I Have Scoliosis
How to own your scoliosis
If you have scoliosis and you’re tired of feeling helpless, this is the place to start. I’ve devoted my professional career to studying Pilates, scoliosis, and the benefits of movement. Not only can I help you understand your scoli, but I also can help you proactively manage it. Let’s start your journey to own your scoliosis.
1. START Moving
Movement is important to a healthy body, especially one with scoliosis. Your diagnosis doesn’t mean you sit still for the rest of your life. You no longer need to live in fear that movement will hurt you and make your scoli worse. I’ll teach you how to move so you can return to whatever form of movement brings you joy.
2. WATCH the Starting Point Series
These short videos will introduce you to my method and start you on the journey to owning and understanding your scoliosis. They will also help prepare you to use scoli-specific movement strategies.
4. USE a Scoliometer
A scoliometer helps measure vertebral rotation. It is useful to track regular measurements before and after exercise. A decrease in rotation is correlated with movement that is good for your body and helps untwist your spiral spine. Learn how to use the scoliometer app and then teach someone else to use it. They will need to check your back before and after exercise because you can’t check your own back. Spiral Spine has developed its own scoliometer for you to use. Download it below.
Once you have a scoliometer it will be important to keep a log of your measurements. The scoliometer tracking chart will help you do that easily, and it also has a place for your notes. Things that have affected you that week (illness, long car rides, lots of lifting, etc.) are good to put down in the notes column. You’ll begin to see patterns as to what helps your body feel its best.
The "Scoliometer Tracking" blog post will help you understand the importance of regular scoliometer use.
5. READ The Beautiful Scoliotic Back & use My Scoli Journal
My Beautiful Scoliotic Back will teach you what owning your scoliosis looks like and why you need to do it. You’ll read inspirational stories from people who’ve learned to own their scoliosis, which has given them emotional and physical freedom.
My Scoli Journal will allow you to chart your physical and emotional journey with scoliosis, an often overlooked part of caring for your health. By keeping a record, you'll be able to easily see what helps your scoli and what makes it feel good and what doesn't. Emotionally, the book will help you work through the many emotions scoliosis often brings forth.
6. GATHER Props
To start, whatever you have around your house that you can work out with is great. Some ideas are yoga mats, towels, balls, shelf liner (for padding), foam rollers, and yoga blocks. Put them in a specific area so when you’re working out you can grab them quickly.
If you don't own any props and don't know where to purchase them, you can click the image to the right to access my curated list.
7. EXERCISE virtually with the Spiral Spine staff*
Continued movement is the most important part of scoliosis care. Our virtual private and group classes offer important, but different benefits. Private classes teach pad placement, show where breath needs to go, figure out and tweak at-home exercises and stretches for your particular body, address any needed rehab from surgeries, bracing, or injury, and check in on how you’re doing emotionally. Clients typically start with private appointments but also use them to check in periodically when they need a refresher or have an issue that needs more specialized attention.
Group lessons are a necessary and important part of your regular movement care as well. They provide a space to consistently work on overall strength and mobility. They also have an emotional benefit as you work out with other people with scoliosis and see you’re not alone in this journey.
Spiral Spine's skilled instructors offer both virtual private and group class appointments. The virtual scoli care package consisting of 2 private and 3 groups classes is a good way to get started. While group classes are offered at set times, a recording is available for 6 days afterwards to accommodate different scheduling needs.
I also offer several prerecorded scoliosis workouts you can do at home. They contain movements specifically designed to untwist your spine.
Scoliosis Series: Balanced Body
*If you’re able to find a skilled Pilates Instructor in your town who truly understands how to care for your scoliosis, I encourage you to work with them. Unfortunately, my years of experience working with people with scoli around the world has taught me that those instructors are far and few between. For that reason, I've created ways for you to care for your beautiful body through Pilates even when a local instructor is not available.
8. ATTEND Scoliosis Intensive
When you're in need of some in person instruction, attend this two-day workshop. Anyone with scoliosis is welcome to attend, no matter if you have a 6 or 70-degree curve or if you're fused or unfused. Erin and her staff will work with you to help you understand your scoli. We keep the ratios small (3 people with scoli: 1 teacher) so you can get the maximum, personal benefit.
During the workshop you will learn in a hands-on, easy-to-understand way how to:
- use a scoliometer and regularly track your progress
- appropriately pad your back
- perform research-backed strengthening and release exercises that can be done at home
- figure out the individual exercises your body needs most
- modify exercises in group classes
- develop a game plan for when you return home so you can continue helping your unique body and live your best life
9. FIND a local manual therapist
Manual therapy, not a spa massage, is an essential part of scoliosis care. Oftentimes muscles are so tight that stretching cannot sufficiently relax them. This is where a skilled manual therapist comes in. Look for someone who works with scoliosis patients or who is open to listening to you and learning how to care for your unique body. If you need more information on different kinds of manual therapists, watch video 5 in the Starting Point Series.
I recommend seeing someone on a schedule you can comfortably manage, both financially and time-wise. Infrequent visits are better than never going.
10. KEEP it up
Owning your scoli means constant, daily work, but regular movement and release will help you live your best, pain-free life. You and your spine are worth it, I promise.