View Full Version : Exercising in & out of brace

12-03-2003, 09:18 AM
Hi everyone! I've been trying to get info about what kinds of exercises my 12 year old daughter could do to help strengthen the muscles in her back. She has a 25 degree curve and wears a TLSO brace for 18 hrs/day, which means she doesn't wear it to school but gets it on right when she gets home (which is 17 hrs. during the school week).

The first 2 months were very stressful and she wasn't doing much of anything while she was in the brace. (Thankfully she was wearing it!) She did play soccer in the fall (of course w/o the brace). Now, she and her father are walking for 35-45 min. a night several times a week (in the brace). I do feel that walking is good for her back, but I've been trying to find out what else she could do. Her doctor did not recommend any specific exercises. It's tricky to find things that she can do in the brace, as we try to limit the time out of it as much as possible. And, she still has a difficult time emotionally going out in public in the brace even though you really can't tell she has anything on under her shirt.

Does anyone know any exercises or activities she could do in and out of the brace to help strengthen her back muscles? She's always been pretty athletic and physically coordinated. She used to roller skate on a regular basis and I'm wondering if skating would be a good activitiy. She's also mentioned going back to dance classes. Also, if anyone has any insight into how to help her overcome her concerns about wearing the brace out in public I'd appreciate hearing them. She's doing very well in wearing the brace, but there are still emotional issues to deal with. Twelve is a difficult age in itself, but having to deal with the brace and all makes it even more challenging.

12-05-2003, 08:26 PM
Hello. My name is Hannah and i am 13. I also wear a brace... very faithfully too. Its very great the ur daughter does wear the brace! She will be glad she did someday. OK some of the excersizes i do really help me... At the after my bath i stretch my back very well by twisting my spine and bending over then arching my back.. it really helps! Also i lift weights it helps to strengthen my upper back. Or i do tae bo or kick boxing to just strengthen me up. Its very great that she wears her brace! And i hope she stays active and doesn't let her brace put her down! If u want to contact me e-mail me at cheerbootyshaker@yahoo.com thanks so much!

-Hannah 13 IN

12-06-2003, 09:39 PM
Hi. My name is Cristy and I'm 32 years old. I had a brace when I was your daughter's age and I can't stress enough the importance of a physical therapist. This is my first posting on this site, so I'm not sure about monitoring and such...but truly, you should get your daughter to see a professional. They will prescribe exercises for her that will work for her. Y'know those machines that you squeeze together your legs in at the gym? Well, I was told in no uncertain terms to only do the ones that squeeze in...not push out. Any advice from a novice could really hurt her.

Situps and working the stomach muscles (but please after talking to a specialist) can really help her back muscles work towards correction and keeping her curve where they want it to go. I know the expenses you've dedicated to your daughter...oh my God those braces are ridiculous...but even just a few sessions with a physical therapist can really help.

Best of luck to you!

12-07-2003, 09:19 PM
Hi. I'm Rebecca and I'm 13. I've been wearing my brace for about since October. I've been doing very well with it. I have to wear it 20 hr. a day. Sometimes i wear it more. Tell your daughter she's very lucky that she doesn't have to wear the brace to school. I am always self concious but I'm getting better about it. What I think is the hardest is having to dress out in Pe. I take off the brace stuff it in my locker and after PE I get some one to help me back into it, wich is kind of embarrasing.
I'm not sure what kind of exsersising she should do, but if you want to e-mail my mom you can at cln2th@yahoo.com
I'm sure she'd be glad to help you out if she can,

01-13-2004, 01:45 PM
Hi everyone! Since posting the original comments about exercising, we have investigated some options and have come up with something that for right now seems to be working...walking! My daughter and husband have been walking since mid November, starting off gradually and working up to nearly 2 miles. They walk after dinner, which has been challenging as it has been very, very cold here recently. But an added benefit to the brace is that it acts as insulation! They are now up to about 5 days a week and have just started to increase the length of their walk. It's really neat for the two of them as it gives them a special time together and gets them both some exercise. My husband is a real trooper about it as he already works out at the gym and hates the cold weather! But, my daughter likes the time spent with him and he's willing to do whatever is best for her.

At some point in the future we may look into kickboxing, but she needs to be 13 years old so that will have to wait for about 6 months. Her doctor said she can be out of the brace to exercise, but when you add in travel time plus the activity it adds up. Right now the walking seems to be the perfect solution. Even her aunt and 14 year old cousin have started walking with them! At this point her doctor has not put any restrictions on any activities, but we would definitely run anything else by him first.

By the way, the brace seems to be doing its job. She had her check up last week and the curve has actually decreased slightly, which we were told is possible as a result of the brace. Generally it will revert to its original degree after she's out of it, though. So, if you're reading this and still struggling with wearing the brace, be encouraged! Make a good choice and stay healthy in this new year! Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions!