Braces Ortho

Back Braces

Doctors can prescribe back braces to treat certain medical conditions for their patients once they reach adolescence and onwards. If a child is diagnosed as being at risk of spinal curvature or if their spine has curved too much, back braces will be recommended by the child's doctor. It is extremely important to deal with excessive spinal curvature at an early stage, as the problem is easier to prevent than to cure. Another advantage is that a child or adolescent is still growing so the bones and muscles are more malleable than those of an adult.

Types of back braces

You may have come across various back braces that are used to treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS); the most common of these is called the Boston brace. There are other back brace designs that you might encounter too, such as the Charleston brace and the Milwaukee brace. A soft brace that is commonly found in the United States is the SpineCor brace. In Europe, you will also find SPoRT and Chenau braces. The design of these braces has taken into account the information from well-respected medical journals as well as considered the study of AIS and the use of back braces to assist with its treatment.

Pros and cons of back braces

There is no doubt that back braces can considerably help the wearer, in particular if the wearer is suffering from AIS. The most important point with any back brace is that it must be medically approved for the wearer, as an incorrectly selected brace can cause the following issues:

Braces such as the Boston brace transfer a lot of the pressure from the back to the abdomen and this can make digestion more uncomfortable. Back braces are often prescribed after serious bone fractures have occurred and also for post scoliosis operation support. When wearing a back brace, a patient will find it hard to tie their own shoelaces or sit on the floor, and may therefore need assistance.

The Boston brace

Of all the types of back braces available, the Boston brace is the most common in the United States. Essentially, it is a symmetrical brace that is designed to correct problems with the curvature of the spine. The way that it works is to use a series of pads that press against the ribs to pressurize the spine towards its correct position. The Boston brace can also be used to correct rotational problems too. The back brace’s action effectively is to thrust the body forward towards the front of the brace and therefore keep the spine as upright as possible. 

The Milwaukee brace

The Milwaukee brace was the most popular brace design in the first half of the 20th century in the United States. Today, there are patients who prefer this design of back brace to other back braces. The brace is symmetrical and stretches from the hips to the neck as well as consists of a series of metal strips that are padded to protect the wearer’s body. Basically, this brace is recommended for use in the treatment of high thoracic curves.

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