spine curve black and white

Pilates’ Role in Treating Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine forms additional curves that change its natural shape. The small vertebrae bones that make up the spinal column twist, altering the alignment of the vertebrae. This spine takes on a C or S shape which can or cannot be identified from outside of the body.

Children are more likely to develop Scoliosis if their parents also have Scoliosis. However, this does not determine the severity of the condition from one person to the next. There is no correlation between generations in regards to the degree of curve and misalignment that develops in the spine.

Although many consider it hereditary, the common belief is that there is no cause for most cases of Scoliosis. Thus it is often categorised as an idiopathic condition.

There are several types of Scoliosis based on the cause of curve development. Therefore, everyone who has Scoliosis has different experiences.  

When the Spine Takes a Turn

When it comes to having Scoliosis, there is no cure There is, however, methods to identify and treat its range of forms.

The need for care through strength conditioning, balance training and therapeutic stretching depends on the severity of the curve, the reason for the curve forming and the risk of it continuing to develop further.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis sees issues in the formation of the spinal bones and occurs in those suffering congenital disorders. Degenerative Scoliosis is caused by changes in the spine due to arthritis, osteoporosis and weakened muscles and ligaments that occur during the aging process. Functional Scoliosis is when an abnormal curve develops due to a problem elsewhere in the body, such as different leg lengths or severe injury.

In most of these cases, Scoliosis itself is mostly painless but can create painful or irritating symptoms. Treating the condition and symptoms through therapeutic exercise can alleviate muscular weakness, pain and spasms to help people achieve a more comfortable and functional life.

Treating Scoliosis with Pilates

Pilates is a great way to treat such symptoms and lessen the effects of Scoliosis. A Pilates program will not reverse unwanted curves in the spine, but it will help build both physical strength and mental awareness of the condition. With this knowledge people with Scoliosis are better able to condition their body and enjoy life’s activities.

Pilates directly improves muscle and soft tissue strength. This will ensure greater alignment in the body. When the body is in greater alignment the bones and muscles that support and control the spine are better able to their job. They will those with Scoliosis to move with greater ease, mobility and range.

For these people, it is wise to find a certified Pilates instructor who understands the conditions surrounding Scoliosis. In addition to this, it is also important to find one with which they can develop a trusting relationship. The style of program the Pilates instructor will design will be tailored appropriately and most often include other types of therapies.

In addition to the physical therapy of strengthening muscles, Pilates routines incorporate stretching and yoga-based methods. They can also include self-massage and specific exercises to increase your overall fitness.

Not only is Pilates great for the mechanics of your body, but it is one of the only exercise routines that also works on a deeper mental and emotional level. The internal focus and breath control required for Pilates are great skills to master for those with Scoliosis.

By acquiring and conditioning the skills of mindful awareness, people with Scoliosis become more aware of their body. They become adept at understanding what their body needs to move successfully. These people can then reach a level of understanding and appreciation for their body which in turn has a major positive impact on their wellbeing.

If you are looking for treatment, drop in and talk to us at Yoga Harmony today. We offer private and semi private rehabilitation Pilates sessions that can bring you all these benefits in a fun and safe environment.