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What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine. Although it’s normal to have an “S” curve in the spine when looking at it from the side, the spine should appear straight when looking at a person’s spine from the back. Scoliosis is diagnosed if a curve of 10 degrees or more is visible on x-ray imaging.

There are 2 different types of scoliosis:

  • Structural: This type of scoliosis is due to the bones of the spine, or vertebrae, being misshapen. When this is the cause, surgical intervention may be necessary to prevent further deterioration.

  • Functional: This type of scoliosis is due to sustained posturing in a less than ideal position. It can be caused by an imbalance in muscle strength or overall weakness. Physical therapy is a wonderful intervention option to improve overall function, quality of life and prevent further deterioration.

Why is intervention important?

The spine is a very important structure that houses the spinal cord and provides the structure for our ribs and pelvis to connect to. When the spine gets placed in a poor position, it creates a chain reaction: ribs rotate and can compress vital organs like the heart and lungs. It also affects the position of the pelvis which impacts leg alignment as well as shoulder alignment.

Schroth Method is an intervention that focuses on stretching the shortened muscles and strengthening the lengthened muscles in various positions while utilizing specific therapeutic exercises. The goal is to address the root issue in posture and restore balance between muscle systems. Next time you’re feeling a little out of alignment, give these simple exercises a try!

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