Scoliosis is a condition that affects the spine, causing it to curve or twist. The most common symptoms of scoliosis are back pain, tightness, neck pain, stiffness or weakness in the arms or legs. If left untreated, scoliosis can lead to an uneven chest wall and rib cage, making breathing difficult. One of the most effective ways to prevent further curvature in the spine is using scoliosis braces to maintain proper spinal alignment.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves to the side. It’s usually caused by a lack of muscle tone in the back and can be genetic or caused by other factors such as an accident.
You’ll want to take steps to protect your spine from further damage if you have scoliosis.
Causes of scoliosis
Scoliosis can be congenital, meaning you’re born with it, or it can develop in skeletal or muscular imbalances later in life. Some experts believe that scoliosis can be linked to emotional trauma or stress.
There are several different types of scoliosis:
- Idiopathic – This type is thought to be genetic and inherited from birth. There are no other known causes for this type of scoliosis.
- Infantile – Infantile scoliosis occurs in children before they reach puberty.
- Adolescent – Adolescent scoliosis has its onset during adolescence but does not appear until after puberty has ended.
- Adult – Adult-onset (or late-onset) adolescent scoliosis occurs when adult bone tissue grows excessively and results in curvature at the spine.
When is a brace needed?
Brace for scoliosis is a good option for mild to moderate cases of scoliosis. It is not recommended for severe cases of scoliosis or if you have had a brace before and your spine has continued to curve. The brace must be worn all the time, or as much as possible, to help prevent further progression of the curve. Because children are still growing at this age, they are recommended not to wear braces until after puberty (12 years old).
Many types of braces are available today, of which the plastic ones seem to be the most convenient.
Benefits of early treatment and brace use
Bracing is most effective in early adolescence but can be beneficial at any age.
- Bracing can help prevent curve progression and improve spinal alignment.
- Bracing can help reduce pain and improve quality of life.
- Bracing may prevent nerve damage and other complications from scoliosis.
Making it work for you
Scoliosis braces are designed to stop the curvature from getting worse. You may have heard that a brace helps a person grow into an adult with scoliosis and then wear it as a back brace for life. That’s not true!
Your doctor may recommend wearing your brace until you reach skeletal maturity, usually around 18-22 years old in girls and 20-25 years old in boys. But it’s crucial for healthy bones, muscles and joints; even those not directly involved in supporting the spine during sports like swimming or running on hard ground can help strengthen muscles around the low back area (which are connected).
It is important to remember that a brace for scoliosis is not the solution to the problem but simply a tool in your arsenal against the condition. You will still need to follow your doctor’s advice and carry out daily exercises and stretches regularly, even if they are boring.