Scoliosis treatments: Braces, Exercises, Surgery

The spine is aligned in a particular manner in all individuals. It is designed to keep the body upright and to absorb any shock during different movements. Unfortunately, in some people, the spine is curved abnormally to the side. This is called Scoliosis. Here, we take a look at certain aspects of this condition in a bit more detail.

Scoliosis symptoms

In general, Scoliosis does not cause any symptoms in individuals who were born with the defect. In particular, patients rarely suffer from scoliosis pain. Pain only occurs in patients who have developed it from trauma to the spine such as osteoporosis related spinal fractures.

On examination of the spine, there is a clear and evident sideward curve of the spine. It may be mild and barely noticeable though it may get worse over time. The hip on one side is higher than the other, and patients may find it difficult to perform certain twisting and bending movements. These however rarely cause symptoms.

Scoliosis treatments

The treatment of scoliosis depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases can be easily treated with physical therapy and regular exercise. Patients may have additional abnormalities in there skeletal frame that may require repair such as a short leg. A majority of the cases of mild scoliosis are monitored with regular clinical examinations and serial x-rays.

If the spinal curve is moderate to severe, patients may require additional treatment measures. The use of posture braces is well recognized and highly regarded as an effective treatment, especially in the growing years. Regular exercises will be prescribed by physical therapists. If required, a surgical option may be pursued.

1. Using braces for Scoliosis

A scoliosis brace is a posture brace that gently realigns the spine by holding the body in a specific position. There are different types of scoliosis braces depending on where the support if provided. For example, the Milwaukee brace supports the entire spine, all the way from the neck to the lower back. A commonly used spinal brace is thoraco-lumbo-sacral orthosis (TLSO), also called the Boston Brace. These braces can be worn during different activities as well.

2. Scoliosis exercises

Exercises for scoliosis are often prescribed to patients by physical therapists. Exercises include various stretches that can tone up the muscles around the spine and stabilize the spinal column.

3. Scoliosis surgery

Surgery for scoliosis is offered in cases where patients have a great deal of difficulty managing day to day activities despite medical and conservative management. Treatment includes spinal fusion surgery, where the vertebral bones are shaped and fused to each other to keep the spinal column upright.

Scoliosis and pregnancy

There is a concern that women who suffer from scoliosis cannot bear children. This is far from the truth. Women can still have normal deliveries, though some may find it a bit harder to push the baby out and may instead need a cesarean section. Some women who wish to get pregnant may undergo spinal surgery to correct the scoliosis before attempting to conceive. The small issue with non-corrected scoliosis and pregnancy is the administration of an epidural anaesthetic. Nonetheless, women can still have children.

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