WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?
Scoliosis refers to a musculoskeletal disorder where a sideways curvature of the spine is present. Everyone’s spine naturally curves a bit, but for someone who has scoliosis, their spine curves too much. The spine might look like the letter C or S.
In 80% of scoliosis cases, the cause is unknown. This is called idiopathic scoliosis. In known causes, the disorder can be from neuromuscular conditions, congenital (present at birth), genes, different leg length, bad posture, using backpacks or satchels or poor exercise habits. The spinal curving generally gets worse during a growth spurt. Most often, scoliosis affects females more than males.
Symptoms usually include leaning to one side and having uneven shoulders and hips. Most of the time, scoliosis does not cause pain in children or teens. If there is pain, it may be because the curve in the spine is causing stress and pressure on the spinal structures such as discs, nerves, muscles, ligaments or facet joints. In adults, they may or may have back pain. If pain is present, it can be difficult to determine whether scoliosis is the cause. But if scoliosis gets worse and severe, it can lead to back pain and difficulty in breathing.
As Pilates was introduced, people have found out through self-discovery that its methods build awareness of postural problems and corrective techniques to both prevent and address their problems. Pilates regimen was originally developed to provide an exercise program for soldiers wounded during World War I.
IMPROVING SCOLIOSIS WITH REFORMER PILATES
Scoliosis has no cure, but some exercises such as Reformer Pilates have been shown to help strengthen the back muscles and improve other related symptoms. Pilates focuses on strengthening abdominal and back muscles. It also emphasizes on posture and breathing.
For someone with scoliosis, exercises should gradually increase in level of difficulty and should not induce back pain. It is advisable to tell a Pilates instructor about the condition. It is recommended to get medical clearance from your doctor as well as seeking physiotherapeutic advice when needed. Pilates exercises can be modified and people with scoliosis can be taught internal control. It is about the ability to hold the spine from the inside, providing significant relief to those with soft spines.
Studies on individual patients with scoliosis show that Pilates, alone or combined with other exercise, improves flexibility and mobility, strengthens and stabilizes muscles around joints, reduces back pain and enables adjustments in posture to improve spinal alignment and symmetry. Pilates can also help improve physical activity, allowing to resume household chores such as vacuuming and gardening.
Though Reformer Pilates can help the condition of scoliosis patients, patients should know that it can’t reduce or stop the progression of scoliosis. Yet, Pilates provides a good condition and help them recover after treatment.
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