Scoliosis refers to a condition that results from abnormal curvature of the spine to the side. The curvature can impinge the nerves, overstretch the spinal muscle to one side and compress the spinal muscles on the other side. It can be very painful especially for those with severe spinal rotation.
Most of the time, scoliosis occurs in pre-adolescent and adolescent girls aged 10 to 15 years. A spine brace is sometimes prescribed to help straighten the growing spine. Wearing a brace can be grueling. It can cause a certain stigma that can affect the emotional state and social aspect of a patient.
Scoliosis is a lifelong condition that can progress if not treated. This is why wearing a brace and doing lifelong exercises are important. If you are one of those who have the condition, sticking to a particular set of exercise given by your doctor or physical therapist is important. There are many exercises for scoliosis. It all depends on the type of curvature that you have.
How effective are Yoga Poses for Scoliosis?
Yoga is now used as a way to treat scoliosis. As mentioned previously, scoliosis can cause overstretching to one side of the spine. This can also result to muscle weakness. In order to strengthen the weakened structures and therefore, restore balance to the back muscles, side planking is recommended.
A study conducted by Dr. Loren Fishman and associates showed positive results in performing side planks for an average of 2 minutes everyday for six times a week for around seven months. The subjects ranged from 14 to 85 years of age. A 50% improvement was seen among adolescent while adults experienced 41% improvement in their condition. Overall, the researchers saw an average of 32% improvement for all subjects.
Yoga Poses to Try
Aside from side planks, there are many other yoga poses one can do to increase flexibility and strengthen weakened structures. Generally, yoga can strengthen core muscles which also play a part in improving your condition. It also improves overall flexibility of the body.
A common exercise for scoliosis is the pelvic tilt. Starting position is on all fours with the small of the back arched as far as you can, head up and tailbone lifted. Slowly arch your whole back, pulling your stomach in and drop your head. Exhale.
Another yoga pose you can do is the extended child pose. Stretching your arms forward help lengthen the back muscles. If you have a C-curve type of scoliosis, moving your arms to the convex side of your spine will help straighten it.
Forward bend with hands on the wall, otherwise known as Ardha Uttanasana, can help straighten the spine while stretching the hamstrings and calf muscles as well.
Try doing lying basic twist positions as well to stretch your lower back. This is particularly helpful if your spine curvature is found in the lower thoracic and lumbar area.
Other positions to try include mountain pose, chair pose, tree pose, lunges and superman pose. Remember that the main objective here is to always increase the flexibility of tight muscles, strengthen weakened muscles and develop other muscle groups that can help support the back.
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