Receiving a scoliosis diagnosis is both frightening and confusing. Our natural first response is to search the Internet or consult various health practitioners. Due to the overwhelming available information on the Internet, different approaches and varying opinions, this can lead to more confusion. Human nature will cause us to respond to a diagnosis in two ways: 1) a “wait and see” approach and hope for the best or, 2) I want to do everything I possibly can to improve this. Our office believes in a safe, active and scientific approach to dealing with scoliosis.
A non-surgical approach is the utilization of a scoliosis back brace. There are different types of braces for scoliosis, the traditional form is a rigid brace. As the name implies, the brace is made of a hard plastic that mimics a cast to stop or slow the progression of the scoliosis. These rigid braces for scoliosis use various names such as: Milwaukee Brace, Jewett brace, TLSO (Boston brace) and many more. A rigid back brace for scoliosis utilized as a potential road block to stop progression, however, the consequence is a restriction of movement and a weakening of the muscles. Unfortunately, research states that over 60% of patients using rigid scoliosis bracing are lost to surgery within 2 years. Contrastly, 58% fewer patients were lost to surgery using a unique soft scoliosis bracing. (J.Pediatric Ortho.,2007).
SpineCor’s revolutionary brace is soft and flexible allowing for total freedom of movement. The brace is unique as it does not force the spine into a position. The therapeutic approach that is taken, places the patient into a Corrective Movement® through the use of strategically placed elastic bands. This corrective movement principle is based on the patient’s specific scoliosis and helps unwind the scoliosis to allow for correction by re-education of nerves and muscles. Additionally, there is relief of pain using this type of scoliosis bracing, as the body has decreased muscular strain as posture improves. For all of these reasons our office fully endorses the use of the SpineCor brace.
As you continue your search for treatment options, remember there is no “quick fix” for scoliosis. Please take this information into consideration and make the best choice for you or your child. We strongly believe that taking a proactive approach like using the SpineCor scoliosis brace is a safe, non-invasive and scientifically effective choice.
For adults, typically a diagnosis of scoliosis is determined by their family physician or chiropractor. The most common subjective complaint is chronic back pain. Preliminary clinical trials with adults using the SpineCor scoliosis brace saw 90% of patients achieved and maintained a mean pain reduction of 70% over at least one year and that there was an average cobb angle reduction of 4.41 degrees ranging from -12 degrees to +3 degrees. If the scoliosis is severe and compromising lung and heart function, adults are referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
SpineCor is much more acceptable for children, offering almost total freedom of movement and allowing them to continue participating in sports and normal day to day activities.
Is the SpineCor brace painful to wear?
No. The unique advantage to the SpineCor brace is that it is soft, flexible and painless. It is possible to have some minor discomfort when you are initially fitted with the brace, however this short-term. The brace is designed to reduce and often eliminate pain caused by spinal deformities.
How long does it take to put on the brace?
Once you are familiar with your brace, it takes less than 2 minutes.
At what age can someone start to wear a SpineCor brace?
The SpineCor dynamic brace can be prescribed from age 5 to the functional geriatric population.
What is the cost of the SpineCor brace?
The cost is $4,500 CAN. There is a cost for follow-up examinations to monitor the patient’s progress and make brace adjustments.
How much does the follow-up examination cost?
Each clinical examination costs $150. Every six months, an extra $150 is charged for monitoring x-rays.
How often are the follow-up examinations?
The patient is seen 4-6 weeks after the initial fitting and every 3 months until the brace is discontinued.
How long does the SpineCor treatment last?
This is dependent upon the patient’s age, degree of spinal deformity and overall health. Active treatment is a minimum of 18 to 24 months. It is common for patients to continue using their brace after their treatment protocol.
I was diagnosed with scoliosis at fourteen and I remember hating my visits to the doctor. I always left feeling frustrated and helpless. My personality went from upbeat and happy to quiet and depressed. So when my eleven year old was diagnosed earlier this year my biggest concern was for her emotional health. The specialist gave us three options: do nothing, have surgery or hard bracing. He focused on how bad Belauna’s curves were and how bad they would get by the time she turned eighty, even if we managed to halt the progression during her growing years. From his perspective, the fact that she has lots of growing left to do was going to work against her. Belauna was fitted for a hard brace, which was very painful, and she was already dreading having to wear it. That’s when I found SpineCor and Dr. Mendes.
Our first appointment with Dr. Mendes was completely different. He talked to Belauna and made her feel relaxed and comfortable. He explained exactly what was happening to her spine and how the SpineCor brace worked. He focused on how flexible her back is instead of how bad the curves are. And with the SpineCor brace, the more growing she has left to do the better her chances are of possibly seeing some correction. We were thrilled to finally hear something positive. I don’t have to tell her to wear her brace since she feels better when it’s on and she actually looks forward to her visits with Dr. Mendes. I couldn’t be more pleased with how she is doing.
~ Janine (Mom)
After the first appointment with the specialist I left feeling depressed, unhappy, and I wanted to go home and cry. I felt like there wasn`t any hope. The fitting for the hard brace really hurt when they squashed me into these plastic things to straighten out my curves. I felt even worse than before and I was dreading seeing the doctor again. Thankfully I didn’t have to!
My first visit with Dr. Mendes was so different, he made me feel good about myself and hopeful and happy. Basically it was the opposite of everything I felt in the hospital. The SpineCor brace doesn`t hurt at all and has even taken away the back pain I was having. I am always excited to go see Dr. Mendes!
~ Belauna (age 11)
I was diagnosed with a severe scoliosis in 1998 at the age of 14. I decided against surgery, even though my curvature was 45 degrees and quickly progressing. Instead, I found out about a bracing option in the U.S. At the time, there weren’t many other choices available, so I gave it a shot. It was the most challenging, painful and emotional 4 years of my life. At the end of the bracing program, I did not receive as much of a positive result as I was hoping. My lumbar curve did seem to improve, but sadly, as my teenage years ended and I progressed into adulthood, my thoracic curve took a turn for the worst and started to progress again. The only way I was able to find any pain relief and improve my postural abnormalities was through the proper exercises and stretches. I decided to become a Registered Massage Therapist in 2006 and graduated in 2009 with my diploma. I learnt many valuable skills in dealing with and treating scoliosis. As I started into my practice, the pain was unbearable at times when treating my clients, I was always able to keep my composure in front of them but I found it very contradicting that I was trying to help people with their pain and yet unable to help myself. I started to really lose hope but was to stubborn to quit my practice in Massage Therapy; “something about the gratification of my job really kept me going.
In 2011, I had an interview with Dr. Julian Mendes. He was looking for a Massage Therapist to join his team in Kelowna at “Posture First Chiropractic”. As fate would have it, I joined his team and soon found out that he specialized in treating scoliosis. Dr. Mendes really opened my eyes and made me realize that there was still hope for me and others suffering with my condition. Not only did his specific and effective chiropractic adjustments give me pain relief and mobility, but he also introduced me to the latest technology called SpineCor Bracing. In children, it is successful in reducing the severity of the scoliosis curvatures without painful bracing and surgery. In adults such as myself, the goals are different as the spine has stopped growing and room for improvement is minimal. The goals for adult bracing are more for pain management, prevention and postural improvement. Dr. Mendes fit me for the Adult SpineCor brace in late February of 2011. At first I was hesitant and doubtful that it would even make a difference as my curvature was 68 degrees. That night I was sitting at my computer in my new brace, normally after about 20 minutes I would have to get up and stretch because the pain was so intense. I sat in front of the computer for about an hour with no pain and had one of the best sleeps I can remember. Today I am still practicing in Kelowna with less then half the pain I was experiencing in the past. My curvature is stabilized as of my last follow up with Dr. Mendes and I am able to continue the activities I enjoy with a better quality of life.
I have so much respect for Dr. Mendes as he is so passionate about what he does. He is now practicing in Calgary Alberta and continues to touch people’s lives in so many ways.
With sincere appreciation and warmest thanks to Dr. Julian Mendes for your patience, understanding and commitment to helping me strive for a better chance at improving my quality of life and to never stop believing in myself and my capabilities. You have helped me in more ways than you know!
~ Stacey Salvati