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Pilates Can Help Individuals with Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine abnormally curves to the side, as pictured to the right. The curvature can be mild, moderate or severe.

Fast Facts about Scoliosis….
1. Scoliosis affects about 2% of the population in the United States. People of all ages can have scoliosis, but is most commonly diagnosed in girls ages 10-12 years old.
2. The cause of scoliosis is unknown, but has been known to run in families.
3. Doctors classify curves as:
*****Nonstructural, which is when the spine is structurally normal and the curve is temporary. In these cases, the doctor will try to find and correct the cause.
*****Structural, which is when the spine has a fixed curve. The cause could be a disease, injury, infection, or birth defect.
4. Depending on the age of patient, cause of the scoliosis and severity of the curvature, the physician can treat it in the following ways: monitoring, exercise,bracing or surgery.

Problems Scoliosis Can Cause…..
1. Mild to moderate back pain
2.Pre-arthritic changes in the spine
3.Muscle imbalances – the muscles on one side of the spine is usually tighter than the other and the muscles on the other side of the spine is usually weaker than the other.
4.Poor posture awareness.

It is important that anyone with mild to moderate scoliosis make daily exercise part of their routine to treat this condition. While studies show that exercise does not usually reverse the scoliosis, it can help to strengthen the overstretched side, stretch the tighter side and improve posture awareness. Individuals with mild, moderate or severe scoliosis who do not do regular exercises, will usually develop such muscle imbalances that they end up with pain in the lower back, neck, shoulders and hips.

What Types of Exercise Are Best For Individuals With Scoliosis…..
1. Any form of weight bearing exercises are important – Walking, running, aerobics
2. Yoga is beneficial for flexibility and strength
3. Pilates is beneficial for strength, flexibility, posture awareness and to keep muscles imbalances in check.
4. Daily strengthening and flexibility exercises are crucial for individuals with scoliosis. See the workout suggestion above.

Pilates Can Help Individuals with Scoliosis….
Pilates cannot cure scoliosis! However, there are many benefits of
Pilates that can help individuals with scoliosis. Pilates has the following benefits…..
1. Improves core strength
2. Improves flexibility
3. Improves posture awareness
4. Corrects muscle imbalances
5. Improves balance

While Pilates is a great tool to use if you have scoliosis, there are certain Pilates exercises that are better than others. It is important to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Then make sure you find a certified Pilates instructor who knows how to work with an individual with scoliosis.

ABS Pilates of Columbus, Ohio is a specialized Pilates program lead by Amanda B. Smith, licensed physical therapist, certified McKenzie Therapist and certified Pilates instructor with more than 25 years of experience.

For more information about the right exercises to do if you have a scoliosis, contact ABS Pilates today

Amanda Smith - Licensed Physical Therapist, certified Pilates instructor, ACE certified Group Exercise Instructor, ACE certified Health Coach, Certified McKenzie Therapist. Ready to help you become stronger and healthier in a safe, fun and holistic manner.