Tag: scoliosis brace

How to care for your Scoliosis Brace

Modern Scoliosis braces are designed to be durable and to last for a long time – indeed, if you’re an adult being fitted for a brace, we’d like to think it should last you a lifetime. However, caring for your brace is important, and poor brace care is one of the reasons that they sometimes need to be replaced.

It goes without saying that braces made for children & adolescents do tend to take more wear and tear and often this is OK since most children will go through several braces during treatment – however, wherever possible it’s best to prolong the life of a brace as much as possible, not least to avoid the cost of replacing a brace which was otherwise effective! Here are some tips for good brace care.


Keep the Brace Clean

The first and most important step in caring for a scoliosis brace is to keep it clean. You should clean the brace at least once a week, but more often if it gets sweaty or dirty. Use a mild soap and warm water to clean the brace, making sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the brace. Once you’ve cleaned the brace, let it air dry completely before wearing it again.


Store the Brace Properly

When you’re not wearing your scoliosis brace, it’s important to store it properly to prevent damage. Keep the brace in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources as much as possible. Avoid storing the brace in a damp or humid area, as this can cause it to mould or mildew. You may also want to consider using a brace hanger or stand to keep it upright and prevent it from becoming misshapen.


Avoid Extremes Of Temperature

Modern day plastic braces are designed to be light, stiff, not retain heat and be strong. This in turn imposes a challenge in plastic construction, in that the brace may not like being subjected to sudden changes in temperature in going from hot to cold, where the pastic may be weakened. So it would be wise to avoid sitting directly in front of a hot fire and then going out and rolling around in the snow.


Wear the brace correctly

When putting your brace on, make sure you adjust any straps or fittings as directed by your specialist – braces are designed to work properly when set up correctly and are strongest when worn properly. Improperly wearing a brace especially when it is too loose, can reduce its effectiveness and possibly lead to additional wear and tear over time.


Avoid Overexertion

While a scoliosis brace can help support your spine and patients are encouraged to do as many activities as they can whilst wearing it, it’s important to avoid overexertion when wearing it. Activities that involve bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects can put extra strain on the brace and cause it to wear out faster. If you’re unsure about whether a certain activity is safe to do while wearing your brace, ask your specialist.


Check for Wear and Tear

Regularly inspect your scoliosis brace for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, tears, or fraying. If you notice any damage, stop wearing the brace immediately and consult your specialist. Wearing a damaged brace can be dangerous and may not provide the support your spine needs. Most damage to braces is easy enough to repair – but if left unattended the brace may need to be replaced.


Wear a Bodysock Or Vest Underneath the Brace

Wearing a bodysock, seamless vest or shirt under your brace can help prevent skin irritation, but it also helps to stop your brace from getting sweaty. The garment should be seamless, made from a soft, breathable material, such as cotton or bamboo, and should fit snugly but not be too tight. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics or clothing with rough seams, as these can rub against the skin and cause irritation.


Have any problems fixed

If any part of your brace is uncomfortable or doesn’t seem to be sitting quite right, get in touch and have it checked out right away. This is especially true if your brace has just been adjusted – even a small nagging issue will make you hesitant to wear the brace and might end up reducing your wear time and treatment effectiveness.


Warning: this is NOT a Scoliosis Brace!

At the UK Scoliosis clinic, we specialise in Scoliosis Bracing – Scoliosis Bracing is a non-surgical treatment for scoliosis, which involves the detailed design and manufacture of a specialised, wearable brace which, over time, gently opposes the scoliotic curve in the spine, and works to guide it back towards a normal alignment.

Once upon a time (not too long ago), it was thought that scoliosis could not be stopped – that is to say, it was accepted that the curve would just continue to develop until, eventually, surgery was required to correct the deformity. Sadly, this approach is still recommended by some practitioners – who do not seem to be aware of the preventative and non-surgical corrective options available today.

The results achievable through modern bracing are however, impressive – to sample just a few studies, recent findings show that specialised scoliosis bracing when prescribed for high-risk patients, has been shown to prevent the need for surgery in most cases[1], that, overall, bracing is an effective treatment method for AIS cases, characterized by positive long-term outcomes[2] and even that conservative treatment with a brace is highly effective in treating juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, with most patients reaching a complete curve correction[3]

What’s more, part-time bracing in adults significantly reduces progression of curvatures and improves the quality of life[4], and results suggest that bracing can even be “boosted” through complementary approaches – for example, specialised scoliosis physiotherapy (SEAS), when used in conjunction with bracing, has been shown to improve overall results[5]

There are many reasons to consider bracing as your primary treatment approach if you’re a scoliosis sufferer – however, in order to reap these benefits, it’s vital that you use a specialized, customized scoliosis brace.


This is not a scoliosis brace!

It cannot be stated clearly enough that the above studies all relate to medical-grade TSLO over corrective braces – that is to say, specially designed braces that are customized for the patient and their exact spinal condition. What’s more, these are braces that are fitted, designed, monitored and adjusted by Scoliosis professionals at every stage of the process.

As you may guess, this means braces are not cheap – even the most basic in this category cost over £1000 per brace  – this is still far cheaper than surgery and compares favourably with a course of exercise-based treatment – but it’s certainly not an inexpensive item.

It’s probably for this reason that every more products which market themselves as a “scoliosis brace” are appearing on Amazon, eBay and our other favourite shopping sites. It’s critical to realise that these offerings are not even close to the type of brace required for the results discussed above – and in some case, they may cause more harm than good.

These so-called “braces” are (see example right) are very often just posture supports, which may have some marginal benefit for those with a normal spine, but could, in fact, worsen a scoliosis case.


THIS is a scoliosis brace

A genuine scoliosis brace (see ScoliBrace right) is of rigid construction, which while still ergonomic, is able to gently apply pressure to the spine, in opposition to the curve. This means that gentle pressure is exerted in the direction the spine needs to correct, and only in this direction. This is the fundamental mechanism of a scoliosis brace- hence it should be obvious that a fabric-based “support” possesses none of the qualities required for scoliosis correction.

It is not the purpose of this article to single out any individual product, nor are we saying that “soft” supports have no use in spinal care – quite the opposite, however, if you are using a “Scoliosis brace” which you have not obtained through a specialist clinic, we would strongly advise you to discontinue use and seek a professional consultation.




[1] Weinstein et al DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1307337

[2] Aulissa et al,  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13013-017-0142-y

[3] Aulisa et al, DOI: 10.1186/1748-7161-9-3

[4] Palazzo et al, DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2016.05.019

[5] Negrini et al, DOI:10.1186/1471-2474-15-263