Pilates for Scoliosis
By: Kerrie Murphy | 13/01/2020
The spine plays a very important role in our body. Whist supporting the head and trunk, it enables us to maintain our upright posture, protection for our neutral pathways in the body interconnecting the whole body system as one for function and life.
When viewing the spine from behind it ideally runs approximately straight up and down. Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal condition in which the spine has a sideways curvature, typically curving in a “c” or “s” shape, and indeed multiple curves. Rotation in the vertebral bodies also appears and has a very negative impact, restricting mechanical structures. (Clippinger 2007)
These causing imbalances of the surrounding muscles, some are stretched and weakened, while others are tight and shortened.
There are two types of causes:
Non-structural or acquired: Leg length discrepancy, asymmetries: loaded side exercises, handedness or postural habits e.g. carrying bag over one shoulder. Equally it has been found that in symmetry sports such as swimming in dance, demonstrating it’s more complex than initially thought. (Becker 1986, Sward 1992).
Idiopathic or unknown cause: This is present at birth and commonly found in girls than boys.
- Leaning to one side
- Uneven shoulder and hip height
- Weakness in the arms and shoulders
- Imbalances in motor activities.
If not addresses the imbalances get worse and severe. It can lead to increased back pain and difficulty breathing, and vulnerability to injury due to the pressure on the spinal structures.
Early detection 10-13 years may be able to halt or slow further progression through treatment.
Pilates helps slow down the progression of spinal curves and gives some reduction in the angle of curvature though improving function and strength in the body, taking the stress off from a scoliosis spine.
Pilates works on trunk stabilisation, building abdominal and back extension strength. In the work with scoliosis emphasising on rotation whilst take care work symmetrically through the body.
Through the corrective and mindfulness technique of Pilates, it helps increase body awareness to enable self-correction of movement.
Improves breathing to move with ease and build a well balance support system. This enables the body to increase its ability to move efficiently in this full 3 dimensional space for improved posture for scoliosis and health of the spine.