Yoga may help realign your spine

June is scoliosis awareness month. Scoliosis is the presence of a “C” or “S” shaped curve in the spine, and one out of 100 people have the condition. The condition tends to be coupled with a hefty amount of fear and misunderstanding despite the fact that scoliosis is a somewhat common diagnosis.

One of the biggest misconceptions about scoliosis is that every person diagnosed will need surgery. That’s not true. In fact, many people have some degree of scoliosis and most forms are not severe enough to warrant medical attention, much less surgery.

Some patients with scoliosis report that exercise is difficult or uncomfortable. Many physicians highly recommend yoga for helping to improve posture and strengthen the core muscles that help support the spine.

Check out these reasons yoga may help with scoliosis:

Feet and legs. Yoga helps to strengthen your leg muscles. Strong legs help to decrease pain associated with scoliosis and minimize the risk of possible curving.

Spine. Incorporating yoga poses that focus on lengthening the spine may help to reduce or prevent a curvature. Spine-lengthening poses work to create evenness between the spine and ribs, relieving tension from the back.

Abdominal muscles. Strong abdominal and core muscles are essential to back health. Without strong abs, your back muscles can easily become overworked, eventually resulting in injury or worsened scoliosis. Incorporate yoga poses that focus on developing core muscle strength into your routine.

Controlled breathing. Breathing is an important aspect of yoga, but it’s even more important for those with scoliosis. Controlled breathing –in through your nose and out through your mouth – helps to force air into the compressed lung and works to establish a better balance. You may feel some discomfort on the side of your body where the air does not flow easily.

Proper alignment. This may be the most important point when it comes to scoliosis patients. Ensuring proper alignment in your yoga poses is fundamental to your success in scoliosis yoga.

If you have had a spinal fusion, consult with your physician prior to incorporating yoga poses into your routine. Many people with scoliosis who practice yoga often find that their balance and curvature severity is reduced. Yoga also helps to decrease the pain that is a result of scoliosis. Most importantly, always listen to your body.

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