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Decisions on bracing


The decision about which brace to wear depends on the type & location of curve.


Following bracing, and once braces are discarded, there is a certain amount of regression to the original curve measurement. The longer the brace is worn, the less the regression.  Think of the spine as a sapling. If you bend it, it springs back when you let go. But if it grows for a few years while held in a certain shape, then that shape becomes a final shape.    Braces hold a shape, but growth fixes that shape into permanence.


Here is a link to a 2014 research paper on the effects of bracing and physical therapy on curves in excess of 45 degrees as an alternative to surgery. It shows over 50% of the braced kids saw improvements in their curvature.

For a full copy of the research you can ask your surgeon for a copy.



Below are a couple of bracing types that are used within our network of parents:

Opens at front, 3 dimensional correction

The Rigo Cheneau Bracing System was created by Dr. Manuel Rigo, MD, by modifying the original Cheneau brace that was created by Dr. Cheneau in 1979.

The Cheneau Rigo brace is a thermoplastic scoliosis brace modeled on a hyper-corrected positive plaster cast of the patient. This is a 3-dimensional correctional brace which has significant pressure and expansion areas built into the brace, which provides correction in all three anatomical planes. 

Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO) / "The Boston Brace"

Opens at back

The most common form of a TLSO brace is called the "Boston brace," and it may be referred to as an "underarm" brace. This brace is fitted to the child's body and custom molded from plastic. It works by applying three-point pressure to the curvature to prevent its progression.  It can be worn under clothing and is typically not noticeable. The TLSO brace is usually worn 23 hours a day, and it can be taken off to swim, play sports, or participate in gym class during the day.


This type of brace is usually prescribed for curves in the lumbar or thoraco-lumbar part of the spine.

Soft bracing option

SpineCor® was developed in the early 1990s after rigorous research and clinical trials by a team of 65 researchers based at Ste Justine Hospital in Montreal, Canada.

SpineCor® treatment is different to conventional non-surgical treatments which are all essentially rigid or semi-rigid braces.  SpineCor® recognizes and attempts to control not only the progression of the spinal deformity, but works to rebalance and strengthen the abnormal musculature, improve posture and to reinforce and integrate neurological feedback.


Performed in Orthotics Wellington

Please click the image on the right for a PDF containing further information.


Scoliosis is a 3 Dimensional condition, so effective treatments need to be 3 dimensional too.


BraceScan combines 3D full-body laser scanning technology, x-rays and posture photographs.  Each brace is custom designed for the individual with Computer Aided design (CAD) and then created with Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM).


Charleston Bending Brace

Single curves are the easiest curves to treat with side bending.

This type of brace is also called a "nighttime" brace because it is only worn whilst sleeping. A Charleston back brace is molded to the patient while they are bent to the side, and thus applies more pressure and bends the child against the curve. This pressure improves the corrective action of the brace. 


Many studies have shown that the Charleston Night time brace is as effective as the above-described 23-hour-a-day brace wear.

Curves must be in the 20 to 40 degree range and the apex of the curve needs to be below the level of the shoulder blade for the Charleston brace to be effective.


Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (known as a Milwaukee brace)

The Milwaukee brace is similar to the TLSO described above, but also includes a neck ring held in place by vertical bars attached to the body of the brace.


It is usually worn 23 hours a day, and can be taken off to swim, play sports or participate in gym class during the day.


This type of brace is often prescribed for curves in the thoracic spine.


Unloader brace designed to relieve pain

The Peak Scoliosis Bracing System™ is an unloader brace designed to relieve pain, thus enhancing the quality of life for adult scoliosis patients. This patented, highly adjustable brace from Aspen has been shown to improve posture, enhance mobility and ultimately increase a patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living. The brace offers multiple configuration options to accommodate unique patient needs. 

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Whenever you see this image next to an item, it means that one or more of our community have had positive results using the technique.  In addition, we have people within our community who are able to discuss the method in detail should you require.

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