How Scoliosis Impacts Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the foundation that allows you to accept, respect, and believe in yourself. Nothing can put a crack in that foundation quite like hating the way you look. And it can be hard not to let the physical deformities of scoliosis whittle away at your body image.

Pain is another aspect of scoliosis that can affect your self-esteem. Though many of our scoliosis patients at Space City Pain Specialists are sensitive about their physical appearance, taking steps to relieve their pain can have a big impact on their self-esteem and quality of life.

Body image and self-esteem

Body image is all about how you perceive your appearance. A poor body image can arise for many reasons, from being teased by friends to the constant stream of idealized bodies you see in the media.

As your body image drops, so can your self-esteem. And both changes can influence many aspects of your life. A poor body image may lead you to avoid physical activities and limit socialization. You may also be more likely to develop an anxiety disorder or depression. 

Scoliosis can impact self-esteem

Scoliosis can appear at any age, but it’s most often diagnosed between the ages of 10-15, a stage when appearance takes priority and every little detail matters.

Even though a mild case of scoliosis may not be visible to others, you’re acutely aware of your physical deformity, so it may affect your self-esteem.

The effect on your body image and self-esteem can be worse with a moderate or severe case of scoliosis. Then you know that everyone notices changes in your appearance, such as: 

Tilted neck

Of course, this challenge isn’t limited to adolescents. Adolescents and adults with scoliosis look in the mirror every day and see these changes in their bodies. Even a strong person can feel unattractive and lose their confidence along with their self-esteem.

Pain caused by scoliosis can influence self-esteem

A mild case of adolescent scoliosis doesn’t usually cause pain. However, back pain and muscle spasms often occur when the curvature is severe.

Pain, stiffness, and pinched nerves are common in adults with scoliosis, whether their scoliosis began in childhood, or they developed degenerative scoliosis as adults due to spinal stenosis or another condition.

The chronic pain caused by scoliosis can change your life in ways that take a toll on your self-esteem. Pain may prevent you from doing the things you love or from participating in activities that give you a sense of identity and self-worth, such as your job or volunteer work.

Ongoing pain can also lead to negative emotions, such as depression, which can add to the emotional challenges caused by your scoliosis.

Treatment can improve self-esteem

If scoliosis is damaging your self-esteem, take heart, because treatment can help change the way you think about yourself. As your condition improves, your self-esteem should rebound. We offer many services that can help relieve pain and treat your condition, such as:

Depending on your condition, we may also recommend a back brace, which could help keep your condition from progressing. For severe cases, we may recommend surgery to straighten your spine.

If you have scoliosis and need treatment, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Space City Pain Specialists today.

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