Hi my name is Ella and I’m a Spinal Champion Advocate who was diagnosed with Scoliosis at age 11. In order to fix my Scoliosis, I had to wear a brace for 2 years. When I first learned that I had to wear a brace I was very scared. I didn’t know anyone who had to go through this so there was no one to turn to for advice or help. Although the brace itself was intimidating, the thing that worried me the most was not knowing when I could stop wearing the brace.
The doctor told me I’d need to wear it for 20 hours a day — and that’s pretty much all I knew. Wearing the brace was definitely a challenge. It was uncomfortable and always got in the way of my clothes. It felt like I was never going to get the brace off. I finally got the news that I would no longer have to wear the brace starting in April of 2021.
Now that I have the brace off, I feel so free! I can go to the pool for as long as I want and not worry about my brace and how long I can have it off. I can finally get back to doing the things I want to do.
Facing those challenges with the brace with little support from others showed me how important it is for others to have what I didn’t. Since I know there are other kids out there facing Scoliosis, I want to share some of my experiences and tips so they can have an easier time and feel more comfortable about themselves.
One of the most difficult challenges for me was finding clothes that fit over and under the brace. My mom and I would often go into multiple stores looking for anything that would fit under the brace. Usually, we found nothing. We went on like this for weeks, until we finally found something at Kohls.
A few really soft tank tops fit nicely under the brace and didn’t irritate my skin. I finally felt like we were making progress! We then tried online shopping and found some seamless, off the shoulder tank tops on Amazon that were really comfortable. After finding these tank tops, I was able to wear my clothes comfortably and the variety of clothes I could wear broadened as well. It was definitely a long journey, but I’m really glad I was able to find clothes that helped me.
Now that it’s summer time, a lot of people with scoliosis might find it more difficult to find comfortable clothes because of the heat, so I want to give some of my tips for clothing:
- It’s inevitable that you’ll sweat while wearing the brace in the summer, so buy multiple tank tops to change throughout the day.
- Clean the brace with rubbing alcohol to keep it and the clothes under it clean.
- Wear larger t-shirts if you are more conscious about the outline of the brace showing.
I know it’s difficult to find clothes to wear over and under the brace, but don’t give up. There are options out there.
Want to speak further with Ella? Email her through our Spine Health Advocate program here.