Most teens live in the moment, and when their moment involves a “deformity” and a brace, we need to ensure that we address their emotional health alongside their physical health. 

Open conversations about their scoliosis can go a long way and we’re happy to help play a role. You may also want to seek out a therapist or a support group so that your child has a safe place to air their feelings about their self-esteem.

The bottom line is that scoliosis is a physical problem that can cast a wide net over your child’s mental health, so we need to be vigilant on both fronts. To learn more, please contact one of our offices in Addison or Plano, Texas.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Massages Aren't Just for Relaxation

Sure, a day at the spa getting a relaxing massage is nice, but targeted massage therapy goes well beyond pampering. From pain relief to reducing stiffness, massage therapy can help you move more freely and easily.

Working from Home a Pain in Your Neck?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are working from their own homes. If you figure among these numbers and you’ve developed a case of tech neck, here are a few tips.

Effective Treatment Options for Radiculopathy

Your hands are numb or tingling or perhaps you’re feeling pain down one of your legs. Called radiculopathy, the condition stems from a problem in your spine and the good news is that there are solutions.

5 Ways to Manage Spondylolisthesis Pain

You’ve been struggling with pain in your lower back and we’ve diagnosed you with spondylolisthesis. Armed with an answer, you wonder what you can do next to relieve your discomfort.

How is Cervical Disc Degeneration Treated?

Your neck is in pain or stiff — or both — and you want solutions that will enable you to swivel your head with ease. Many neck problems are caused by disc degeneration and we review your treatment options here.