Scoliosis & Yoga

What is it?

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curve of the spine with a rotational component. A spine with scoliosis has shifted laterally, forming an S or C shaped curve and with that curve, the spine rotates at the same time. There are 2 types of scoliosis structural and functional.

Structural scoliosis is a misalignment of the bones of the spine in which vertebrae are stuck in a rotated position and the disks between the vertebrae become compressed causing the vertebrae to become wedge shaped. In most structural scoliosis cases, another part of the spine curves toward the opposite side to compensate for the initial lateral curve. A compensating curve helps the body stay upright rather than leaning completely into the curve.

Functional scoliosis is caused by an imbalance of the functioning of muscles associated with the back and does not usually alter the structure of the bones or body. The spine can take on a lateral curve as a result of everyday tasks that repeat and create an imbalance in the body.

Scoliosis is diagnosed as a mild scoliosis if it measures below twenty degrees. Moderate if classified from twenty to forty-five degrees, and often bracing is recommended. Fifty degrees and above, where the severity of the lateral rotation of the curve may increase more rapidly and may cause cardiopulmonary or digestive dysfunction or both is classified as severe and surgery may be recommended.

Benefits of YOGA for scoliosis: By combining yoga postures with awareness of breath you can redevelop structural alignment and create more symmetry in the body. By stretching the muscles that have tightened and strengthening the muscles that have become weak from the asymmetrical imbalance of scoliosis, realignment of the body is accomplished.

The result for most people with scoliosis who commit to a regular yoga practice is better posture and less pain.

August 7th thru 10th, 2018 Mary Ann attended The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Mass. She received 14 hours training with Elise Browning Miller in-"Yoga for Scoliosis" Contact her for more information on this topic.