Does Massage Therapy Help with Scoliosis?

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine or backbone. From a visual standpoint, the spine has normal curves when viewed from the side, and it should appear straight when looking from the front. 

Kyphosis is a curve in the spine that is seen from the side in which the spine is bent forward. Lordosis is a curve seen from the side in which the spine is bent backward. There should be a normal curve in the cervical spine (Neck)  and the Lumbar Spine (Lower Back). 

People who have scoliosis develop additional curves on either side of the body; which causes the bones of the spine to twist on each other forming a ‘’C’’ or “S” shape in the spine. 

This Disorder is two times more common in girls than in boys. It can start to develop as early as 3 years old.  Unfortunately, it is hereditary. With that being said the is no correlation between the severity of the curves for each generation. Research shows that 80% of people with scoliosis have idiopathic (unknown) scoliosis, and the majority of those cases are adolescent girls and the most common location can be found in the thoracic spine. 

How Can Massage Therapy Help? 

For many decades people used to treating Scoliosis by bracing and spinal fusion. 

Thankfully as research develops patients are seeking alternative methods and treatments. 

Massage Therapy in specific has received attention for its ability to alleviate back pain. A highly skilled Massage Therapist can use a combination of techniques such as myofascial release techniques, a combination of massage strokes, sustained pressure, specific positioning and stretching. To help balance out the muscles of the posterior of the body. 

Although that massage fix scoliosis, medical research has proven that massage therapy can provide temporary relief. 

There are two types of massage that have shown the best results: cranial-sacral therapy & deep tissue massage 

Cranial- Sacral Therapy: is when your therapist gentled mobilizes restricted tissue around and within your spinal column. This style of massage can help balance the spine and improve the patient's ability to function. 

Deep Tissue Massage involves assisted stretching and neuromuscular therapy to assist the spine in relaxing by increasing blood flow and elongating tightened areas, which overall can help relieve muscular pain.

Other benefits that massage can have on scoliosis patients are,  

  • heightened body awareness 

  • Better Sleep 

  • Enhanced Mobility 

  • Increased Circulation 

  • Creating more positive energy 

Ashley Baillargeon