Wearing a brace for scoliosis

The cosmetic aspects of scoliosis and the braces used to treat it may greatly affect a child or teen.

Teenagers may find wearing a brace devastating to their self-image. Most braces should be worn for 20 hours a day or more, usually for several years. Follow-up studies across the United States have found that less than 50% of teens wore their braces as prescribed.

Also, wearing a brace may limit activities such as horseback riding, skiing, skating, and gymnastics. Other activities, though, such as biking, tennis, running, and jumping, are safe to do while the brace is worn. It is generally recommended that children be allowed to remove their braces to take part in physical education classes and other highly desired activities. This may encourage better use of the brace.

Newer braces are designed to improve the chances they will be worn as recommended.

Last Updated: August 27, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas S. Renshaw, MD - Orthopedics

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