Scoliosis literally means…twist and turns of the spine. There are two types of Scoliosis, structural and functional. Structural curvature occurs when the vertebral bodies of the spine grow unevenly creating a curvature and sometimes twisting of the spine. It usually begins at early adolescence when a person is growing. Structural scoliosis is not reversible. Functional Curvature is only muscular, and occurs because of some repetitive activity such as carrying your purse on one shoulder for many years. Unlike Structural Scoliosis, a functional curve can be corrected.
So how do you know if you have Scoliosis and whether it is structural or functional? There is a test that is performed in grade school to determine if you have structural scoliosis. Functional Scoliosis can be diagnosed by a professional. If you know you have Scoliosis there is a simple test to determine the type. While Standing, bend forward and have someone look at your back. If the curvature disappears you have functional; if it stays the same or gets worse it is structural.
And how does yoga help those with Scoliosis? Yoga is instrumental in limiting the progression of the functional (or compensating) curve because the poses facilitate the lengthening of the spine, which prevents further curvature. The asanas de-rotate the spine preventing further rotation. And they strengthen and lengthen the muscles on the concave side and shorten the muscles on the convex side creating more balance in the body. This is a very simplistic explanation so if you are interested in getting more information you can contact me by phone or email.