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Thread: Torso Rotation Strength Training for Scoliosis

  1. #586
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    a miracle

    Mamamax

    The word miracle, comes to mind.
    You are right. As most people on this board know Dr. Mooney died in a car crash not long ago. If he had died before his first study was published in 2000 none of this would have been possible. His work made a huge difference.

    Should I meet him in the afterlife I plan to shake his hand. 8-)

  2. #587
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    This is very encouraging Dingo, well done and I hope Scott maintains his correction

  3. #588
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    Mamamax



    You are right. As most people on this board know Dr. Mooney died in a car crash not long ago. If he had died before his first study was published in 2000 none of this would have been possible. His work made a huge difference.

    Should I meet him in the afterlife I plan to shake his hand. 8-)
    :-)

    God bless Dr. Mooney.

  4. #589
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    Age 17

    Ballet Mom

    Don't worry about Scott. His parents (especially me) are maniacs. 8-)
    Scott will be on physical therapy and probably doctor visits until his 17th birthday. After his spine is done growing it's up to him.

    In Scott's case he started with a bad rotation and a mild curve. Over several years both slowly progressed. When his curve was 10/11 I couldn't see it unless I looked carefully. By the time it hit 13/14 I could easily see the bend in the middle of his back. Today it's straight although an x-ray might be able to spot something under the skin. I considered scheduling another x-ray just to confirm what 90 days of therapy can do but I decided Scott didn't need the extra radiation. I'll wait until his next checkup. Hopefully his rotation will continue to improve which will make his next x-ray even better.

    BTW your personal mailbox is full. I couldn't reply to your last message. 8-)
    Last edited by Dingo; 12-04-2010 at 10:06 AM.

  5. #590
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    maintenance

    tonibunny

    Only time will tell but I'm optimistic. Scott and I did about 2 years of strength training and nightly stretching. Sometimes I thought his back was getting better, sometimes I didn't. During the second half of this year it started to look like it was slowly progressing. At his checkup my fears were confirmed. Despite our best efforts it was gradually getting worse.

    When we started TRS the improvement wasn't slow or ambiguous. After two weeks of therapy his back looked better. Every week he had more improvement. Three months later and it's visibly straight from every angle. I don't know why TRS helps but it must hit the problem directly. The fact that Scott is young and "spongy" might also be in his favor. Also Scott has a thorocolumbar curve and if I remember correctly Dr. McIntire wrote that those curves appeared to respond the best to TRS.
    Last edited by Dingo; 12-04-2010 at 10:17 AM.

  6. #591
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    I really do hope his next x-rays confirm what you're seeing Dingo. It's very encouraging that you feel he's straighter! Have you ever taken a reading of his rotation using a Scoliometer? The spine can move more in the lumbar region than it does in the thoracic region, so maybe that's why it appears to be helping Scott. It really would be excellent news if this sort of cheap, easily available method could be proven without doubt to help smaller scoliosis curves.

  7. #592
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    Scoliometer

    tonibunny

    I've never had Scott's back measured with a Scolimeter.

    I think it was Scott's 6 year old visit when the doctor specifically examined his rotation. The doctor asked Scott to lean over for the Adam's Bend test and when he did his eyes grew and he said something like, "Whoah.... there it is". He didn't measure his rotation with a device but I could tell he thought it was bad. Compared to the size of Scott's lateral curve his rotation is a magnitude bigger. In fact I think it's pulled on his chest and brought it in a bit. My hope is that TRS and the other exercises we do will eventually correct that part.

    If it's going to work for anybody it's Scott because we are dedicated. In 3 months of TRS I think we've missed 1 day. It's easy to be consistent with the machine at the house.
    Last edited by Dingo; 12-04-2010 at 12:04 PM.

  8. #593
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    Balance Board

    Dear Dingo,

    Your posts are so helpful, positive and full of valuable information. Your posts have influenced me a great deal. I am looking to add something new to help my daughter's spine. You wrote that your son uses a balance board. Is this the "Core Wobble and Balance Board" at GoFit.net? I ask so that I'm sure. I tried the link a couple times and it did not work. I finally got to a website, though.

    If it is, it looks very difficult to use! Probably do my core some good, too! I am ready to buy it if this is the one you use. Where did you even get the idea from? Is it from your own internet research? Do you have a great physical therapist helping?

    It is great that Scott has such good motivation! My daughter needs a lot of prodding.
    Please keep us up to date on Scott's progress. I am so happy for you both! Thank you Dingo.





    Yep, we use this balance board 15 minutes per day. He does it while he watches SpongeBob. His record has increased to about 10 seconds without tipping. He usually lasts about 2 to 5 seconds at a time. If nothing else this works his core muscles and it's better than lying on the couch.
    Last edited by Still Hoping; 12-13-2010 at 11:40 AM.
    Mother of 14 yr old daughter with scoliosis
    Diagnosed at 12th birthday 1/09: 17T 13L
    6/09: 18T 14L Oh God she's increasing
    4/10: 27T 16L My worst nightmare
    7/10: 33T 18L Oh help God!
    7/10: off to CLEAR Institute: We'll see
    10/10: 33T 16L What?
    1/11: 31T 16L 6 months after CLEAR... hhmmm...

    "What a long, strange trip it's been..."

  9. #594
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    GoFit balance board

    Hi Still Hoping,

    Dang! I guess the link has died.

    Here is the balance board we use.
    Core Wobble & Balance Board

    I got the idea after reading that the nervous system (which appears to be the trigger for Scoliosis) could potentially be retrained. I also found this anecdote from the 19th century interesting.

    The 19th Century Debate on Clothing as a Cause of Scoliosis

    Lewis A. Sayre, an orthopedist, studied patients from upper and lower socioeconomic levels. He found that abnormal spinal development was not often seen in girls from lower income families. These girls did not wear corsets; instead, they carried bundles on their heads, which forced them to stand very straight. This balancing act, Sayre concluded, helped these girls develop healthy spines.
    Scott enjoys the balance board and we still do it whenever he feels like it. However we ultimately settled on torso rotation supplemented by standard physical therapy at home. It wasn't until we started TRS that I saw clear and steady improvement in Scott's spine.

    From my reading I've come to the conclusion that any physical therapy helps kids with Scoliosis. However standard PT might not be enough to stop or reverse curve progression. It's been my experience that TRS is different. Somehow it directly attacks the problem.

    We don't have a physical therapist. Everything we do comes from studies found on the internet.
    Last edited by Dingo; 12-13-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  10. #595
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    Balance Board

    Thanks so much Dingo. I love your posts! We have been meaning to enroll all of the family in the gym I go to. It has a torso rotation machine, I'm not sure what brand. But I use it and maybe it will help my daughter. I hope it can't hurt. I have been looking for a MedEx or Cybex machine online, but haven't found anything under $3000! I will keep looking.

    I took my daughter to the CLEAR Institute in Green Bay for their 2 wk. intensive treatment and the jury is still out on that. We are having her XRayed again in Jan. Then it will be a good 6 months & it seems like we will know definitively by then if it is helping. But I know she needs more and I am looking at Torso Rotation (largely thanks to you!) and then possibly Schroth exercises or clinic.

    Interestingly, one of the tenets of CLEAR is getting the patients on a balancing disc with a weight on one side. They say that this "retrains" the neuromuscular systems of the body to accept the corrected position. ( There is much info on their protocol online, & it would be worded so much better! ). Hmmm, maybe there is more evidence of this balancing possibly working. Hope so. It just doesn't require nearly as much skill or concentration as that board would. So maybe she can try that. Hope so!

    It seems like the entire responsibility for managing the overwhelming technicalities of their child's health care falls to the parents. I have a hard time just collating all the info, researching it, creating a coherent record of all of it and then finding it later! I have as yet not met any professional who manages a multi-pronged approach or keeps records of it. I am (trying) to document my CLEAR experiences on a new thread in the parents area, if anyone is interested in CLEAR.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling on. Your info is very helpful. I am going to explore that balance board. Thanks.
    Mother of 14 yr old daughter with scoliosis
    Diagnosed at 12th birthday 1/09: 17T 13L
    6/09: 18T 14L Oh God she's increasing
    4/10: 27T 16L My worst nightmare
    7/10: 33T 18L Oh help God!
    7/10: off to CLEAR Institute: We'll see
    10/10: 33T 16L What?
    1/11: 31T 16L 6 months after CLEAR... hhmmm...

    "What a long, strange trip it's been..."

  11. #596
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    Interestingly, one of the tenets of CLEAR is getting the patients on a balancing disc with a weight on one side. They say that this "retrains" the neuromuscular systems of the body to accept the corrected position.
    I don't know if there are any studies to confirm that but it's certainly possible. The nervous system does appear to have the ability to reorganize itself.

    I have been looking for a MedEx or Cybex machine online, but haven't found anything under $3000! I will keep looking.
    Check craigslist. Every few days I scoured all of the exercise equipment (even equipment not listed as torso rotation) and I found one almost every week. Many times the equipment was part of a bulk sale and torso rotation wasn't even in the title of the ad. Admittedly I live in the Phoenix Metro area which is a very large city. It might be harder in a smaller city.

    When I saw the ad for $200 I jumped. I found a ton in the $500 range +/-.

    I remember finding one cheap machine (it might have been less than $200) but it worked in reverse. Instead of the torso twisting, the legs and waist twisted. I didn't buy it because that's not the type of motion used in the study. The Cybex I bought twists just like the Medex machine. Our machine is in great shape and it still has a sticker on it from the Scottsdale Memorial Hospital which is where it must have started out.

    IMHO having the machine at home makes all the difference in the world.
    Last edited by Dingo; 12-13-2010 at 04:32 PM.

  12. #597
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    Dingo - just curious, was there any need for your machine to be re-calibrated or anything?

  13. #598
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    Mamamax

    Dingo - just curious, was there any need for your machine to be re-calibrated or anything?
    Nope. I loaded it into the back of my truck, hauled it home, dragged it into my house and set it up. Setting it up probably took an hour but it was straightforward and didn't require any special tools. I think all that I used was an Allen wrench.
    Last edited by Dingo; 12-13-2010 at 11:30 PM.

  14. #599
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    thanks Dingo - good to know!

  15. #600
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    Post New scoliosis mom...excited for my daughter to try torso rotation strength training

    Hi! I am new to this forum. My 11 yr old daugher was dx'd 3/10 with scoliosis that ended up progressing 7-8 degrees in 4 months. She is now 12 and FT bracing was prescribed in 12/10. Her original curves were T13 L20 and progressed to T21 and L27. Got a 2nd opinion and this ortho doc was not a big fan of bracing, but offered no other suggestions. (Ugh!) Considered going to a chiropractor but was a bit skeptical after the appt. Ended up scouring the web looking for direction and was very frustrated for a while. This forum has been the biggest help! It is so nice to be able to share infor w/ others in the same situation! LOVE the idea of torso rotation exercise. Very encouraged by the research articles I've read about it! Discovered that the Urban Active fitness center 1 mile from our house has a torso rotation machine (non-computerized). There is a PT dept. right in the facility as well. The PT has done some research on his own, read the articles by Dr. Mooney I gave him, and has devised a torso strength training plan for my daughter! Very blessed to have found a PT willing to learn all of this right along w/ us!

    We are also trying 2mg of melatonin every night as well. When I read about a possible connection between melatonin and curve progression, I couldn't believe it. I've often thought that my daughter might be deficient in melatonin--getting her to sleep at night has always been tough. On the rare occasion that we would give her a melatonin, she would fall asleep easily.
    So...this is what we are trying for my daughter:
    1) melatonin before bed each night in hopes of preventing further assymetrical development of the paraspinal muscles (we are making the assumption that she is deficient in melatonin and our pediatrician didn't see a problem giving it to her each night).
    2) torso rotation strength training to even out the assymetrical strength of paraspinal muscles, and to hopefully prevent further assymetrical development.
    I will keep you posted on her (hopefully lack of) progress(ion)!!

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