Scoliosis: How is it Treated?
Treatment is based on age, the type of curve, the size of the curve, how fast the curve is moving, and appearance. Bracing is the standard treatment to prevent the curve from getting worse; although minor curves (less than 20-25 degrees) usually will not need treatment. Although wearing a brace may feel like a lot of trouble, it is definitely worth it if it keeps you from needing surgery.
Children and teenagers may find wearing a brace difficult. The brace can be uncomfortable, hot, stiff, and not attractive. Braces are usually worn 16 to 23 hours every day. For some patients, the doctor may elect to prescribe only a night-time schedule of brace wear. Although a brace can be hidden under clothing, it can still make a child feel self-conscious. It helps to talk with someone your age who has worn a brace. Your doctor or nurse can put you in contact with another brace wearer.
A specialist called, an Orthotist, is trained to make braces. This person measures the patient so the brace is a perfect fit. During the period of time the brace is worn, the orthotist makes adjustments to the brace under the doctor's direction.
When bracing doesn't stop the scoliosis or it becomes severe, surgery may be a solution. The doctor will know if surgery is needed and the best time to do it. There are surgical procedures that can help straighten the spine and make it stable.
An excellent book entitled There's an "S" on My Back by Mary Mahony is available through Amazon.com. The National Scoliosis Foundation and Spineuniverse.com have endorsed this book.