Yoga and Scoliosis
Just do a quick Google search regarding the benefits of yoga, and you will find thousands of results stating how yoga can strengthen your muscles, enable you to lose weight, increase your flexibility, aid in systemic functions, help with your breathing… the list goes on and on. We are not here to disregard any of the above or to oppose yoga. It is an amazing combination of meditation and exercise. However, this only applies to a healthy individual with a normal spine. The only qualm we have with yoga is when yogis start to claim that yoga is good for scoliosis. This statement sends shivers down our spine.
Scoliosis is the lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine, which may present as either a single curve (c-shaped) or a double curve (S-shaped). Because of this, scoliotic cases must be handled with the utmost delicacy and care. When there is spinal curvature, biomechanical changes occur in the human body, causing the muscles on one side of the curve to be tight while the muscles on the opposite side are weak. Therefore, the only way to help straighten a spinal curve is by correctly identifying those muscles, then strengthening the weak muscles and stretching the tight muscles. Only practitioners who are trained and experienced will be able to do this well. Please do not think any Tom, Dick or Harry from down the street can do this for you.
Why should you avoid exercises with twisting or bending if you have Scoliosis?
On the other hand, if someone has an S-shaped curve of their spine (which is quite common), the muscle weakness and tightness would be found on both sides of the spine at different levels. This complicates everything and is the main reason why we refrain from advising our scoliotic patients to take up yoga. Most positions and stretches are done symmetrically and bilaterally meaning muscles on both sides would feel the effect. This may lead to the further tightening of paraspinal muscles, which were already tight, to begin with, causing a further worsening of the curvature.
Scoliosis Exercise Programs Must be Targeted
When it comes to scoliosis, specifically targeted exercises are the only way to go where conservative strategies are concerned, not scoliosis surgery. Generalized stretching and stretching do not help. However, I must reiterate once again that we are not condemning yoga. The side plank position in yoga has found to achieve substantial success in reducing the curvature of scoliosis patients. The reason behind this being side plank is a unilateral exercise and patients who have a single curve will benefit immensely. However, for patients who have double curves, we would still not recommend it. Many practitioners fail to understand that scoliosis is three-dimensional and must be looked at from every aspect.
Treat your spine like your baby. When your baby falls off a bike and hurts himself, you will try anything and everything in the hopes of getting him well again. Ultimately, you want only the best and the most effective method of care. We are here to make your job easier by answering any inquiries or wonderings you may have. Eliminate the rest and choose the best. Choose the scoliosis treatment programs from Malaysia’s Best Chiropractic Center. If you do have any other questions regarding scoliosis, yoga, or back pain, feel free to contact us at 03-2093 1000 or just drop by any of our centers.