animated skeletal portrayal of scoliosis

The Uniqueness of Your Scoliosis

Over 3 million people will be diagnosed this year with scoliosis. Scoliosis affects 2-3% of the population yet there is still much that is not known about this condition.

Doctors indicate that 80% of patients they can find no specific reason. For as much is known of scoliosis little is still known.

“Scoliosis can develop in infancy or early childhood. However, the primary age of onset for scoliosis is 10-15 years old, occurring equally among both genders.”

There are two main types of scoliosis

  • Structural scoliosis is when the patient’s spine actually has a physical curve.
  • Functional scoliosis is when the spine appears to be curved, but the apparent curvature is actually the result of an irregularity elsewhere in the body (e.g. different leg lengths).

Read on to learn more about the specific differences between functional scoliosis and structural scoliosis.

Structural Scoliosis

Structural scoliosis is when there is an actual ‘structural’ curve in the spine, which can progress over time if not treated correctly. There is no clear underlying cause for most cases of structural scoliosis, although it can be caused by nerve or muscle disorders (such as cerebral palsy), birth disorders (such as spina bifida), or an injury or tumor. 

Functional Scoliosis

Functional scoliosis is when the patient appears to have a curve in their spine but it is actually caused by another condition, such as a difference in leg length or a muscle spasm. This happens because the body naturally tries to maintain symmetry – the spinal curve is the body’s way of compensating for the underlying problem.

While a picture can’t lie it can be misleading but can be a tool for assessments but at Shift I use a variety of assessments including movement therapy.

I will say that in my experience each client is unique with their scoliosis. Here are just a few examples:

Client A: shows signs of head tilt. Shoulder drop and pelvic tilt up on right side.

Client B: Shows signs of shoulder drop and foot turn out.

Client C: Shows compressed vertebrae on the left side only.

Client D: Shows a straight spine because of chiropractic adjustments but pelvis tipped forward on right side only.

Client E: Shows curvature as one leg shorter than the other which is determined to be sciatic nerve issues.

Client F: Structural Scoliosis due to poor posture and muscle imbalance.

Each of these clients indicated that they felt taller, stood more evenly, arms reached to the same height, the bones and muscles worked together so eventually limping was gone as well. 

Using Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy in addition to Resistance Training using the Shroth Bars we are able to keep the spine from reverting back to the prior curve as we are strengthening individual muscles along the ribs in addition to re-educating the brain on the new proper movements to have less wear on the bones.

While doctors indicate core exercises and pelvic tilts can assist in minimizing the curve the general exercises are not usually customized for the individual and how your body may show signs of scoliosis. My clients get exercises that get readjusted often as their body readjusts to new posture improvements.

Celebrate the uniqueness of you and your scoliosis. Schedule a Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy Session today or call for more information.

Please also check out the upcoming blogs on Scoliosis As We Age, Early Detection of Scoliosis, The Head to Toe Approach to Scoliosis

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