Dr. Jacques Chêneau (France) developed his first Chêneau brace in the 1970s. The Chêneau bracing concept uses pressure zones and expansion areas to positively influence the spine in three dimensions. Goals for brace wearers are stabilization, at minimum, but the ultimate goal is some degree of spinal improvement. This is accomplished via in-brace correction.
Chêneau bracing is asymmetric and differs from other types of scoliosis braces in that it allows for Schroth corrective breathing while the patient wears it. The corrective breathing pattern is strategically created by applying pressure to the convex areas and voids at the concavities for breathing and expansion. A well-designed Chêneau brace should focus on three-dimensional correction of the spine in the coronal (frontal), transverse (rotational) and sagittal (side) planes.
Since its initial development, Chêneau bracing has been intertwined with the Schroth concept for scoliosis. Dr. Chêneau visited Katharina Schroth and Christa Lehnert-Schroth at the renowned Schroth clinic in Germany. He immediately embraced the Schroth breathing concept and figured out a way to incorporate it into his brace designs using the augmented Lehnert-Schroth curve-pattern classifications, which for decades have been the basis of successful Schroth scoliosis treatment.
Chêneau was the first brace developer to recognize that idiopathic scoliosis of the thoracic spine often involves flatback (thoracic lordosis) and should be treated accordingly (1). This is one aspect of bracing where some scoliosis braces fall short and affect patient outcomes.
Today, there are several Chêneau derivates. Some are independently produced but lack the benefits of standardization. Informed consumers should understand that Chêneau bracing is both an art as well as a science. Brace design and fit matter significantly and there can be substantial differences among Chêneau-style braces. For more on this topic, please refer to our blog: Not all Cheneau braces are created equal. Correction effect, or in-brace correction, is one of the most important factors when it comes to the end result. Compliance is another.
For this reason, no Chêneau-style brace is used as broadly or successfully as the Chêneau-Gensingen Brace. It is a brace of the highest standard and it’s why we’ve chosen to use it for our patients here in the US. It’s also used extensively in Europe and Asia and has helped provide thousands of patients with exceptional results in their battle with scoliosis.
For more on the history of Schroth and Cheneau bracing, click here.
Weiss H, Lehnert-Schroth C, Moramarco M, Moramarco K. Schroth Therapy – Advancements in conservative scoliosis treatment. 2015.