Scoliosis is defined as a form of spinal curvature, a condition that typically develops during childhood. It presents as an abnormal sideways arc in the lower spine. One symptom of this curvature is poor muscular definition, which is a cause for some concern, especially since we’re talking about adolescents. Thankfully, further curvature can be prevented by wearing a back brace. This bracing treatment allows complex muscle groups to form properly while delivering much-needed support to the spine. Let’s look at different back brace types, forms that target posture and balance.
The Boston Brace
This thoracic brace descends from the either under the arm or just under the breast bone. It continues downward until it stops above the buttocks. Made from rigid plastics, the scoliosis brace adds three-point support to the back, thus securely holding the curve in place. The Boston Brace is a Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO) device, a wearable that’s inconspicuous and easy to remove. Unfortunately, that feature isn’t present on The Milwaukee Brace.
The Milwaukee Brace
A CTLSO by design, the Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis back brace incorporates additional supporting elements. Again, it extends downward to the pelvis and up to the top of the breastbone while offering ample spinal support. The major difference, in this case, is the added neck ring. The neck segment cradles the chin and jawbone, plus there are vertical metal rods attached between both sections, parts that ensure the child’s head locks to his or her upper body. As one can imagine, this configuration could prove uncomfortable. An adjustment period is required, as is additional padding for the wearer’s head.
The Charleston Bending Brace
Designed as a less restrictive bracing option, this scoliosis back brace is a “part-timer.” In other words, it’s built for nighttime use. The wearer is forced to bend slightly sideways when the Charleston option is assigned. This angled lateral lean conforms to the body but does so by opposing the outward bulge of the curvature, thus indicating an effort to over-correct the condition during the 8 hours the patient is asleep. The Providence Brace uses a similar approach, meaning it pushes the child’s body to one side.
These are mainstream back braces, wearable devices that limit motion, but there are modified variants, models produced by qualified medical departments. Regardless of the design, they’re all created from moulds and 3D scans of the child’s body, so the plastic body jacket should always conform to an individual’s unique body shape, which is a feature that targets comfort and concealed wearability.
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