Scoliosis is the most common spinal disorder in both children and adolescents, but it also affects as many as 6% of adults over the age of 50 in the United States, 75% of whom regularly experience pain related to their condition. Defined as an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, scoliosis is a lifelong condition that can cause pain, discomfort, and impact overall quality of life.
Though treatments for scoliosis have existed for centuries, they are largely ineffective in providing a real solution to the problem or any long-term relief. In fact, the most common form of treatment for adult scoliosis (bracing) is completely ineffective because the body has already reached skeletal maturity.
Scoliosis braces might provide stability and moderate relief from symptoms, but they do nothing to correct the underlying problem. Luckily, the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit is completely different as it offers a non-invasive, effective alternative to traditional scoliosis treatments like bracing and surgery.
What is the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit?
The ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit is a completely non-invasive treatment option for adult scoliosis that doesn’t just relieve symptoms – it corrects the underlying problem of spinal curvature.
The suit is a lightweight neoprene support system consisting of two pieces that wrap around the upper and lower spine with tension straps to build resistance between the torso and hips. The torso piece supports the rib cage and thoracic spine while the lumbar piece supports the lower spine and allows for free pelvic tilt and rotation. There is also a piece that wraps around the leg, generating resistance that stimulates and engages the deep layer spinal muscles during normal daily activity.
The resulting effect of the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit is a natural unwinding of spinal curvature. By engaging the natural torque pattern of the body, the suit helps create new muscle memory to unwind the spine while stabilizing the asymmetrical muscles to further reduce spinal curvature. In a way, it mimics the effect of resistance training on the spine to help reprogram the firing and coordination of the spinal muscles, improving posture and stabilizing the spine simultaneously.
The ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit can be worn comfortably all day long, either under or over clothing. It does not restrict normal activity and there is no pain during use.
How Does It Compare to Traditional Bracing?
There are traditionally three primary options for scoliosis treatment – observation, bracing, or surgery. While bracing can slow spinal curvature in adolescents, it is only temporary. (Surgery carries risks and has a 55% failure rate within 15-20 years of operation.)
In adolescents, ScoliSMART Clinics recommends Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention over observation.
For adults, scoliosis treatment options are limited because they have already reached skeletal maturity, meaning traditional bracing is largely ineffective. That said, there are two types of scoliosis braces for adults: rigid and flexible. Rigid braces are not recommended because they can cause muscle atrophy and may accelerate degeneration. Flexible bracing provides support and temporary palliative relief. Unfortunately, neither option corrects spinal curvature.
Furthermore, adult scoliosis bracing can be very restrictive, making even the simplest tasks more difficult to perform. It can also cause pain, breathing difficulties, and muscle atrophy. Many patients who wear scoliosis braces develop lower back pain that can persist relentlessly for years.
Fortunately, the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit is unique. It doesn’t aim to simply mitigate symptoms or provide physical support; instead, it works with the body to create new muscle memory, effectively training the spine to unwind naturally and provide long-term relief.
What About Spinal Surgery?
In rare, very severe cases of adult scoliosis, surgical treatment is an option, especially when the patient experiences significant pain, weakness, or numbness.
There are several options for scoliosis surgery, but one of the most common is spinal fusion, a procedure in which two or more vertebrae are fused together to form a solid bone that won’t curve. Though spinal fusion surgery may provide stability for the spine and help delay further progression, it is highly invasive and comes with a serious risk for complications. In fact, more than 50% of spinal fusion patients experience long-term complications.
Some of the risks for spinal fusion include peripheral nerve damage, infection, loss of motion, and lower back pain. There is also a high risk for implant failure. The implant could break, compress the nerve roots, or even pierce the spinal canal. What’s worse is that as many as 40% of patients are considered severely disabled as little as 20 years after spinal surgery, and as many as one-third of patients develop lower back pain within 5 to 7 years of surgery.
The ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit is not only completely non-invasive, it offers better results than surgery or bracing. According to the results of a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine, nearly 80% of patients who used the suit achieved a curve correction of at least 6°. Additionally, more than 50% of patients achieved a reduction in pain.
As well as offering more significant, longer-lasting results than spinal surgery, the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit is virtually risk-free.
Is the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit Right for Me?
For many adults living with scoliosis, pain and discomfort are constant companions.
With the ScoliSMART™ Activity Suit, long-lasting pain relief and improved quality of life are well within reach.