Scoliosis questions


Namaste Mukunda,

I am going to be working with a young women, early teens, with an S curvature. I spoke for a long time with her mother, have not met the client yet. Her mom told me she had recent surgery to fuse her lumbar vertebrae because the curve was getting so much worse very quickly (I think it was at 52 when they operated) the young lady has been in terrible pain since, headaches, back pain, can no longer attend school, etc. The drs gave her a corset rather then brace to wear and that has helped a little. this is all they have offered her.

My question is how to work with someone with spinal fusion. do I approach it the same way as someone without and just work with the obvious limitations, or is there a different way to approach it? It is the lumbar that was fused and that is giving her pain, I dont know what the dr. plans are for the thoracic curve.

another client- I have been working with a mother in her early 40’s, very fit and motivated. She does yoga at a rigorous place that doesnt look too kindly on the modifications I suggested she use in class. we started to work on her hips and SI . She has been doing this work at home for about 5 months and let me know her SI is good now except when she is at yoga class. but day to day its fine. She said now she is feeling pain at the curve, which is new to her since she started yoga. I thought it made sense that once the hips are stabilized and the SI is good that the curve would then bear the burden of the assymetry and there would be pain since the hips are not compensating. It seems now its time to move the work to the mid back where she feels the pain (which is what she requested). is this right thinking?


It is a tragedy when well intended physicians cannot help. We want for all interventions including SYT to be of help of course. When the spine is fused one must consider the icnreased demands this places on the regions both above and below the fusion. One cannot do much for increasing ROM of the region of the fusion; instead focus on the above and below regions. maximize their tone with the sankalpa of making them twice as strong as they other regions. Strong gluteals, latissimus, and erectors especially. You have to see what happens in ROM and MT on psoas to see if it can be isolated from its neighbors. if so then be more focused there too.

 As for pain management do all you can i find the shotgun approach to be the best - giving up to 4 techniques for one practice. Yoga Nidra, breathe below navel, slow down the breath, find the ida and pingala subtle nadi at the entrance and exit of nose.  all four will work one may be best but often not for long so keep all going.  I am now teaching pranayama in Ayurveda context more this will be detailed in AYT book coming soon. 

For other client it is not clear if she is only student or private.  If former then don't suggest much; until you see her doing homework based on what you give in class.  So the same is given but more slowly in digestable chunks.    If individual then give tone for lats and erectors more specifically. but be sure that is result you get when you do MT.  cat bows as well as standing half dog undulating spine as in Kali Rae's cat flow.  then do with shoulders remaining stationary.   

Pain in mid back is often due to misalignment of single vertebrae or a small group acting as if one. this can be adjusted by making smooth spine (so all erectors align the vertebrae) while they hold prolonged spinal twist. one finger pressure shows them where to backbend during twist until vertebrae sucks anteriorally and holds placement. I believe i showed this in training if not clear then see me or call.

namaste mukunda