The spinal deformities (kyphosis, lordosis and scoliosis) are plastic deviations of the spine in one or more anatomical planes. They are also postural dysfunctions and apart from the aesthetics they can limit function, bring on pain, restriction of movement and stiffness. Depending on its severity patients are given management options. The mild cases can be fully cured with physiotherapy in the form of hands-on treatment and exercises. A very well-known conservative approach for the management of scoliosis is the Schroth method.
The Schroth exercises teach the patients to adopt positions that unwind/ derotate the spine and brings it more into symmetry and upright posture. They also strengthen the weak muscles and correct the imbalances that the deformity brings and teach active spinal elongation. Through observation and practice the posture that patients perceive at the beginning as ‘unnatural’ or ‘twisted’ becomes the new habitual corrected posture.
Below are some exercises and stretches you can try.
- Sit tall. Slowly look up towards the ceiling by raising your elbows. Slowly return to the starting position.
- Lie on your tummy. Pull the shoulder blades backwards and downwards. Hold the position and relax slowly.
- Stand up with with your arms relaxed on your side. Rotate your arms so your thumbs are pointing backward to open the chest. Squeeze the shoulder blades together, keep your chin tucked and hold this position.
- Stand or sit tall. Focus on an object at eye level while you slowly move your head back over your shoulder and tuck your chin in. Keep your neck as tall as you can. Guide the movement with your hand on your chin. Return to initial position and repeat.
Note: It is strongly recommended that you consult with your doctor/therapist before beginning any exercise program. The photographs are courtesy of Physiotec.