Scoliosis is a medical condition that impacts a person’s spine. In most cases, the spine will exhibit a sideways curve that is either an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shape. The severity of scoliosis will determine treatment options. Usually, mild scoliosis causes few problems however, severe cases can affect normal breathing function.
How Scoliosis Is Treated
There are a total of four common treatment methods used in adults who suffer from scoliosis. They include the following:
In order to reduce swelling of the muscles along the spine, anti-inflammatory medications are commonly prescribed. For many individuals, this does a good job of pain management.
Stretching and light weight-training exercises are an effective treatment for scoliosis. That is because certain exercises can be used that will strengthen and stretch the back reducing pain.
If the scoliosis is increasing pressure on the nerves that run in and surround the spine, pain and numbness are common. Steroid injections are often used to relieve spinal pressure.
As an alternative to surgery, back braces are commonly used. They provide pain relief by offering the spine additional support. Back braces are not usually used with adults.
The Benefits of Back Braces For Scoliosis Treatment
Back braces are effective as an alternative to back surgery for several reasons. They include the following:
They Limit Movement
Primarily to reduce the amount of pain associated with scoliosis, a back brace will limit the amount of movement you can make. This stabilizes the spine and reduces irritation that is transmitted to your brain as pain.
They Improve Posture
The design of a back brace is such that it performs two vital roles. First, the brace supports your frame and secondly, the brace will naturally guide your spine into the correct position.
They Prevent Deformity
While back braces will not ‘cure’ spinal issues such as scoliosis, they will provide a valuable service just the same. A correctly-fitting back brace will keep the condition from getting worse.
They Reduce Stress
The fact that a back brace will limit the amount of movement you can get with your back or spine, is a good thing. That prevents the possibility of overstressing and injuring them.
How Scoliosis Braces Help
A back brace, as noted above, is not a cure. However, when worn by a child with this condition, a back brace can reduce the progression of the curve in a developing child. According to HealthcareWeekly, the success rate for this type of treatment is high ranging from 50 to 85 percent.
In older patients – teenagers and adults – a scoliosis brace can have positive results. The brace can prevent any further curving of the spine in those patients who have already stopped growing. It does this by providing back and spine support.
Plus, there is evidence that suggests that a scoliosis brace can help reduce the amount of back pain experienced by a patient prior to back surgery. This is possible due in part by the reduction in mobility that a back brace is designed to do.
Scoliosis back braces employ a system of internal pads within the framing or strapping of the brace. The padding is used to push either side of the body at levels of the spine that are affected the most by a curvature. Adjustments are made as progress is monitored by a doctor.
Do Scoliosis Braces Actually Work?
You’ve heard that saying that good things often take time? This can also be said about scoliosis back braces. Many patients who use them for the first time may not see immediate results simply because a brace does not work in that manner. The same basic principle applies to dental braces. Teeth are gently pushed into correct alignment and this takes time.
A scoliosis back brace gently pushes the spine into correct alignment. Or at least it prevents the spine from continuing to move out of place further. In other words, if a patient’s spine does not move over the course of time when back brace treatment has been used, it means that the brace has done its job. The spine should not continue to curve with braces in place.
Left untreated, scoliosis can lead to back surgery and although that is the final step to treat the condition, ideally, the use of back braces will push the need for surgery further and further into the future. Ultimately, if you have scoliosis, your long-term goal is to slow the progress of the condition to a point where you do not need back surgery.
Will A Scoliosis Brace Work For Everyone?
The success of a back brace in treating scoliosis depends on the individual and how far along the spinal curvature is. However, research continues to uncover possibilities that did not exist in recent years.
A study conducted on a total of 36 females with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis showed that using a night brace is effective. More specifically, the study showed it had positive results on those individuals who had curves of the spines that measured less than 35 degrees.
Essentially, the effectiveness of a back brace on a typical scoliosis patient comes down to two main factors.
1 – The Time The Brace Is Worn
Wearing a back brace for longer hours improves the outcome considerably.
2 – The Type Of Scoliosis Being Treated
Back braces have greater success if worn to treat lumbar curves as opposed to thoracic curves.
As for the amount of rotational deformity from scoliosis is concerned, the success rate of using a back brace is increasingly reduced in proportion to the amount of spinal rotation. In other words, the more the rotational deformity, the less successful the back brace will be in treating the condition.
Depending on the severity of scoliosis, back braces may provide a great deal of relief. Although they are not a cure, a back brace will slow down the development of scoliosis to where a patient may not require back surgery. The success rate is high, provided braces are worn and adjusted frequently. Isn’t it great to hear something positive about back pain for a change?