Thread: Pilates
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Old 14-09-2012, 01:52 PM
Dr Scoliosis Dr Scoliosis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Default Re: Pilates

A comment by Dr Scoliosis.

Exercise has long been recommended as a treatment for scoliosis. In the 19th century, special clinics were established to "treat" curves. Patients would climb up helical ladders in the opposite direction of their curve. It did not work. There has been a recent return of enthusiasm for exercise programs.

In current front-line, peer-reviewed medical literature, there are a few small studies discussing the effects of exercise on scoliosis. One pilot study showed that curve progression in some girls slowed for 6 months, but this benefit did not last.

Other studies have suggested that exercise might "cause" scoliosis. For example, 6 per cent of men and women in American College swim teams have scoliosis. This is double the expected rate for women and up to 10 times that for men. Given that swimming is a symmetrical exercise and associated with good "core" strength, that is an unusual finding. Scoliosis is also more common in dancers another sport needing good trunk strength.

Another interesting paper reported on identical twins who were national level synchronised swimmers. For their sport they did identical fitness and swim training. One developed a scoliosis, the other did not. Research continues. What is needed is a number of scientifically sound studies comparing two scoliotic groups exercise and no exercise and following them over years. Until then, specific exercise programs to slow curve progression or reduce a curve cannot be recommended. It must be remembered that 3 per cent of women have scoliosis. One in a thousand will need surgical treatment. Therefore, the vast majority need nothing. As a general guide, there is no need for "special" exercises or the like. This is particularly the case if it will cost a lot of money.

Exercise is recommended for the back pain associated with scoliosis. A simple program aimed at improving trunk strength and flexibility can be effective in reducing the aches commonly felt. It can be done simply at home. Others find a Pilates or yoga class to suit them better. Some prefer input from a physiotherapist or other professionally guided exercise programs.

Dr Scoliosis
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