Clinical Pilates for scoliosis
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine develops an unnatural, lateral curvature. This usually cultivates as a person is growing, most notably once they have gone through a growth spurt in teenage-hood. Scoliosis is typically a random and unpreventable condition. However, high quality management can lead to better outcomes and overall improvements in quality of life for the individual.
Clinical Pilates has many benefits which can be translatable to almost any condition. It is certainly an appropriate and recommended part of the management process of scoliosis. Pilates principles and equipment allow for a huge variety of exercises, meaning a specific, postural focus can be implemented in combination with general core strength and fitness benefits.
An individual suffering from scoliosis will likely have a noticeable muscle imbalance when comparing one side to another – this is especially true for areas surrounding the spine, such as the pelvis, lower and upper back, shoulders and neck. A physiotherapist will typically perform a thorough full body diagnostic assessment before beginning a Clinical Pilates program, evaluating areas of weakness which need to be focused on. From here, exercises are gradually introduced, with a high value placed on proper technique and a good understanding of which muscles are being targeted. Clinical Pilates also incorporates many exercises to improve core muscle control, which in turn aids spinal stabilisation and improved posture. It is important to use Real Time Ultrasound in order to assess the strength and control of the core muscles.
Typically, scoliosis is associated with some level of back pain and discomfort. There is plenty of evidence which shows that exercise and movement are a great way to prevent and manage pain. As exercise programs are intended to be extremely specific to the individual, it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is. Programs usually commence with an introduction to the equipment, outline of basic exercises and goal-setting so that there is a clear plan in place. From there, progressions can be gradually made, until the point where exercise is simply a form of maintenance for a healthy, mobile body, rather than a treatment method. At Health Point Physiotherapy we have specifically developed our Health Care for Children health program which has a particular focus on scoliosis.