According to national statistics about 2-3% of the population is affected by scoliosis. Most people will go to a specialist only if scoliosis causes them pain or truly impacts their posture and lifestyle so this statistical number might be lower than the actual number.
Scoliosis is a condition involving an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine.
It can be caused by congenital, developmental or degenerative problems, but most cases of scoliosis actually have no known cause called idiopathic scoliosis.
[definition from Spine-Health.com]
Pilates is known for improving posture. Some of the students seek out Pilates for the sole purpose of improving their posture while others want to feel and look better. But as Pilates teachers our eye is trained to see those abnormal curvatures in the spine, work (obsessively sometimes) on alignment and educating our clients about good posture and proper body mechanics.
Pilates lends itself perfectly as a companion of scoliosis treatment. Erin Myers, the owner of Spiral Spine in Nashville TN dedicated her career to studying and researching scoliosis. She was diagnosed with scoliosis as an adolescent but the doctors told her that she didn’t require any specific treatment and her curve most likely would not progress. Erin continued to dance professionally and after an injury got introduced to Pilates. It was the first time when Erin saw how powerful Pilates movement was for a person with scoliosis.
Fast forward several years and two kids, Erin decided to do an X-ray of her spine and was shocked to learn that her curve has progressed to 33 deg (from 17 deg when she was 14 years old.) She felt let down by the medical community that offered her no guidance and no treatment plan.
Erin’s passion became helping those with scoliosis through the practice of Pilates. Today she is an international presenter on scoliosis and founder of Spiral Spine, a company designed to enrich the lives of others with scoliosis.
Erin has recently released a book Analyzing Scoliosis: The Pilates Instructor’s Guide to Scoliosis, that became an instant best seller in the Pilates category on Amazon. I was so excited to record an interview with Erin and talk “scoli” with her.
Pilates for Scoliosis: Questions Discussed in the Interview
- Why is Pilates a good option for students with scoliosis?
- What goals should we set for a client with Scoliosis? Are we trying to correct the posture OR treat the symptoms?
- How to keep clients motivated and “on board” with the scoliosis-aligned Pilates protocol?
- What tools can be used to track student’s progress?
- What is the “scope of practice” for Pilates teachers when working with scolio patients?
- What are the scoliosis movement principles that anyone can use?
- Modern research on scoliosis that helps understand and improve scoliotic curve.
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Resources mentioned in the interview:
- Analyzing Scoliosis: The Pilates Instructor’s Guide to Scoliosis, Book
- Spiral Spine Online Store, includes links to the Scoliometer app as well online workshops by Erin Myers
- The Beautiful Scoliotic Back, Book
- My Scoli Journal: The Guide to Owning Your Scoliosis (Scoliosis Starting Point) , Book
- Hard Core Scoli, DVD
- Facebook = @spiralspine
- Instagram = @spiral_spine
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to Amazon that I might get small commission from if you purchase any items.
P.S. It’s not the last time that you will hear Erin Myers’ name on PilatesBridge. Stay tuned (subscribe to the newsletter and follow us on FB) to be notified about the upcoming article where Erin shares her experience and advice for anyone interested in writing and publishing a book.