Scoliosis can be a painful and debilitating condition that makes even the simplest tasks uncomfortable.
Seeing a loved one go through such discomfort can be agonising to watch. However, you don't have to stand idly by - here are five simple things you can do to help someone with scoliosis today.
1. Be Available
People with long-term illnesses, conditions and disabilities often find it hard to ask for help.
In fact, some may actively avoid seeking outside help, preferring to deal with the problem on their own.
But even in those cases, knowing that there's a shoulder you can lean on when things get too much can make all the difference.
Being there as an emotional and physical crutch when your friend or loved one needs you is the ultimate sign of support, so don't be afraid to let them know your door is always open.
2. Prepare for Change
Scoliosis can cause excruciating pain at inopportune times. This can cause plans to change at the drop of hat, with last-minute cancellations a natural by-product.
While this can be somewhat frustrating, try not to make a big deal out of it. Remember, the other person is probably just as disappointed as you are, and on top of that, they may well feel guilty for letting you down.
Be understanding and reassure them that whatever it was can be rearranged for another time.
3. Look Past the Condition
Helping someone deal with scoliosis doesn't necessarily mean physically helping them with their daily tasks or providing them with pain relief.
In fact, helping someone with scoliosis can be as easy as helping them put it in the rear-view mirror and forget about the pain for a few hours.
Walking on eggshells and being overly aware of their ailment will only bring attention to it. Scoliosis doesn't change the person they are, so why should it affect the way you act around them?
4. Accept Their Tiredness
Enduring a prolonged period of pain can be exhausting. For scoliosis sufferers, even simple everyday tasks can be taxing at times.
What's more, a busy day of activities or a bad day involving a flare-up can leave them totally wiped out and feeling tired, lethargic, and generally less than 100%.
Dragging them out or pressuring them into taking part when the tank is empty can not only impact their enjoyment, but it can also impact their physical health after the fact.
Accept that when your friend or loved one says they're too tired to do something, they really mean it. It's nothing to do with you.
5. Mental Awareness
Like any physical ailment, scoliosis can have a negative effect on mental health, from impacting self-image to making the patient more introverted and withdrawn.
Infographic: How Does Scoliosis Affect Body Image?
Scoliosis can naturally exclude a person from taking part in things they love, such as sports and recreational activities.
Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, it can also prevent them from doing things they want to do and impact on plans made.
The result of this can have a knock-on effect on mental health, particularly if several setbacks occur in quick succession.
Be aware of mental health and, if there are signs that depression may be creeping in, don't hesitate to step in and help.
Read More: Scoliosis & Depression Book a Scoliosis Consultation