Curve Patterns – Scoliosis
Each scoliosis is unique. Since scoliosis is a three dimensional condition, there are numerous possibilities and variations of curve pattern. With that said, the most common curve is the right thoracic curve.
Most patients present with a variation of an ‘S’ shaped curve – double/triple curved scoliosis. With this, one curve is usually greater than the other(s), and is referred to as the major curve. The curve(s) of lesser degree is/are considered compensatory (secondary or minor) curve(s). Two curves may be of equal size and considered a double major.
An important distinction of the Schroth Method approach is that treatment of scoliosis is according to curve pattern. Other non-surgical programs may not focus on curve pattern.
With an asymmetric spine, great care must be taken during exercise and daily activities to avoid feeding into progression of the curvature(s) via movements that do not take into account the asymmetric nature of the particular curve pattern of the spine. It is possible to cause progression by doing the wrong thing for a particular curve pattern. Movement one way can be good for one side of the trunk, but harmful to the other.
This is why we focus on imparting knowledge and educate each individual according to their unique spine. One of our program goals is that each individual be able to recognize what is good and bad for their scoliotic spine (according to their curve pattern) during activities of all types. This increased awareness alone can make a big difference over the course of a lifetime.
Curves are classified according to direction of the apex and the vertebral location. For example, in a right thoracic curve it means that when observing from behind, the thoracic spine curves to the right. In this instance, a compensatory curve often develops as a left lumbar or left thoraco-lumbar curve.