May 03, 2015

My Scoliosis Story Part 1 // Wearing a Back Brace

Scoilisis Story: wearing a brace-boston brace thehollypaige.blogspot.com

Scoliosis is the lateral curvature of one's spine and most commonly shows up in adolescents. For me, I was 10 years old and in the fifth grade. I was sitting on my grandma's lap when she noticed a hump in my ribs. I went to the doctor and was given the terrifying news that I had a 20 degree curve in my spine. Three months later I went back for a check up only to find that the curvature had progressed. This meant that I would have start wearing a Boston Back Brace to help prevent the further progression of my scoliosis. 

Boston Back Brace-my scoliosis story thehollypaige.blogspot.com

I wore this brace 20 hours a day for a year and half, starting the first day of sixth grade. It was uncomfortable, painful, embarrassing, frustrating...I could go on forever. I had to wear clothes two sizes too big in order for them to fit over my brace, I couldn't wear the cute clothes my friends were wearing, and I had to have a friend help me put it on after PE class. These things may seem silly or superficial, but as an 11 year old girl, it was quite devastating.


After a year and half of wearing the brace, my scoliosis had progressed from about 27 degrees to 40 degrees. At 40 degrees it was very likely that the curve would continue to get worse even after I stopped growing so I was told by my doctor that I could stop wearing the back brace! It was a great day. I continued going to the doctor to check my scoliosis for several years and every time I was given the good news that the curve hadn't gotten worse. My doctor told that I would need to consider having surgery if/when my scoliosis started causing a lot of pain or affecting my everyday life. 


The curvature of my spine did cause pain and difficulty breathing but it was tolerable and not a huge concern at the time. However I was very concerned with the way my body looked because of scoliosis. I was embarrassed and self conscious. I didn't wear tight clothing or swimsuits because I was so uncomfortable with my body.

If you are wearing a brace or getting ready to start wearing one, know that you will get through it. Other kids will ask questions and be curious about it but there is no reason to be embarrassed.

This is something I am really passionate about sharing. Before I started wearing my brace, my mom and I read story after story trying to learn as much as we could. If you have had the unfortunate experience of wearing a scoliosis brace, tell me a little bit about it. I would love to know your story. 

Read part 2 of my scoliosis story on May 17 and share this story with anyone you know who may be going through the same thing. 

10 comments:

  1. I also have scoliosis, and i also was 10 in the 5th grade when i noticed i had it. i have a back brace, but i hate wearing it, because its uncomfortable. i am having a difficult time with my back brace. Any suggestions, or comments on what i should do? <3

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  2. I also have scoliosis, and i also was 10 in the 5th grade when i noticed i had it. i have a back brace, but i hate wearing it, because its uncomfortable. i am having a difficult time with my back brace. Any suggestions, or comments on what i should do? <3

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    1. First of all, I am so sorry the brace is so uncomfortable!! I wore my brace a LONG time ago (about 11 years), so I don't remember everything I did.

      I did wear soft SEAMLESS tank tops under it to keep it from rubbing and hurting my skin badly; there really isn't much that helps. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Just remember that it will be worth it and you are SO strong!

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  3. I wore a brace just like the one on this blog from 7th grade until the end of 9th grade. It was extremely difficult, not just because of my age and feeling awkward and self-conscious. The pain of sitting at a desk, walking briskly, and just breathing deeply, got to me quite often. I tried everything for the chafing and eventually found something that worked for the most part. Cocoa butter after my shower and a generous amount of baby powder on my rib cage and hip bones, and of course a cotton tank. Summer was another story, almost nothing helped, except to just try to stay out of the heat. It dug into my pelvis. It squished my tiny teenage breasts if I didn't sit up totally straight. Kids were so mean. But the doctor told me if I didn't wear it I would be a hunchback in my thirties. I'm 38 now and haven't had any back problems considering my curve is 36 degrees. Thankfully my teenage daughter and son show NO signs of scoliosis and it's such a relief. I ache for you girls having to wear one and remembering the pain and constantly feeling uncomfortable. You are in my thoughts.

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  4. I just got diagnosed I go in 2 weeks to see if I need a brace. I had a c curve in my back that was 20 degrees also. I am scared that I will get made fun of. Any advice and don't these come in colors ?

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    1. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this! I was also really afraid that people would make fun of me but I was pleasantly surprised when most people simply wanted to know more about it. They asked questions and I did my best to explain.

      I think they do come in different colors now but when I had mine I wasn't given that option.

      My best advice is to find clothes you can wear over the brace that make YOU FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE! Try not to worry about what other people think (I know its hard) and remember that the brace is helping you! Also, try to find some SEAMLESS tank tops to wear under it. This helps make it a little bit more comfortable.

      Good luck and I am wishing you the best!

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  5. I just got diagnosed with scoliosis last year, I have an S curve of 30 on top and 18 on bottom. I wear a Boston Brace and I hate it! Any tips on maybe making it a little more comfortable?

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  6. Hi Music Geek 101,
    I have a scoliosis brace too (since a year and a half now) and I know how uncomfortable it is.
    I don't know if I can call them tips, but there is no magical ingredient that will make you feel "great"
    1- Wear tight cotton T shirts under you brace so that it doesn't rub your skin and make you feel sticky and sweaty (I prefer the ones with the tiniest sleeves so that it doesn't show up under my clothes)
    2- My brace is pretty long (it ends at the middle of my butt) and it's as long on the front and the sides so it's really uncomfortable to wear jeans because they rip my skin so I wear leggings and it's way more comfy
    3- Take advantage of it !! "My back hurts so much, please Mom and Dad, can I get a King like Bed ? I'm sure it will help me sleep better".
    That's what I said to them and I got my King size bed. I got many other exemples like getting a bathroom with a bath instead of a shower because "I need to relax", getting massages...
    I also remember that one time at the airport, the line was extremely long, and as I am really impatient, I went straight to the hostess, and I said " Please madam, I have a scoliosis brace, and my back hurts so much (I showed her my brace) " I went first on the plane !! That made my day
    I seem like laughing about it a lot but it's not easy everyday (mostly dressing up). I just think that you can try to take advantage from any shots situations
    Good luck !!
    I'll keep an eye on the blog just in case you reply

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  7. My 12.5 year old daughter who is in 7th grade was diagnosed in October 2016 with Scoliosis and has a 21 degree and 27 degree curve in her back. Our option was a brace at 20 degrees and possible surgery at 40 degrees. We saw the video about surgery--nope not for me she said. Sign me up for the back brace please.
    She is suppose to wear it 16-20 hours a day and 95% of the time she does. She takes it off for swim team and volleyball along with any other physical activity or special event. Her brace has a button in it that monitors her wearing of it and I am happy to say that her last report from 12/21/16-4/17/17 (117 days) stated that she wore it on an average of 17.5 hours a day. 14 of those days she wore it more than 20 and two days were completely zero because she had her wisdom teeth pulled. She had 8 days where she wore it for 8 hours only and that was due to her birthday party, tubing in the snow, 3 volleyball tournaments and two friends birthday parties.
    We approached this as--THIS IS OKAY. THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL. YOU CAN DO THIS! She told her friends about it and now they laugh when they go to hit her in fun and forget that she has a brace on under her clothes. They say-Oww! She laughs and says, oops, sorry! :) She wears tons of cute clothes and never has had an issue with clothing. She wears her normal size too. The problem that we have had is the holes she gets in the clothes. So wear a tank top under the brace for comfort (or use the long Boston cotton stretchy one they can get for you) AND WEAR A TANK TOP/CAMISOLE/LITTLE T-SHIRT OVER IT TO PROTECT YOUR CLOTHES!! We can't blame her for the holes in the clothes, but man it makes you mad when you just buy her something and go to wash it and there are the holes! :(
    She learned in no time flat how to put herself into the brace and hook it on herself. No one needs to help her. She learned how to make it comfortable for herself during certain activities.
    You need to embrace it and know that this is going to help you and not make it a negative. Post it on Facebook to your friends so they know what is going on. Have her tell her friends about it. Let everyone know about it and have them ask questions. Don't let it be a negative!
    She is 13 years old now and has no issues. Her brace doesn't hurt her, but if she could take it off she would love to. She knows when to take it off and when to make up hours. She knows that this will help her and hopefully doesn't have to have the alternative back surgery.
    There are lots of good You Tube videos that show supportive girls telling you all about it and some great books too. Be positive and turn it in to no big deal and before you know it, you will be out of the brace!

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