News flash! In case you’re newly diagnosed or been speaking to the wrong people, here’s a quick but very important update: Bracing is an effective treatment for scoliosis. 

But first a little background…

In the past, numerous non-operative methods were tried to prevent curve progression in AIS. These methods include exercise, physical therapy, electrical stimulation, and bracing. Of these, brace treatment is the only option that is widely accepted which demonstrated potential to alter the natural history of AIS. As such, previous methodology in treating AIS can be defined by two statements “mainly an attempt to prevent problems in adulthood by arresting the progression of the curve” and “large curves can only be corrected through surgery”. To that effect, scoliosis braces were viewed as “a holding device during the high risk growth phase”.

Enter the BrAIST study

Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST) is the most groundbreaking research done in recent years. This study proves the effectiveness of scoliosis bracing, setting the gold standard. The study also links gains in benefit to increasing hours of brace wear.

242 patients with curves between 20-40 degrees participated in the study. Patient were assigned to either brace treatment or observation only group. The brace groups were instructed to wear their brace 18hrs daily. Whereas those in the observation only group had no additional treatment after diagnose.

The study outcomes were defined as:-

Success- patient curve not progressing over 50 degrees upon skeletal maturity.

Failure- curve worsened to 50 degrees or more.

Conclusion of study

BrAIST study was stopped early because bracing results were overwhelmingly positive. Published results shows that bracing significantly decreases progression in high risk curves to avoid surgery. Continuing the study and encouraging patients in the observation only group without bracing would be unethical.

What does this mean for you?

Bracing could hold you at your current curve degree, putting off the need for surgery. Reducing the Cobb angle to below the surgical threshold is also possible.

Here at Align Brace we strive for the best possible correction to minimise risk of future complication. Our design team works to mitigate the spotlight effect by making the brace fully concealable. We believe a holistic approach including care from our experienced partners will provide best sustainable results after coming off brace. Get in touch with us today for us to understand you better and see what we can do for you!