Are you feeling a little wonky? If you have scoliosis like me, you probably feel a bit wonky all the time! I did a pilates - scoliosis workshop a week ago and have started incorporating some of the exercises into my workouts and postural techniques into my daily life and they're feeling really good.
What is scoliosis? A picture speaks a thousand words:
You can see the "S" shape of my spine - this is looking at me front on. This is a mild scoliosis.
Here is a scoliosis with a larger curve.
People have different shaped curves and what may not be so obvious on the x-ray images is that as well as the sideways curvature there is rotation. This creates rotation of the pelvis, ribs and shoulder girdle which can all have knock on effects such as muscle imbalances, pain, breathing difficulty and compromised function of internal organs such as the gut. So it's worth working with scoliosis to either reduce the curvature or prevent it worsening.
For the vast majority of people with scoliosis (80%) we don't know the cause but it can often flare up during times of life with large hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause. A theme I've noticed with clients who have scoliosis and myself is a tendency towards general joint hypermobility.
Fun fact: the term scoliosis was first used by a physician, Galen, in the 2nd century AD. We wonderfully wonky people are not a new phenomenon!
Why am I sharing this information? If you or someone you know has or suspects they have scoliosis I strongly recommend you seek a pilates instructor or physiotherapist who has specifically trained in scoliosis exercise. There are some very simple things you can do to help elongate and stabilise the spine. Awareness, education and exercise are the keys :) The particular program I am doing is called ScolioPilates by Karen Thek (USA). The only fully certified instructor in Australia is Helen New at Precision Pilates in Melbourne - she can do online sessions. And of course if you would like some basic tips and techniques to get you started I'm here to help.
Happy embracing your wonkiness!