Do you have a preschooler or schooler at home, who is diagnosed with scoliosis? You are not sure how to exactly organize the day, so that you would manage the household, work, school preparation, after school activities and at the same time exercise according to the instructions of the physiotherapist? The schedule is not hard, it only requires consistency and understanding for psychosocial and physical needs of the child.
HOW SHOULD THE DAILY EXERCISING PROGRAM LOOK?
Try to make the exercises regular and entertaining so that children would enjoy it. If the exercising is not interesting, boring or if the child has to exercise also when he/she is tired, they won’t have a positive approach to exercising or physiotherapy generally. It is therefore necessary to offer children such exercises which will entertain them. Ideal is also changing the repertoire of the exercises given to the actual phase of scoliosis, age of the child, health condition, mood etc. The range of techniques for therapy of scoliosis is wide. It depends on the physiotherapist which techniques he will use and how will he combine them, so that the therapy would be as much as effective.
- It is ideal to modify the daily regime of the family, so that the exercising would be part of everyday cycle. Just as it is automatic for the child to brush teeth, the same way it should be normal for the child to automatically exercise for 15 - 20 minutes in the in the morning. That requires a „sacrifice” in form of waking up early.
- If the child is in a school age, we recommend to change the chair on which the child sits with a gym ball. That way the muscles and spine are dynamically burdened, and correct sitting position can be understood as another exercises. It would be ideal to change the chair for a ball even in the school.
- The briefcase with which the child goes to school should be as light as possible. It is not necessary to have a double school case or paper desks for school books and notebooks. Try to talk with the teacher to enable to child to have a pair of each school book, one at home, one in school.
- The activity of the chosen after school activity should be ideally 3 times a week. If the child is in the activity without the corset, exercising can be considered as an alternative therapy. In the evening it is necessary to exercise for another 15 - 30 minutes.
- Don’t force the child in cause he/she is tired. Exercising under pressure is demotivating for the child, and because of the tiredness of the central nervous system he/she won’t perform the exercises correctly.
- It is also important to change the exercises from time to time given to the development of scoliosis but also enrichment of the exercising.
- Don’t restrict the child from the contact with its peers. Socialisation is for children very important, especially if they suffer from some health problem. It is good to care about the consistency of exercising, but not at the expense of losing social connections.
- If your child goes to the after school club, he/she can exercise there independently.
- If the teacher or after school club teacher is kind, you can ask them whether the rehabilitating exercises can be incorporated into the PE/Gym class.
If the child has to wear a corset, we recommend to take it off while exercising - during a gym class in a physical activity and by rehabilitating exercises at home. We recommend to take off the corset even during the sleep for several reasons. It will lighten the pressure on the internal organs, and while lying there is no vertical pressure caused by the gravitational force, therefore the corset is not necessary. It is important for the children to sufficiently rest during the night, so that they could concentrate in the school. The corset cannot cause any excessive pressure, and it should not hurt. See that there is enough cushioning (cotton wool, cotton) to avoid pressure caused by the corset.
Whether the corset functions correctly can be proved by a simple test. After putting on the corset, both shoulders and shoulder blades have to be in the same height, the pelvis should be straight and both hips on the same level without rotation and shifting. In case that is not happening, have the corset checked by a specialist.
- Formation of scoliosis, how to identify it, and how to treat it
- Conservative treatment and modern physiotherapy of scoliosis in children’s age
Author: Mgr. Iva Bílková, FYZIOklinika fyzioterapie Ltd, Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from a private practice in a physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOpedia