What is Scoliosis Bracing and How Effective is the Treatment?

Part of the problem with hard braces is that they treat scoliosis as though it’s a spinal issue when it’s actually it’s a neuro-musculoskeletal problem. It treats only the symptom (the curve) rather than addressing the underlying dysfunction. What’s worse, braces for scoliosis can actually inflict more harm then benefit, causing:

Weakened muscles. If scoliosis bracing works at all, it’s by forcing the spine into better alignment. But once the bracing stops, there’s nothing keeping the curves from worsening again. In the meantime, muscles and nerves in the back have atrophied, possibly sustaining permanent damage, leaving the spine even less capable of realigning itself than before. The resulting muscular weakness often causes further deterioration.

Lack of compliance. One of the reasons scoliosis bracing often proves ineffective is that the trauma of wearing one often prevents children from complying with their treatment, compromising its effectiveness. In some studies, kids with braces wore them only 10 percent of the time, while six in 10 said they felt handicapped by them.

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