A scoliosis brace can often be very beneficial to younger patients. Children can grow quite rapidly, which is usually a good thing. However, a problem such as scoliosis grows along with the child and becomes worse.
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that is often either S or C-shaped. This can lead to pressure on spinal discs as well as irritation of nerves, which can be quite painful. And the more severe the curvature, the more severe the symptoms.
The good news is that this curvature can be seen at an early stage and steps can be taken to lessen the degree to which the curve grows. A scoliosis brace is one of the most widely-used methods of slowing the growth of this problematic curvature.
But how does a scoliosis brace work? And where can you find a specialist in Nashville, TN?
Mitigating the Growth of a Curve
The curvature of the spine known as scoliosis can’t be completely stopped without surgery. And many people like to avoid surgery in such a sensitive area whenever possible.
The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the curve, which is measured in degrees.
Mild scoliosis refers to cases less than 25 degrees.
Moderate scoliosis refers to cases between 26 and 40 degrees.
Severe scoliosis refers to cases more than 40 degrees.
The likelihood of progression increases as the curvature becomes more severe. This is why halting the progression of the curvature is so important. And this is where a scoliosis brace comes in.
A scoliosis brace is usually recommended for patients that fall into the moderate range of scoliosis curvature. Anything less than that will most likely be monitored for progression, and anything more than that will require surgery.
The brace puts pressure on the spine in strategic areas to prevent it from increasing the amount of curvature in problem areas.
Visit Bulow Orthotics & Prosthetic Solutions to learn more about your options for a scoliosis brace in Nashville, TN!
How Long Will It Be Worn?
A scoliosis brace is going to be most effective when the patient is experiencing the most growth. This is often during the teenage years.
The degree to which the patient suffers from scoliosis will dictate how often the brace will need to be worn throughout this period. Cases toward the high end of the moderate range will need to wear the brace all day.
However, more cases don’t require the scoliosis brace to be worn 24 hours a day. Nighttime bracing is fairly common for patients that show only a mild curve and is minimally intrusive to their lives.
Most patients will need to wear their scoliosis braces between 12 and 20 hours every day.
Is a Scoliosis Brace Uncomfortable?
Every case is going to be a little different. The braces are specialized for a patient’s particular situation so their experiences aren’t going to be the same. Generally speaking, a scoliosis brace is going to take a little time to get used to.
There is occasionally soreness associated with starting to use a scoliosis brace, although these feelings tend to subside after a little time as the body adjusts to it. The braces can also limit some movements, and learning to sleep with a brace can take some time as well.
This can be inconvenient, but it’s best to keep in mind that these braces often help patients avoid surgery. And the effectiveness of the brace is directly related to if the patient follows the doctor’s orders and wears the brace when they are told to do so.
When is Surgery Necessary?
As we stated earlier, severe cases of scoliosis are determined by a heavy curvature in the spine (more than 40 degrees). The doctor will monitor the progression of the curvature in patients and make recommendations based on the examinations.
Scoliosis surgery is a spinal fusion. The curved spine is surgically realigned and fused back together so it heals in a more natural way. This process is quite intrusive but also very effective. Patients that undergo surgery notice a difference not only in the way they feel afterward, but also in how they look. Remember these procedures are only used for severe cases of scoliosis so the symptoms will be more apparent before the surgery when compared to a moderate case.
But the goal is to avoid allowing the curvature of the spine to reach the point where surgery is necessary. And while a scoliosis brace won’t be able to help every patient, many find it beneficial to slow the progression of their curve.
How Can I Find a Scoliosis Brace in Nashville, TN?
Bulow Orthotics & Prosthetic Solutions offers a variety of pediatric orthotic devices such as scoliosis braces. There are also other spinal orthotics options to treat a variety of conditions.