How To Free Yourself From Scoliosis Related Back Pain, Without Medication or Surgery
January 17, 2018
Is the back pain related to your scoliosis stopping you from enjoying the simple things in life more than you'd like?
Do little things in life, like bending over to pick something up off the floor, sometimes cause your back to spasm?
When was the last time you did any type of physical activity without pain?
Scoliosis related back pain can become a really big obstacle to your active lifestyle when the pain prevents you from exercising or doing chores around the house or even sitting through a whole movie. There are millions of adults over the age of 40 who suffer from their scoliosis.
If you've ignored your scoliosis over the years, then chances are the curves have progressively worsened over time due to gravity. As you've aged, gravity has caused a collapse of your curves to the point that it now puts pressure on your nerves creating pain. If this collapse of your spine isn't treated, it's likely that it will continue to progress in a downward spiral and you could develop more serious back problems that limit your life more and more every day.
Conventional medical options are limited when it comes to treating adults with back pain caused by their scoliosis. Pain medications aren't a good long-term solution because long term use can cause addictive. At best they only mask the symptoms temporarily but don't do anything to resolve the underlying cause of the problem.
Scoliosis surgery for adults is usually only considered in 1 -2% of all cases of adults scoliosis. It's usually only recommended for adults with very severe curves that are causing massive pain that isn't being controlled by pain medication or in cases that the curves are continuing to progress with no end in sight. The reason such a small percentage of adult scoliosis cases are recommended for surgery is that the risks of surgery in an adult often outweigh the benefits.
Many adults frustrated with the lack of proper options from their medical doctor turn to the internet seeking a better solution. What they find there is no shortage of hyped up products promising to "cure" your scoliosis. Everything from magic traction chairs, hard plastic shell braces that limit your movement like body casts, neoprene walking suits that look like a chopped up wetsuit and expensive boot camp therapy programs with no research to validate the clinical benefit in treating adult scoliosis. It's no wonder that most people are perplexed about what works and what doesn't when it comes to helping adults with scoliosis related back pain.
A Solution For Adult Scoliosis Developed in Canada Over 20 Years Ago Still Seems To Be Relatively Unknown Here In The US
Over twenty years ago a team of the top Canadian scoliosis researchers, therapists, and engineers who were lead by two prominent orthopedic scoliosis surgeons at St. Justine's Hospital in Montreal Canada. This elite team of experts in their individual fields were tasked to find a better non-surgical solution to help patients with scoliosis avoid surgery.
They were apparently well connected politically too as they wre heavily funded with a $12,000,000 grant by the Government of Quebec and given a mandate to come up with a better brace type of scoliosis brace than was option then the traditional conservative known as a Static or Hard Brace.
What they created was revolutionary new durable medical device that combined contemporary concepts in rehabilitative medicine with modern principles in orthopedic medicine and the surgeons' direct hands-on knowledge of scoliosis correction into an garment that a patient could wear underneath their cloths which was a rather odd sounding, yet descriptive name called an Elastic Tension Orthosis.
While the flexible nature of this new device allowed for movement of the torso in all directions, but it was set up based on the patients curve pattern in a way that encouraged the body to move into the direction that de-rotated the trunk while also moving the body back towards its midline. These changes in the paients habitual movement patterns and body posture were able to do more than just stop progression of a scoliosis. More importantly they were also able to reduce scoliosis curves and relieve pain so more patients could avoid scoliosis surgery.
This was as a significant breakthrough since nearly all hard scoliosis braces at the time only looked to stop the progression of scoliosis.
Over time the gentle but persistent reminder provided by this unique orthosis helped create lasting muscle memory in the supporting muscles of the spine and torso to move the body in the direction of correction. This repetitive reflex type response also helps increase activation and strength of these supportive muscles surrounding the spine and around the torso, which in the majority of cases permanently reduced scoliosis curvatures without having to resort to surgery.
To this day this new dynamic rehabilitative device is still considered to be ahead of its time, yet somehow it has remained a relative secret to many in this country, until now. While the inventors initially considered not calling their new device a scoliosis brace at all since that conjures up an images of a brace made of hard plastic "turtle shell"that encases the body to hold it in place and in many ways their new orthosis was polar opposite of that.
Eventually, they opted to call it a brace so that it would be something recognizable by insurance companys so they would provide reimbursement for it.
A Revolutionary New "Scoliosis Brace" Called SpineCor
The orthopedic surgeons on the team initially decided to take on the project because they were so unhappy with the limits and complications of the current "gold standard" in consevative scoliosis treatment known as a Static or Hard Brace.
They knew that knew this type of brace came in many different models (ie: Boston Brace, TLSO, Cheneau, Milwalkee, etc.) they were all descendants from the same linage felt that the challenges in hard bracing likely stemmed from the fact that many of the core principles of these brace designs were based on antiquated concepts of scoliosis.
Considering that many fundamental assumptions used in static bracing for scoliosis are based on what medicine knew about the condition of scoliosis in the time of dark ages, they certainly had a point. While static brace technology has undoubtedly improved over the centuries, many of the fundamental principles still used in hard brace design today are predicated on the limited knowledge of scoliosis in the 1500s. To give you an example of just how backward medical thinking was throughout the Dark Ages, "bloodletting" was a common medical practice of the day.
It was clear to the team that a complete reexamination of the fundamental basis of scoliosis bracing was necessary to resolve some of the issues that had plaugued hard bracing.
Limitations And Complication Of Hard Bracing That Developers Were Able To Improve With SpineCor
Hard Brace SpineCor
Only Designed To Stop Progression Designed To Improve Curves Too
Causes Muscle Atrophy Strengthens Weakened Muscles
Causes Bony Demineralization No Bony Demineralization
Immobilizes Spine Allows Movement In Spine
Uncomfortable To Wear Comfortable To Wear
Cannot Wear During Sports Can Wear During Sports
Not Recommended For Adults Recommended For Adults
Cannot Easily Hide Easily Hidden Under Cloths
Static bracing at that time, as it remains today, is the "Standard of Care" in conservative treatment for scoliosis. It's rather an ironic "gold standard" for treatment since most hard scoliosis braces are only designed to stop curve progression, not to improve scoliosis.
So they set up to create a device that not only stopped scoliosis progression but also helped reduce curvatures as well. Also, they knew they had to make their new device more wearable for patients, as wearability was one of the primary drawbacks of the hard brace.
Studies showed that it was the primary reason that lowered the low levels of compliance with hard bracing. Also, children often find a hard scoliosis brace to be awkward and embarrassing to wear to school. Often they just refused to wear it at all. Given the low rates of compliance with hard braces, it was no wonder it had such a poor success rate. So they knew they needed to create a device that was much easier to wear.
Static Braces Can Cause Muscle Atrophy, But SpineCor Does Not
The most important improvement they knew they had to make to improve upon over hard braces was to stop the adverse side effects caused by the static bracing. These included muscle atrophy and bony demineralization due to limitations in a patients trunk movement in a static brace and deweighted spine as a hard brace.
Hard braces are designed to immobilize the spine to keep scoliosis from getting worse. The concept is nearly identical to how doctors have treated fractured bones since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Holding the bone in place allows it to complete healing. While immobilization of a broken bone is necessary to allow it to heal unimpeded, there is a trade-off that comes at the expense of the muscles. They are kept from moving becaise they are encased in the cast, causing those muscles to weaken and shrink in response.
Since scoliosis is not a broken bone, it doesn't make sense to treat it the same way. This treatment concept likely stemmed from the Medieval view that scoliosis was due to broken bones.
Orthopedic surgeons have long known that scoliosis is fundamentally a very different condition than a fractured bone. So why would they still treat it the same way?
The most likely answer is twofold. One is that it is a conceptual holdover from an earlier time when scoliosis and were viewed the same, thus treated the same.
The other answer is that a hard brace fits the same paradigm that surgeons use when they surgically correct a scoliosis by fusing a spine with severe scoliosis. The only difference is that instead of using rods and screws to hold it the spine in place as they would do during a surgery; instead with static bracing they use a rigid plastic exoskeleton.
Since orthopedic manage scoliosis in the US, treating scoliosis with hard brace persist to this day, even though it's based on an antiquated concept of the condition of scoliosis. The problem with is holding the spine in place with a static brace to stop scoliosis from progressing is that it interferes with the function of the supporting muscles surround the spine. They are not allowed do their job of holding the spine straight up.
As a result, these muscles tend to weaken and shrink from lack of use over time. This process is called muscle atrophy. This can be a real problem for scoliosis after you stop using the brace. Since the hard brace had been doing the job of supporting the spine when it was worn, once you remove it, the muscles weakened by scoliosis have been reduced even further and cannot support the spine. As a result, the curves go right back to where they started or can get even worse since the muscle imbalanced has been increased while wearing the brace.
Given what the current understanding about scoliosis in the medical literature it seems illogical that treating a condition that has a lot of adaptive weakening and shortening of tissues would benefit from a brace that acts as a cast.
In fact, muscle atrophy with hard bracing is the main reason most orthopedist rarely ever recommend hard bracing for adults with scoliosis. Since muscles tend to slowly atrophy as we get older, (especially for women after menopause), doctors don't want to do anything that will accelerate that process.
However, since SpineCor is based on an entirely different approach that encourages movement, instead of stopping it like a hard brace does, muscle atrophy is never a problem when you wear SpineCor.
Although SpineCor does help stabilize your spine, instead of stopping the movement of the body it allows movement in all directions but encourages the body into the direction of correction to re-educate the muscles. Not only was it found to be more efficient in helping adolescents stop the progression of adolescent curves, it was also clinically proven to help improve curves as well!
In fact, a long-term outcome research study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics reported that 98% of the patients who had completed their SpineCor treatment after they had stopped growing and were out of the brace for two years were able to avoid surgery.
When the Medical School of the University of Montreal tested SpineCor non-rigid brace against a number of the most commonly used hard braces, it came out on top, showing much higher effectiveness in avoiding surgery, in one case 4 times as beneficial.
They also noticed that after completion of the treatment that many patients, (nearly 1/3rd) had continued improvements in their curves even two years after the end of their treatment with SpineCor!
Fortunately, SpineCor has also been shown to help relieve pain for adults with scoliosis.
Pain Relief Device For Adult Scoliosis
While most adolescents with scoliosis do not have back pain related to their scoliosis, the opposite is true for adults.
Doctors often find that when they ask their adult patients seeking treatment for their pain related to their scoliosis about any past history of back pain they frequently report never having any issues with back pain in their youth. That's because most of their lives their bodies have been able to adapt to the curves in their spine, but as theirs curves continued to progress over time, they eventually got to the point that they began to compress their nerves and that was when their pain started.
Because of this, it's also not uncommon to see an adult patient for back pain who was completely unaware that they even had scoliosis until they got an X-ray of their spine as an adult. In many of those cases, they likely did have scoliosis as teenagers, but it had gone undiagnosed until later in life when they had their back examined. The reason it had gone undiagnosed is that they never had back pain before so there was no reason to have their spines checked or get an X-ray.
The problem for most adults seeking treatment for their scoliosis related back pain is that when they do go see their doctors for treatment they are disappointed at the lack of viable treatment option for them, short of surgery or reliance on pain medications.
Initially, SpineCor was only authorized for use in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, but since so many adult patients with scoliosis related pain sought treatment with our Spinecor doctors that they began to ask the developers of SpineCor, "Why isn't this approved for treating adult scoliosis too?"
As more inquiries for adult use came in from providers in the field, the manufactuer began to wondered, "If SpineCor has been so beneficial for adolescent scoliosis, could it also help adults with scoliosis related back pain?"
So, they went back to the drawing board and created a second generation model of SpineCor designed for adult use and began a clinical trial to find out how effective it was in helping adults with scoliosis related pain.
The criteria they used for adults include providing fast pain relief, long lasting results, easy to apply yourself without any help, and most of all it could not interfere with doing your regular daily activities. After creating this breakthrough soft brace that helps the body move back towards midline that provides real results they patented and trademarked as "SpineCor Pain Relief Back Brace For Adult Scoliosis."
Clinical experience during the two-year development of the adult SpineCor brace involving 200 adult patients. Some patients demonstrated pain relief within a few hours of being fitted in some cases, with 90% of the adult patients reporting pain relief within six weeks of use.
The SpineCor Difference
While the initial intention of creating SpineCor was to make a better scoliosis brace, it's not like a brace at all. In fact, it's far more like a rehabilitative garment that you wear than it is a brace. Instead of being made of hard plastic that restricts the torso like a body cast causing weakness, the SpineCor design utilizes elastic bands to allow for movement of the body in all directions. However, the manner in which the straps align, combined with the repetitive elastic recoil of the bands also encourages motion of the trunk into the direction of correction for scoliosis.
While wearing the SpineCor Dynamic Tension Orthosis you can move in any direction you like, but it gives your body a gentle reminder, "no, go this way," which over time allows the muscles to create new muscle memory in the direction of correction.
What makes this such a game changer for so many adults with scoliosis is the patented SpineCor design allows for movement of the body, so it strengthens the weakened muscles in the back. This specific muscle activation only on the weak side helps reduce the imbalances in your scoliosis and help align your body back towards its midline providing better balance in the spine and taking pressure off the compressed nerves in the back to relieve your pain.
Each SpineCor is set up based on the patient's curve pattern. So each one must be custom fitted specific to the individual, based on their curve pattern and their body shape with the help of SpineCor Assisted Software technology to help reduce or eliminate back pain.
Benefits of the SpineCor Pain Relief Brace For Adults
- Relieve back pain
- Stop scoliosis progression
- Can improve curves, even in adults
- Have better posture throughout your day
- Allows pain free movement to enjoy your life
There is no shortage of cheap imitators on the market today. Some companies have even tried producing knockoffs of the SpineCor brace dynamic orthosis while others try to claim their suit is not a brace, but it's just as good or better. The problem with all of these knockoffs is that none of them have any long-term research studies behind them and very few if any clinical trials showing the effectiveness of their product.
Also, they won't tell you this, but the walking suit for scoliosis only works for lumbar curves and only provides benefit when walking. Since the primary corrective band attaches to the thigh, it provides no therapeutic benefit while you sit since it slackens when you flex your hip. Standing or lay down offer similar issues, which means their potential benefits are limited.
SpineCor works in all positions and has a 20-year track record with dozens of research studies backing its effectiveness and its FDA approved. Additionally, they continue to innovate and improve the design. In fact, they've just released a 3rd generation improvement called SpineCor Comfort Plus Brace for Adults.
Find Out if the Next Generation of SpineCor is Right for You!
We invite you to look into it further by looking at the research behind SpineCor and listen to what our adult patients have to say about it and take a look at the newest generation of SpineCor called Comfort Plus.
If you're an adult with scoliosis looking to get rid of your scoliosis related back pain once and for all, then you owe it to yourself to find out if the Adult SpineCor Brace is right for you!