WHAT CONDITIONS CAN SPINECOR® BE PRESCRIBED FOR?
Although SpineCor® was originally created to treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), it has since been used for other spinal deformities such as adult scoliosis, certain types of neuromuscular scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
- Mobility is preserved
- Effectiveness for correction or stabilization of curve progression
- Pain reduction or elimination
- Comfort, ease and discretion under clothes
- Posture and body aesthetics improvement
- Lasting results after treatment, especially if started early
Unlike rigid braces, which can cause muscular atrophy and therefore be harmful to a child’s normal development, the SpineCor® brace has no such undesirable side effects*, as it actually strengthens the muscles within the targeted area.
*At the beginning of the SpineCor® treatment, certain patients may feel mild discomfort as the body gets used to the brace. If the pain persists or gets worse, the patient should stop wearing the brace and consult his or her chiropractor or doctor immediately. The SpineCor® brace makes use of only elastic bands to achieve non-invasive treatment and is therefore very safe. In fact, it has the same hazard classification as a tooth brush (certified Class I by Health Canada since its creation).
HOW MUCH DOES THE SPINECOR® BRACE COST?
Installation costs CAN$4,000 and includes the brace itself, as well as exams and x-rays performed at the time of the first fitting, which takes approximately 3 hours. (Price is subject to change at any time.)
The cost of progress follow-up after the fitting depends on the number of required treatment visits. As the number of visits varies depending on the age and condition of the patient, please refer to the FAQ FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS or to the FAQ FOR ADULTS.
WILL MY INSURANCE PROVIDER COVER THE COST OF THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
It’s important to note that this brace is not covered by any Canadian public health insurance plan.
Most private insurance companies will reimburse between 80 and 100% of the brace’s cost. All require a prescription from a doctor stating that they recommend: “daily use of the SpineCor® brace for a minimum of 18 months.”
Insurance providers usually also require an explanatory note describing the nature of the brace, which will be provided to you upon request by our team.
The patient should make copies of all of documents for their records before filing a claim application.
WHAT IS THE SPINECOR® BRACE MADE OF? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BRACE FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS AND THE ONE FOR ADULTS?
The SpineCor® brace for children and adolescents is made up of a fully adjustable, malleable plastic pelvic base, a reinforced cotton bolero and corrective elastic bands.
In the adult brace, the adjustable base is replaced with reinforced fabric shorts, as there is no need to adjust it to accommodate patient growth.
The choice of using the adult or the adolescent style of brace is left to the patient’s discretion as both are available in all sizes.
Please note that the SpineCor® brace is latex-free.
IS THE SPINECOR® BRACE DIFFERENT DEPENDING ON THE PATIENT’S SEX?
No. The SpineCor® brace is unisex.
HOW DOES THE SPINECOR® BRACE WORK?
The SpineCor® brace uses elastic resistance to create a corrective movement of the spine and its supporting structures every time the patient moves. In the long term, this reprograms the neuromuscular system and, depending on the case, can correct the curvature, slow or stop its progression, and/or improve the patient’s overall posture. Note that the SpineCor® brace is extremely effective for relieving pain in both children and adults.
Can the SpineCor® brace be prescribed for an obese patient?
Yes. Unlike rigid braces, which have been proven ineffective in overweight patients, the SpineCor® brace allows for excellent results with larger people because the extra weight does not impede the dynamic action of the elastic bands17.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PUT ON THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
With a bit of practice, it takes less than two minutes.
IS THE SPINECOR® BRACE PAINFUL TO WEAR?
No. One of its advantages is that it constitutes a non-invasive and painless treatment. Mild discomfort is possible at the start of the treatment, but the pain will subside as the body grows accustomed to the brace. In the long term, the SpineCor® brace should reduce or even eliminate any preexisting pain.
CAN I GO TO THE BATHROOM WITHOUT HAVING TO COMPLETELY REMOVE THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
Yes. There is an opening in the crotch for this purpose.
WHAT ARE THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
The SpineCor® brace is machine washable provided it is placed in a laundry bag and washed using the delicate cycle. It should simply be hung to dry. When the brace is first fitted, detailed instructions are given to the patient along with an instructional brochure.
FAQ FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
AT WHAT AGE CAN A CHILD START TO WEAR A SPINECOR® BRACE?
The SpineCor® dynamic brace can be prescribed to children aged 5 years and over. However, it has been used with younger patients.
Major limitations to use of the SpineCor® brace with young children usually stem from:
- various component dimensions;
- the child’s ability to put it on.
CAN A CHILD PUT THE SPINECOR® BRACE ON BY HIM- OR HERSELF?
Absolutely. All instructions necessary for putting on the SpineCor® brace are given to the patient and their family at the time the brace is first fitted. Once the brace is adjusted and the elastic bands numbered, it is very easy for the patient to quickly put the brace on themselves.
HOW MANY HOURS A DAY SHOULD THE SPINECOR® BRACE BE WORN?
The SpineCor® brace must be worn 20 hours per day. The four-hour break should be split into two or more periods corresponding to the least active times of the day. The brace MUST be worn overnight as the patient sleeps.
HOW LONG DOES THE SPINECOR® TREATMENT LAST?
Treatment duration depends on the patient‘s age at the time of the first fitting, but it is never under 18 months. Adolescents will wear the brace for an average of 24 months. Treatment duration is generally longer with younger children, as full skeletal maturation must be complete before the treatment can be ended.
HOW OFTEN WILL FOLLOW-UP VISITS OCCUR?
Usually, young patients will have their first follow-up visit after six weeks, and then every three to four months up until removal (end of treatment).
HOW MUCH DOES FOLLOW-UP COST?
Each follow-up exam costs $160. An additional $160 will be required for follow-up x-rays, which are generally taken every six months. (Cost of follow-up exams may change at any time and remain at the discretion of the chiropractor.)
WHAT RESULTS CAN ONE EXPECT FROM THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
Treatment results are generally excellent!
In comparative studies carried out in 2007 on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), based on the SRS’ (Scoliosis Research Society) new criteria for brace research, the following results were observed3:
- The SpineCor® brace is 4 times more effective than a Boston-type rigid brace at stopping curvature progression.
- The SpineCor® brace allows patients to avoid surgery in 76.5% of cases, compared to 40% for the Providence brace and 21% for the Boston brace.
- According to a follow-up study performed two years after fitting, the SpineCor® brace is 95.7% effective in maintaining or improving curvature correction.
- According to other long-term studies, 93% of cases show no Cobb angle increase 5 years after brace removal—in other words these cases demonstrate perfect integration of the neuromuscular reeducation.
Preliminary clinical trials on spinal conditions other than scoliosis have also produced promising results.
FAQ FOR ADULTS
IS THE SPINECOR® BRACE SUITABLE FOR ADULTS SUFFERING FROM SCOLIOSIS OR OTHER SPINAL DEFORMITIES?
Most likely yes, depending on the treatment objectives. Although the brace was designed to treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), some doctors have noted its potential for postural rehabilitation and pain relief. It is now used to treat several other conditions.
While adult spinal deformities are permanent and cannot be corrected, it is possible to improve its postural alignment using the SpineCor® brace. The brace creates a corrective movement that offers dynamic support against the force of gravity and alleviates pain in the majority of patients. If worn regularly, the SpineCor® brace is likely have a lasting reinforcing effect on the supporting spinal structure. Plus, wearing the brace can slightly reduce the abnormal curvature in younger adults.
CAN ADULTS EXPECT PERMANENT CURVATURE CORRECTION BY WEARING THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
Adults react very differently to the treatment of scoliosis and other spinal deformities than adolescents due namely to the latter’s growth potential.
While it is possible to correct or stabilize curvature progression in a growing spinal column, the deformity is unfortunately permanent in adults. Although a few degrees of curvature reduction is possible in adult patients wearing the brace, it is unlikely that any such improvement will remain permanent if the patient stops wearing the brace altogether.
CAN WEARING THE SPINECOR® BRACE STOP THE PROGRESSION OF A SPINAL DEFORMITY IN AN ADULT?
Preliminary trials have shown that:
By reinforcing the spinal support structure, the SpineCor® brace can slow the deformity’s progression and in the best cases, even stop it.
Scientific research indicates that adult scoliosis can progress between 0.5° to close to 4° per year from a Cobb angle of 30°24. Within a long-term treatment perspective, the SpineCor® brace most definitely constitutes an effective tool for preventing aggravation of abnormal curvatures, allowing patients to go about their normal daily routine and thereby improving their quality of life.
HOW LONG DO PATIENTS HAVE TO WEAR THE SPINECOR® BRACE?
That depends on the severity of the condition and on the treatment objective established by the patient along with their doctor. We generally recommend an initial period of extended wear that can often be followed by a gradual reduction in the number of hours of wear while maintaining the benefits.
HOW OFTEN WILL FOLLOW-UP VISITS OCCUR?
Usually, patients have their first follow-up visit after six weeks, then every 4 to 6 months and then, once the condition has stabilized, once a year or so.
HOW MUCH DOES FOLLOW-UP COST?
Each follow-up exam costs $160. An additional $160 will be required for follow-up x-rays, which are usually taken every two years. (Cost of follow-up exams may change at any time and remain at the discretion of the chiropractor.)
HAVE THERE BEEN STUDIES CONDUCTED PROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SPINECOR® DYNAMIC BRACE IN ADULTS?
Use of the brace in adults is relatively recent, however the results of preliminary studies have been extremely promising.
In one such preliminary study7, 30 adult patients (between the ages of 18 and 69) suffering from chronic pain due to scoliosis were fitted with the the SpineCor® brace according to protocol and monitored between 10 and 130 hours per week for a period of 18 to 26 months.
The results of the data collected show an average overall pain relief of 77%. In addition, this relief remained constant over time, with rates of 78%, 83% and 76% over subsequent visits. Finally, half of the patients reported that their symptoms had completely disappeared.