SpineCor was initially developed more than 20 years ago by team lead by 2 orthopedic surgeons at St. Justine’s Hospital in Montreal Canada after they were given a $12 million dollar grant to do research to find a better ways to treat scoliosis by the government of Quebec. What they developed was a revolutionary way of treating scoliosis with movement instead of holding the spine in a static position with a hard brace. Since then the SpineCor brace has proven to be effective in reducing scoliosis curves and is one of the most researched types of scoliosis braces in the world.
This team of doctors were unhappy with the state of traditional scoliosis treatment that used hard bracing to treat curves that progress into the moderate range. The problem with hard bracing (also known as static bracing) is that it immobilizes the spine, much like a body cast. This tends to cause muscle atrophy, weaken bone and increased stiffness in the surrounding musculature. So while a patient’s spine was being propped up and the curves appear to be reduced while being held in the static brace once it was removed then the spine would frequently return back to it’s original curvature or in many cases get even worse after removing the brace. This is because the hard brace was doing the work to hold up the spine so the imbalances and weakness in the spine were increased while it was immobilized.
They felt that there had to be a better way.
A Dynamic Approach To Scoliosis Treatment Was Needed
What the doctors discovered in their research was dynamic forces placed on the spine had a much better corrective effect on vertebra than static forces like a hard brace. In sharp contrast to the problems of weakness caused by a hard brace they found that correctly directed dynamic forces allowed for strengthening of the specifically weakened muscles of the spine, which could help restore a better balance to the spine and reduce scoliosis curvatures.
From this understanding they developed a revolutionary dynamic tension orthosis called SpineCor. Dynamic means that it moves with the body as opposed to restricting movement. In fact, SpineCor is so flexible you can even dance in it!
Watch the video below to see the incredible flexibility of the SpineCor brace.
Because SpineCor is flexible it moves with the body but it helps re-direct the body’s movement patterns using dynamic forces that over time gradually create corrective muscle memory in the torso and spine that result in a better and long lasting correction to the spine. This was a huge advance in scoliosis treatment compared hard bracing which only offered to stop the progression at best.
The SpineCor brace was the first and only truly dynamic scoliosis brace and it was a complete departure from other static (or hard) scoliosis braces, which are designed to immobilize the spine in an attempt to keep the curvatures from progressing further. In fact, SpineCor should probably not even be called a scoliosis brace, because it is really more of an “un”-brace. In reality it is an entirely innovative scoliosis treatment system.
Comparing Static vs Dynamic Scoliosis Braces
Unlike these other braces the SpineCor brace was designed to move with the body, assisting it to move into the direction of correction while it is worn to allow the body to establish new patterns of movement that can reduce scoliosis curvatures. It is the only scoliosis brace that has been clinically proven to be able to reduce scoliosis curvatures and maintain the correction permanently.
In contrast hard braces are only designed to stop further progression, not correct your curves.
From the patient’s perspective, the SpineCor brace is much easier to wear than a hard brace. It can be easily hidden underneath the clothes so no one even knows you are wearing it. In fact, many patients say that it is so easy to wear that eventually after they get used to wearing it they often forget that they have it on. A hard brace is next to impossible to hide, which can have a tremendous negative impact on the self esteem of adolescents in their formative years of identity development.
The SpineCor brace was originally designed for use with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and is to be worn for up to 20 hours per day with two 2 hour breaks during the day. It is also to be worn at night as well. It is advisable to wear it during sports and other physical activities, when possible as it is the movement of the body that allows the brace to help the body adapt new movement patterns, so more movement in the brace means more therapeutic benefit.
Adult Scoliosis Treatment With SpineCor
After the initial success of treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the SpineCor brace was later used for adult use with the help of the doctors of Scoliosis Systems, some of the most experiences SpineCor providers in the US. They specialize in the conservative treatment of scoliosis and treat hundreds of patients with scoliosis each year (about 50% adults) in their 18 offices around the country.
While many adults will generally wear the SpineCor brace only during their waking hours, like adolescents they will need to wear the brace continuously for 18 months to 2 years to allow for the new movement patterns of the body to be fully integrated into the nervous systems. After that, once the spine appears to have stabilized after the maximum sustainable correction has been achieved then the doctor will usually begin to wean the patient out of the brace. During this time the patient will wear the brace part time. The doctor will then check to insure that the spine remains stable. If so the patient can discontinue the use of the brace at that time.
Unique Set-Up for Each Individual’s Particular Curvature Pattern
The SpineCor brace is not an “off-the-shelf” type of brace that can be dispensed by anyone. Rather each brace is custom fitted to match the particular patient and their specific scoliosis pattern. This means that the experience of the provider is a critical factor in the success of the brace so you want to be sure go to a provider who has a great deal of experience in fitting the brace and managing the case from start to finish.
Unfortunately, many providers, physicians and orthotists alike only fit on average 3-4 SpineCor braces each year. Additionally, many orthotist do not follow your case. In most cases they leave it up to the orthopedist to do so. The problem with that is most orthopedist are not trained in managing a SpineCor brace and don’t know how it needs to be periodically adjusted as the scoliosis improves or evaluate the elasticity of the bands to see if they have been diminished and when they need to be replaced.
Our doctors specialize in treating scoliosis with the SpineCor brace they will see each patient fitted for SpineCor on regular follow up schedule once every three months to insure the patient is improving as expected and to adjust the bands of the brace as needed.
Why The Resistance By Some Medical Providers to SpineCor?
It is the fact that the SpineCor brace is such a departure from the “Standard of Care” of hard bracing that it continues to meet resistance from some in the conventional medical community. It is their lack of fundamental understanding about how the SpineCor brace works that causes them to question how a brace made of elastic bands can actually help correct scoliosis. The Orthopedic paradigm for treating scoliosis is to use metal hardware to stabilize the spine, so from their prospective nothing short of that type of hardware fixation will work. That’s why hard bracing is still so appealing to them. It relies on the same sort of stabilization technique but instead of the hardware being internal, it’s external in the form of a hard plastic shell.
SpineCor, on the other hand, is more of a rehabilitation model. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be called a brace at all, since it really doesn’t act like a brace. It doesn’t immobilize the body like a hard brace, instead it moves with the body. It doesn’t cause the body to become dependent on it for support like a static brace, instead it actually helps the body strengthen the weakened muscles in the torso so the body can better support itself. It actually helps correct curves, unlike a hard brace which is only designed to stop scoliosis progression.
The SpineCor brace is not some fly-by-night invention created by some guy is his garage. The SpineCor brace was developed at a research hospital by two prominent Orthopedic surgeons in Canada and it has an been extensively studied over the past 20 years. In fact, at the Research Center affiliated with St. Justine Children’s Hospital in Montreal Canada alone, as of 2012 over 1000 patients have been part of the long term studies of the effectiveness of the dynamic SpineCor scoliosis brace.
Research Studies for SpineCor Treatment With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
One study was done that examined the outcome of SpineCor treatment compared to the natural progression of scoliosis. Watch the video below to find out what the research showed.
Some other compelling studies on the effectiveness of SpineCor was published in June 2007 in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. This study examined the effectiveness of the SpineCor brace in treating scoliosis and found that it was effective in over 75% of cases.
Another study compared the results of this study and other studies done on other scoliosis braces using the new Scoliosis Research Society’s criteria and it found the SpineCor brace was 4 times more effective when compared to the TSLO and Boston brace.
Click Here for more information on the research behind SpineCor.
Research Studies on SpineCor Treatment for Adult Scoliosis
While there are currently no published long term randomized clinical trials on the effectiveness of the SpineCor brace in adult scoliosis there are many clinical outcome studies done by practitioners in the field that show SpineCor is equally effective for the treatment of scoliosis in adults.
One of the first of these clinical outcome studies was done by Dr. Marc Lamantia and Gary Deutchman of Scoliosis Systems published in Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders in 2004. The results of this study demonstrated that Spinecor bracing for adult scoliosis showed a reduction in scoliosis curvatures in all types of scoliosis regardless of the location or age of the curve.
While the treatment goals are often different for adults patients with scoliosis (ie: pain reduction, improvement in quality of life and function of the body vs reduction of the scoliosis curvature to avoid the need for surgery) adult patients often do have some reduction of their curvatures as well.
Click Here to read more about studies done on the effectiveness of the SpineCor brace for adult scoliosis.
What Patients have say about their experience with SpineCor
Click Here to listen to what other patients have to say about their experience with SpineCor.
The dynamic SpineCor brace is an effective tool for scoliosis treatment for both adolescents and adults. It can help stop or reduce scoliosis curve progression to avoid the need for surgery. It has also been shown to be effective for pain relief, improving the quality of living and restoration of function in adults. The effectiveness of this advanced rehabilitative device has been demonstrated extensively in the research literature and has been found to be further enhanced when used in conjunction with scoliosis specific exercises like the Schroth Method as part of a comprehensive scoliosis treatment program.