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Spine curvature is usually a good thing when looking at your spine from the side. However, if you have spine curvature that’s visible from the front, this is not so beneficial for your overall spinal health. Today we’re talking about how a scoliosis can be diagnosed, the different classifications, misconceptions and an exercise that you can do to help reset your posture.

What Is A Scoliosis?

A moderate to severe scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that is visible from the front and may make your spine resemble more of an S shape, rather than being completely straight up to down. Typically, ladies are affected more so than men, particularly those of slight stature as muscular bulk can help to resist the pressure gravity can place on this type of spine. This alignment can develop over time, due to repetitive stresses and strains or resulting from a trauma, or it can also be developed while you were a foetus in the womb, especially if you were a twin. Cases of the latter are usually noticed in early childhood, but where the problem has developed over time, you may have had it diagnosed later in life.

How Do I Know If I Have A Scoliosis?

If you’ve been told you have a scoliosis, you should have an idea of the degree of curvature that is present. We see a lot of patients who have been told at some point that they have a scoliosis, however when it actually comes to doing a standing X-ray, the degree is so small that it didn’t warrant the diagnosis and worry that it has caused the patient. Equally, if you’ve been told you have a scoliosis without doing any X-rays, this would also be a cause for concern. Diagnosing a problem without X-rays is not accurate, as even muscular bulk could resemble scoliotic curvature. Another inaccurate measurement linked to scoliosis can be leg length issues. If you have a leg length discrepancy, this should be measured using standing X-rays to be as accurate as possible. If a practitioner tries to diagnose this from purely a physical examination or tape measure, this is not accurate at all. Leg length issues can lead to more pressure on the one side, which can then lead to a scoliosis developing, so it’s best to get this dealt with correctly in order to avoid a problem later on.

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Accurate scoliosis diagnosis is determined by using a Cobb angle. This is where a measurement is taken at the top and bottom of the curve, from which a line is drawn to determine an angle. In a moderate case, the subsequent angle would be higher than 25 degrees of curvature, compared to a severe adult case which would measure greater than 50. In childhood cases of scoliosis, a measurement greater than 40 degrees would be classed as severe. Here at The Mayfair Clinic, we don’t tend to see many cases of severe scoliosis, as these are usually dealt with by specialist clinics, diagnosed during childhood, or have been dealt with through surgery. However, when it comes to treating moderate cases, there are definitely recommendations we can give as to how you can help these. 

How To Fix Curvature Of The Spine

We don’t tend to see severe cases, those types of cases may require a specialist clinic or surgery depending on the case. So, when it comes to treating moderate cases, doing exercises to help your muscles take the pressure off, is going to be helpful. Doing opposing side exercises or carrying your bag on the opposite side is not going to be specific enough. Working on your core is going to be helpful, as without core strength your body will be unstable and supported by less muscle mass. If you’re interested to know what kind of core exercises would be recommended, do check out our membership area at www.backinshapeapp.com, this is a free resource with also a premium side too to continue strengthening your body, but this will give you an idea as to what kind of core exercises will be beneficial for you.

Best Exercises For A Scoliosis

Another exercise we would recommend to be beneficial is a slight alteration to our highly recommended towel exercise that we talk about a lot at the clinic. To perform this exercise, you’re going to need a quiet space that you can lie down for uninterrupted for around 20 minutes, as well as two towels: one small and one big. The small one should be rolled up to about the thickness of a water bottle, and placed underneath the neck close to the shoulders. When you lie on it, you should be looking upwards or back, but not down towards the rest of your body. The bigger towel should be rolled up to about the size of a foam roller and placed underneath the arch of your lower back just an inch or so higher than the two dimples in your lower back. Lie on both of these at the same time for around 20 minutes. You can choose to either have your legs straight or bent, whichever is most comfortable for you at the time. This exercise will force your rib cage into a neutral position, so as a result it may feel uncomfortable as you’re doing this for a few days, but should eventually feel relieving. This is an exercise that is recommended by the Clear Institute in America, a clinic dedicated to the treatment of scoliosis.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful! Remember, if you do have any questions at all, please do get in touch and we’d be happy to help. You can do this either through our social media channels, or by tuning in to our live videos on Facebook or YouTube every weekday, where our lead practitioner Michael Fatica will be able to answer your question. If you have back pain, do check out our free membership area at www.backinshapeapp.com to find out what kind of stretches and core exercises will be beneficial for you to do at home to start getting back pain free.

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