Scoliosis is a condition that results in the sideways curvature of the spine. This results in physiological side effects which may include uneven shoulders, one prominent shoulder blade, uneven waste and hips. Adults with scoliosis may experience pain in the lower back, stiffness, and fatigue due to extra effort in movement.
While only approximately 10 percent of scoliosis patients require active treatment there have been great advancements in methods to improve the quality of life for these individuals. There are three primary types of treatment options for the spinal deformities that may develop from scoliosis; observation, nonoperative treatments, surgical treatments. Observation is reserved for mild curvature and generally include physical therapy. Surgical treatments are invasive and have a 55 percent failure rate 15 to 20 years post operation.
Nonoperative treatments are often used with child patients with curves that are 25 to 45 degrees. Adult patients are left with few to no options. Restrictive braces are the most well-known method for nonoperative treatment. They are outdated, generally unsuccessful, and ineffective with adult scoliosis patients. However, this is changing due to the invention of the Activity Suit. Traditional braces make it hard for adult scoliosis patients to live an active lifestyle.
The Activity Suit is designed with the intention of giving these patients the opportunity to stay active and improve their scoliosis simultaneously. The suit is lightweight made of neoprene material making it much less restrictive than a traditional brace. The Activity Suit was designed with four primary parts; the torso, lumbar, and anchor pieces, along with the tension straps.
The Activity Suit is expected to reprogram the muscles and untwist the spine. With each step taken the resistance created causes new muscle memory to develop. The tension straps on the Activity suit work to create a cyclone effect that results in untwisting of the spine.
An early study conducted in 2013 looked at the benefits of the Activity Suit by following 62 scoliosis patients who wore the suit for one year. At the end of the study 48 percent of the cohort achieved scoliosis correction. With continued research and advancement the Activity Suit is seeing continued positive outcomes and quality of life improvement.