New Study Shows Side Plank in Yoga Helps Those With Scoliosis

Forearm Side Plank

Forearm Side Plank

Yoga has long proven its many benefits but in case you needed another reason to begin a yoga practice, researchers including Dr. Loren Fishman at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City recruited 25 patients, 21 women and 4 men ages 14 to 85 from a private medical clinic.

Dr. Fishman instructed the patients to perform the position of side plank on the same side affected by the scoliosis. Dr. Fishman explains the reasoning here:  “Since scoliosis is an asymmetrical condition, I have treated it asymmetrically, asking patients to do the pose on the weaker side only. That strengthens the specific spinal muscles on the convex side that are needed to help with curve reduction.”

On average, participants did the side plank pose for 1.5 minutes a day, 6.1 days a week for 6.8 months.  The results showed that in all patients an overall improvement of 32% was found.

The abstract of the documentation and research can be found here: Global Advances in Health and Medicine

I highly recommend starting a yoga practice if you have not already. Yoga offers so many benefits to our physical and mental self.  I am a certified yoga instructor and would be happy to help you begin or continue your path to yoga.  Sometimes stepping into a yoga studio can be intimidating and that is why I am happy to help you begin or continue your path of yoga by coming to your home for private yoga instruction.

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.

Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis.

Signs & Symptoms of Scoliosis:

Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip higher than the other
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