Can Scoliosis Be ‘Fixed’ with Yoga or Pilates?

By Rosemary Marchese, Physiotherapist

Pilates Stretch

Yoga and Pilates have tremendous potential health benefits but do these benefits extend to scoliosis treatment? This is a really common question asked by patients and parents or caregivers. The truth is Yoga and Pilates may have their place as an adjunct to treatment, but not in place of scoliosis specific treatment, particularly for adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Yoga and Pilates may be a useful adjunct to scoliosis specific treatment, but should not replace scoliosis specific rehabilitation.

The international guidelines for treatment of AIS, produced by SOSORT*, clearly state that when these children and their families are seeking conservative options, then physiotherapeutic scoliosis specific exercises (PSSE) should be used either alone or in conjunction with bracin where applicable (1). In clinical practice we will often recommend that these kids keep active with their chosen sport (albeit sometimes with some modifications if required). However these sports, yoga and Pilates should not replace the chosen specific, individualised treatment for these patients.

*SOSORT is the International Society of Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment

 

Reference: 

  1. Negrini, S., Donzelli, S., Aulisa, A.G. et al. 2016 SOSORT guidelines: orthopaedic and rehabilitation treatment of idiopathic scoliosis during growth. Scoliosis 13, 3 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13013-017-0145-8

 

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