How Long Does It Take for a Scoliosis Brace to Work?

If your doctor has recommended scoliosis bracing, you might be wondering, "how long do I have to wear my scoliosis brace?" Scoliosis bracing is an effective way to treat scoliosis in both children and adults. The amount of time the individual will need to wear the brace will depend on the goals that have been set forth by the doctor.

Children and Bracing

When we talk about bracing children, it is often referred to as bracing skeletally immature patients. Within that category, we can then further break it down into infantile, juvenile and adolescents.  

For infant and juvenile cases, bracing is often used until the curvature of the spine is reduced enough for the brace to be removed. In most cases, the brace will be used full time, and then there will be a period of weaning the child off of the brace. Weaning a child off of a brace must be done carefully, though, because the onset of a growth spurt could take the progress backward.

In adolescent cases, the amount of time spent in the brace will depend on how long it will take them to reach skeletal maturity. There are so many growth spurts during this time, it is imperative that the brace stays in place so that progress is not disrupted by the growth spurt. Most adolescents will need to wear their brace full-time. Full-time bracing is defined as 18 to 23 hours a day.

Adults and Bracing

There are usually two different treatment goals that can be applied to adult bracing. One goal is to reduce pain and the other is to reduce curvature.

When pain reduction is the goal in adult bracing, an individual will wear their brace part-time. This is usually about 4 to 6 hours a day.

For those who are hoping to reduce curvature in the spine, it will be recommended that they wear the brace full-time. Depending on how the spine responds to treatment, the brace could be worn from between 6 to 18 months. There will be a weaning period for an adult as well.

Individual Outcomes Vary

It is very difficult to give a definite amount of time for bracing. The bracing prescription will vary greatly from person to person. One spine might respond to treatment very quickly, while another person may not respond quickly and will need more time in the brace.

The key factor is that you follow your doctor’s orders carefully so that you will get the best possible results.