Objective: To quantify and compare the forces exerted by scoliosis patients in fiberglass braces during exercises usually prescribed in departments where casts are made. The exercises are intended to increase corrective forces, activate muscles, stimulate ventilation and help the patient psychologically.
Setting: Outpatient care.
Patients: 17 consecutive adolescent patients wearing fiberglass brace for idiopathic scoliosis.
Interventions: Exercises (kyphotization, rotation, "escape from the pad") in different positions (sitting, supine, on all fours).
Main outcome measure: Pressure detected by the F-Socket System between the rib hump and the pad of the brace.
Results: In static and dynamic conditions, the position adopted did not alter the total pressure exerted by the brace, although the part of the sensor stimulated did vary. Kyphotization and rotation exercises produced a significant increase of pressure (+ 58.9% and +29.8%, respectively); however, the "escape from the pad" exercise, despite its name, did not produce any significant variation of pressure.
Conclusion: Exercises in the brace allow adjunctive forces to be applied on soft tissues and through them, presumably on the spine. Different exercises can be chosen to obtain different actions. Physical exercises and sporting activities are useful in mechanical terms, although other important actions should not be overlooked.