Spinal orthoses, which include neck and back braces, are used to support and stabilize areas of the body from the jaw to the lower back and cervical spine. These types of orthoses may be used postoperatively to promote proper and safe healing, to treat a chronic disease or condition such as arthritis or used to treat an injury, such as whiplash.
Spinal Orthoses are Prescribed to:
Realign the Spine
Incorrect alignment of the spinal column can compromise the spinal cord and existing nerve roots, causing pain, weakness or even paralysis. An orthopedic spinal brace can realign and support the spine, aiding in the healing process, slowing the progression of conditions such as osteoarthritis and scoliosis and helping preserve muscular and sensory functions.
Immobilize the Spine
When one segment of the spine moves, it creates motion in the areas immediately above and below. Controlling this motion is extremely important in treating injured or damaged areas. The use of an orthopedic spinal brace to immobilize the spine encourages fractures to heal, prevents progression of disease or deformity and provides overall support of the body.
Support Weakened Areas of the Spine
To ensure maximum stability of the spinal column during the healing process, spinal orthotic devices are designed to fit snuggly, providing maximum support to the entire torso, including the pelvis. The devices often incorporate rigid components that assume the function of damaged bones and ligaments.
Creating a Custom Spinal Orthosis
Optimal treatment outcomes are dependent upon an optimal fit; therefore, a spinal orthosis is often designed from a model of the patient’s body.
Cervical collars are classified as soft or rigid. These types of neck orthotics range from a soft support that helps in the treatment of minor neck strains to a rigid brace that supports from under the jaw down to the chest area to provide maximum support and protection of the cervical and thoracic areas.
Halo Orthoses or Cervical Halo
Halo orthoses are used to treat injuries to the cervical spine. This type of orthosis is comprised of a vest and superstructure and is typically used to treat a severe injury or unstable fractures to the neck or for postoperative stabilization.