Part of the mainstream healthcare profession, this discipline combines hands-on clinical assessment of illness, injury or disability with treatments that include manual manipulation and adjustments, massage, stretching and targeted strengthening exercises. Physiotherapists can help scoliosis patients find renewed balance and strength by offering exercises that strengthen weak areas of the body.
Addressing mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, chiropractic therapy places particular focus on the spine and uses manual manipulation of the spine, joints and soft tissues to adjust imbalances to improve alignment and function. Treatments are commonly used to reverse sudden pain caused by muscle spasms or dislocated joints, but can be sought regularly. This therapy is not recommended for people who’ve undergone spinal fusion surgery.
Osteopathy utilizes a variety of gentle hands-on massage techniques, based on structural, craniosacral and visceral manipulation, to improve joint mobility, posture, nerve function and circulation. As a treatment, osteopathy can be beneficial in reducing musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.
Based on the flow of energy through the body along "meridian lines," this treatment involves the application of pressure (by hand, elbow, foot, or various devices) to identified pressure points to encourage the release of tension. A variety of massage techniques, including Japanese shiatsu and several Chinese massage modalities, employ similar pressure point approaches.
This manual massage technique applies compression or tension across the muscles in various directions, using cross-fibre friction and skin rolling to release adhered fascia, break up scar tissue and ease muscle tension in order to eliminate pain and increase range of motion.
Building on myofascial release, structural integration aims to undo patterns of strain in the body's myofascial system through deep, slow, fascial and myofascial manipulation and movement re-education. Various modalities of structural integration include Rolfing, Hellerwork, Aston Patterning, Soma, and Kinesis Myofascial Integration.
Trigger Point Therapy
This treatment aims to deactivate trigger points that may be causing local or referred pain in the body. Methods include applying manual pressure, vibration, injection, or other treatments specifically to the trigger point(s) in order to relieve pain or correct dysfunction.
Through the manual manipulation of soft tissues (muscles, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments), massage releases tension, encouraging greater relaxation, decreased pain, and healing. A variety of modalities exist. For people with scoliosis, massage is an excellent way to relieve muscle imbalances, stress, anxiety, and pain, and to promote overall health and wellness.
Active Release Technique
This soft tissue, movement-based technique combines the application of targeted pressure by the therapist with directed movements by the patient in order to break up adhesions and/or scar tissues that are restricting mobility, circulation, and function.
This subtle therapy uses palpation, light touching or holding of the skull, spine, and pelvis in order to influence the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. It promotes deep relaxation and tension release.
Following the belief that specific points on the feet and hands correspond to organs in the body, reflexology focuses on the application of pressure to these points in order to effect physical change elsewhere in the body.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Through the specific application of pressure and slow circular rhythmic movements, this form of massage aims to stimulate the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, assisting in the reduction of localized swelling, waste removal and immune function.
EXERCISE AND BODY WORK
This physical fitness system, developed by Joseph Pilates, focuses on a range of dynamic exercises that improves flexibility and balance while strengthening of both major and minor muscle groups. It is an approachable technique, open to students of all levels.
This variation on Pilates was developed as a three-dimensional exercise program for individuals with scoliosis. The targeted exercise regime is designed to elongate the spine, bringing it back towards a neutral and offering strengthening techniques to support the spine in its new alignment.
This non-surgical treatment for scoliosis combines a nutritional approach with the use of static and dynamic auto response training equipment to stimulate the spinal reflexes and subconscious brain control that influence alignment of the spine.
The roots of this ancient physical, mental and spiritual Indian practice reach back 5,000 years. It combines the performance of physical postures with breathing techniques and relaxation in order to improve posture, increase flexibility, build strength, and promote greater mind-body awareness. There are many styles of yoga ranging from gentle to more dynamic, so students should speak to studio owners and/or teachers to find the classes best suited for them.
Yoga for Scoliosis
This approach is generally rooted in the Iyengar yoga tradition, which focuses on long holds and proper alignment. Props, blocks, blankets and straps are used to help students approach poses within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Combined with a strong emphasis on breath awareness, the practice helps students develop a more symmetrical alignment, resulting in better posture and less pain.
This mellow, slow-moving practice focuses on longer posture holds that allow the body to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes deeper relaxation. A variety of props are used, including blankets, bolsters and blocks to support the body in each pose.
The Schroth Method
This series of exercises emphasizes the conscious correction of one’s posture throughout the day, not just during targeted practice. Each patient learns about their own body and what they have to do in order to reverse and control abnormal posture. This helps to slow or stop the progression of spinal curvature, eliminate pain and improve posture.
Developed by Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais, this method uses slow, controlled movements to help students develop a better sense of the body’s natural range of motion and its interaction with gravity. Through precision and awareness, the practices introduces students to a more natural and efficient style of movement.
This diverse set of massage and bodywork techniques is performed in water and usually combines floating with gentle movements such as rocking, stretching and massage. The wide variety of forms practiced include aquatic integration, aquatic aerobics, dolphin dance, healing dance, WaterDance, the Jahara technique, watsu and more.