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Old 02-19-2014, 04:56 PM   #1
laughinplace199
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Boston brace? UPDATE!

Is anyone familiar with the Boston brace? DD14 has scoliosis and will start wearing one of these braces in a few weeks.

I'm wondering how easy/hard it's going to be to find the right clothes to fit over it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:14 PM   #2
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It has been years and years since I have worked with anyone in a Boston brace, like 1983. So they could be totally different now. But then the brace was fitted very snugly against the body and the clothing was not much of an issue. Maybe just buy one size bigger.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:55 PM   #3
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Your daughter may want to visit http://www.curvygirlsscoliosis.com which is a forum for girls with scoliosis. There is a section on dressing your curve or brace. My daughter was fortunate to only have worn a brace for 3 months as protection after spinal tethering surgery. We spent more time looking for comfy undershirts than stuff to go over the brace.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:36 AM   #4
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Thank you!
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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I wore one eons ago back in the early 80s. Wrap skirts were big then so I wore alot of those. The brace actually pulls all your lumps and bumps in tight so clothing wasn't too hard to find. I did like to wear slightly longer tops if I was wearing pants because I didn't like anyone to see the line that the bottom of the brace created on my butt.

Make sure you find really comfy undershirts that fit tight to wear under the brace. Any crinkles in the fabric are going to be uncomfortable.

I developed a nasty rash on one spot on my side where the brace would rub. A&D Ointment (the diaper rash stuff) worked really well and acted like a barrier for the rubbing.

One final tip. If your DD has trouble getting comfortable when sleeping, have her try putting a pillow under her knees/thighs. This helped to get the angle of my legs the same as the brace when I was laying down. Soooo much better once I figured that out.

Best of luck to your DD. Tell her she will have a really skinny waist when she is all done, since no fat can accumulate there while wearing the brace.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aejammers View Post
I wore one eons ago back in the early 80s. Wrap skirts were big then so I wore alot of those. The brace actually pulls all your lumps and bumps in tight so clothing wasn't too hard to find. I did like to wear slightly longer tops if I was wearing pants because I didn't like anyone to see the line that the bottom of the brace created on my butt.

Make sure you find really comfy undershirts that fit tight to wear under the brace. Any crinkles in the fabric are going to be uncomfortable.

I developed a nasty rash on one spot on my side where the brace would rub. A&D Ointment (the diaper rash stuff) worked really well and acted like a barrier for the rubbing.

One final tip. If your DD has trouble getting comfortable when sleeping, have her try putting a pillow under her knees/thighs. This helped to get the angle of my legs the same as the brace when I was laying down. Soooo much better once I figured that out.

Best of luck to your DD. Tell her she will have a really skinny waist when she is all done, since no fat can accumulate there while wearing the brace.
Thanks. The Dr said that DD would get prescription tank tops to wear under the brace. Hopefully she won't have any issues with them. We will also meet with a nurse on the day she gets the brace. The nurse will teach her how to care for her skin and how to clean the brace.

DD is a tiny, petite girl, so I don't think she has any worries about her waistline. Now, me on the other hand...

Great advice about the pillow. I will be sure to mention that to DD.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aejammers View Post

Best of luck to your DD. Tell her she will have a really skinny waist when she is all done, since no fat can accumulate there while wearing the brace.
No fat can accumulate, sign me up, I have been looking for something like that for years!
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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PICK ME!! PICK ME!! LOL!

I wore a Boston Brace for close to 5 years!!

Shirts were not much of an issue, depending upon how comfortable she is with lines of the brace showing. Pants I had to go up 2 sizes. waist was not the issue, it was getting it on over the brace.

FEEL FREE to PM me!! I'm more than happy to help and encourage.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyDrake View Post
PICK ME!! PICK ME!! LOL!

I wore a Boston Brace for close to 7 years!!

Shirts were not much of an issue, depending upon how comfortable she is with lines of the brace showing. Pants I had to go up 2 sizes. waist was not the issue, it was getting it on over the brace.

FEEL FREE to PM me!! I'm more than happy to help and encourage.
Thank you for your post! How old were you when you started wearing the brace? Did it help?

DD will be getting her brace on the 14th, so once she has it, I'm sure we'll have lots of questions. We may take you up on the offer to PM you.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:42 PM   #10
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A couple of things to think about if you are going to WDW during the time she has a brace:

- ask her medical team about swimming. Many times that is an OK'd time to be without the brace since the water supports the body.

- check into the rides with warnings (there is a list in the disABILITIES FAQs thread located near the top of this board). Her doctor might prefer her not to ride some of them or she may find some are uncomfortable or jostle the brace.

- each park has a First Aid station. They have private rooms with cots that you can use for things like lying down to rest, re-adjusting the brace/clothing or changing her tank top if she gets too sweaty.

- she may find cooling items like FroggToggs to be helpful because braces can be hot. If she can't cool the area under the brace, at least cooling other skin may help her feel cooler.
http://www.froggtoggs.com/cooling.html
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laughinplace199 View Post
Thank you for your post! How old were you when you started wearing the brace? Did it help?

DD will be getting her brace on the 14th, so once she has it, I'm sure we'll have lots of questions. We may take you up on the offer to PM you.
Let me apologize for me error-I wore the brace 5 years. I get "The Brace" and dental brace time lines confused.

I went into the brace at age 11 1/2; I got out shortly before turning 16. This was a long time ago...1977 I think, so I'm sure much has changed. As you probably know, the brace is (only) to keep scoliosis from worsening--it is not for correction. In that respect it helped, but I didn't have the greatest doctor and I was given NO exercises to do when out of the brace. As a result, I had severe muscle atrophy that was never addressed. I believe now there are much better exercise programs. I would strongly encourage you to find an age appropriate Pilates program if at all possible. It will work to strengthen the core to help support the weaker back (as curved lines are not as strong as straight lines) and it will strength back muscles.

My main issue with the brace was that it ITCHED like a demon in the summer. Shower to Shower helped more than anything. My parents also had to be careful of heat exhaustion--but not overly so--as the brace not only prevented sweat evaporation, but held heat in.

If she cannot tighten the brace herself (I could not) a couple of her friends need to learn so if/when she needs to adjust the T underneath, she's have help. If there is a crease in the undershirt fabric in just the wrong place, it can be very uncomfortable and even blister.

We put an egg crate foam thing atop my mattress and that helped, but once I adjusted I found I didn't need it.

Above all, I would encourage you to not make too big of a deal of this. My parents thought it was such a horrible thing to have happen to me that we kept it secret. It would have been so much better if they'd just told my entire class, passed the brace around for everyone to see, etc. Explain it that some kids have braces on their teeth--she'll have one on her back.

Again, anything I can do to help!
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:58 PM   #12
laughinplace199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
A couple of things to think about if you are going to WDW during the time she has a brace:

- ask her medical team about swimming. Many times that is an OK'd time to be without the brace since the water supports the body.

- check into the rides with warnings (there is a list in the disABILITIES FAQs thread located near the top of this board). Her doctor might prefer her not to ride some of them or she may find some are uncomfortable or jostle the brace.

- each park has a First Aid station. They have private rooms with cots that you can use for things like lying down to rest, re-adjusting the brace/clothing or changing her tank top if she gets too sweaty.

- she may find cooling items like FroggToggs to be helpful because braces can be hot. If she can't cool the area under the brace, at least cooling other skin may help her feel cooler.
http://www.froggtoggs.com/cooling.html
Thanks for that advice. We're going to DL this summer, but I hadn't thought ahead to things like swimming, rides, or heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyDrake View Post
Let me apologize for me error-I wore the brace 5 years. I get "The Brace" and dental brace time lines confused.

I went into the brace at age 11 1/2; I got out shortly before turning 16. This was a long time ago...1977 I think, so I'm sure much has changed. As you probably know, the brace is (only) to keep scoliosis from worsening--it is not for correction. In that respect it helped, but I didn't have the greatest doctor and I was given NO exercises to do when out of the brace. As a result, I had severe muscle atrophy that was never addressed. I believe now there are much better exercise programs. I would strongly encourage you to find an age appropriate Pilates program if at all possible. It will work to strengthen the core to help support the weaker back (as curved lines are not as strong as straight lines) and it will strength back muscles.

My main issue with the brace was that it ITCHED like a demon in the summer. Shower to Shower helped more than anything. My parents also had to be careful of heat exhaustion--but not overly so--as the brace not only prevented sweat evaporation, but held heat in.

If she cannot tighten the brace herself (I could not) a couple of her friends need to learn so if/when she needs to adjust the T underneath, she's have help. If there is a crease in the undershirt fabric in just the wrong place, it can be very uncomfortable and even blister.

We put an egg crate foam thing atop my mattress and that helped, but once I adjusted I found I didn't need it.

Above all, I would encourage you to not make too big of a deal of this. My parents thought it was such a horrible thing to have happen to me that we kept it secret. It would have been so much better if they'd just told my entire class, passed the brace around for everyone to see, etc. Explain it that some kids have braces on their teeth--she'll have one on her back.

Again, anything I can do to help!
When DD has her fitting apt in a couple of weeks, we'll also meet with a physical therapist so that she can learn some exercises to do at home. We also have Pilates & Yoga for Dummies on DVD, so that may help too. We will also meet with a nurse who will teach us about caring for DD's skin while she's in the brace. They recommend Gold Bond powder with corn starch to help with itching.

She has already talked to a few friends about it, so I'm hoping this is a good sign. She also knows that I've talked to the school nurse and DD's school advisor.

We are trying to find the right balance in dealing with this. We let DD know it's ok to be mad, sad, scared, etc. but we've also talked about how this is temporary and there are plenty of kids who have much larger struggles and would happily trade places with her. It's tough because it can be so hard to be 14 anyway, and adding this to it just makes it harder.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:13 PM   #13
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As was mentioned, the brace is not to correct the curve; it is meant to keep the curve from progressing during the growth period. The aim is for the curve(s) to remain stable during the treatment period and not get worse.
Here's a good explanation from the Boston Brace company.
http://bostonbrace.com/Content/Bosto...ents_Guide.asp

Quote:
Originally Posted by laughinplace199 View Post
Thanks for that advice. We're going to DL this summer, but I hadn't thought ahead to things like swimming, rides, or heat.



When DD has her fitting apt in a couple of weeks, we'll also meet with a physical therapist so that she can learn some exercises to do at home. We also have Pilates & Yoga for Dummies on DVD, so that may help too. We will also meet with a nurse who will teach us about caring for DD's skin while she's in the brace. They recommend Gold Bond powder with corn starch to help with itching.

She has already talked to a few friends about it, so I'm hoping this is a good sign. She also knows that I've talked to the school nurse and DD's school advisor.

We are trying to find the right balance in dealing with this. We let DD know it's ok to be mad, sad, scared, etc. but we've also talked about how this is temporary and there are plenty of kids who have much larger struggles and would happily trade places with her. It's tough because it can be so hard to be 14 anyway, and adding this to it just makes it harder.
I do yoga and Pilates and would recommend a few classes to get started. It's very helpful to have someone correct your form as you are getting started so you get into the habit of correct position.
If she's OK' for Pilates and yoga, you may be able to borrow DVDs from the library. I like the Windsor Pilates ones. If you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, there are a couple of good Yoga ones.

I had this one and showed it to my Yoga teacher. She was impressed with it. It's a bit more expensive than some, but very comprehensive:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yoga...653453499?mt=8

I also like this one: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pock...347400507?mt=8
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:16 PM   #14
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I'm going to reinforce Sue's suggestion about yoga and Pilates--I would highly recommend a few private sessions with a well trained instructor at a Pilates studio to learn proper positioning (yoga) and implementing the Pilates "scoop". While I don't find either to be truly *risky* if done incorrectly, Pilates done incorrectly won't accomplish much. It looks so very easy, but when properly engaged, it is very beneficial. I don't think you can really grasp this initially from a DVD.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:08 PM   #15
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So DD got her brace today. She's trying so hard to be a trooper about this whole thing.

She only had to wear it for 2 hours today. The real fun starts tomorrow.

I'm trying to cheer her up by taking her and her BFF shopping this weekend, since DD will need new clothes to fit over the brace.

I also have lots of pillows to help her sleep once she starts wearing it at night.

Any other advice for a newbie?
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