Pilates for Scoliosis & Spinal Asymmetry

Strategies to Bring Symmetry Back to Your Spine

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Pilates For Scoliosis and Spinal Asymmetry Focuses on Improving Spinal and Postural Asymmetry for Both Adults and Adolescents

While we would recommend that patients with moderate-severe scoliosis cases who are experiencing more acute discomfort have a consultation with our physiotherapist first, patients with less severe conditions who are seeking general strengthening and alignment/postural maintenance may find our Pilates for Scoliosis lessons to be a better fit for their lifestyles.

The Schroth Method Adapted Pilates Exercises

Pilates for Scoliosis lessons here are conducted with the Schroth Method principles in mind. For context, Pilates is a well known modality for developing one’s mind-body awareness and strengthening the deep core muscles that work to support trunk stabilisation and the Schroth Method is a conservative three dimensional approach that develops the inner muscles of the rib cage in order to elongate and change the shape of the upper trunk which in turn, works to correct spinal imbalances and abnormalities. This unique combination allows for specific exercises aimed at straightening, centralising and de-rotating the spine with corrective breathing techniques.

While it is difficult to fully reverse the spinal curvature with Pilates exercise, a targeted program can help to release tight areas of your spine, improve body awareness and alignment and strengthen the intrinsic muscles that support and control your spine.

For Both Adolescent and Adult Scoliosis

It should be noted that adolescent and adult scoliosis cases will tend to be treated differently, and therefore you can expect slightly different treatment outcomes.

For adult Scoliosis, the focus would be on releasing muscle and joint tightness, as well as relieving pain and preventing wear and tear of the joints, to support the longevity of the musculoskeletal system. The goal is to rebalance the spine back to more symmetry. It is not possible to straighten the curve back 100%, but the movement and breathing exercises will help you decompress the concave side of the spine, while strengthening the deep spinal muscles, helping you to feel more centred.  Also, small changes to the supporting structures around the spine can greatly improve back pain or leg pain, and subsequently the experience and quality of life.

For Adolescents, the goal is similar to adult scoliosis, but we aim to slow down the progression of the curve and strengthen the deep spinal muscles that hold the spine centre and upright.  A targeted Pilates Program for adolescents aims to improve body awareness and improve posture and alignment, while strengthening the surrounding structures that support and control your spine. With adolescents we tend to see more progress in terms of slowing down the progression or reversing the spinal curvature, as the bones are still forming results can be more obvious. 

Establishing Healthy Movement for Long-Term Results

With scoliosis, in many cases, being a permanent structural change in the spine, we also place significant emphasis on establishing healthy movement habits as well as ongoing self-management; both of which are crucial to preventing re-exacerbation of your symptoms. Our Pilates instructors will enable this process by establishing a routine of basic exercises helpful to maintaining optimal strength, flexibility, core stability and postural support and guiding you through this. Your adherence to the program will also relate to your progression and results.

  • Stabilisation of the curve(s) and mobilisation of stiff body parts
  • Optimisation of muscular strength/flexibility and biomechanics
  • Restoration of normal spinal range of motion, muscle length and resting tension, endurance and core stability
  • Establishment of a routine of basic home exercises helpful for maintenance

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