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Thread: On muscle imbalance and scoliosis

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    What about the other 20%?

    If muscle imbalance causes scoliosis, why isn't it 100%? I have a niece who had special xrays taken of her legs, to measure the bones in her legs. Her leg length discrepancy is 1-1/2", but she has a completely straight spine.

    --Linda
    I think we can rule out muscle imbalance at this point as either a primary, secondary, tertiary or other order cause of scoliosis for any number of reasons not least of which... lame horses don't lie.
    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."

  2. #17
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    muscle imbalance

    LindaRacine

    If muscle imbalance causes scoliosis, why isn't it 100%? I have a niece who had special xrays taken of her legs, to measure the bones in her legs. Her leg length discrepancy is 1-1/2", but she has a completely straight spine.
    AIS is rooted in the nervous system. From your description it's obvious that your niece doesn't have melatonin signaling dysfunction. If your neice had that dysfunction coupled with her leg problem it's possible that she would have a severe case of scoliosis.

  3. #18
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    Hi there: I've read all your replies, and see that Dingo has linked to a study on young athletes and scoliosis. There are several more studies out there, showing that scoliosis appears to be more common in certain sports, such as ballet, tennis, swimming etc. (sports with asymetrical loading of the spine). Javelin throwing was also mentioned.

    Muscle imbalance ALONE cannot "cause" AIS. It is pretty agreed upon by all the posters so far, and the research community, that AIS is multifactoral and likely has some neurologic components.

    Functional scoliosis can certainly be CAUSED by imbalance however (non deformed bones, curves in standing that disappear in supine). This categery contains some of the scoliotic athletes, people with serious trunk imbalances, leg length discrepancy and herniated discs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    In my ceaseless efforts to learn how to ride and train horses, I have had the luxury over the years of not only taking a bazillion lessons but auditing five bazillion lessons.

    What becomes obvious is that not only does almost every person have a stronger side but EVERY horse has a stronger side.

    Lower level riders struggle to feel this sidedness and force themselves to come exactly even.

    Upper level horses who are trained to follow/turn from small differences in weighted seatbones will TELL you how uneven you are if you try to ride a straight line without reins or legs... just from weight cues in the seat.

    Because most people don't make it out of the lower levels, I suspect one reason is they never even out their sidedness. In some cases, these people CANNOT turn the horse in a particular direction just from their weight because they are so one-sided in their strength.

    The points I'm making are as follows:

    1. Most people have a strong and weak side.
    2. Some people have a VERY marked difference in their strong and weak side.
    3. Most people don't have scoliosis.

    And ps... although every horse I've ever ridden had a strong and weak side, I've never met one with scoliosis yet.
    As a person who spends nearly all day evaluating joints, muscles, and the integrated function of the body segments, I do agree that most people have differences in muscle balance. Often I am asked the chicken-egg question - did the muscle imbalance cause the problem, or did something ELSE cause the problem that led to the muscle imbalance? Sometimes the question is unaswerable, but the treatment approach is often - doesn't really matter which came FIRST, the point is, you've got the painful condition now, and the imbalances must be corrected to solve the problem.

    Re: point #2 above, Pooka1:
    Your method for determining this is, I assume, observation of the rider with your eyes. So though you may see something "very marked" you have no way of knowing which tissues the imbalance is. In one rider, it could be a weak arm due to a rotator cuff strain, in another it could be internal scarring from their abdominal surgery that makes their pelvis turn a certain way. In another it might be "habit" or uncoordination, and not strength at all.

    I do not think that points 1 and 2 lead automatically to point 3. Stong vs. weak must be detrermined from observation, followed by a comprehensive physical exam including many specific strength tests.

    While I don't think imbalance CAUSES scoliosis, it is certainly a hallmark symptom of the disease, and needs to be addressed. The research community does know a lot about the integrated functioning of the musculoskeletal system, but it doesn't know a lot too .... what if muscle training to correct imbalances has an effect on the neurological system such that that effect of the as-yet-unknown cause of bony wedging could be dampenned? Bones are living tissues constantly being degraded and rebuilt and remodelled..... just a thought. Anyone seen an article on this?

    Cheers,
    B.
    Bettina:
    - 34 year old physiotherapist
    - main curve of 3 is mid-thoracic convex, approx 37 d.
    - my goal: to stay as upright, strong and painfree as I can, as long as I can.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by betty14 View Post
    Hi there: I've read all your replies, and see that Dingo has linked to a study on young athletes and scoliosis. There are several more studies out there, showing that scoliosis appears to be more common in certain sports, such as ballet, tennis, swimming etc. (sports with asymetrical loading of the spine). Javelin throwing was also mentioned.

    Muscle imbalance ALONE cannot "cause" AIS. It is pretty agreed upon by all the posters so far, and the research community, that AIS is multifactoral and likely has some neurologic components.

    Functional scoliosis can certainly be CAUSED by imbalance however (non deformed bones, curves in standing that disappear in supine). This categery contains some of the scoliotic athletes, people with serious trunk imbalances, leg length discrepancy and herniated discs.



    As a person who spends nearly all day evaluating joints, muscles, and the integrated function of the body segments, I do agree that most people have differences in muscle balance. Often I am asked the chicken-egg question - did the muscle imbalance cause the problem, or did something ELSE cause the problem that led to the muscle imbalance? Sometimes the question is unaswerable, but the treatment approach is often - doesn't really matter which came FIRST, the point is, you've got the painful condition now, and the imbalances must be corrected to solve the problem.

    Re: point #2 above, Pooka1:
    Your method for determining this is, I assume, observation of the rider with your eyes. So though you may see something "very marked" you have no way of knowing which tissues the imbalance is. In one rider, it could be a weak arm due to a rotator cuff strain, in another it could be internal scarring from their abdominal surgery that makes their pelvis turn a certain way. In another it might be "habit" or uncoordination, and not strength at all.

    I do not think that points 1 and 2 lead automatically to point 3. Stong vs. weak must be detrermined from observation, followed by a comprehensive physical exam including many specific strength tests.

    While I don't think imbalance CAUSES scoliosis, it is certainly a hallmark symptom of the disease, and needs to be addressed. The research community does know a lot about the integrated functioning of the musculoskeletal system, but it doesn't know a lot too .... what if muscle training to correct imbalances has an effect on the neurological system such that that effect of the as-yet-unknown cause of bony wedging could be dampenned? Bones are living tissues constantly being degraded and rebuilt and remodelled..... just a thought. Anyone seen an article on this?

    Cheers,
    B.
    Betty...

    I think the folks in Canada are VERY lucky to have you up there. You're proving to be a really great contributor here. Thanks very much for your participation!

    --Linda

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Betty...

    I think the folks in Canada are VERY lucky to have you up there. You're proving to be a really great contributor here. Thanks very much for your participation!

    --Linda
    I agree. The loss of Fix is assuaged by the gain of Betty. But we are still in need of a reasonable chiro again.

    We need rational folks who can talk about alternative treatments in PERSPECTIVE. They are not so common as can readily been seen.
    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."

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by betty14 View Post
    While I don't think imbalance CAUSES scoliosis, it is certainly a hallmark symptom of the disease, and needs to be addressed. The research community does know a lot about the integrated functioning of the musculoskeletal system, but it doesn't know a lot too .... what if muscle training to correct imbalances has an effect on the neurological system such that that effect of the as-yet-unknown cause of bony wedging could be dampenned? Bones are living tissues constantly being degraded and rebuilt and remodelled..... just a thought. Anyone seen an article on this?

    Cheers,
    B.
    I have a question related to this: can muscles over time theoretically reshape bone?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    I have a question related to this: can muscles over time theoretically reshape bone?
    Well, I think Hawes's case may be evidence that if you exercise FOUR hours a day for SEVERAL years you can get some measurable decrease in your curve that may be due in part to bone remodeling. But more likely I think her curve would revert to the original value if she stopped. I think she exercises one hour a day now but don't really recall.

    It amazes me how she kept her job teaching and doing research at the university while getting in all that exercise.

    I wish she would post here.
    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."

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Well, I think Hawes's case may be evidence that if you exercise FOUR hours a day for SEVERAL years you can get some measurable decrease in your curve that may be due in part to bone remodeling. But more likely I think her curve would revert to the original value if she stopped. I think she exercises one hour a day now but don't really recall.

    It amazes me how she kept her job teaching and doing research at the university while getting in all that exercise.

    I wish she would post here.
    I've actually read her memoir "Unwinding" which was quite interesting. I don't believe she ever exercised 4 hours a day...I think it was always only 1 hour per day (sometimes 2 hours, but that additional hour was running, not strengthening). It would be interesting to hear from her...

  9. #24
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    Oh, and the other thing I always wondered about is swimming...I would have guessed that would be the most "symmetrical" sport of them all, no? I can understand javelyn (sp?) throwing, but swimming and even ballet shocks me...

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    Oh, and the other thing I always wondered about is swimming...I would have guessed that would be the most "symmetrical" sport of them all, no? I can understand javelyn (sp?) throwing, but swimming and even ballet shocks me...

    I should totally be spending my afternoon off preparing pelvic floor stuff for work, but I can't resist replying to you about swimming!

    Personally, although I love to swim, I would never swim lengths for excercise as a person with scoliosis, for worry that my rib hump would get larger, not smaller, which is my aim with the Schroth style exercises that I do now.
    Because swimming is such an aerobic activity, requiring deep, heavy breathing, and air follows the path of least resistance on it's way down, it would only serve to further expand the already overexpanded rib hump. I've always wondered why so many people with scoliosis are told to swim lengths, and since a scoliotic person usually lacks neck rotation to one side, the person could further feed into his curves by always turning the head the same way.

    Back to work, B.
    Bettina:
    - 34 year old physiotherapist
    - main curve of 3 is mid-thoracic convex, approx 37 d.
    - my goal: to stay as upright, strong and painfree as I can, as long as I can.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by betty14 View Post
    I should totally be spending my afternoon off preparing pelvic floor stuff for work, but I can't resist replying to you about swimming!

    Personally, although I love to swim, I would never swim lengths for excercise as a person with scoliosis, for worry that my rib hump would get larger, not smaller, which is my aim with the Schroth style exercises that I do now.
    Because swimming is such an aerobic activity, requiring deep, heavy breathing, and air follows the path of least resistance on it's way down, it would only serve to further expand the already overexpanded rib hump. I've always wondered why so many people with scoliosis are told to swim lengths, and since a scoliotic person usually lacks neck rotation to one side, the person could further feed into his curves by always turning the head the same way.

    Back to work, B.
    Hmmm, very interesting, that does make complete sense! I guess you'd have to totally focus your breathing into the concave side then and rotate your neck to both sides - which would be really hard to do! So, I can understand now how swimming would exacerbate scoliosis in someone that already has scoliosis, but why is there a high incidence of scoliosis in swimmers? Are people with scoliosis naturally inclined to swim? We know from previous posts that swimming won't CAUSE scoliosis...

  12. #27
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    Sorry to repeat what I said a long time ago, but maybe someone, someday will investigate the effect of a fall on the end of the spine. (Then they will understand why swimmers get scoliosis. They fall at the side of the pool probably when running.) This causes serious problems when the child is not fully developed.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    I've actually read her memoir "Unwinding" which was quite interesting. I don't believe she ever exercised 4 hours a day...I think it was always only 1 hour per day (sometimes 2 hours, but that additional hour was running, not strengthening). It would be interesting to hear from her...
    MissEmmy...

    Martha described the training as "intensive." I don't think an hour a day would ever be considered intensive.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum

    Regards,
    Linda

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayknox View Post
    Sorry to repeat what I said a long time ago, but maybe someone, someday will investigate the effect of a fall on the end of the spine. (Then they will understand why swimmers get scoliosis. They fall at the side of the pool probably when running.) This causes serious problems when the child is not fully developed.
    Hi Rayknox:
    Could you expand on that? Did something like this happen to you or your child?
    B.
    Bettina:
    - 34 year old physiotherapist
    - main curve of 3 is mid-thoracic convex, approx 37 d.
    - my goal: to stay as upright, strong and painfree as I can, as long as I can.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    MissEmmy...

    Martha described the training as "intensive." I don't think an hour a day would ever be considered intensive.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum

    Regards,
    Linda
    4 hours a day for 4-5 years

    "From January 1993, one of the authors (WJB) provided instruction, support, and evaluation of posture and movement. Sustained pressure applied directly to muscle spasms, or manual traction to stretch the torso,was used by the patient to relieve pain as needed (4 h daily through 1997)."
    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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