Did you know that scoliosis is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide? Estimates suggest that scoliosis affects approximately 6-9 million people in the United States, which is 2-3 percent of the population. It’s a spine disorder that causes the spine to curve sideways.
While it can occur in children, it’s more common in adults. If you’re one of the many adults with scoliosis, you may wonder if a back brace can help prevent the progression of this condition.
In this article, we’ll discuss all there is to know about back braces for scoliosis and how they can help improve your quality of life.
What is Scoliosis, and Who’s at Risk of Developing It?
Scoliosis is a complex spinal condition. Its effects are widespread and debilitating, impacting your back, legs, chest, and neck. The condition is characterized by an abnormal spine curvature, resulting in chronic pain and reduced mobility.
Although scoliosis is most commonly diagnosed in adolescence, the condition can occur at any age, although, on average, scoliosis begins from 10 to 15 years old for most people.
While there’s no cure for scoliosis, treatments are available that can help manage the condition and prevent it from progressing.
Back braces for scoliosis are a common treatment option for adults affected by the condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s essential to understand the different types of back braces available and how to choose the right one. In this guide, we'll also discuss the different types of back braces available and how to select the right one for your needs.
Main Types of Scoliosis
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, four main types of scoliosis are distinguished by their cause and severity.
While it’s most commonly diagnosed in children, adults can also develop the condition. In many cases, scoliosis progresses gradually, and the spine curve becomes more pronounced over time. This can lead to pain, difficulty moving, and other serious health problems.
Fortunately, back braces for adults can help prevent the condition from progressing. Holding the spine in alignment allows back braces to take pressure off the muscles and joints and reduce the chances of further damage.
In some cases, back braces may even help improve the spine curve. As a result, they can be an effective treatment for adults and children with scoliosis.
Types of Back Braces Available on the Market
While scoliosis can occur at any age, it most commonly develops during adolescence, when the spine is still growing. For this reason, scoliosis bracing is often prescribed for children and adolescents to prevent the condition from worsening.
Once a person reaches adulthood, however, scoliosis bracing is less commonly prescribed. Because of this, adult patients who are candidates for bracing typically have mild to moderate scoliosis and are willing to comply with the wearing schedule. The purpose of bracing is to stop the curve's progression and prevent further deformity.
There are two main types of braces used to treat scoliosis:
Different types of full-time braces can be used to treat scoliosis, and the best option for each patient depends on the severity of the condition.
There are two most common nighttime braces, the Charleston Bending Brace and Providence Brace, both are custom-made to fit each patient's unique body shape, and both types can be adjusted as the patient's condition progresses.
In younger patients, bracing is mainly recommended to limit the condition's progression. In older adults, bracing is most often prescribed to reduce pain and limit the need for medication.
The rationale for this difference is that in older adults, the bones are no longer growing, so there is no potential for improvement with bracing. Instead, the goal is to provide support and stability to the joints to prevent further deterioration and help reduce pain.
There are a variety of brace styles available, and the type of brace that is prescribed will depend on the patient's individual needs. The type of brace best suited for each individual will be determined by the severity of their scoliosis and other factors, such as age, overall health, and tolerance for discomfort.
In some cases, a combination of full-time and nighttime bracing may be recommended.
How to Choose the Right Back Brace for You
There are many different types of back braces, and choosing the right one can be a challenge.
The first and most important step is to consult with your doctor or orthopedic specialist. They will be able to evaluate your condition and recommend the best type of back brace for you. After this, there are still some factors that you need to consider:
We hope that you have found our guide helpful. If you’re still unsure which brace is best for you, or if you would like more information on treatment options, book an appointment with our professionals.
They’ll help you determine the best treatment course based on your situation.
Do you have foot pain? Are your feet sore and uncomfortable almost every day, and does your discomfort interfere with your daily routine? If so, you are not alone. Many people suffer from foot pain or other common foot conditions that hinder their daily activities.
Some people may even develop a condition at the sole of their feet called “athlete’s foot.” It has been named such due to its prevalence among athletes who frequently wear moist socks and shoes in locker rooms.
Or, you may be dealing with the condition that has resulted in your doctor recommending that you get an Ankle Foot Orthosis or an AFO. In this article, we'll take a close look at AFOs - what is an AFO, how they work, what their benefits are, how they are made, why you might need one, and how to choose the right one for your condition. So keep reading to learn more!
What Is an AFO?
An AFO stands for Ankle Foot Orthosis. It is a device that helps stabilize and support the ankle and the foot. It also allows for mobility in other areas of the leg and helps a patient walk with less pain and other complications.
Many people with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or spinal cord injury use AFOs to walk more efficiently and safely. It can be used in conjunction with different braces or on its own as a standalone treatment for conditions such as arthritis, gout, or fibromyalgia.
AFOs can be used in addition to crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair. They are specially designed for each patient, so each one is unique to the person who is wearing them.
How Is an AFO Made?
AFOs are usually made from a plaster cast or a mold of the person's foot. The orthosis is then made by shaping plastic or other suitable materials to match the plaster cast.
However, plastic is not the only option for AFOs, as they can be made from different materials, depending on what is best for the person's needs. For example, some people may need an AFO that is very lightweight and flexible, while others may need a more durable one.
The process of making an AFO usually takes several weeks. First, the orthotist takes a plaster cast or mold of the person's foot. They then shape the plastic or any other suitable material to match the plaster cast. Finally, they make any necessary adjustments to ensure a perfect fit.
How Does an AFO Work?
For people with certain physical disabilities, an AFO performs wonders. It provides stability and foot support needed for activities of daily living. These include, but are not limited to, walking, sitting down, standing, and going up and down stairs.
An AFO can also be helpful for people with diabetes, as it supports the foot and ankle by fitting around them and connecting them to the leg with a strap that either goes behind the leg or around the leg. This connection helps keep the foot and ankle in place while allowing the wearer to move the knee and the hip.
Benefits of Using an AFO
There are many benefits of using an AFO:
Some conditions that may require the use of an AFO include:
How to Choose the Right AFO?
If you have been diagnosed with a foot or ankle condition that requires the use of an ankle foot orthosis (AFO), the next step is to choose the right AFO for your needs. Many different types of AFOs are available on the market, so it’s important to consult your doctor or orthotist to find the best device for you.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing an AFO.
1. The Type of Foot or Ankle Condition You Have
There are different types of AFOs designed to treat different conditions. For example, rigid AFOs provide support for conditions like drop foot, while softer and more flexible AFOs are better suited for conditions like arthritis. Your doctor or orthotist will be able to recommend the right type of AFO for your condition.
2. The Level of Support You Need
Some AFOs provide more support than others. If you have a more severe condition, you may need an AFO that provides more stability and rigidity. On the other hand, if your condition is not as severe, you may be able to get by with a lighter and more flexible
AFO is a device that is strapped to the foot and ankle and is important for injury prevention and safety. If you're experiencing foot or ankle pain, it might be time to consider getting an AFO.
At Align Clinic, we specialize in custom-fit AFOs. Our team of experts can help relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.
Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you, as, with the right treatment, many people with ankle-foot orthotics lead full and active lives!
When dealing with ankle or foot pain, it's hard to know which ankle-foot orthosis is the best for you. There are a lot of different ankle and foot orthoses on the market, and it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an ankle-foot orthotic device. Do you want one that is lightweight and easy to wear? Or do you need one with strong support for more severe cases? Maybe you're looking for a versatile model that can be used for different activities.
We've written this article to help make choosing an ankle-foot orthosis easier. We'll also provide tips on finding the right AFO for your needs and getting the most out of ankle-foot orthotic devices.
Overview of Ankle-Foot Orthosis
Sometimes arthritis, fracture, and inflammation of the Achilles tendon cause strain in the ankle. But if the pain doesn't go away after a certain period, you should use an ankle-foot orthotic (AFO).
Ankle-foot orthotics are the artificial external biochemical device used on lower limbs to support and assist relative muscle movement. Depending upon the cause of the pain, there are several varieties of foot orthotic devices that you can use according to your own need.
In case of severe injury, you can use custom fabricated AFO, which is non-allergic and encourages proper joint alignment to protect the damaged limb.
6 Essentials to Consider When Selecting an Ankle-Foot Orthosis
The right ankle-foot orthosis could be a game changer. Therefore, it’s really important to put a lot of thought into selecting one.
Here are six essential factors you should consider while choosing an ankle-foot orthotic.
1. Trustable Brand
Although there are many good brands, TurboMed Orthotics is an expert in manufacturing ankle-foot orthotic devices. They can provide the best ankle fitting for treating any lower limb abnormality.
After a cast or scan of the patient, they use advanced computerized technology to provide the best and most comfortable fit. They offer an adjustable hinge angle, which limits the movement of your lower limb and supports weak muscles.
The patient's speedy recovery depends on the orthotic material used in the manufacturing of the ankle-foot orthotic. Materials should be dense and thick to hold enough pressure to contour the patient foot during gait.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polylactic Acid (PLA), Nylon 6/6, Polypropylene, and 13% Kevlar Fiber reinforced ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) are used in the development of ankle-foot orthotics.
A supportive device consists of materials such as thermoplastics for patients with weak plantar muscles. Hence, different materials are used depending on the type of ankle-foot orthotics. Check this out to know more about materials used in ankle-foot orthotics.
3. Size & Shape
Tight, improper, or wrong-size ankle-foot orthotics can create more problems instead of providing support. If you want a controlled motion, selecting the right size and shape of the insole is important.
You should take your foot measurements for the optimal selection of AFO. Measure the longest and widest parts of your foot and then measure above the ankle at the level of two malleoli. You should choose the ankle-foot orthotics with no pinching and comfortable enough to give the ankle room for movement. Do you want to learn more about choosing the right fit? Click here!
4. Shoe & No Shoe Format
You can use ankle-foot orthotic without or without the shoes. However, if you are a professional and experienced general foot pain while walking, choosing the shoe that fits your dress shoe better is best.
On the other hand, if you are an athlete and have to use your feet frequently, you should opt for the best fit for the sneakers. Besides that, if you want a firm counter and a sensible heel height, you should try the combination of orthotics and good shoes.
While buying the best ankle-foot orthotic or in-sole device, you might look for the best quality with maximum longevity. It’s necessary to take them off weekly and clean them with mild soap or detergent for maintenance. You can also use rubbing alcohol to kill the odor and bacteria.
But never try to soak them in a washing machine or apply direct heat of any kind. However, if your orthotic device causes any redness in your foot, it’s time for you need to replace them.
6. Replaceable Parts
Usually, ankle-foot orthotics last for one to two years. However, if you use it on a daily basis, there is a high chance that its foam may deform after some time. So, instead of spending on buying a new one, it’s better if you get its replaceable parts. In order to do so, you can directly contact its manufacturer.
Recovery from neuromuscular disorders may take time, especially in the lower limb. So you should always look for replaceable parts such as AFO pads, Velcro straps, and extension stopper kits which would be economical.
How to Get the Most Out of Ankle-Foot Orthosis?
The ankle-foot orthosis is a great device that allows you mobility, and you need it almost daily. Here are a few tips that you can use to make the most out of your AFO.
If you're considering an ankle-foot orthosis, it’s important to consult a professional who can help you choose the right ankle-foot orthotics for your needs. There are many different types of ankle-foot orthoses available, and the right one for you will depend on your individual situation.
At Align Clinic, we offer a wide range of AFOs and other medical devices to help people with mobility issues live life to the fullest. Visit our website or call us today to learn more about our products and services.
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