The answer: YES!
If you or your child has been told to wear a full-time, solid brace due to scoliosis, then it is wise to do your homework and read up on what types of braces are out there for you.
*I do not sell, make or distribute any braces, and I do not get any payment or bonuses for promoting one type over another.*
That being said, I do have a strong preference in a type of brace, since I have seen the best and most lasting results in my patients.
The ideal scoliosis brace should allow your body to ‘breathe’ by having openings cut out in the brace where your ribs need to expand. Scoliosis is a 3-dimesional curvature so simply tightening a brace with straps is not the answer, as that will only SQUEEZE you in 2-dimensionally and not fully correct the curvature.
Schroth therapy can complement any scoliosis brace but not every brace can complement Schroth therapy.
Braces have evolved over the years and here is a snapshot of their history:
1) Milwaukee Brace: original scoliosis brace invented in 1946
Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral Orthosis (CTLSO)
- Pros: good for high scoliosis curves in cervical and thoracic spine
- Cons: metal, not 3-dimesional and old-fashioned
2) Providence or Charleston Nighttime Brace: developed in the 1990’s
- Pros: It is used for nighttime and part-time only
- Cons: It doesn’t allow for walking due to it being low over the hips; only good for balanced and single curves
3) Boston Brace: Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO); developed in 1972
- Pros: Most common choice by doctors due to familiarity and gets good results. Extensive research
- Cons: Heavy, doesn’t correct curve in 3 dimensional pattern and often semi- custom or pre-fabricated. Even when these braces are individually designed, they are little more than modified “barrel” braces. Can give too much abdominal pressure
4) WCR Brace (Wood-Cheneau-Rigo) : modern brace developed by Dr. Rigo, Grant Wood and Chêneau to de-rotate the spine and used in conjunction with the Schroth Method
- Pros:custom made and computer-generated to fit you exactly to your curve type. Thin and allows for expansion in the rib cage where needed and lightweight ; comes in lots of patterns and colors
- Cons: big and can be difficult to wear under clothes
Still not convinced? Check out these x-ray results:
(Photo from Align Clinic website)
Here is their website if you would like more information, case studies, results or questions answered. The Align Clinic. They are located in Green Bay, WI, San Mateo, CA, Houston, TX and I host a clinic as needed here in Tallahassee.
Regardless of which brace you choose, none of them will work if you don’t wear them! So please wear your brace 18-20 hours a day as recommended to get the best results. It’s very similar to wearing orthodontic braces in your mouth or a retainer: if you don’t wear it – it won’t work!
See you at the next bracing clinic!
Our next Scoliosis Bracing clinic will be
WCR Evaluation and Fitting clinic
Suite 114, 1809 Miccosukee Commons Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32308, USA
Presented by Walter Ramos, LO of Align Clinic
Hosted by Joy Smith, Schroth PT at Joy of Therapy Physical Therapy Clinic
This special Cheneau Rigo Brace evaluation is a complimentary opportunity for all patients and families who may have questions or concerns regarding the fit, function, or design of their brace. This clinic is also open to BSPTS, Schroth PTs, MDs, and any new patients that may want to learn more about the Cheneau Rigo brace.
To schedule your complimentary evaluation, please call Lynn at 920-940-5277.
We urge you to take advantage of this unique opportunity and we look forward to seeing you soon! Appointments are limited and filling up fast; therefore it will be booked as “first come, first served.”