The role of tight muscles in idiopathic scoliosis
Approximately 80% of all scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which means that the cause is unknown. So 80% of the people who get diagnosed with scoliosis get no explanation as to what has caused it. Involuntary muscular contraction, resulting from injury, stress, or repetitive activities, can play a large role in idiopathic scoliosis.
Clinical Somatics exercises work directly with the nervous system to release the chronically tight muscles that are pulling the spine out of alignment.
The fact is, the bones in our body do not move unless our muscles move them. And our muscles are controlled by our nervous system. If our nervous system is sending messages to our muscles to stay tight, no amount of passive lengthening (such as stretching or massage) or forced re-alignment (such as bracing or chiropractic) will change these messages.
The most effective exercises for most idiopathic scoliosis patients are active, conscious movements that gently release involuntary muscular contraction in the muscles of the back, sides, and abdomen. A lasting release of chronic muscular contraction can only be achieved through active, conscious movements that engage the nervous system in a learning process.
Thomas Hanna developed a highly effective movement technique called pandiculation. Pandiculation releases subconsciously held muscular contraction and brings muscles back into voluntary control. Hanna incorporated the technique of pandiculation into his system of neuromuscular education called Clinical Somatic Education.
Idiopathic scoliosis patients who use Clinical Somatics exercises to release the chronic muscular contraction that is causing their curvature typically experience reduction or elimination of their pain as well as gradual straightening of their spine. Clinical Somatics exercises are very slow, gentle and therapeutic, and are appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.
For most people, idiopathic scoliosis does not have to be a life sentence. The earlier the condition can be addressed with neuromuscular education, the better. Years of pain and psychological suffering can be prevented with early, constructive intervention.
If you have scoliosis and want to learn Clinical Somatics exercises at home, the best way to start is with Clinical Somatics for Scoliosis. This three-month online course teaches Clinical Somatics exercises one-by-one through video demos, audio classes, and written explanations, and is an ideal way for beginners to learn the exercises at home.