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Scoliosis

Scoliosis refers to a condition in which the spine curves sideways, when viewed from the front or from the back. It can occur as a single (“C” shaped) curve, a double (“S” shaped) curve or even a triple curve.

Categories of scoliosis

  1. Congenital Scoliosis: spinal curvature that occurs since birth
  2. Neuromuscular Scoliosis: spinal curvature that develops because of neuromuscular conditions such as spinal bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injuries
  3. Idiopathic Scoliosis: spinal curvature that occurs with unknown reasons. When this happens during or before a child’s puberty, it is called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis accounts for about 80% of all scoliosis cases.

Scoliosis can affect children and adults. In children it can be a more serious condition because it can rapidly progress as the child grows.

Signs of scoliosis

The first hint that a scoliosis may be developing is the appearance of abnormal posture. Please see below for common signs of scoliosis:

  • Head not centered to the body
  • Uneven shoulders (either one is in front of the other or one’s higher than the other)
  • Uneven shoulder blades: one is more prominent or higher
  • Uneven waist angle: the gap between arm to trunk is wider on one side
  • One hip is more prominent than the other or the hips are not leveled
  • The spine line is not straight

Scoliosis itself does not cause pain, but it may contribute to the development of pain in the back, neck, shoulder or lower limbs due to muscle imbalance and movement changes. People with scoliosis can generally participate in any exercises.

Treatment

The earlier scoliosis is diagnosed the better the treatment outcome. If left untreated, scoliosis can progress and sometimes may require surgery.

Scoliosis is a complicated condition. There is no single method that has proven to be effective in every case or suitable for every patient. We offer expert analysis and a range of scoliosis treatments best suited to the patient and their stage and type of scoliosis.

Appropriate exercises are needed to strengthen the muscles to stabilize the corrected curve for long term effect. If not, it is likely for the curve to increase in the future. Bracing are needed for curves that progress rapidly in order to slow down the worsening of curves, or to delay surgery. Surgeries on the other hand, are only used as the last resort to correct curves that do not respond to bracing, and have grown bigger than 50 degrees (Cobb’s angle).

SpineCor brace

It achieves its best results in adolescent curves measuring between 20 degrees and 40 degrees. In adults the SpineCor brace is effective in reducing chronic pain and postural problems. It is a dynamic non-rigid brace, meaning it is flexible.
This important leads to such benefits as:

  • promotes corrective growth while allowing normal activities and exercise
  • is barely visible under clothing, so helps with self-image
  • because it is comfortable, patients are more likely to comply with treatment
  • over the long-term offers a cost-effective solution
  • proven stability of treatment results after bracing discontinued, unlike many rigid bracing methods
  • clinical observation shows significant postural improvements
  • no side effects (e.g. muscular atrophy which can occur with rigid bracing).

The SpineCor brace was first developed at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Canada between 1992and 1993. It consists of a pelvic base which is stabilized by 2 thigh bands and 2 crotch bands, a bolero made of cotton and four corrective elastic bands. Corrective movements are reproduced by adjustment of the corrective bands. Till date SpineCor brace is the first and only dynamic / soft brace for idiopathic scoliosis.

SpineCor brace was found to be able to slow curve progression, reduce curve magnitude, and reduce incidence of or postpone surgery

Wearing regime

The brace is recommended to be worn 20 hours per day. “The 4-hours out of the brace period should be taken in two or more intervals during the least active part of the day. The brace must be worn while sleeping.

Length of treatment

This depend on the severity of the curve, age at start of treatment and its evolution, but it is always a minimum of 24 months for adolescent scoliosis. Juvenile cases require much longer treatment times.

Sport activity

Patients are encouraged to perform any type of land sport with the brace on (except for swimming) to optimize the dynamic effect of the brace.

Additional support

A shoe lift may be prescribed at the time of brace fitting to correct any pelvic obliquity. All shoe lifts should be sole and heel (not just heel). The shoe lift must be worn during all activities.

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