Breaking Down the Braces Used to Correct Scoliosis

Scoliosis is easily recognized in children and developing young adults. Caught early enough, modern correction systems offer enough relief to all but erase the condition, leaving behind a well-formed spinal curve. But aside from early identification, the right course of corrective action is crucial.

Ideal Spine urges chiropractors to not only understand bracing for scoliosis, but to get familiar with the three main types of braces. Understanding their application, pros and cons, and modality for correcting scoliosis helps inform a higher level of patient care.

Take a look at the three chief types of scoliosis brace: The Boston Brace, the Charleston Bending Brace, and the Milwaukee Brace.

Boston Brace

The Boston Brace is a form of Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO) brace, meaning it has total contact with the torso. The brace is made from a cast of the patient’s trunk to ensure conformity and adjusted over time to restore proper curvature to the spine. It’s designed to hold a 20° to 45° advancing curve. Key correction points are molded into the brace for easy adjustment and braces don’t need to be re-cast as corrections take hold.

This brace lacks the metal support structure of the Milwaukee Brace, which means it can be worn under clothing without drawing much attention. This brace should be worn 16-23 hours per day. This brace is not suited for high thoracic or cervical deformations.

Milwaukee Brace

Now relatively antiquated thanks to advancements in materials and the lower-profile design of the Boston Brace, the Milwaukee Brace is nonetheless an important tool in correcting severe adolescent scoliosis. A Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (CTLSO) brace, it’s another type of full-contact brace that must be worn up to 23 hours per day.

The Milwaukee Brace is recognized for its metal neck ring for added stabilization of the cervical spine. It’s designed to hold a 25° to 45° advancing curve. And though some custom braces are used to correct scoliosis, the Milwaukee brace is more of a preventive approach to stopping ongoing misalignment. Its heavy-duty nature makes it more applicable in severe cases still developing.

Charleston Bending Brace

Also known as the “nighttime brace,” the Charleston Bending Brace is minimally invasive and only needs to be worn at night. It’s asymmetrical design naturally forces a developing spine back into alignment by offsetting the compensation caused by scoliosis. Due to its lightweight nature, it’s generally only prescribed to correct a 25° to 35° advancing curve.

The Charleston Bending Brace is primarily effective in children who haven’t reached peak developmental maturity yet—usually 12-14 years old.

Stopping scoliosis with the right brace

These three braces serve as the foundational tools for correcting scoliosis in varying degrees of severity. Other braces do exist – the Chêneau-Gensingen Brace, Silicon Valley Brace, and the SpineCor brace, for example – but they simply haven’t had the same degree of proven success as the three mentioned above.

Ideal Spine recommends thoroughly assessing the severity of a patient’s scoliosis, looking at their age and medical history, and mapping a correctional Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach before outfitting a patient with a brace. To learn more about scoliosis bracing or for more information about the CBP approach, contact us today.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See for providers in your area.

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