What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine shows some degree of curvature. It can be primarily to the left, right, or a mixture of both. The location of scoliosis can vary too. It can be in the lumbar spine, higher up around the ribs (thoracic spine), in the neck, or, again, a mixture of these. Whilst all scoliosis will involve a lateral shift (a shift to the side), it will also involve rotation of spinal vertebrae. It can be measured in degrees which is normally done by orthopaedic or musculoskeletal medical professionals.
Impact and Diagnosis
People can have scoliosis without feeling any obvious effects of it, but sometimes they can have discomfort or pain, or notice restriction of movement one way or another. Scoliosis is best diagnosed by a trained professional although sometimes it is reasonably obvious once you have a view of the person from the back or in movement in more pronounced cases.
Management of Scoliosis
Pilates can be used very successfully for helping strengthen the body once scoliosis has been identified. Normally this involves working the body in a way that challenges the side that is harder to move to, stabilise, lean or rotate towards, lengthening the tighter sides, and freeing up the diaphragm in breathing as the diaphragm can often be tighter on one side. In fact work on improving breath patterns is pretty essential.
In the second part, we will explore how important spinal muscles are in scoliosis.