Neuro-Muscular Dysfunction means that the neuro-muscular system—muscles, along with the nervous system that controls the muscle tone—is not working correctly leading to imbalances strength. This is further broken down into conscious posture control and sub-conscious posture control.
Loss of Subconscious Positional Awareness. Specifically, the part of the nervous system that controls balance and posture can become confused and mistake the scoliotic position as the correct “aligned” posture of the spine (this is an oversimplification of a complex process involving the cerebellum, vestibular, and proprioceptive components of the nervous system). The “muscular” portion of this dysfunction can be simplified as saying that muscles become asymmetric in strength and length: too short and too long, too strong vs. too weak. The brain and the body’s position sense become accustomed to the scoliosis.
Spinal weighting is a remedy to loss of subconscious positional awareness that we prescribe here in office!
Weighted devices are fit to the patient that when worn, cause the body’s postural muscles to pull the spine into a straighter alignment. For the devices to work correctly, they must be precisely fit and weighted to create a reaction that pulls the spine straighter. This is a very powerful style of exercise, and a mis-fit or mis-weighted device could make things worse rather than better, so we spend a significant amount of time to ensure that this part of the treatment is done right during each ScoliAcademy™ course.
To the left are some images of our patients spines reacting in their spinal weighting devices.
Loss of Conscious Positional Awareness. This could best be described as “bad posture habits” and “bad biomechanics.” It is easy to adapt poor postures and ways of moving that actually make the scoliosis worse. And it is easy to engage in such poor posture and damaging biomechanics all day long. All the activities the patient performs throughout the day—how they sit, study, work, play, and sleep—can either be making their scoliosis worse, or making their scoliosis better. Re-learning proper posture and biomechanics that encourage better alignment of the spine must become a 24/7 endeavor.