Bracing is a non-surgical treatment method used to treat scoliosis and kyphosis, generally for growing kids and teenagers. Each brace is custom-made to fit the patient’s body structure and is adjusted to apply the right amount of pressure to correct or prevent spinal curvature.
The brace does not cure scoliosis, but it helps control the progression of spinal curvature during growth periods. It is usually recommended for patient with moderate scoliosis with a cobb angle between 25-45 degrees.
Curv is proud to partner with Align Clinic in providing world-leading WCR braces in Queensland
Goals of Bracing
Prevent curve progression
the brace aims to halt the progression of spinal curvature, especially during periods of rapid growth, typically during adolescence
If effective, bracing can help avoid or delay the need for spinal surgery (which is usually discussed when the curves reach 50 degrees)
Improve quality of life
Braces can help reduce discomfort, improve posture, and boost self-confidence, continuing to an overall better quality of life.
Evidence for Bracing
The effectiveness of bracing as a treatment for scoliosis is backed by significant body of research. A landmark 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST)” supported the efficacy of bracing.
The study found that bracing significantly decreased the progression of high-risk curves to the threshold for surgery in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The researchers used both randomization and a preference cohort to assess the effectiveness of bracing versus observation. Patients who wore the brace for more hours per day experienced better outcomes. For those who wore braces, the success rate was 72%, and for those under observation, the success rate was 48%.
Not sure if your child requires a brace? We encourage scheduling an initial assessment with us. During this comprehensive evaluation, one of our scoliosis therapists will conduct a thorough physical examination, review X-rays, assess skeletal growth potential, evaluate the risk of progression, and provide in-depth education on bracing. Should a brace be deemed necessary, or if alternative treatment avenues are warranted, we'll guide you through the options with care and expertise.
What is a WCR brace?
The WCR brace is a thermoplastic scoliosis brace modeled on a hyper-corrected positive plaster cast of the patient. This is a 3-dimensional correctional brace which has significant pressure and expansion areas built into the brace, which provides correction in all three anatomical planes. The WCR brace utilises both X-rays and clinical photos of the patient to determine curve type and brace design.
Is the WCR brace uncomfortable?
Once the patient has completed the 7-day break in period, the brace is normally comfortable for the patient. Most patients do well and tolerate the brace. Our experience has been that these braces are more comfortable compared with other braces. This is because the pressures points are located in such a way that it places the body where it should be. As a result, the patient is usually more comfortable in the brace, compared with not wearing the brace.
Is the WCR brace heavy?
No, it is fabricated with a thermoplastic called polypropylene, which is thin and light.
Can you notice the brace under the patient's clothing?
This depends on how tight or loose the patient’s clothes fit. Normally, the brace is unnoticeable from the front, but it may be noticeable from the back. Some curve types require different expansion areas and locations that could be more or less noticeable depending on their size and location.
Why does the WCR function well with Schroth Therapy?
These braces have very large expansion chambers and windows built into the brace which allows a dynamic correction of the scoliotic deformities. Furthermore, the therapy teaches the patient how to optimise breathing and body movements to function with this expansion and pressure areas.
How long will the WCR brace last prior to needing a new brace?
These scoliosis braces normally last 12 to 16 months prior to needing a new one. This depends on how quickly the patient grows, primarily in height, and secondarily in weight.
Does the WCR brace correct scoliosis?
There are studies completed that have demonstrated that the Rigo brace and Cheneau brace both improve and stabilise the deformity. You can view some of the studies here the Align clinic website: