Did you know that scoliosis is the most common spinal abnormality in children? When it comes to a progressive and incurable condition like scoliosis, finding the right brace and treatment solutions are crucial. With different types of scoliosis issues, varying from adult to children, the big difference between brace solutions lies in the design structure built to either ‘hold’ or ‘correct’ the diagnosis.
If you or a loved one has recently been advised to wear a scoliosis brace, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of information available. In an effort to better understand your scoliosis treatment plan, we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest topics involving your new scoliosis brace.
Here’s what you need to know about scoliosis treatment plans and brace solutions:
- Goal of a Scoliosis Brace
- Holding vs Correcting
- Kids vs Adults
- Bracing Solutions
Goal of a Scoliosis Brace
When it comes to a scoliosis diagnosis, bracing is more commonly used when treating children and adolescents as the spine is still growing and can be manipulated. As a progressive condition, a large part of any treatment strategy is controlling the level and rate of spine curvature.
The purpose and goal of traditional brace options is ultimately to reduce the likelihood of the scoliosis worsening and avoid the need for spinal-fusion surgery. The theory behind bracing is that if pressure is placed on the parts of the spine with bad curves, that pressure will stop those bad curves from growing, controlling their progression.
Depending on condition severity, treatment approach, the type of brace will differ, as well as the amount of time spent wearing the device. Some braces will require constant wearing, others may be worn at night, and some are worn for large portions of the day. Depending on the age of the patient, treatment solutions may also vary.
Holding vs Correcting
When it comes to scoliosis, you’ve likely heard of the two terms, holding and correcting. While these two terms may sound similar, in terms of treatment solutions, holding and correcting mean very different things. The idea behind traditional bracing and invasive spinal-fusion surgery is to hold the spine in a straighter, more proper alignment. However, holding the spine can do little to address the underlying cause of the spinal deformity.
With correcting solutions, a crooked spine can work its way back to a straighter alignment. This is more often achieved with younger patients as the spine can still be manipulated in growth to move in the ways it needs to. Scoliosis can be treated with chiropractic adjustments, braces, exercises, and therapy, or a combination of all of the above. The result is a spine that has experienced a natural and functional correction.
Kids vs Adults
When it comes to treating children and adolescents with scoliosis, treatment solutions can vary. As a progressive condition, scoliosis will often worsen over time. With this in mind, the treatment efforts for both adults and children are aimed at controlling the progression of this disease so that patients can live their best lives. In kids, braces can be used to treat scoliosis because they haven’t reached skeletal maturity.
Because of this, their spines still have some flexibility. In conditions where rapid progression is a concern, bracing can be recommended as a technique to slow down the progression. Traditional braces apply pressure in three points to curvatures that should not grow further. As a result of that squeezing effect, the curvature from scoliosis should slow down.
Despite the fact that bracing is typically recommended for younger patients, scoliosis bracing is also a beneficial treatment option for adults. As adults have already reached skeletal maturity, bracing for scoliosis is less common. However, an adult suffering from severe pain associated with scoliosis can often be prescribed a back brace to help reduce spinal movement and provide support.
Rigid bracing is most commonly used in older adults. Featuring hard plastic braces these solutions are built to support the spine of an older adult suffering from scoliosis. However, these solutions can sometimes affect muscle atrophy and can accelerate degeneration of the spine. Ask your orthotics doctor before incorporating this solution into your treatment plan.
Flexible bracing is most often recommended for adult patients in need of extra back support and palliative relief during strenuous physical activities. These are the more common types of brace solutions that you might find as an individual dealing with scoliosis.
Bulow Orthotics Can Custom Fit Your Needs
The condition of scoliosis is complex. If you or a loved one is in need of a scoliosis or orthotic solution, Bulow Orthotics is here to help. The Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions team is passionate about providing the highest level of care to patients across the country.
One-on-one personal attention and nurturing guidance makes Bulow Orthotics a leader in the industry and a destination clinic for amputees across the country. Our ultimate goal is to help patients achieve the highest level of comfort and mobility, allowing them to return to a normal, healthy and happy life.
If you’re in need of custom prosthetic solutions, contact Bulow Orthotics today!