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View Full Version : loss of flexibility/spinal fusion vs yoga and schroth for alleviation from pain



Jinseeker
07-05-2012, 04:12 AM
I have a pretty bad scoliosis with obvious rib hump, and i finally found how i can alleviate myself of the soreness, stiffness and seldom pain i get with it while sitting. Learning from a schroth video that i saw, I have learned i can lessen my thoracic rib hump by moving my right shoulder back to tuck the shoulder blade behind the hump to push it forward while twisting my entire torso towards the direction of my thoracic concavity. This i feel releases the pressure of my back due to the scoliosis, much like someone with a straight spine would sit up straight by arching the lower back to alleviate the strain due to a hunched posture.

In addition to this yoga has helped a lot as well, my question is if i were to go through surgery and fuse most of my spinal vertebrae, will i still be able to twist the thoracic part of my torso. I understand that rod instrumentation with the fusion of the vertebrae would seem to make it close to impossible for the vertebrae to be able to rotate against each other like in an unfused spine, but i still am not completely sure about this or if there would still be some twisting movement available on those fused vertebrae.

Will the back still be able to stretch as far as it could go(like a traction machine pulling your torso and pelvis in opposite directions) and twist with a fused spine?

Wouldn't a fused spine, although much straighter, also suffer from strained or sore muscles when sitting for a long period of time due the patient's inability to stretch and flex their back like i do? What kind of exercises would be available then for those patients in times of back pain and discomfort that can accommodate for their lack of flexibility?

I find that these therapies and my flexibility, especially being able to twist my back in my yoga and schroth poses have been the saving grace from pain for me, i am afraid that i might my lose my ability to do them with a fused spine, and still get back pain due to the fusion and an immobilized spine.

Pooka1
07-05-2012, 06:49 AM
Hi.

Hopefully Linda will correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think you would be considered a surgical candidate because you are only just edging into surgery range, have a non-progressive curve, and exercise controls your pain. I would be very surprised if you found a surgeon who would operate.

Good luck.

TAMZTOM
07-05-2012, 08:47 AM
I have a pretty bad scoliosis with obvious rib hump, and i finally found how i can alleviate myself of the soreness, stiffness and seldom pain i get with it while sitting. Learning from a schroth video that i saw, I have learned i can lessen my thoracic rib hump by moving my right shoulder back to tuck the shoulder blade behind the hump to push it forward while twisting my entire torso towards the direction of my thoracic concavity. This i feel releases the pressure of my back due to the scoliosis, much like someone with a straight spine would sit up straight by arching the lower back to alleviate the strain due to a hunched posture.
Hi Jinseeker
I guess that the Schroth video you've seen is of someone sitting on a physio ball, hands positioned on wall-bars in a very precise configuration, one or the other hip dropped depending on the curve pattern, then the patient performing Schroth rotational angular breathing correctively (RAB)? I am in daily contact with a woman and her daughter who recently learned this exercise at the Bad Sodernheim Schroth clinic in Germany. The instructor is an Axel Hennes. The exercise is excellent in my opinion (my daughter does it frequently). The technique/exercise derotates the shoulder girdle c/w, flattens the dorsal rib arch ("hump") and, in combination with directed breathing, correctively derotates the thorax a/c. Positioning of the right arm is crucial to achieve a "blocking" effect on the right lung, this enabling more directed breath into the thoracic concavity (i.e., countering the entrenched scoliotic breathing pattern). This breathing itself strengthens diaphragmatic muscles. The scoliotic breathing pattern actually further contracts the concavities and increases the curve size; Schroth RAB teaches the patient to muscularly maintain the concavity expansion and, over time, changes the breathing pattern.
I would caution you against following many of the online videos: several that I've seen do not specify the particular curve pattern of the videod patient; with your three curves, following the steps shown for a, for example, one curve pattern could damage you. Schroth exercises do not compromise one area to improve another.


I find that these therapies and my flexibility, especially being able to twist my back in my yoga and schroth poses have been the saving grace from pain for me, i am afraid that i might my lose my ability to do them with a fused spine, and still get back pain due to the fusion and an immobilized spine.
Flexibility and mobility are crucial to correction and should be an integral part of any non-invasive approach to correcting scoliosis.

PM me if you want further info.

Regards
Tom

TAMZTOM
07-05-2012, 09:08 AM
I have a pretty bad scoliosis with obvious rib hump, and i finally found how i can alleviate myself of the soreness, stiffness and seldom pain i get with it while sitting.

PS: sitting LOADS the curves heavily. The are well practised ways to unload the curves when sitting.

Confusedmom
07-05-2012, 10:05 PM
Agree that it doesn't sound like you are a surgical candidate. But, if your curve ever were to progress to the point you needed surgery, the part of your spine that is fused would be unable to twist, bend or stretch. It becomes one solid bone. The muscles around it can still stretch, though.

LindaRacine
07-05-2012, 11:03 PM
Hi Jin...

Glad you found a conservative way to manage your scoliosis. I think a lot more people should give things like this a try before undergoing a big scoliosis fusion. There's no guarantee that what you're doing will always help, but it is for now, and you might find something else that works in the future. I'm sure you'd find some surgeon who was willing to perform surgery, but I don't think you should even consider it at this point. If you did have surgery, you would be able to rotate the soft tissue and any non-fused vertebrae, but you could not rotate the spine within the fusion mass.

Regards,
Linda

Jinseeker
07-07-2012, 05:30 AM
@ TAMZTOM : RAB is exactly what i do and practice everyday. I am using an elastic band to stretch and do the twisting poses alongside the breathing into the concave side. In addition, i put a right cotton swab into my right nostril to simulate breathing into the left concave side easier. As for sitting, i put a beanbag right underneath my left buttock so that my lumbar hump isn't sticking out to the left so much and is more aligned to the center of the body. This one i have learned and decided to try from one of dr woggon's articles. Hopefully that decreases the loading on my lumbar scoliosis.

I was always doubtful and cynical if it was even possible to change breathing patterns and natural posture to the point where you no longer have to be conscious about it, and your whole body and brain just adapts. I am willing to bet now that it may indeed be possible. I am very much interested with what other info you may have on schroth and counter-scoliosis exercises, especially in regards to sitting. I work in an office chair for about 8-10 hrs a day.

@ linda: That's exactly my reason for declining surgery. Back in my teens i wasn't even conscious about my posture or deformity, nor did anything about it since it did not cause any discomfort. Now i exercise regularly just to have a pain free life and decrease my back strain at the office. Just worried that these exercises i am trying now may not provide relief and stability much longer as i age. It is getting harder to maintain that same level of fitness and effectiveness of the exercises as before. I fret that day I may become too stiff and inflexible to do these exercises to alleviate me, and then afterwards regret that the option of surgery could've been the best choice all along.

Jinseeker
07-07-2012, 06:02 AM
If anyone is interested in the exercises i am practicing, it is from this site, http://www.spineharmony.com


You have to register and pay a fee in order to download all their exercises. The guy in the video has the exact same look and curve pattern as i do.

TAMZTOM
07-07-2012, 03:16 PM
As for sitting, i put a beanbag right underneath my left buttock so that my lumbar hump isn't sticking out to the left so much and is more aligned to the center of the body. ... I am very much interested with what other info you may have on schroth and counter-scoliosis exercises, especially in regards to sitting. I work in an office chair for about 8-10 hrs a day.

Excellent on the "hip-hitched" seating position, Jinseeker. You should read the Min Mehta, den Boer and Maruyama articles on side-shifting, plus some of the Schroth and SEAS ADLs for sitting in particular. My daughter has adapted these and uses them constantly--she sits at 0 degree lumber, less than 15 degrees thoracic.

mbeckett
07-08-2012, 10:17 PM
Hello Jinseeker,

I just had spinal surgery for a double curve that hadn't progressed for years until the past ten years. I, too, was doing yoga and found it very helpful. There is a website http://www.yogaforscoliosis.com/ created by a woman who has scoliosis. You may want to check it out as she has a video that you might find very helpful. My suggestion would be to continue with "gentle" yoga, check out Elise's website and video, keep getting your curves measured and stay on top of any progression. If your curves are not progressing, your pain is limited and you are able to control any pain that you do have, then you are doing well. I made my decision to have surgery after four years of careful praying, research and talking to numerous surgeons and patients. I am now seven weeks post-op and although recovery is slow, I do not regret my decision as I had come to a place in my life where my mobility and flexibility were already impaired so I figured if I managed through that for ten years then I can manage and adjust to any new alterations after surgery.

Good luck!

Marjorie

Jinseeker
07-09-2012, 03:52 AM
Excellent on the "hip-hitched" seating position, Jinseeker. You should read the Min Mehta, den Boer and Maruyama articles on side-shifting, plus some of the Schroth and SEAS ADLs for sitting in particular. My daughter has adapted these and uses them constantly--she sits at 0 degree lumber, less than 15 degrees thoracic.

That's great Tamztom, would you have any links to those articles. PM the link if you want, or perhaps if you already have the file in your hard drive that you'd be willing to pass.

Thanks.