Bracing has come a long way in the treatment of scoliosis, evolving from medieval-style armorers crafting braces in the 1600s to the plethora of modern designs available today. As individuals seeking the most effective solution for scoliosis management, it is essential to understand the evolution of braces and the different types available. Dr. Strauss explores various scoliosis braces, their origins, and which scoliosis brace is best for different situations.
The Evolution of Braces
1. Medieval Beginnings: Milwaukee Brace
The earliest scoliosis braces date back to the 1600s, crafted by armorers who also created armor for knights. The Milwaukee Brace, designed in the mid-20th century, was originally intended for post-surgery use. However, its design, with a cervical piece under the jaw, proved uncomfortable for users, leading to jaw problems and overall discomfort.
2. Plastic Braces: Boston Brace
The evolution from leather and aluminum to plastic marked a significant advancement. The Boston Brace, one of the first plastic braces, is still used today. While some Boston Braces are custom-designed, many are off-the-shelf braces with limited customization options. The open-back design of these braces can make them awkward for users to put on and take off without assistance.
3. Nighttime Braces: Providence and Charleston Braces
Another category of braces, such as the Providence and Charleston Braces, is designed specifically for nighttime use. However, research suggests that their efficacy is limited, particularly for larger curves. These braces may be suitable for small curves but might not be the best solution for all scoliosis cases.
4. European Designs: Chino and Rigo Braces
European braces, including the Chino and Rigo Braces, introduced three-dimensional designs. These braces aim to address scoliosis from multiple angles, providing a more comprehensive approach to treatment. However, these braces are not without their limitations.
5. Overcorrective Three-Dimensional Braces: ScoliBrace
The ScoliBrace represents a more recent generation of braces. It is an overcorrective, three-dimensional, and lifting brace. This design strives to not only stabilize but also correct the spinal curvature. The ScoliBrace is among the innovative solutions in the ever-expanding landscape of scoliosis braces.
Evaluating the Options on Which Scoliosis Brace is Best
With the multitude of brace designs available, it can be challenging to determine which one is best for individual cases of scoliosis. Factors such as the severity of the curvature, lifestyle considerations, and the patient’s age all play crucial roles in this decision-making process.
1. Customization: Boston vs. Providence Braces
While Boston Braces can be customized, the off-the-shelf versions may lack the personalization needed for optimal comfort and efficacy. Providence Braces, designed for nighttime use, may be suitable for smaller curves but might not offer the customization required for more severe cases.
2. Effectiveness: European Designs vs. Nighttime Braces
European designs, like the Chino and Rigo Braces, present a three-dimensional approach to scoliosis. Nighttime braces, such as the Providence and Charleston Braces, may be effective for minor curvatures but may fall short for more severe cases. Evaluating the research on the efficacy of each design is crucial for making informed decisions.
3. Innovation: ScoliBrace
The ScoliBrace stands out as an innovative solution with its overcorrective, three-dimensional design. This brace not only stabilizes but also aims to correct the spinal curvature. While newer in the market, it brings a fresh perspective to scoliosis bracing.
In the journey of finding the most suitable scoliosis brace, understanding the evolution of brace designs is crucial. Each type has its strengths and limitations, and what might work for one individual may not be the best choice for another. Consultation with medical professionals is essential in determining the most effective brace for specific cases. As the field of scoliosis treatment continues to advance, individuals can look forward to more innovative and personalized solutions in the future.
Also read: Why is 10 Degrees Diagnosed as 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!