What are my options, and does scoliosis bracing prevent spinal fusion surgery?
By Daniel S. Hersh, DC
Most families or persons facing treatment for their scoliosis, inevitably have to decide on the use of recommended or prescribed scoliosis braces.
Types of Scoliosis Braces
There are many different types of bracing, Copes Brace, Boston Brace & SpinCor Brace among others. There are a myriad of promises and intended results with their usage.
Our experience, and that of our patients, all of whom were confronted with this form of treatment, is that scoliosis bracing will not permanently stop the scoliosis from progressing. At best, bracing may slow down or temporarily stop the progressive increase of the Cobb angle (spinal curvature). However, what is less known is that as soon as the brace is removed, the scoliosis quickly and rapidly progresses beyond where it was before the brace was used. Therefore, we often hear the following: “My son or daughter wore the brace 23 hours per day for 24 months and the curve got worse either while wearing the brace, or shortly after the brace was discontinued.”
Why Scoliosis Bracing Does Not Work
Why is this the case? If you really think about why bracing is ineffective it will become clear. The spine is one continuous organ/unit of the body. Therefore any scoliosis treatment that does not incorporate the treatment of the entire spine will not be successful. Scoliosis does affect the entire spine. Therefore, the entire spine must be addressed. Abnormal lateral curves of the cervical spine (neck), lumbar spine (low back) and hip rotation, must be addressed and corrected for effective reduction of a scoliosis.
From A Patient About Spinal Bracing
I have been wearing a Boston brace for quite a few years, but this has been causing some serious back pain as of late, and an awkward feeling when I have to wear it in public. It has also given me a rib hump.
Spine Journal: September 2001
The Spine Journal of September 2001 has an article entitled ‘Effectiveness of Bracing Male Patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis’. It states: “Progression of 6 degrees occurred in 74% of boys and 46% reached surgical thresholds. Bracing of male patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis is ineffective.“
In another article the ‘Children’s Research Center in Dublin, Ireland’ states “Since 1991 bracing has not been recommended for children with AIS (Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis) at this center. It cannot be said to provide meaningful advantage to the patient or the community.”
It takes courage and being proactive on the part of parents and persons with scoliosis to look away from standard practices that have been used (however ineffectively) for years, and seek a safe and effective treatment for the successful correction of scoliosis.
Bracing isn’t your only option!
Schedule your free consultation today and learn about how the Scoliosis Correction Center’s ‘Breakthrough’ Intensive Treatment’ can help you Call (860) 786-1949