My daughter has been diagnosed with Scoliosis. We are not keen on her having surgery at this point in time. I have heard about the SpineCor brace. Could you tell us a bit more about it.? Thanks. – Terence.
The SpineCor programme is a unique programme for the conservative treatment and management of scoliosis. It works well with scoliotic children (idiopathic scoliosis) especially those at pre-puberty age.
What is unique about the SpineCor programme as compared to the conventional method is the type of brace used and the specific exercises designed to improve the muscle strength required in the active re-aligning of the spine.
The traditional or conventional method of bracing for prepuberty kids uses a rigid brace. A rigid brace does not allow much movement in the spine. The aim here is to re-align the spine with an external force, locking it down in desired position as the kids grow. The disadvantages with this brace are:
- Low compliance. Kids dislike using the brace as it is bulky and aesthetically not pleasing especially with girls
- Hot to wear in our humid environment
- Weaken the muscles. As the idea of the rigid brace is not allow movement, it makes it difficult for the kids to undertake sports in the brace.
- When the children come off the brace, it has been found that the curvature of the spine continues to progress.
- Physiotherapy sessions are aimed at releasing the tight muscles and building overall core strength.
With the SpineCor programme, the type of scoliosis the child presents with is first classified. With this classification, the direction of the curvature can be determined as it progresses. Based on this knowledge of expected progression, SpineCor aims to specifically reverse the direction of the curvature by bracing them in the opposite direction as the spine curves.
This programme is more specific to the type and curvatures of each child compared to the rigid brace.
- The pre-puberty kids are still braced, but in a dynamic brace. This allows the spine to move as required by functional activities hence maintaining joint mobility and muscle strength
- The brace is made up of elastic straps that assist the body to hold the spine in a more neutral, aligned position while allowing movement. This is the most important aspect of SpineCor. By allowing movement in a more neutral position (opposite to the direction of the curves), the brace retrains the neuromuscular function of the body. This means that the brace is re-teaching the brain, the muscles that this new position is normal, that it is correct. It is postulated that because of this retraining of the brain and muscles that the results are maintained even when the brace is removed.
- SpineCor also has a specific rehabilitation program that facilitates the action and goals of the brace. This exercise program focus on strengthening the muscles required to help the brace hold the spine in a more neutral position.
- Regular Physiotherapy sessions for SpineCor will be targeted at releasing the tight muscle and joints, hence facilitating the correction of the spine.
- Results are the most optimal when braced are used from pre-puberty to about the age of 16-18. The minimum no of years required is 2 years. e.g. if you started at 16 years of age, then only after 2 years should you stop using the brace- this is on the premise that with the removal of the brace that there is not progression or regression of the curvature.
On the SpineCor programme, you are expected to re-check the fitting by a SpineCor accredited fitter every 2-3 months initially. Gradually weaning to every 6 months after 1 year. With the SpineCor rehabilitation programme, ideally a session once a week for the first month and gradually weaning to once a month until the removal of the brace. The frequency of the sessions is also dependent on how quickly the child understands and learns the exercises.
For more information on SpineCor, do visit our website on SpineCor Bracing