Mild scoliosis isn’t typically painful, but it can lead to physical issues, such as off-kilter shoulders and hips, uneven breasts, and protruding shoulder blades — all of which can make adolescence even more challenging.
If your teen has scoliosis, Dr. Patrick McNulty can help you navigate the physical problems associated with the condition and often prevent it from progressing. He’s also one of the nation’s top scoliosis surgeons with extensive experience treating severe and complex cases.
However, in this blog, Dr. McNulty highlights the lesser-known effects of scoliosis and how it can impact your teen in ways you may have yet to consider.
During adolescence, most kids want to fly under the radar and draw as little attention as possible. Those who clamor for the spotlight typically get it by excelling at sports, academics, or the arts. On the other hand, kids with scoliosis get attention for being different — a social-life saboteur.
Imagine your teen in a locker room changing into their uniform when other kids notice the hump in their rib cage or their shoulder blade sticking out.
Walking the halls, they get noticed for the odd way their clothes hang on their body.
If your teen wears a brace, it automatically sets them apart, which is all it takes for insensitive peers to poke fun.
Despite these negatives, you can help your child weather the attention just as you would for a teen with acne or dental braces. Your assurance that their treatment is temporary and that Dr. McNulty is the best at curbing the curving can help them stay positive.
It’s one thing if other kids tease your teen, but if your child starts to internalize those negative comments, they can develop low self-esteem, which can lead to mental and emotional issues.
Ensuring your teen connects with supportive friends and checking in regularly to talk about their day, their week, or even their year can go a long way in helping your child maintain a healthy self-image. Sincere conversations can alert you to problems like bullying, anger, fear and uncertainty about the future, relationship problems, and sadness.
When low self-esteem transitions into depression, your teen will need your support more than ever and possibly professional help. Signs your child may be depressed include:
- Lack of energy or disinterest in activities
- Changing appetite (eating more or less than usual)
- Oversleeping or inability to sleep
- Anger and irritability
- Poor grades (or lower academic performance than usual)
- Alcohol and/or substance use they didn’t exhibit before their scoliosis diagnosis
If your teen expresses self-harm thoughts, take them seriously and seek professional mental health care.
Hope for teens with scoliosis
With your love and care and Dr. McNulty’s skill and experience, your teen can avoid scoliosis’ potentially negative emotional and mental impact.
In fact, a scoliosis diagnosis comes with a substantial measure of hope, thanks to Dr. McNulty. Under his care, your child can overcome scoliosis's physical and emotional obstacles. Whether they have a moderate case with a 25-40-degree curvature and need a brace or a more severe curve that calls for surgical intervention, no one has more expertise or experience than Dr. McNulty.
In addition to cutting-edge surgical techniques, Dr. McNulty offers an innovative treatment for teens called The Tether™ Vertebral Body Tethering System, which corrects spinal curvature without hindering mobility. In many cases, this system enables teens to delay or avoid surgical reconstruction.
If your teen has scoliosis, team up with the McNulty Spine team in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada, and give them every advantage to overcome the condition’s physical and emotional impact. Call or click to schedule an appointment.