Boston, Providence, and Rigo Braces
One common method of scoliosis treatment, especially for young children is performed using braces. These braces are used as a means of straightening the abnormal curve along an individual’s spine. The use of braces is popular, especially in the treatment of young children as it allows them to avoid more invasive surgical measures such as spinal fusion. Spinal fusion’s main drawback is that while fusing the vertebrae along the spine, it prevents any future growth for the patient. And this could prove to be a major side effect for a young child who has yet to reach anywhere near his or her adult height and frame. The brace allows for minor straightening to be done over time until surgery is possible.
The Boston brace is a brace that has an overall cylindrical shape, with locking belts placed in the back. The fact that the belts are placed in the back prevents young children from being able to open or close it by themselves. While this prevents them from removing it often or accidentally closing it too tightly around their body, it also prevents them from having a certain level of independence. The Boston brace allows for certain parts of the ribcage area to be left uncovered. This allows the patient to expand the airflow to this specific area and makes for better muscle and lung expansion, areas that are often affected by scoliosis.
The Rigo brace or the Rigo-Cheneau brace is a custom-made brace that applies specific pressure to the areas along the patient’s spine and ribcage in which they would like to centralize and rotate the bones/vertebrae into the proper position or alignment. The brace also limits contact with certain specific parts of the rib cage allowing for muscle expansion as well as in order to activate certain muscle groups that may have been affected by the curvature of the spine.
By using the Rigo brace it allows the patient to not only benefit from the corrective forces of the brace but also activate the muscles around the ribcage. This provides even more airflow to the rib cage, while also using forces to correct the abnormal positioning of the spine and rib cage.
The Providence brace is generally known as a nighttime brace to be worn by the patient overnight. Thus minimizing any discomfort during the waking hours, while also providing positive scoliosis curve correction. Rather than bending the spine to a normal position the Providence brace uses opposing forces acting upon areas of the spine to help normalize the spine’s curve.
The brace was first invented at the Children’s Hospital of Rhode Island in Providence. It is also known to be one of the more comfortable braces designed for scoliosis treatment, and it is also worn exclusively at night. However, despite its comfort, it is a bit less effective in the treatment of larger spinal curves than other braces like the Boston brace. Yet in the treatment of smaller, less pronounced spinal curves it is actually recommended over other braces. Some feel since it is more comfortable and to be worn at night patients are more likely to wear it, therefore it is more effective. However, there isn’t much data to suggest which brace is actually more effective overall. The only issue patients complain about in using