Scoliosis Massage Therapy Article
By Geoff Dakin
“Scoliosis” is a scary word for a lot of people. Scoliosis refers to lateral curvature of the spine. This is what I found on www.mayoclinic.org regarding scoliosis:
“Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis.”
I have certainly seen plenty of such cases of scoliosis, but in my experience, the number of these adolescent onset idiopathic scoliosis cases pales in comparison to scoliosis that develops secondary to a crooked pelvis. Of course, my view of what’s “normal” is somewhat skewed, because I am working with patients who are in pain, but nearly 100% of my patients present with a pelvis that is not horizontally aligned. The majority also have a pelvis that is inclined too far forward. As a result, the spine is positioned on the pelvis like a tree growing out of a hillside!
The silver-lining to this story is that the vast majority of these cases can improve. Take this case as an example.
This scan image belongs to a 67-year-old male. He is active and apparently quite healthy. While he doesn’t complain of severe pain, he does say that certain movements and positions are particularly difficult and uncomfortable (you don’t say!). This scan was done on March 10th, 2017.
This patient enthusiastically embraced the corrective exercise plan I prescribed for him and has faithfully practiced the Alignment First Protocol exercise prescription every day since we began working together.
Here is a scan image comparison with the original scan from March 10th above and the most recent scan from April 7th below:
Look closely at 3 distinct alignment features. The amount of curve between his shoulder blades, which is clearly improved in the lower/newer image. The amount of curve in the lower back (the blue-gray blocks), which is clearly worse in the lower/newer image. Lastly, the light orange line connecting the two light orange dots at the bottom of each image. That line is supposed to be horizontal and the one in the lower/newer image is clearly an improvement over the first one. The human body is an incredibly complex collection of complex systems. This example of two postural improvements and one postural worsening is actually very typical. The good news is that with time and the consistent practice of appropriate corrective exercise, I believe that this patient’s lower back posture will improve as well.
He has noticed his overall strength and mobility has improved in the 4 weeks he has been working on this system. He became excited and a little emotional when he saw this scan comparison.
How did we improve the scoliosis of a 67-year-old man in less than a month? A steady diet of personally prescribed corrective exercise, reassessed and updated weekly, with a dash of massage thrown in for good measure. There is obviously still a lot of room for improvement in this case and I have no doubt he will improve further as he continues to work on this process.
If this patient can improve his posture, anyone can! It’s probably best if you don’t wait until you’re 67, but if that ship has sailed, don’t assume it’s too late to do something to improve your posture.
Do you or someone you love need help with scoliosis? Call me at (403) 399-5716 or Claudia at (587) 966- 1963 to book your complimentary 15-minute Discovery Session. During this session we will use the Diers 4D Formetric scanner and the Pedoscan weightbearing scanner to identify whether or not there is a postural problem we can help you with. Then we can decide if the Alignment First Protocol© is right for you.
Are you ready to get your life back?! If so, you’ve come to the right place!
Yours in health,
Geoff Dakin BPE RMT
Calgary Registered Massage Therapist
Registered Massage Therapist
GEOFF DAKIN BPE, RMT
Cel: (403) 399–5716
#603, 550–11 Ave SW
Tel: (403) 452–5055