Orthotics is the use of exterior devices to alter or modify the way someone’s bones or muscles are aligned. Although it might look fairly simple, this actually takes intimate knowledge of engineering, biomechanics, physiology, and anatomy. The intersection of all these specialties is represented in the manner and application of these devices.
There are many conditions that can be treated by orthotics—cerebral palsy, spina bifida, stroke, and spinal cord injuries to name a few. This practice can be used to assist or restrict movement (depending on the injury), reduce the amount of weight supported by a particular area of the body, or generally correct the function or even the shape of the body. This helps to reduce pain or make it easier to move for people with injuries and disabilities.
It’s easiest to learn about this with a specific example. So today let’s look deeper into scoliosis bracing. What is it? And how does it help?
What is Scoliosis?
We all remember the growth spurt right around the time of puberty. You might see someone at the start of a school year and have trouble recognizing them because they shot up a foot over the course of the summer. This growth spurt affects everyone differently. Some people see a great change while others don’t. However, this isn’t the only way growth spurts can differ. They can sometimes see the emergence of scoliosis.
Scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. However, the cause of most of these cases are unknown. Scoliosis is characterized by a sideways, sometimes S-shaped curvature of the spine.
The good news is that most of these cases are mild. These patients are monitored by their doctor as they continue to grow to see if the symptoms get worse, but most of them don’t require any treatment.
On the other hand, this slight deformity can continue to grow and get worse. These cases can become debilitating. Severe cases of scoliosis can make it difficult for the patient to move. A drastic curve in the spine can reduce the amount of room in the chest and make it difficult to breathe.
Are you or is someone you know suffering from scoliosis in Nashville, TN? Visit Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions today to learn about their scoliosis bracing options.
How Does Scoliosis Bracing Help?
Treatments for scoliosis vary depending on the severity of the curvature and the age of the patient. Generally, younger patients will begin with simple monitoring. The doctors will be looking at the degree of curvature in the spine along with the speed and degree at which is changing.
Possible signs of scoliosis are if the shoulders appear uneven, the waist appears uneven, or one shoulder blade is more prominent than the other one. A continually worsening case of scoliosis could see the spine beginning to rotate or twist along with increasing the curve. This can cause the ribs to stick out on one side of the body.
Bracing is the next treatment after monitoring. A brace is used in the case of a patient that shows an increase in their curve to stop the progression of symptoms from getting worse. These cases are fairly rare. Only 3% of children show signs of scoliosis, and only about one out of every six of those cases require bracing.
Bracing applies corrective forces to the spine. The goal is to lessen the amount of pressure on the inner part of the curve while increasing pressure on the outer part of the curve. The general idea is that the bone experiencing the pressure will grow less, while the unimpeded bone will grow more.
Bracing will not cure scoliosis. However, it can greatly reduce the progression of the condition and help a patient avoid the final treatment stage—surgery.
How Effective is Scoliosis Bracing?
Each case of scoliosis is different. This means the effectiveness of any given treatment will vary. However, scoliosis bracing is generally accepted to be a great help in stopping the progression of the condition. A properly constructed brace will give the patient the best chance at success.
Scoliosis patients in the Nashville, Tennessee area have the option of visiting Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions where they can be treated with a custom-molded brace. The padded braces are tailored for each patient which greatly increases their effectiveness.
Visit Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions for help with scoliosis bracing in Nashville, TN, and surrounding cities. There are a variety of types of Thoraco-lumbar-sacral orthoses (TLSOs) used to treat scoliosis. Learn more, today.