Scoliosis Specific Breathing Exercises Found More Beneficial

Scoliosis has a rotational component that causes a spiraling of the body. This is what causes the rib hump on one side of a thoracic scoliosis. In order to improve the scoliosis in the spine the rib cage is utilized in the respiratory cycle to help move the spine towards a more centered and de-rotated position.

Motor Skills of Respiration In Scoliosis

A recent study published in Europe Pub Med Central by scoliosis researchers Fabian and Rożek-Piechura at the Regional Paediatric Rehabilitation Hospital in Jastrzebie Zdrój, Poland revealed that scoliosis specific directional breathing exercises, like those taught in Nu-Schroth, are more beneficial than non-directed exercise for adolescent females with scoliosis.

The study consisted of a group of 14 to 15 year old girls with thoracic and lumbar scoliosis curves between 20° and 40° that were divided into 2 subgroups. One subgroup received asymmetric breathing exercises similar to the Nu-Schroth method of directional breathing, the others in the control group were given symmetric remedial exercises.

Both before and after the course of treatment both groups were evaluated with basic somatic features, maximal voluntary ventilation aka- Vital Lung Capacity, selected motor skills and exercise tolerance were assessed, X-rays and their Cobb angles were measured, the degree of skeletal maturity, i.e. the Risser sign and the degree trunk rotation of the apex of the curvature by means of Raimondi’s coefficient.


The study showed that before treatment the adolescent females in both groups demonstrated respiratory dysfunction, as shown by decreased vital lung capacity. The group who underwent a scoliosis specific breathing exercise program had a significantly higher degree of improvement. They also showed significant improvement in their motor skills, exercise tolerance and abdominal core muscle strength, which play an important role in both respiratory function and body posture maintenance.

Scoliosis tends to lead to dysfunction in a number of systems in the body, especially in young females. Physical capacity is one of the most important elements of good health. Since breathing is a fundamental movement of life the biological development of proper respiratory movement patterns during adolescence, when there are major changes in the body both physically and neurologically, makes the respiration one of the most significant movement in either allowing or stopping scoliosis progression. Therefore, the development of specific respiratory patterns that can counteract the progression of scoliosis are of paramount importance in arresting the condition.

Spiral Lines Affecting Respiration In Scoliosis

Spiral Lines In Scoliosis RespirationThe body is made up of muscle groups called Kinetic Chains that act together to create certain movements. One particular group is called the Spiral Lines are the Kinetic Chains that are most often dysfunctional leading to progression of curvatures.

2 thoughts on “Scoliosis Specific Breathing Exercises Found More Beneficial”

    1. I wouldn’t expect Spinal Stenosis to cause breathing problems as it doesn’t effect the rib cage the same way a thoracic scoliosis does. In scoliosis it’s the rotation of the spine causing rotation of the ribs that adversely affects breathing. Spinal stenosis causes problems by directly compressing or irritating the spinal column and most often impacts the lower lumbar spine, where as the area of the spinal cord that could impact breathing is at the upper part of the cervical spine.

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