Everything You Need To Know About Your Scoliosis Brace

Scoliosis refers to the unusual and sometimes extreme curvature of the spinal cord. The curvature can make it very painful to walk or even stand. It weakens the back and can affect your strength.

Many things could cause scoliosis, including having one leg significantly shorter than the other, congenital issues, or even a car accident. Most of the time, the cause is unknown, which makes it virtually impossible to cure for most people whom scoliosis afflicts.

Do Scoliosis Braces Fix Scoliosis?

A back brace might help to relieve pain, strengthen the back, and make it possible to move around more freely. Unfortunately, scoliosis braces do not fix scoliosis.

Instead, a scoliosis brace either slows the development of scoliosis or stops it from progressing. Any existing spinal curvature likely will remain, but the scoliosis brace could help to stop it from getting worse.

The brace is made from a sturdy and very strong polymer that does not weigh much. A thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (TLSO) brace fits from the upper back to the wearer’s buttocks and is the most commonly used type of scoliosis brace.

Another type of scoliosis brace is the cervical thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (CTLSO) brace. It fits from the wearer’s neck to the hips to provide full spinal support as needed.

Four Scoliosis Brace Designs

Several types of scoliosis braces can help those afflicted with the spinal condition. None will cure scoliosis, but specific types might provide wearers with more beneficial and effective treatment.

Four types of scoliosis braces that often are used are the:

  • Boston brace, which is the most commonly used brace and fits like a coat. It covers the wearer’s body from the armpits to the hips and is custom-made to fit perfectly. The Boston brace is a TSLO variety that conceals more easily than other types and is worn all the time.
  • Milwaukee brace, which is a CTLSO brace and has a superstructure that is made from metal. The brace fits outside the wearer’s clothing, making it easily noticed. The Milwaukee brace does not see much use and is a full-time brace.
  • Wilmington brace, which is similar to the Boston brace but closes in the front instead of the back. It also is custom fit for the wearer’s body by using a plaster mold of the person’s torso to create a perfect fit. It is a type of TSLO brace intended for full-time use.
  • Charleston bending brace, which exerts pressure on the spine and only works while the wearer is lying down. It is a type of TLSO brace that bends the spine just past the midline of the back.

How Long Do You Wear a Brace for Scoliosis?

Someone might wear a scoliosis brace for 16 to 23 hours per day to get the best results. Ultimately, the amount of pain and a brace’s ability to reduce it while strengthening and supporting the back will help to determine how long an individual should wear it.