When observing your own body or that of your friend or family member, have you ever seen the following:
Different shoulder heights or uneven shoulder blades on the right and left sides? Are the ribs or the curves of the waist are higher on one side than the other? Does the pelvis seem higher on one side or tilted more forward than the other? When standing upright, do the knee caps seem to be at different heights? When bending forward to touch the toes, does one side of the back seem higher than the other?
If you, a friend, or family member exhibit any of the above symptoms, there is a high chance that it may be due to scoliosis.
Imagine that you are viewing the spine from the side. The spine is a curved column, with ribs attached to the sides of our thoracic spines to protect our organs. When we breathe, the rib muscles are involved in an upward pumping motion, expanding the ribcage to increase space for our lungs to inhale and exhale. When the strength of our right and left sides is imbalanced, the muscle contraction may pull in different directions, gradually leading to scoliosis.
Schematic diagram of scoliosis
Simply realigning and straightening the bones by using a back brace or other types of passive methods will not be able to sustain the corrected posture once the external assistance is removed. The muscles will remain unbalanced, and will not be able to produce a long-lasting effect. Therefore, we at iBalance have incorporated a training method that can improve scoliosis, and help those with scoliosis through the assistance of exercise.
The “Schroth Method” was developed by German master Katharina Schroth. She herself suffered from scoliosis and had received various forms of passive treatments, but to no avail. On a whim, she thought about the similarities between balloons and our lungs, and began practicing controlled breathing in front of a mirror, while using her own muscle strength to adjust the position of her spine. By first inhaling into a relatively concave rib cage, using her own strength to control her spine, then straightening her posture, and lastly exhaling, she discovered an effective way to use her own body to improve her scoliosis.
Schroth exercises utilizes the patient’s own breathing and muscle strength to help adjust the spine. (Image source/Internet)
From this, we know that incorporating active exercises with passive correction is essential for the most optimal treatment of scoliosis.
In the adolescent developmental period when scoliosis is most likely to worsen, early intervention can help prevent the exacerabation of the spinal curvature and improve pain caused by imbalances in the body. Even adults who receive corrective exercise therapy for scoliosis experience the treatment effects of improved bodily symmetry and pain relief that was once caused by long-term muscle asymmetry.
Please consult with your physician or physical therapist for more information about the Schroth Method for scoliosis correction.