Everyone has scoliosis, a side curve of the spine, to some degree or another. Mostly this goes unnoticed, but for others, this can really be a pain in the back. When the curve is in the thoracic spine, the part associated with the chest, a yoga pose can be used to help bring natural back pain relief.
Spinal Curve Development
There isn’t much curve in the spine when we are born. Natural and abnormal curvature both develop as we grow. For example, when we start to walk gravity helps form the curve in the low back.
Most people go their whole life never knowing they have scoliosis. I have surprised a few though when I pointed out that they had a curve, especially when it conecided with an area of their back that always had a ‘knot’ or uncomfortable place.
I teach them how to put it back in using Self Adjusting Technique, and give them a spine straightening method such as the one below, and they are fine.
What Can Be Done
The first thing to do is make sure the vertebra are in alignment. This isn’t essential, but you may not be able to work deeply into the pose if it hurts. And, you don’t want to push past the pain. So, if it hurts either get an adjustment or get my e-book and you can adjust it yourself. This area is easy to self adjust.
When the scoliosis is in the thoracic spine, a simple twist can be used to push the spine back the other way. In the thoracic spine, the ribs connect to the spine. Twisting into the curve causes the ribs to push the spine back the way it came.
For example, if the spine is curved to the right, then the twist would be to the right. The twist naturally engages the ribcage which connects to the spine in that area to push the spine to the left. There are hundreds of good spinal twist, and most will work.
Try this Simple Twist
The description and photo are for a scoliosis to the right side, so if your scoliosis is to the left, then you would twist to the left.
Start sitting in a chair with a high back. Sit so the chair back is to your right side with your thigh brased against it. Use your hands on the chair back to help you into the twist. First, take a deep breath as you lengthen your spine. With the exhale pull yourself into the twist using the chair back to help.
Continue to breath into the pose working deeper into it when each exhale. When you inhale, the lungs will fill pressing against the ribcage causing you to naturally unwind a little. Allow this to happen, you might even draw your torso almost fully forward. This allows you space to flow back into the twist.
Remember, you are trying to help the spine back the way it came. It isn’t necessary to force although you may find yourself naturally drawing deeply into the pose. Pay close attention to the sensations in your body. Get to know what is going on and you will learn what you need to do to help.
Pay close attention to pain. Pain is there to tell you that you have gone far enough, and to warn you not to overdo it.
Some stretches have a feel good kind of pain that might happen when doing a twist. That’s okay, as long as the pain isn’t such that you resist. Pushing through resistance is a good way to injure yourself.
It is good to do poses such as this twist on both sides. And, yoga classes will do twists on both sides. When twisting to the left side, avoid drawing deeply into the pose. Instead, work on lengthening the spine as you inhale and relaxing into a very gentle twist on the exhale. You might even work the pose to the right again.
Back care for scoliosis in the thoracic spine can be found with yoga poses. The key to good back health is consistency. All it takes is persistence in practicing the twist. Scoliosis can be helped with the use of yoga poses. In some cases the progression of scoliosis was stopped. In some, in time, there was a measurable reversal.