Scoliosis can have many forms. We have general categories for scoliosis and spine curvatures, but each is unique. Scoliosis Specific Exercise are designed to balance scoliosis curves. They address the unique curvatures of each person.
Asymmetry is something all scoliosis curves have in common. Asymmetries occur in 3 dimensions: 1) Front to back, 2) Side to side, 3) Rotation. With both the Schroth Method and Postural Restoration, we address all 3 aspects of the curvature to balance asymmetry. Our patients begin Scoliosis Specific Exercise with front to back correction, then side to side. Rotation will then follow.
In the front to back, curves are known as either lordosis (most commonly increased arching in the low back), or kyphosis (increased rounding in the back, most often the upper back). In the side to side dimension curves are often a C-shape or an S-shape. The C-shape is considered a “3-curve” using Schroth terminology. The S-shape is considered a “4-curve” in Schroth terminology. Rotational curves can be seen when a person bends forward, and one side of the back is more prominent. Also, in the front of their body one side of the rib cage is often more protruded than the other.
Precise exercise positions place the body so that a person’s muscles, previously underused, are activated. Muscles targeted are different on the right and on the left depending on the person’s curve pattern. Wedges, towel rolls, bolsters, stools, poles, bars, bands, balls, are a few tools we use. These help us for positioning our patient, to give sensory input to our patient, and to guide the patient’s muscle activity. Once in the corrected position, specific breathing techniques are used to expand restricted, concave areas. Breathing alone is a powerful tool for repositioning the spine and rib cage.
Scoliosis exercises are progressed as a person gains mastery of each position and breathing technique. The Schroth Method outlines basic Principles of Correction that include mental focus on changing the body’s habits.
Scoliosis Specific Exercises are challenging. They are also empowering and offer a deep and enduring awareness of our body position, breathing and postural balance.