May 07, 2020
Scoliosis: How Do You Know if You Are Improving?
‘Why should you practice your scoliosis exercises daily?’ It’s a common issue because these scoliosis exercises take time away from other things you might want to do. Scoliosis specific exercises are known as Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercises (PSSE). They include a number of scoliosis specific exercise methods taught by specialised therapists around the world. Schroth is one of those methods. They include specific strengthening exercises but also a reprogramming of the mind and body connection. Remember when you have scoliosis you may be standing ‘off-centre’. Your brain will read that as being straight. It takes time and effort to reprogram the brain so that it gets used to a better postural alignment. So let’s find out why I think you should practice your scoliosis exercises daily.
Even if you do your exercises for an hour a day, which is a lot of practice, there are still 23 other hours in the day. When you are first learning it is quite likely you are not integrating much of your PSSE into daily activities. That means 23 hours of not standing or sitting with a more corrected posture. That allows your brain to go back to thinking your posture is okay as it is.
We want to retrain your brain and so it is a good idea to get in some daily practice, and then try to integrate some of the corrections into your daily life. If you are practising daily then you are getting regular reminders about your posture. If you are bothering to spend time and money on learning the exercises, you want to get the most out of it, right? I’m a big believer that this will happen sooner if you practice daily. If you can’t cope with an hour, then work out what you can manage and stick to it.
I haven’t got any firm literature to back me up here, just clinical experience. I am a big believe that exercises should be done in the morning as it sets the tone for the day. It is usually when we have the most energy too. Doing the exercises in the morning gets the brain and body into a more corrected posture from the get-go. Then you have the rest of the day to try to integrate it into your work or school life.
If you, or your child, is not motivated for a first thing in the morning session, perhaps later in the morning may work, perhaps after breakfast. If that is still an obstacle you could try splitting the program up so that half is done in the morning and half is done in the evening. At the end of the day it is important to find what is sustainable for you too. If mornings are definitely a no-go for you then try performing some corrections in the bathroom while brushing your teeth. At least that way you are starting to think about your posture as you get ready for your day.
Scoliosis is with you for life. You have to make some commitment to improving your posture. I always ask my patients ‘Do you want to try to control your posture? Or would you like to just let your spine control you?’ It’s not really any different to brushing your teeth every day. You do it because you know you want to control the tartar build up. Habits are formed and you commit to brushing your teeth for life. Try to think of your PSSE in the same way.
Recently I put up a short video on why we use mirrors in PSSE. Mirrors are a great way to ensure you are getting things moving in the right direction.
For more information contact Rosemary Marchese (Physiotherapist, Scoliosis Schroth and SEAS methods) through her Facebook page, the company Facebook page, LinkedIn, YouTube or email. You can also find out more information on the website.