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Thread: Pilates Miracle?

  1. #1
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    Pilates Miracle?

    I saw the actress Rebecca Romijn on a talk show a couple of years ago and she said she had had scoliosis since she was a teen. But since taking up Pilates, it has disappeared. Her words were (I'm paraphrasing): Pilates straightened my spine right up! Does anyone believe this could have been possible?

  2. #2
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    nope....not unless it was a barely measurable curve...
    what size was her curve...?
    "miracle cures" usually turn out to not be true...
    i am not saying pilates isnt a good exercise regimen...
    but i do not believe any exercise regimen can "cure"
    scoliosis...i think children and teens with very small curves
    can get the most benefit from exercise...
    for adults with curves large enough to measure and
    cause concern, i do not believe any exercise will make
    the curve go away...the person may feel better, but that
    is not the same as having the curve "disappear"

    jess

  3. #3
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    Ms. Romijn never said what her curve was pre-Pilates. Even if it were a small curve, I find it hard to believe that exercise could have straightened her spine right up!
    BTW, I apologize for posting this in the Surgical section. I should have posted it in the Non-Surgical section.

  4. #4
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    I believe her spine can look straight. Elise Browning Miller is a yoga teacher who created a program for scoliosis patients. Elise has scoliosis herself. I don't remember the exact degrees, but I believe it's 50-60 degrees. If you look at her back when she's wearing a leotard, she looks like she doesn't have scoliosis. Because she does an intense program of exercise, she can use her muscles to hold her spine relatively straight. With that said, it is my belief (and probably the belief of most specialists) that if she ever stopped exercising, her curve would return to its pre-yoga degrees. Nonetheless, she has managed to avoid having surgery. So, as I said, I do think it's possible to "straighten" one's spine. Unfortunately, I suspect most of us don't have the fortitude to stick with a program that requires hours of exercise every day.
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
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    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
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  5. #5
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    I suspect the required regimen of daily exercise to achieve such a result would make scoliosis surgery look tame. <wink>
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  6. #6
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    Post of the month nominee

    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    I suspect the required regimen of daily exercise to achieve such a result would make scoliosis surgery look tame. <wink>
    Good one. :-)

    While that is certainly true for adults, the jury is still out for kids. It's possible enough targeted work during the growth spurt might result in holding or reducing a curve, especially for the early onset crowd. Who knows.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
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    Pilates might have built up her core strength, and helped with pain control, but as far as for straightening her spine, its highly unlikely. The amount of physical effort required for an adult(to try to straighten) is just mind boggling. X-rays are the only method to inspect spinal angles. We see what happens when scoliosis is ignored......just because one might be feeling better doing pilate’s and assuming what’s happening without timely x-rays can lead to heartache.

    The Wendy Whelan story is a similar story. But then again, she is CONSTANTLY stretching and moving as a professional ballerina. She also is maintaining.....I wonder how many hours per day she works out? It has to be most of the time.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am weary about OVER exercise......My father over exercised himself, had a cardiovascular system that would make superman jealous and ended up with ALS. I have no proof, there is no proof, just an assumption. I thought about posting on the ALS boards, but its just too difficult. He was also a scoli. (50 degree single thoracic curve)

    He never talked about scoliosis, ever. People that went through the great depression are changed, the old school mentality. Work and save your money, ALL of it. And if there is any pain, its not that bad. Some of these seniors are totally battle hardened. A few world wars, and total financial destruction, scoliosis isn’t even worth mentioning.

    I found out after he passed, by the doctors reports.

    Thanks for reading.....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolmr View Post
    Pilates straightened my spine right up! Does anyone believe this could have been possible?
    Absolutely possible--ask Martha Hawes (approx 50% correction as an adult). It takes effort, but the spine can be straightened.


    I suspect the required regimen of daily exercise to achieve such a result would make scoliosis surgery look tame.
    I doubt there is anything that can make surgery look tame. As LindaRacine just suggested, it can be done, but it requires commitment. What I can't quite fathom is how people baulk at some healthy exercise!
    07/11: (10yrs) T40, L39, pelvic tilt, rotation T15 & L11
    11/11: Chiari 1 & syrinx, T35, L27, pelvis 0
    05/12: (11yrs) stopped brace, assessed T&L 25 - 30...>14lbs , >8 cm
    12/12: < 25 LC & TC, >14 cms, >20 lbs, neuro symptoms abated, but are there
    05/13: (12yrs) <25, >22cms height, puberty a year ago

    Avoid 'faith' in 'experts'. “In consequence of this error many persons pass for normal, and indeed for highly valuable members of society, who are incurably mad...”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAMZTOM View Post
    What I can't quite fathom is how people baulk at some healthy exercise!
    I guess it depends on how you define "some" and also whether you distinguish between achievement and maintenance.

    Hawes has documented hours and hours of daily work for years that she used to achieve her decrease. It is a mystery to me how she was able to keep her job during that period. Now, she seems to get by with less to maintain her decrease but I would want her to say that explicitly and clearly to believe it. Also, she had an unusual approach that others may not be able to emulate and that doesn't even apply to non-thoracic curves.

    And the yoga woman may or may not be able to maintain on a small amount of exercise if she wasn't doing yoga all day every day. It's her job as I understand it. She may not count all that other work though maybe it should count.

    The SEAS woman had her exercise ramped up to an unknown amount in order for her to decrease her curve. For all we know she is exercising several hours every day if she is even still at it. And she was a unique case... they couldn't seem to replicate those results with other patients. I suspect she was the only one willing to do all that PT every day forever.

    The details matter and probably explain why there aren't a million people like Hawes and the yoga woman. Otherwise they would be a dime a dozen and adults would never need surgery. But we don't see that.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    I guess it depends on how you define "some" and also whether you distinguish between achievement and maintenance.
    Those are important points. "Some": too much is bad...injury, fatigue, over-training, working the same muscle group to often, insufficient recovery...i.e., basic principles of exercise and training. Re. "achievement" trial and error is necessary in part because of the 'war' on exercise, the negative press, the irrational negativity and ignorance of the surgeon dominated medical field, the irrational and make-a-buck orientated non-invasive field competing instead of uniting. Institutions like SOSORT are making headway into unifying methods to CURE and treat scoliosis. When surgeons like Marc Asher address a crowd of assembled surgeons and say, "Of the thousands of fusions I've performed, now, on the eve of my retirement, I realise that I should only have ever done one," then sensible people should start to think a little deeper. Eerie silence....

    Hawes has documented hours and hours of daily work for years that she used to achieve her decrease.
    Now, she seems to get by with less to maintain her decrease...
    Enough said really....

    And the yoga woman may or may not be able to maintain on a small amount of exercise.
    Ditto...

    The SEAS woman had her exercise ramped up to an unknown amount in order for her to decrease her curve.
    Ditto...

    I suspect she was the only one willing to do all that PT every day forever.
    The scoliosis non-invasive clinics in Europe have six month waiting lists...that's a lot of eager participants. The proliferation of 'yoga for scoliosis', 'Pilates for scoliosis', Clear, Schroth, SEAS, FITS...etc...that's a heck of a lot more eager participants. I only address your questioning of how many are willing to do PT.

    The details matter and probably explain why there aren't a million people like Hawes and the yoga woman. Otherwise they would be a dime a dozen and adults would never need surgery. But we don't see that.
    So we go back to the first point, the ignorance, surgeon dominated medical field, etc...the USA and UK in particular 'DO NOT DO' non-invasive treatment. Until that changes, the surgeons suck up all the clientèle, so there aren't 'millions' left to do any bloody exercise!

    In my opinion, there will always be many who are not prepared or able to exercise to treat scoliosis. There will be always be many for whom exercise is too late, many who need surgery. But the USA and UK are now being slammed by surgeons and other medical professionals for rushing into surgery instead of treating the condition with non-invasive treatments. As everyone posting in here would probably agree, with a condition that worsens with asymmetrical mechanical loading, the "watch and wait" policy in the USA and the UK is NOT, as Min Mehta quietly says, "...is NOT a treatment." It's like playing with traffic.
    Last edited by TAMZTOM; 07-07-2012 at 07:59 PM.
    07/11: (10yrs) T40, L39, pelvic tilt, rotation T15 & L11
    11/11: Chiari 1 & syrinx, T35, L27, pelvis 0
    05/12: (11yrs) stopped brace, assessed T&L 25 - 30...>14lbs , >8 cm
    12/12: < 25 LC & TC, >14 cms, >20 lbs, neuro symptoms abated, but are there
    05/13: (12yrs) <25, >22cms height, puberty a year ago

    Avoid 'faith' in 'experts'. “In consequence of this error many persons pass for normal, and indeed for highly valuable members of society, who are incurably mad...”

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAMZTOM View Post
    When surgeons like Marc Asher address a crowd of assembled surgeons and say, "Of the thousands of fusions I've performed, now, on the eve of my retirement, I realise that I should only have ever done one," then sensible people should start to think a little deeper. Eerie silence....
    Can you post the entire citation for this? What is the one case? I can't imagine what he is talking about.

    My response would be Asher wasn't looking at going through high school as a misshapen hunchback like my one daughter would have had to do if she even lived absent surgery. Instead she looks and feels normal and has a bright future that would not have been possible absent her surgery. And what about the other kids with huge curves? I think Asher would have signed up for surgery also had he been in her shoes. I really can't fathom why he would say that.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Can you post the entire citation for this?'
    That was relayed by 'experts' who listened to his speech.

    What is the one case? I can't imagine what he is talking about.
    I can imagine what he is talking about. So did everyone else in the room.

    My response would be Asher wasn't looking at going through high school as a misshapen hunchback like my one daughter would have had to do if she even lived absent surgery. Instead she looks and feels normal and has a bright future that would not have been possible absent her surgery. And what about the other kids with huge curves? I think Asher would have signed up for surgery also had he been in her shoes. I really can't fathom why he would say that.
    Sharon, that was a regnant insult to every person reading your post.
    07/11: (10yrs) T40, L39, pelvic tilt, rotation T15 & L11
    11/11: Chiari 1 & syrinx, T35, L27, pelvis 0
    05/12: (11yrs) stopped brace, assessed T&L 25 - 30...>14lbs , >8 cm
    12/12: < 25 LC & TC, >14 cms, >20 lbs, neuro symptoms abated, but are there
    05/13: (12yrs) <25, >22cms height, puberty a year ago

    Avoid 'faith' in 'experts'. “In consequence of this error many persons pass for normal, and indeed for highly valuable members of society, who are incurably mad...”

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAMZTOM View Post
    That was relayed by 'experts' who listened to his speech.
    I suspect something got lost in the translation.

    It may have been quote-mined inadvertently.

    It's not rational as relayed or, if true, is the height of hypocrisy.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAMZTOM View Post
    Sharon, that was a regnant insult to every person reading your post.
    That is what scoliosis did to my daughter and how I can KNOW Asher would not withhold surgery in his daughter's case. My daughter's curve was moving at 5* a month for the entire observation period. If there was anything other than surgery at that point I'd like to know what the hell it would be. It would be beyond cruel to withhold surgery and I am assuming he is not capable of it.

    I am chasing down the remark and will report back.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAMZTOM View Post
    When surgeons like Marc Asher address a crowd of assembled surgeons and say, "Of the thousands of fusions I've performed, now, on the eve of my retirement, I realise that I should only have ever done one,"
    I did a little digging around.

    I am betting he is talking about non-scoliosis fusions. That would make perfect sense. That is the most needless surgery going these days as far as I understand. It's scandalous.

    I again suggest there is no way he can possibly be talking about fusions for AIS. It's too cruel to consider.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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