A scoliosis brace is one of the most widely accepted treatment for scoliosis especially for children and adolescents. Such brace is customized to suit the different needs of patients and to be used to prevent the spinnal curve from worsening during the growing age. However, this can’t rectify the existing spinal curve in patients.
There are different types of scoliosis braces:
- Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis(TLSO) – also known as “Boston brace” and sometimes referred to as an “underarm brace”. This scoliosis brace is the most common form of TLSO and is fitted to the body of a child and custom molded from plastic. You can wear it under you clothes and it won’t be noticeable. It is advised to be worn 23 hours a day and you can take it off when you will swim, play sports or participate in gym class. This particular scoliosis brace is given for curves in the lumbar of thoraco-lumbar part of the spine.
- Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis – also known as the “Milwaukee brace”, this is very similar to the TLSO but this one has a neck ring held in place by the vertical bars that are attached to the body of the brace. It can also be worn 23 hours a day. This is precribed for curves in the thoracic spine.
- Charleston Bending Brace – also known as the “nighttime brace” because it should only be worn while sleeping. This scoliosis brace is molded to the patient while they are bent to the side to apply more pressure and bends the child against the curve. Such pressure can improve corrective action of the brace.
Bracing is very important for patients with curves measuring between 25-40 degrees and showing a progression of 5 degrees or more, every 4-6 months.
A scoliosis brace is made and fitted to suit each individual curve and this should be done by an orthoist after your orthepedic specialist recommended bracings. You will be given specific instructions on the use of a scoliosis brace. When it comes to the effectiveness of it, it can be evaluated through periodic check-ups and X-rays. It is also recommended that patients do regular exercises along with bracing to keep their bodies flexible and maintain spinal and muscle strength.