I am 14 years old. I have experienced upper back pain since I was around 10 years old. Sometimes it would disable me from doing normal things like jumping, and it hurt when I coughed or sneezed. When I was about 12, my mother noticed a sort of hunchy appearance of my back, and when I bent down, it was worse. We went to a doctor and they said to watch out for it in case it got worse, but they didn't do anything about it at the moment. A few months later, my mom took me to another doctor who directed her to a specialist because it was definitely bad.
That specialist said I had 63 degree postural kyphosis, which is pretty bad. So, he had me do physical therapy for a month or two. When he re-examined me, it wasn't much better. I greatly regret not doing my exercises when I had the chance, because when I didn't have much progress,he stuck me in a back brace. And it wasn't a flexible one either.
That one ended up being the wrong kind of brace, so we had to get a new one. I was glad because I absolutely hated the other one. The new one was even worse for the following reasons:
1) They didn't cast me for it, so it ended up making me look twice as wide and had a big bulge in the front.
2) It had extremely uncomfortable metal poles on it.
3) It was very hot and I would sometimes sweat in it.
4) I never felt normal because I had to wear it at school which also made me very insecure.
I isolated myself because I was so afraid of being made fun of and not being accepted. Then, I threw such a big fit about my brace that we had the stomach pressed in so I didn't have the bulge. This was brace number three which I still have to wear now. I was absolutely devastated when I found out I would have to wear it to high school. I cried myself to sleep most nights.
Being a girl in America these days is so hard! I still do wear it to high school. I hate every minute of it, but I don't regret wearing it.
My back has gotten a whole lot better and I just can't wait until my bones fuse so I can stop wearing the brace. :) - Christina