Scoliosis Exercises May Be Only Half Of The Solution
Scoliosis exercises are designed to correct or reduce a twisted spine. Opinion is still divided in the medical world as to the cause of scoliosis. Some theories say early nutrition or environmental issues are to blame, others consider the cause to be down to a defective gene.
However, regardless of the cause, there have been numerous studies to show that people with scoliosis can benefit from exercise and activities such as yoga and The Alexander Technique (see below).
In the cases I have seen of scoliosis, there is another factor - how you stand, move and hold yourself. Even if you spend 30 minutes a day doing your corrective exercises, what about the other 95% of your time?
You may undo any of the benefits of the exercises, if you return to your normal daily activities with the habits that may have contributed to the shape of your spine.
Try my quick movement experiment further down this page to see if it helps release some of the tension in your back.
How you stand, sit and move will condition your muscles. Once you have finished your scoliosis exercises it is important not to return to your usual habits and use your muscles in the same way.
Postural correction exercises don't necessarily change your posture for the good. In fact, in many they either make no difference, or any limited improvements disappear as soon as they stop the exercises.
Whilst it helps to be aware of your posture, you shouldn't try to sit and stand straight. Trying to stand up straight in the old military style will load more stress on your spine.
Muscle Tension And Scoliosis
In the cases of scoliosis, I have seen in my role as a teacher of The Alexander Technique I detect a tightening in a downward spiral towards the ground (see diagram). Following your scoliosis exercises you may spend the next hour standing with this configuration of muscle activity, result - back to square one.
The exercise below could help you feel if you have a downward spiral. Before you start it is important to recognise that whilst gravity pulls us down there is an equal and opposite react that is pushing back (Newton's 3rd law of motion).
Whether you are lying down, sitting, standing or walking the surface beneath you is pushing back in result of the contact you are making with it. You don't need to help gravity by tightening your body and pulling down yourself.
This procedure will help you to let go of unnecessary holding, the habitual patterns, and will release stress on your spine. It will also help you to appreciate how to let go and allow a reverse upward spiral from the floor. It's best done following your scoliosis exercises.
Spiral Movement And Tension
1. Stand with your feet about hip width apart and be aware of the contact you are making with the floor. Appreciate the push coming back up.
2. Let you head start to turn slowly to the left but don't let the shoulders move yet. Check if you are moving the head from the right joint, see the correct
3. When your head has reached the end of its rotation, allow your shoulders to move to the left. IMPORTANT - do not let yourself screw down into the floor. Keep the thought that the floor is pushing up and you can release upwards also.
4. Once your shoulders have moved as far as they can, let your pelvis start to move. Keep moving in this upwards rotation until you feel your feet need to move and stop there.
5. Maintain this position for a few moments and then let go and let yourself swing back to the front and allow for slight movement. You don't want to fix yourself back into your habitual standing pattern.
6. Repeat on the opposite side.
If you have scoliosis, turning to one side will feel harder to perform because you will be going against the twist. If this is the case start on the harder turn first, repeat and the easy side and then return to do one more on the hard side. At any other time when you are not doing your scoliosis exercises, whatever position you are in, see if you can be aware of the supporting surface and allow a thought for an upward release with a slight twirl.
It isn't necessary to actually do it because the thought can be enough to get a release from your habitual holding pattern.
"Working with your spinal techniques this past week has resulted in my big rib hump being nearly flat!" Jane Robertson, Ohio.
You may find the techniques I use in my posture program useful for dealing with scoliosis.
I also use relaxation techniques that can help to release muscle patterns that could be an underlying cause of postural problems.
For more information please
You are here: Home >> Posture >> Exercise for Scoliosis|