A couple of weeks ago we started exploring the subject of scoliosis. In this post we will talk about the role of spinal muscles in this condition.
Spinal muscles imbalance
As scoliosis is essentially curvature of the spine, it would seem logical to accept that there is a degree of imbalance of muscles of the spine. If we consider deep spinal stabilisers, we would often find that one side of spinal stabilisers is not functioning very well, with a consequent weakness. Very often the area of weakness is around the lumbar spine. This is where we need stability the most, and this is where we most frequently are lacking it.
Neuro-Kinetic Therapy (NKT) (R) is a great tool for identifying which spinal muscles are weaker, and helps understand the compensations involved.
What do spinal stabilisers do?
Spinal stabiliser muscles do not just extend the spine backwards, but also have a rotational and side bending role. So once there is weakness in a particular segment, rotation and side bending is no longer evenly supported on both sides of the vertebral column, so one is predisposed to the forming of the curve.
Why does scoliosis occur in the first place?
Why the weakness occurs in the first place is very hard to say. Everyone is unique with their own health history. Sometimes there is an injury that starts the process; sometimes too much sitting down with poor posture can lead us to weakness. Sometimes people lose their strength through lack of activity, stress, age, trauma, illness... we can even learn postural habits from our parents without realising that, during our childhood. Often it is hard to say what could have started the problem. Sometimes it can even be hereditary.
However whatever the current situation, better movement will help scoliosis by improving the movement patterns involved.