Scoliosis is the sideways curvature of the spine that occurs during growth just before puberty or at birth and more. In adults, scoliosis is considered more of a deformity and it’s difficult to remedy the situation. The types of scoliosis include being born with it (congenital), in a young child (early-onset), older child or teenager (adolescent idiopathic), and an adult (degenerative or de novo).
Treatment focuses on handling the progression of the condition. Massage comes in as an alternative to primary treatment upon recommendation by a doctor. Various massage therapies work differently and give results depending on how often they are used. Massage is, therefore, helpful for scoliosis.
Best Massage for Scoliosis
The following methods are helpful to alleviate scoliosis pain according to a study from the Institute of Integrative Health:
This massage includes the gentle treatment of the head, spinal column, and sacrum region. The method is concentrated on relieving tension on the joints and muscles and results in mobility and spine balance. Warm mobilization in fascia helps reduce painful stress and headaches. The therapy also restores the natural position of the bones.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage targets deep layers of muscles and connective tissue. This therapy improves body postures, lowers heart rate, blood pressure and increases flexibility. Deep tissue massage techniques use slower strokes and friction in muscles.
Sports Method Massage
This massage technique offers excellent benefits to adult patients struggling with pain for a long time. It helps in loosening muscles and increases flexibility in the affected area.
This traditional massage includes kneading using the fingers, especially thumbs, hands, knees, elbows, or feet to pressure the body. It includes stretching and rotating limbs, joints, or meridians. The firm pressure applied helps the body to relax and results in regaining body balance, improving circulation, reduces stiffness in neck shoulders and backaches.
This type of massage technique applies light pressure to the body. Some of the methods used are kneading, smooth strokes, circular movements on the back using oil/lotion. Swedish massage focuses on arms, legs, and neck. It offers a variety of benefits, including relief in stiffness, back pain, insomnia, shallow breathing, and headaches.
Are Massage Chairs Good for Scoliosis?
Chairs apply the same technique as a massage therapist would to alleviate scoliosis. Scoliosis massage chairs are beneficial in spinal curvature. Use of a massage chair can provide the following benefits:
- Improves venous and lymphatic flow which boosts general circulation
- Reduce tension and improves flexibility of muscles
- Enhances endorphin levels that can quicken recovery
- Pain relief
While you can get these results through human massage you can get similar benefits with the use of massage chairs in the comfort of your own home, whenever you need it. The choice of the type chair determines the level of the relief you get. The more features the chair has, the better it serves you and your body. Massage chairs give good results, and can be programmed to offer the best level of massage for your pain needs and comfort level. High end chairs can be easily adjusted to meet your needs on a day to day basis, or programmed to deliver the same quickly assess progress and make adjustments.
Are Heating Pad Good for Scoliosis?
Heating pads can help ease scoliosis pain. They help by increasing circulation in the impacted area and thereby loosening tight muscles. Moist heating is better than dry as it reduces the chances of dehydration. The heat soothes the pain, calms the muscle spasms, and alleviates joint stiffness. Moist heat penetrates the skin faster and deeper, giving you fast relief from the pain.
Heat pads should be applied at the joints or area with pain for only 20 minutes. Heating pads come in different sizes, large and extra-large. The bigger the better as the pain is alleviated all at once. Extra-large pads are, therefore, the best for quick results.
Can Stretching Help Scoliosis?
Scoliosis exercises like stretching ease pain and release tension in muscles. It also enhances blood circulation and lubrication in the joints. Stretches work best if done regularly. Each stretch should be done for least 30 seconds and repeated two or three times more. As you do it more often, the body gets used to it, and you can now increase the time for each stretch. Some of the exercises include;
- Chest stretches
- Child’s pose
- Overhead stretch
- Up and down dog
- Car stretch
Heat or Ice, which Is Better for Scoliosis?
The application of the two methods mainly depends on the onset of pain. Though heat seems to have more advantages than the ice method, they apply at different times. Heat best applies after the early stage of pain onset, after three days of starting to feel pain. It’s helpful increasing circulation in the affected area. The method also helps in supplying nutrients and oxygen, healing the area. The best forms are a moist hot pack, heating pad, or warm shower. You should apply hot packs 15-20 minutes on the sore region. Again, be extra careful when using to prevent overheating, causing skin burns.
Ice treatment helps blood vessels vasoconstrict and healing the inflamed areas. It reduces inflammation and numbs the pain associated with scoliosis. Its best applied as early as the pain starts up to 3 days. The problem with ice is it can result in temporary muscle tightening. Again, using it for longer than 20 minutes can cause inflammation. Ice sources that work best include cold packs or ice bags. The method to choose depends on your pain’s time length, if in early stages use ice or after three days use heat.
Massage boosts your mental and physical health when dealing with scoliosis. In order to enjoy the full benefits of massage, it’s best to discuss your condition with the doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the best therapies depending on the type of scoliosis you may have With early diagnosis, massage can produce great results. Also, it’s easier to improve children’s condition as the spine is still growing, unlike in adults. In adults, the key focus should be on alleviating scoliosis pain and related symptoms.