View Full Version : Sleeping in a Boston brace?

12-15-2003, 11:37 AM
My daughter is almost 13, and has had a boston brace for about a month. We've been told she only needs to wear it for 12 hours...but 7 hours is the most she has done, and that was yesterday (one hour on, one hour off.) Usually she only wears it for 3 hours a day!

The big problem is that she is supposed to sleep in it but can't. She has always been a light sleeper, and she really needs to have a good night of sleep or she is not a fun person the next day. When she goes to bed with the brace on either she doesn't fall asleep at all (and I finally take it off at 11pm or something so she will sleep), or she falls asleep and then wakes up and 10 or 11pm and takes it off.

Any ideas? She says she can't breath in the brace, and that it hurts her stomach.

12-15-2003, 06:42 PM
Hi. My name is Rebecca. I'm 13 and i wear a plastic brace. I'm not sure what a bostan brace is, but I do have some ideas. First, tell your daughter she's luckey, I have to wear mine for 20 hrs. Next, if her stomach is hurting her tell her to rub alchohal on her stmach after she's done wearing the brace. also, i find that laying down helps the pressure to leave. If the brace is making her not breathe, just loosen it up some and every day, tighten it up a little bit and she won't be in so much paine. If you need mor infor,you can e-mail my mom at cln2th@yahoo.com


12-17-2003, 09:33 AM
Hi Holly! My daughter is 12 and has been in a Wilmington "jacket" since the end of August. I know that getting her to sleep in it was a huge step as she needs to wear it for 18 hours a day. In the beginning she was able to wear it during the day for only a maximum of 5 hours. It took about 2 nights to get her to sleep in it through the night.

I agree with Rebecca...keep it loose at first. What we did with our daughter was to get her to lay down in it in bed and we kept it looser than it should have been. We figured she needed to take baby steps...the first being wearing it in bed, then working towards the correct tightness gradually. The first night she only lasted about one hour in it. But, by the 2nd night she made it through the night. It was probably a few weeks before it was the correct tightness.

I know she was not that comfortable in it in the beginning, but within a few weeks she adjusted to it. She is not so much a light sleeper, but she is very sensitive to any physical discomforts. I think the key for your daughter is her understanding why she needs to wear it and her determination to do so.

Also, in the beginning we did set up "rewards" as she reached certain milestones. Maybe a gradual increase from 7 hours to 9 hours, then to 11, 10, and finally 12 hours would help her reach the full amount of time. At each milestone, maybe a small reward would help. Even though we have never believed in resorting to bribery, it does work. The reward isn't anything big...maybe getting something special, like Chinese food, or going to a movie that she really wants to see. It's just a way to help her reach that milestone and move toward the ultimate goal. As parents we felt the means justified the end in this case as it was essential to get our daughter in the brace for the full amount of time.

I know how difficult this is not only for your daughter but for you. It is very draining and tiring. And, once she is in it fully, it something she needs to do everyday, consistently. But, the key is to be persistent and do whatever you need to do to get her in the brace for that 12 hours. She will adjust to it in time. I never thought our daughter would be able to deal with it, but she has amazed me. Before all of this even a tag on a piece of clothing or the wrong sock would make her uncomfortable. There are still days when she struggles with having to wear the brace and then there are better days when you hardly know she has it on.

If you want to talk more, feel free to email me at kjmalony@msn.com. I will keep you both in my prayers.

**Have you had the brace adjusted yet? I know after the 1st day we had to take our daughter back to the orthotist to make some adjustments which really helped.

12-20-2003, 06:48 PM
Telling your daughter she's lucky because she only has to wear it for 7 hours isn't going to make her feel better. I have to wear mine for 23 hours, and if you tell her that, I doubt she'll be happier. Tell her that she should take off the brace half an hour before she goes to bed and do some excersises. Make sure there light excersises, because you don't want her to get all hiper on you before she goes to bed. Tell her to massage everywhere it usually hurts. I also wear a boston brace, and it hurts! Once she's done that, but the brace back on and laydown for a few minutes. Then, let her drink something hot (like milk) and it'll make her feel better. That way she won't be so tense and it'll be easier to sleep. It isn't an instant cure, but if you do this, and take other peoples advice, then it'll be an improvement.
Tell her janet (me) wants to talk to her. I wear the same brace, and I am 12. I'm in 7th grade, and I know how she feels.

Good Luck!:D

08-15-2005, 10:20 AM
She's having trouble sleeping? I find sleeping to be the comftorable because when you lie down, the brace pops up and gives you a bit more wiggle room. Maybe you should make the brace a bit looser when she goes to sleep. See if that helps. Tell her that I have to wear my brace for 20 hours a day, and 7 hours is not enough. Now is the most critical time for her. She's going to start her groth spirt and her back is going to grow the WRONG way without that brace! There is an 80% chance that it's going to get worse and she's going to need surgery if she doesn't start wearing that brace.

I don't know if this is the cause of her stomach pain but maybe it will help anyway: When I started wearing my brace, after about an hour my stomach would start to ache. I think this is because my back was bieng pushed in a position it isn't used to yet and my muscle strength in my stomach was weak. So about every fifteen minutes i would lean against a wall or sit down to make the brace pop up a bit so my stomach would stop hurting. If this is happening with your daughter, tell her that the more she wears it, the less it will hurt. And maybe she should sit down while wearing the brace until she gets used to it.

Also, the brace only works when it's on. If she's only going to wear it 7 hours a day, there's not a lot of point in wearing it at all. I know it is so hard to get that brace to feel comftorable, but it really only takes two weeks! Maybe you should make a deal with her. Like, if after 2 weeks of wearing it 12 hours a day, she isn't used to it, you go to the orthotist and see if they have any suggestions. I know it's sort of scary to think about surgery, but if she doesn't wear her brace, she probobly will wind up with it.