Grand Rapids Orthotics Specialists
For decades Grand Rapids orthotic specialists at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics have been providing orthotic braces to treat milder forms of scoliosis diagnosed in young people. Scoliosis is a condition that arises when there is something wrong with the curve in the spine. It could be that the spine curves in an “S” shape or a “C” shape in varying degrees. The most severe curves can be painful and even interfere with breathing properly.
Medical professionals will diagnose the severity of scoliosis and determine the best course of treatment. Generally there is no treatment prescribed for mild cases. Moderate scoliosis is usually treated with orthotic braces while the most severe cases may result in surgical procedures to fix the spine curvature.
Using braces for scoliosis is not intended to fix the irregular curve in the spine, but rather to prevent it from getting worse. It is most effective when the brace is worn as prescribed, which some teens may resist because they don’t want to stand out from their peers like Joan Cusack’s character in the 80s hit movie Sixteen Candles.
Your Grand Rapids orthotics specialist can tell you there are two different kinds of braces that are commonly prescribed for cases of scoliosis. The first is the cervical thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (CTLSO) like that worn by the Sixteen Candles character; it is a customized girdle and metal orthotic that extends from the pelvis to the neck and isn’t hidden by clothing. It is designed to correct curvatures in the upper spine. The other brace is a thoracic lumbar sacral orthosis (TLSO) and is a customized trunk and pelvic girdle designed to correct curves in the mid to lower back, because it is smaller it is more easily covered by clothing.
Braces work most effectively in preventing scoliosis from getting worse when worn by a youth. It is most beneficial when the curvature is not severe and the young person will wear it regularly as prescribed. A custom fit is essential to good results as well.
If the orthotic brace is not worn properly the scoliosis could get worse. Sometimes there is an improvement but when the person stops wearing braces it worsens. For this reason bracing is usually the treatment until the adolescent stops growing, which could be several years.
While some young people complain of skin irritation from wearing a brace for scoliosis, they can be fairly active while wearing a brace – even riding a bike or running. Typically medical advice is for children to remove the brace for more strenuous activity like horseback riding, skiing or gym class at school.
You can speak with an experienced Teter Grand Rapids orthotics specialist regarding the most effective, comfortable brace for the treatment of scoliosis. Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics also has over 20 other Michigan locations including Cadillac, Traverse City and Petoskey and has been serving Michigan for over 45 years.