Hilary King, MSTAT Alexander Technique Teacher in North London 020 8341 3751

Scoliosis

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine twists and is curved over to one side.  Predominantly, this bend happens in either the thoracic or lumbar regions of the spine.

Scoliosis may be be a comparatively temporary but often painful problem, caused by such things as an unevenly tilting pelvis, an accident resulting in spinal injury, a prolapsed disc or general mis-use.  The condition may also cause sciatica.  If such a scoliosis is left unattended, the postural changes may become habitual, leading to long term pain and problems. However, by learning and applying the Alexander Technique, such an outcome can often be avoided.

Some people’s spines become distorted during development in the womb, so are born with congenital scoliosis.  Another cause is nerve and muscle disorders such as spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy, which can lead to neuromuscular scoliosis developing.

The most common type of scoliosis is when it develops later in childhood. The spine can deteriorate progressively whilst bones are still growing, becoming severely distorted. The cause for this idiopathic scoliosis is unknown but there may be a genetic component to the condition.

The spinal curvature of scoliosis often causes pain in the back and legs and people can find it difficult to stand up straight. Sometimes the spine tries to compensate for the curvature by creating a second bend in the opposite direction, thus creating a sideways S shape in the spine and torso.  In extreme cases, surgery may be required to straighten the spine.

It is important that juvenile scoliosis is treated early on, to reduce the impact of the condition.  Over the years, wear and tear of the joints and intervertebral discs can result in degenerative scoliosis, or adult onset scoliosis. If there has also been overuse and misuse of the body for years, this will exacerbate the condition.  Alexander Technique lessons can help people reduce the discomfort and pain that scoliosis can cause and importantly, can help both children and adults to minimise the deterioration of the condition.