Pilates is a system of exercises devised by a German physical trainer named Joseph Pilates. It has become incredibly popular in the Western world, with countless Pilates classes available throughout the UK.
But is Pilates beneficial for scoliosis sufferers? It certainly can be - there is evidence that Pilates can help to improve balance and muscle conditioning, and some scoliosis patients also find that Pilates helps to relieve tension, improve posture and increase joint mobility.
This method of exercising is usually very safe, and while it's no substitute for an intensive ScolioGold treatment course, you may find that Pilates goes some way towards helping you cope with your spinal curvature. Today we will be looking at some helpful Pilates techniques for scoliosis sufferers and how you can perform them at home.
Seated Pelvic Tilt on a Stability Ball
To perform this exercise:
- Sit up straight on a stability ball with your feet flat on the floor and hold a support in front of you.
- Slowly tuck your tailbone under, curving your pelvis beneath you. You should feel the ball roll forward slightly.
- Release, then start again.
The side bend exercise focuses on the upper half of your back. Here's how to do it:
- Raise one hand up over your head, towards the ceiling, then bend your knees.
- Once you're in a bending position, take your other hand and rest it on the side of your hip.
- Lengthen your body to one side, rest, and then bend to the other side. Repeat.
This exercise is very gentle and can be conducted by patients of all ages. Lie flat on your back on a soft mat to begin with, then follows these steps:
- With your knees bent and feet flat on the floor (hip-width apart), find your 'neutral pelvis' as shown in the photos above. First, move your lower back as far as you can away from the mat...
- ...and then press it as far as you can towards the mat. The midpoint between these two positions is your 'neutral pelvis'.
- To engage your core, place your finger tips on the inside of your hip bone. Try to tighten your stomach muscles in towards the spine - your tummy should move away from your fingers.
- Hold for six seconds, and then repeat.
These are just a few gentle Pilates exercises that can be completed every morning. Regularly completing this routine can help relieve tension and other symptoms of scoliosis, but if you're looking for a more specialised exercise routine to prevent long-term progression of your condition, we can provide this here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.
Contact us today for details, or click here to learn more about our ScolioGold treatment method.
It is fairly common for a person with scoliosis to also suffer from uneven legs and/or flat feet. Indeed, one of the key symptoms to look out for when attempting to spot a case of scoliosis is whether the patient has uneven hips and/or legs.
There are two different types of limb length discrepancy (LLD), which are as follows:
- Functional Leg Length Discrepancy - Functional LLD is caused by scoliosis. A curved spine may cause the pelvis to become uneven, making one leg appear to be longer than the other (even though both legs are actually the same length).
- Anatomical Leg Length Discrepancy - This is when the structural length of the two legs is actually different (i.e. there is a genuine length difference between one leg and the other).
Anatomical limb length discrepancy can actually lead to scoliosis, since the body tries to compensate for the difference in leg length. This means that scoliosis can both cause and be caused by a difference in leg length.
Luckily, there are some ways to address leg length discrepancy without resorting to corrective surgery.
Treating a scoliosis-related leg length discrepancy
One way to reduce LLD is by using orthotics and/or insoles that are designed to compensate for the difference in leg length. These insoles help to slow down the progression of the spinal curve and relieve some of the discomfort that scoliosis can cause. To learn more about how orthotics and insoles can help with scoliosis-related leg length discrepancies, read our blog on the subject here.
There's also the option to undergo a specialised physical therapy course such as those delivered here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. Using our own ScolioGold method (a combination of proven non-surgical treatment techniques), we work with each individual patient to determine the best way to improve their scoliosis and leg length discrepancies (if present). After an initial consultation, a specialist will recommend the best course of treatment for your case.
The ScolioGold treatment method has been extremely effective with our patients - see some of the results here. Our treatment programme has helped to reduce pain, improve posture and boost confidence while also reducing the Cobb angle (spinal curve) of our patients.
If you are hoping that we can help you with your scoliosis leg length discrepancies, please get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS team today.
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine is curved sideways. There are many different types of scoliosis; it can occur for a wide variety of reasons and affect different parts of the spine.
One of the more unusual forms of scoliosis is cervicothoracic scoliosis, where the curve occurs in the vicinity of the patient's neck and upper back. Cervicothoracic scoliosis is often present as a part of a larger curve of the spine, but scoliosis has been known to occur in the neck alone (see cervical scoliosis).
Cervicothoracic scoliosis can cause more pain and discomfort than other forms of the condition. As the curve spans both the neck and the upper spine, it presents an increased risk of:
- Neck injury
- Nerve roots getting trapped between vertebrae
- Weight imbalance (where one side of your neck is carrying more weight than the other)
As it is one of the rarer forms of scoliosis, research on cervicothoracic scoliosis is still relatively thin on the ground. It's understood that the curvature of the spine can form with no clear cause (idiopathic scoliosis) at any time between infancy and adolescence; in adult cases, it appears that cervicothoracic scoliosis is more commonly caused by spinal injuries or the deterioration of the spine over time.
Other medical conditions such as Klippel-Feil syndrome have also been known to lead to cervicothoracic scoliosis.
Treating Cervicothoracic Scoliosis
There are several treatment methods that have proven very effective in relieving the pain caused by this particular type of scoliosis. The right course of treatment for a case of scoliosis is dependent on the patient's presentation; particularly their age and the cause and severity of the curvature. Typically recommended treatments include:
- Physical Therapy - Exercise-based treatment programmes can help to strengthen the neck muscles. This often helps with neck discomfort and allows for freer movement.
- Pain Management - In addition to over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol, methods such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks and radiofrequency nerve ablation can help to combat the pain that can arise from cervicothoracic scoliosis.
- Bracing - A brace may be used in early cases of cervicothoracic scoliosis to stop the curvature from progressing until the patient is able to undergo surgery or other more intensive treatments.
Our Treatment Courses
We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic have developed an effective scoliosis treatment regime for those who do not wish to undergo surgery. Our ScolioGold method has helped countless scoliosis sufferers to overcome the condition and achieve a better quality of life.
If you are suffering from any form of scoliosis, please get in touch with Scoliosis SOS to find out how we can help you with your condition. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.