Scoliosis is the lateral bending of the vertebral column, usually in the thoracic region. this is the most common of the abnormal curves. It may be caused by a congenital condition in which vertebrae are malformed, chronic sciatica, paralysis of muscles on one side of the column, poor posture and one leg being shorter than the other. Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, had scoliosis, though to a grotesque degree not often seen today. His hump was his rib cage twisted around and thrust up like a fin.
Adolescent boys and girls may complain of pain anywhere in their body accompanied by headaches, pain in the neck, underneath shoulder blades, lower back and sometimes down their legs.
It is usually caused by rapid bone growth compared to the lower growth of soft tissues, meaning that the spine becomes caught in a web of its own soft tissues as it shoots upwards. Depending on the severity of scoliosis plus the amount of activity in one's growth, the strain of that curve may not manifest itself until many years later when the elasticity of human tissues start to fade.
A scoliotic spine is more liable to injury than a normal one, for the curvatures may not allow the vertebrae to re-arrange themselves in daily activities. There is the likelihood that a vertebra will wear down more on one side than another, because stresses imposed upon them are unequal with resulting strain on neighbouring joints and muscles, thus causing pain. Mild scoliosis is very often correctable. It has been found that all people with a Left-Right imbalance have a degree of scoliosis.
Other types of scoliosis past year 18-20, are due to calcification of young bones cannot be corrected. The important consideration when taking steps to improve one's posture is to go into a posteral habit to support one's spine in as much of its length as possible.
Examine yourself in a mirror whilst sitting in a chair:
- Are you slumping sideways into your curvature? Correct it!
- Think of your torso following the upward direction of your head
- Think of your neck releasing so that your head can ease up, off your neck
- Change the way you are sitting so that your back appears to have more length. Think bi-laterally! If you are leaning back, have your pelvis squarely placed against the seat - not rotated either way.
- Look at your shoulder in a mirror. Do not consciously change position:
- Extend both arms to both sides and raise them overhead. Do bend your elbows so that your forearms rest on top of your head.
- Gently stretch your head and spine into full height; ensuring not to tilt your head.
- Continue to lengthen the head and spine and slowly bring your arms out to the sides and down.
Lie on the carpet, arms and legs outstretched and take 20 deep breaths slowly and deeply. Visualize your head and spine continually lengthening as you breath, think of your ribs moving freely out to the sides and back again.
Be physically active - swim or dance. Do both. See your remedial therapist for assistance and corrective work.
Remedial Massage, Deep Tissue and Cranio-Sacral Therapy are all techniques that reduce the painful effects of Scoliosis.