What’s This Research About?
Yoga is often recommended for people who are experiencing or rehabbing from
musculoskeletal conditions, including scoliosis. Actually, yoga is recommended
for just about every ailment, and rightfully so. Yoga is awesome and makes you
feel good. But so do other types of exercise. So, what is it about yoga that is
particularly good for scoliosis?
The researchers suggest that most of the exercise-based interventions or manual
therapy treatments (as opposed to bracing or surgery) focus on stretching rather
than strengthening. They propose that the spine will bend away from the weaker
side, producing concavity toward the stronger side. So rather than stretching the
tight side, you should strengthen the long side.
Based on this suggested mechanism, I’d have liked to see a more robust introduction
section. But the literature review is pretty weak in this study. They said research
was inconclusive and cited 14 references to that single sentence. One of them
was a 2012 Cochrane Review so I looked that up. It also said the research is
inconclusive, partially because of the poor quality of published research
(only 2 studies actually met their inclusions standards). Those researchers
determined there was no argument for or against physical activity for scoliosis.
TITLE: Serial Case Reporting Yoga for Idiopathic and Degenerative Scoliosis
PUBLICATION: Global Advances in Health and Medicine
DATE: September 2014
AUTHORS : Fishman, L., Groessl, E., Sherman, K.
Scoliosis: lateral curve of the spine
Ideopathic: of unknown etiology or cause
Ideopathic scoliosis: develops in early years and is most often diagnosed in adolescence. Adult degenerative scoliosis occurs in later decades of life and is believed to be age related. Scoliosis is seen in 2-3% of US population, presents equally in men and women, but women are more likely to progress to stages that lead to medical interventions.