There is no known cause for 85% of structural scoliosis cases seen in spines, which generally feature a predominately C or S curve and additional compensatory curves. These curves cause asymmetries in the body and misalignments in the pelvis, vertebrae, ribcage, and sometimes even the neck. Resultant compensations usually occur elsewhere in the body while it seeks “straight”, so it is not uncommon to also experience muscular problems in the shoulders, hips, and limbs.
Clients with scoliosis are usually directed first to private sessions. It is important that both the instructor and the client learn more about how their curves manifest in both their posture and movements. The instructor will use her observations to carefully select Pilates exercises and elongation stretches to address the imbalances.
While it has not be proven that Pilates exercise will prevent the progression or correct an existing scoliosis, the Pilates method has been shown to be especially beneficial for strengthening weak core muscles, stretching tight areas, and decreasing excess rotation found in clients with scoliosis. Pain relief, increased function, and better flexibility are positive results that most clients say make them look and feel better. Several clients with scoliosis report they are able to keep long hours at their desk and travel extensively with little or no increase in their pain symptoms due to their Pilates training. Many are also able to return to their favorite sports now that their bodies feel more balanced and pain has been reduced.