Spinal Bracing

Spinal Bracing

Spinal Bracing & Cervical Collars

Spinal Braces are designed to provide support, comfort, and correction to your spine. They apply forces directly to or around the affected spine and torso to increase stability and reduce pain. At Chin and Partners, we provide off -the-shelf and customised options. Our Orthotists will assess your condition and evaluate the treatment prescription to ensure you receive the correct fit and function.

We can classify spinal bracing into dynamic and static orthoses. Dynamic orthoses refer to soft braces that allow a degree or full range of motion (ROM) whilst static spinal bracing is rigid to prevent the range of motion.

  • Dynamic orthoses (soft): These braces range from very flexible and elasticated braces which provide warmth to the affected area while providing some stability and a gentle reminder to hold posture to more structured elasticated braces that provide firm support and limit movement to the affected area of the spine.
  • Static orthoses (rigid): The braces are rigid and may be either Off the Shelf (OTS) or custom made, depending on the severity of the injury or condition. They are usually required after you sustain a stable nondisplaced fracture or for corrective purposes for example scoliosis. Unstable or displaced fractures are usually treated surgically. Your Orthopaedic surgeon will recommend the best treatment plan for you.

Lower back pain:

Spinal Bracing can be broken down into different levels depending on what needs to be stabilised.

Neck Braces / Cervical Orthosis (CO): These braces are designed to provide stability to the cervical spine C1- C7, they may be rigid or soft.

Upper and mid back / Thoracic Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (TLSO): The braces are designed to support the thoracic region, usually from T7 to the sacral level.

Lower back / Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (LSO): These braces are designed to support the lumbar sacral region from L1 to the sacral region.

Pelvis and base of spine /Sacral Orthosis (SO): These braces usually serve to stabilise sacral iliac joint.

Neck and upper back / Cervical Thoracic Orthosis (CTO):  These braces are designed to stabilise the low Cervical and upper thoracic spine

Neck to the base of the spine / Cervical Thoracic Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (CTLSO): These braces are designed to stabilise multiple levels on the spine

Treatment Objectives of Spinal Bracing

  • Improve muscular and skeletal function
  • Treat severe sprain and strain
  • Aids in support, comfort and pain related to chronic, traumatic, inflammatory, and metabolic bone disorders
  • Pre- and Post-Operative Immobilization and pain reduction
  • Fracture Immobilization
  • Correct spinal deformities
  • Immobilises recurring subluxation or dislocation

Common Indications

  • Chronic back pain
  • Severe whiplash
  • Pre and post pregnancy support
  • Bad Posture
  • Post-operative spinal fusion, laminectomy, or discectomy
  • Vertebral disc herniation or degeneration
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve)

Upper Body Supports - Torso

Chest Support: Post- operatively – These are usually a soft, elasticated Velcro fastening garment that wraps around the ribs and chest to support the chest surgical site post heart surgery.

Abdominal Support -These elasticated supports are used pre and post operatively to provide reduction or support of the hernia site.

Examples of Off the shelf Orthotics for the Upper Body

Spine

  • Cervical: Miami J collar, Philadelphia collar, soft collar, and poly pad.
  • Thoracic: Posture and hyperextension brace.
  • Lumbar: Actistrap, Immostrap, pregnancy corset and back to back brace.
  • Sacral: Sacroiliac belt and sacroiliac pregnancy belt

Sternal/Chest

  • Chest buddy/binder and clavicle straps

Abdomen

  • Abdominal binder and elastic wraps, hernia, and groin support.

Custom Spinal Bracing

Depending on the diagnosis e.g. Scoliosis or the level of the injury e.g. fracture or support needed, custom upper body orthotics can be custom manufactured. This is usually done in more severe cases or when an off-the-shelf orthosis will not provide the required stability or will not fit according to the desired specifications. Custom bracing for spinal orthotics can be further divided into supportive bracing and corrective bracing. In this case of corrective bracing, it is generally used for patients that have a curvature of the spine. Scoliosis patients that have a non-structural curve and/or have not reached skeletal maturity. When one of these two conditions are met, a corrective scoliosis brace can be prescribed. When treating fractures or other conditions that require immobilisation of the spine, the level of injury determines the type of brace manufactured.

The procedure for custom bracing is as follows:

  • Referral from the treating physician
  • Clinical evaluation by the orthotist
  • Casting/moulding your upper body region
  • Manufacturing of the orthosis.
  • Test fit if needed (depending on the function of the brace)
  • Making necessary adjustments.
  • Manufacturing of final orthosis
  • Final fitting.
  • Follow up in 2 weeks

Off the Shelf Spinal Bracing

These braces are semi customisable to provide the necessary support the spinal column as required. There are numerous braces in this range, and we select these braces depending on the prescribing Doctors preference or ours.

EXOS

The EXOS range is the only bracing system that allows easy removing and adjustments of a custom fit design for complete immobilization. This special range is a prime example of the upper body key features and furthermore, has characteristics of its own. These include:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Waterproof
  • Radiolucent
  • Thermoformable

The EXOS range is available in the following:

  • EXOS Form || 637: Thoracic Spine 9 – Sacral Spine 1
  • EXOS Form || 626: Lumbar Spine 1 – 5
  • EXOS Form || 621: Sacroiliac

We provide patients with upper body orthotics from different brands. At Chin and Partners, we are familiar with all brands available to us locally and stock the following at our practice:

  • Ottobock
  • Donjoy
  • Ossur
  • Medis
  • Medac
  • Blue Leaf Medical

Care and Advice for Upper Body Orthotics

  • Wipe down the orthosis with a damp cloth
  • Do not machine wash
  • Do not bathe or partake in water activities with the orthosis on
  • Only sleep with the orthosis if compulsory and as advised by your doctor
  • For CTLSO, TLSO and LSO braces it is recommended that you wear a natural fibre t-shirt underneath the brace to protect your skin and help keep the brace clean.

Frequently asked questions

Will I be able to eat with my neck brace?

Soft collars and rigid neck braces rely on your shoulder and jaw to stabilise your neck, this may affect your ability to eat and talk comfortably. It is imperative that you follow your healthcare providers advice and if they tell you not to take the brace off when eating that you adhere to this. Please check with your healthcare provider if you can remove it for eating. Some rigid braces do allow for the removal of the chin support and the addition of a head band to allow for eating. Please check with our attending orthotist.

What happens if my brace is hurting me?

Your Orthotist will make sure that brace is fitting you properly before you leave, however on occasions things may shift when you are home and a small adjustment may be required. Please contact us if you have any concerns in this regard. Please do not adjust it yourself without speaking to us first.

Can I take my brace off to wash it or myself?

Always speak to and adhere to healthcare providers advice on this. If you take the brace off without their approval you could cause serious complications.

Please call (021) 506 5680

Or contact us via email form below

Other Services

    • Mobility

      Mobility

      Find out more about Chin & Partners’ mobility services and solutions

    • Prosthetics

      Prosthetics

      Our goal is to provide a patient-centered medical home for all patients

    • Orthotics

      Orthotics

      Our goal is to provide a patient-centered medical home for all patients