Scoliosis – who gets it and why does this happen?
This is a complex question. Some think we all have some level of scoliosis (not marked enough to be diagnosed but still common). Some people feel it happens when our bones are growing too fast and this causes a twisting of the spine. The problem could also start in the womb, as we are developing restrictions can form for various reasons.
We Live In A Right Handed World
When we start thinking about structure and function and how our bodies relate to our environment, this is were our awareness can grow. It seems we live in a right handed word and regardless which hand is dominant we tend to be pulled to the right. The mouse for the computer is on the right, we carry our handbags over the right shoulder etc.
Scoliosis like most things lives on a spectrum of mild, which is very common, to more severe structural changes and curvature in the spine. I see lots of folks with mild scoliosis and they manage well with the right therapeutic exercise program to address their asymmetries in their posture.
Wherever you are on the spectrum, understanding your body and its tendencies is paramount. The most common curvature presents with a right rib hump in the thoracic region, there can be a lot of varying compensations and reversed curvature above or below the thoracic spine. Sometimes surgical intervention is required.
Consider Your Exercise Program
Regardless of where you are on your healing journey, the important thing to consider with your exercise program is in making sure you are lengthening what is restricted and strengthening and facilitating what is weaker or “neurologically unbiased”. The strong forces that are acting on your structure (your bones, fascia and muscles) are greater than most people who don’t have this diagnosis realize.
The work is to learn how to offset these forces. Regular bodywork addrtessing the myofascial restrictions, and an asymmetrical exercise program to help the ribcage, pelvis and hips align optimally is essential.
Last, but not least is cultivating greater awareness with your sitting, standing and sleeping positions. You could have a stellar exercise program and if you are not giving attentions to these daily activities and trying to improve them; your program will not be as effective.