Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, has long been associated with adolescence and the awkward, growth-spurt-laden years. Traditionally, the idea of using a brace to correct scoliosis was reserved for the younger population, with little consideration for adults. However, times have changed, and so has our understanding of scoliosis treatment. Dr. Andrew Strauss analyzes if someone is too old for a scoliosis brace, braces’ validation in scientific literature, and the realistic expectations adults should have when considering this form of treatment.
A Shift in Perspective
Reflecting on the past, it’s remarkable how our views on various medical treatments have evolved. In the past, adults with braces on their teeth were a rare sight. Similarly, the idea of adults using scoliosis braces seemed far-fetched until relatively recently. The prevailing belief was that scoliosis braces were most effective during the growth years and had limited benefits for adults.
However, a significant turning point occurred in 2016 when the use of braces for adults with scoliosis was validated in scientific literature. This breakthrough opened the doors to a new era in scoliosis treatment, challenging the notion that adulthood meant the end of viable brace interventions.
Validation in Scientific Literature
Scientific validation is crucial in the medical field, providing a solid foundation for the adoption of new treatments. The acknowledgment of adult bracing for scoliosis in 2016 marked a paradigm shift, backed by evidence that supported its effectiveness. Nowadays, there is a scientific basis for applying braces to adults with scoliosis.
This validation is a game-changer, offering hope and a potential solution for adults who may have resigned themselves to living with the discomfort and potential progression of their scoliosis. The idea that bracing can be a viable option for pain control and stopping the progression of the condition is revolutionary.
The Realities of Adult Bracing
The importance of qualifying what is considered an “excellent result” for adults using scoliosis braces is big. It is essential to set realistic expectations to better understand the potential benefits of this form of treatment.
One of the primary benefits touted for adults using scoliosis braces is effective pain control. Scoliosis can be a source of chronic discomfort, impacting the quality of life for many individuals. Bracing has shown to be a powerful tool in managing this pain, providing relief that may have been elusive through other means.
Another significant achievement of adult bracing is its effectiveness in halting the progression of scoliosis. This is a crucial aspect, as a progressing curvature can lead to more severe health issues and complications. By applying braces, adults can potentially prevent their scoliosis from worsening, offering stability and peace of mind.
Cosmetic Improvement and Modest Correction
While the primary focus of scoliosis braces is pain control and progression prevention, there is also the potential for cosmetic improvement and modest correction. The braces may not magically straighten the spine, but they can contribute to a more balanced appearance, boosting the individual’s self-esteem and overall well-being.
Too Old for a Scoliosis Brace?
Adults are never too old for scoliosis bracing. However, a crucial caveat is the need to qualify expectations. What defines an excellent result for an adult using a scoliosis brace may differ from what one might expect for a child.
It’s essential for individuals considering this treatment to consult with healthcare professionals who specialize in scoliosis care. These specialists can provide a realistic assessment of what can be achieved through bracing, taking into account the unique circumstances of each patient.
In conclusion, the once-prevailing belief that adults were too old for scoliosis braces has been debunked. The validation of adult bracing in scientific literature in 2016 has opened new doors for those grappling with scoliosis beyond their adolescent years. The effectiveness of braces in providing pain control, halting progression, and offering cosmetic improvement is now well-documented.
However, it’s crucial for adults considering this form of treatment to approach it with realistic expectations. While the results can be excellent in terms of pain relief and stability, complete correction may not always be achievable. Consulting with specialists in scoliosis care is imperative to understand the potential benefits and limitations of bracing for each unique case.
In the evolving landscape of scoliosis treatment, adults need not resign themselves to a life of discomfort and uncertainty. The availability of braces as a viable option brings a renewed sense of hope and the prospect of a more comfortable and stable future, no matter one’s age.
Also read: Can Lack of Vitamin D Cause Scoliosis?
Dr. Strauss is the director of the Hudson Valley Scoliosis Correction Center in New York. He has been actively engaged in scoliosis treatment for the past 30 years and has authored two books on the subject, Your Child Has Scoliosis and The Truth About Adult Scoliosis.
He is Vice President of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute and a lecturer for their introductory and advanced workshops. He is certified in scoliosis bracing and in the use of scoliosis specific exercises. Dr. Strauss is a graduate of the ISICO World Masters of Scoliosis.His postgraduate studies also include a Masters Degree in Acupuncture as well as training in Grostic, Pettibon, CBP, Clinical Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Manipulation under Anesthesia, and Electrodiagnosis.
His scoliosis practice has treated patients from 25 states and 32 other foreign countries.If you have questions about childhood and adult scoliosis and how it can be successfully treated without surgery subscribe to our channel!