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Scoliosis Bracing

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Scoliosis bracing is a pivotal non-surgical intervention for managing scoliosis clinical features, particularly in growing children and teenagers. This method involves the use of a custom-fitted spine brace for scoliosis, meticulously designed to match the unique body structure of each patient. Through careful adjustments, the brace applies the necessary pressure to either correct or prevent further spinal curvature.

 

While it does not offer a cure for scoliosis, the primary goal of bracing is to control the curvature's progression during critical growth phases, especially when the Cobb angle measures between 25 and 45 degrees.

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QLD Scoliosis Clinic is proud to partner with Align Clinic in providing world-leading WCR braces in Queensland 

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Goals of Bracing

Prevent curve progression

The primary goal of scoliosis treatment, particularly through bracing for scoliosis, is to stop the curvature of the spine from worsening. This is crucial during adolescence when the body undergoes rapid growth, which can exacerbate the condition.

 

By effectively using a spine brace for scoliosis, it's possible to prevent further curvature and avoid complications that may arise if the condition is left untreated. This approach is pivotal in managing scoliosis and ensuring that the spine remains as straight as possible.

Avoid surgery

One of the key benefits of scoliosis bracing is the potential to avoid or significantly delay the need for spinal surgery. This intervention becomes a consideration primarily when the spinal curves approach or exceed 50 degrees.

 

By initiating scoliosis when to brace at the appropriate time, it's possible to maintain the curvature at a manageable level. Effective bracing not only helps in controlling the curve but also serves as a non-invasive alternative to surgery.

Improve quality of life

Utilizing a spine brace for scoliosis can have a profound impact on improving the quality of life for individuals dealing with this condition. Not only does it help in alleviating discomfort associated with the curvature of the spine, but it also plays a significant role in enhancing posture and boosting self-confidence.

 

These improvements contribute to an overall better quality of life, making scoliosis bracing an essential component of scoliosis management. By addressing physical symptoms and supporting emotional well-being, bracing paves the way for individuals to lead more comfortable and confident lives.

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Understanding the Clinical Features and When to Brace

The decision to use a scoliosis brace stems from a detailed assessment of scoliosis clinical features. These features include the degree of spinal curvature and the patient's growth potential. It is crucial to identify the right timing for scoliosis when to brace, as the effectiveness of bracing significantly depends on the skeletal maturity of the patient. Typically, bracing is considered for individuals with moderate scoliosis, aiming to prevent the curvature from worsening to a point where scoliosis operation or scoliosis surgeries become necessary.

Evidence Supporting the Efficacy of Bracing for Scoliosis

The support for bracing for scoliosis as an effective treatment option is robust, underscored by numerous studies, including a landmark 2013 research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study, known as the Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST), demonstrated that bracing significantly reduced the advancement of high-risk curves to surgical intervention levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis cases.

 

A notable finding was the correlation between the hours a brace was worn daily and the treatment's success rate, indicating a 72% success rate for brace users compared to a 48% success rate for those under observation.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1307337 

a scoliosis specalist analysing an X-ray of a clinet with scoliosis

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Comparing Scoliosis Treatment Options: Bracing vs. Surgery

When evaluating scoliosis treatment options, it's essential to compare non-surgical methods like bracing with surgical interventions. While bracing for scoliosis aims to manage and control the progression of spinal curvature, scoliosis surgeries are typically reserved for severe cases where the curvature significantly impacts the patient's quality of life or poses health risks. The choice between a back brace for scoliosis and surgery depends on multiple factors, including the severity of the curvature, patient age, and potential for growth.

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Not sure if your child requires a brace? We encourage scheduling an initial assessment with us. During this comprehensive evaluation, one of our scoliosis therapists will conduct a thorough physical examination, review X-rays, assess skeletal growth potential, evaluate the risk of progression, and provide in-depth education on bracing. Should a brace be deemed necessary, or if alternative treatment avenues are warranted, we'll guide you through the options with care and expertise.

FAQ

What is a WCR brace?

The WCR brace stands out due to its unique fabrication process, which involves using a thermoplastic material molded on a hyper-corrected positive plaster cast of the patient. This method ensures a 3-dimensional correctional approach, addressing the scoliosis clinical features with precision. The brace is meticulously designed based on X-rays and clinical photos to tailor the treatment to the specific curve type and needs of the individual, showcasing the customization at the heart of bracing for scoliosis.

Is the WCR brace uncomfortable?

Contrary to what one might expect, the WCR brace is designed for comfort. After an initial 7-day adjustment period, patients often find the brace more comfortable than not wearing it at all. This comfort level is attributed to strategically placed pressure points that align the body correctly, thereby reducing discomfort and making it a preferred option in scoliosis bracing.

Is the WCR brace heavy?

Thanks to its construction from polypropylene, a light and durable thermoplastic, the WCR brace is neither heavy nor cumbersome. This feature addresses a common concern regarding the wearability of spine braces for scoliosis, ensuring patients can maintain their daily activities with minimal disruption.

Can you notice the brace under the patient's clothing?

Visibility under clothing varies with the fit of the garments and the specific requirements of the brace design based on the curve type. Generally, the WCR brace is discreet, especially from the front view, although it may be more noticeable from the back depending on the brace's expansion areas.

Why does the WCR function well with Schroth Therapy?

Integrating the WCR brace with Schroth Therapy leverages the brace's large expansion chambers and windows, allowing for dynamic correction of scoliotic deformities. This synergy enhances the patient's ability to optimize breathing and movements, furthering the effectiveness of the treatment and underscoring the importance of a holistic approach in scoliosis when to brace.

How long will the WCR brace last prior to needing a new brace?

Typically, a WCR brace lasts between 12 to 16 months, depending on the patient's growth. The need for a new brace is primarily influenced by increases in height, followed by changes in weight, highlighting the dynamic nature of scoliosis treatment.

Does the WCR brace correct scoliosis?

Evidence supports the efficacy of braces like the WCR in improving and stabilizing scoliosis deformities, paralleling the success of the Rigo and Cheneau braces. These findings underscore the WCR brace's role in non-surgical scoliosis treatment, offering hope and improved quality of life to those affected.

You can view some of the studies here the Align clinic website:
https://align-clinic.com/services/the-wcr-brace/case-presentations/ 

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