Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to the sides. It mostly occurs in children when they are going through a growth spurt immediately prior to attaining puberty.(1) Some of the common symptoms of scoliosis are that the shoulders, hips, and waist are not level. Although Scoliosis has been shown to be caused by medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy; however, in majority of the cases the real cause of this condition remains unknown. Though most cases of scoliosis are mild, severe cases can be disabling. Children with mild scoliosis will require to wear a brace.
Does A Back Brace Help With Scoliosis?
Back brace or Orthotic treatment for scoliosis is used to prevent the progression of spinal curve and to maintain the appearance of the back.(2) The main intention of wearing a back brace is to prevent the curve from getting worse. Majority of the research done on back braces for scoliosis has paid more attention only on idiopathic scoliosis. The research generally has shown that back braces are quite beneficial for preventing the scoliotic curve from worsening. The more the child wears the brace, the more effective the back brace can be.
However, it must be noted that brace treatment are not effective for spinal curves greater than 45 degrees; and bracing does not correct a curve of the spine. Although there is clinical improvement seen in the nature of the curve after wearing the brace but when the child stops wearing the brace the curve recurs.
It should be noted that wearing a back brace does not always correct the problem or prevents it from worsening; however, significant improvement in the scoliotic curve is seen when a back brace is worn early in the disease. This is the time when the curve is not pronounced, the brace is adequately fitting and is diligently worn, and there is active support from family members of the child.
So, though wearing a back brace can prevent the progression of the spine curve in scoliosis but a child having severe curve of the spine may not be well suited for bracing and must go for other advanced means of treatments.
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