It is easy to imagine how large scoli curves can wreak havoc on one’s body, but many people are unaware of how small curves can be just as physically and emotionally painful. I wrote in The Beautiful Scoliotic Back that bodies like balance. So, any deviation off of a center plum line (i.e. small scoli curves) can create confusion in the body and cause pain.
I recently attended a Yoga Scoliosis workshop from Deborah Wolk, who owns Samamkaya Yoga Back Care & Scoliosis Collective Studio in New York City. When discussing large and small curves, Deborah indicated that with large curves, part of the nervous system shuts down for nerve feedback so a person with large curves may not always feel how much pain they are in. This doesn’t happen for people with small curves, so they can possibly be in more pain because the neurological system hasn’t shut down along their spinal curves. I found that concept to be fascinating, and one that I’ve been chewing on since the workshop.
Check out this email I received about pain levels and small curves:
You are an inspiration to me and I love watching and reading your material! Like so many others, I hope to take control of the progression of my scoliosis…I was not diagnosed with scoliosis (14 degree thoracic curve and 10 degree lumbar curve) until I was 26 years old and first began encountering problems and pain. I am now 45…and I found it interesting that my X-rays showed there were significant improvements in my thoracic curve (it decreased to 8 degrees). However I am still in a lot of pain…and I am so tired of being in pain!
-Katja W. from Florida
Here is what Katja’s scoli curves look like.
Yep, looks like an almost straight spine to me.
Small curves can also affect one’s self-esteem. I have a scoli client in her late 30’s that has an amazing-looking body and a small scoli curve in her lumbar spine. I can see muscular discrepancies, but you’ve got to really know what you are looking for to notice it. Well, she wouldn’t wear a swim suit in her teens and still won’t wear one. She could be a darn swimsuit model for heaven’s sake! Small curves can have just as big an impact as large ones where self-image is involved.
I have one more interesting email to share with you from a woman named Jennifer in Hawaii. In a pervious email exchange, Jennifer shared that she has an 11-degree scoli curve. I quickly quipped back “Wow, 11 degrees, that’s NOTHING. Literally, your spine has to be 10 degrees in order to get a diagnosis of scoli.” This was her thought-provoking response:
Yes, my 11 degrees still impacts my life. If I’m not looking head on when sitting or talking to someone, it throws off my whole spine. Also, during my period I get what I call a “scoliosis headache”. It’s the weirdest thing. Before my period, I get unstable and everything snaps and pops and is very loose. Then during my period everything seizes up and gets tight like a rope. I know my hormones have something to do with this.
-Jennifer P. from Hawaii
Crazy, huh?! Even though the medical world has nothing to offer those living with small scoli curves, the movement world does.
I’m thrilled to announce Spiral Spine will be launching a new video series called Scoliosis Education, which will be free for the first 24 hours after it launches on November 4th. This first video addresses the very topic in this blog post, how to work with small scoli curves. The webinar features one of my long-term success story teenage clients and I will share my secrets on our scoli success.
Here are a few things you’ll learn in this webinar:
• You’ll learn how to untwist scoli using movement.
• I’ll teach you how to analyze scoli so you can see what I see and do it on your own.
• You’ll also learn how to put an exercise session together for a child or teenager with scoliosis, that engages their mind and motivates them to workout and do corrective exercises.
I’m sharing my knowledge, experience, success and secrets to help empower those with scoli to live happier, healthier lives.
This webinar premiers at 8 am EST on Friday, November 4th, and will only be free for 24 hours. Register here and put in on your calendar. You’re not going to want to miss out!