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Scoliosis and Fused Spine

Marion's picture
Last seen:
12 years 1 month ago
07/24/2011 - 10:27pm
Scoliosis and Fused Spine

Hi there,

I am in my thirties and have scoliosis (s-curve) which is quite severe. My spine is fused T5 to L1, and above the fusion I still have a 35 degree curve, as well as a lesser curve in the lumbar area.

I'm wondering if the 8 step program is applicable to my situation, and if all of the steps would be safe/advisable.

I have tried Alexander Technique, osteopathy, massage and physiotherapy in the past, and they have all been helpful.

I have had chronic pain in the thoracic spine and/or the lumbar spine for the past 6 years, and I am currently unable to walk very far without pain or sit for more than 10-20 minutes. I am already practicing hip-hinging, but have not tried any of the other 8 steps, as I'm not sure if they're safe for someone who is immobile from T5 - L1.

Have you worked with anyone with scoliosis and/or such a long fusion, and was it helpful? And are there certain steps that you would recommend in particular, or certain steps to avoid?

Thanks very much,




charlenehannibal's picture
Last seen:
2 years 7 months ago
12/15/2010 - 7:51am


Yes, we have worked with many students with fusion and scoliosis.  Indeed your particular situation sounds like it's on the more pronounced side.  It may be helpful to think of the area that has been fused as a protected space.  It can be reassuring that you will not get into trouble there!  Above and below the fusion, of course, especially in conjunction with the scoliosis, you will want to create as much length and good shape as possible.  This way you can begin to adress any compression in the areas you are having pain.

I would suggest beginning with our safest and most effective lengthening techiniques, those being:

1. Stretchsitting

2. Stretchlying on the Back

3. Inner Corset

From there, you can begin to work with pelvic anteversion.  Walking well with the glutes can be a nice first step for pelvic antervsion.  Then: Stretchlying on the side, Stacksitting, Tall-Standing

Finally I would have you start to hip-hinge.

Good luck and let us know how it goes for you!


Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Instructor, Palo Alto/San Francisco

artilugio's picture
Last seen:
2 years 12 months ago
04/12/2010 - 6:25pm

Hi Charlene

Glad to see you answering questions!

Please can you reply to this post by another forum member (I would like to see your comments)

Stacksitting at Piano -- Still Getting Sore -- With Photos


mdewolf's picture
Last seen:
11 years 7 months ago
02/13/2012 - 11:28am

Hi Marion,

My daughter has a very similar curve and we are considering the Spinal fusion surgery. I would love to e-mail with you and learn a bit more about your experience. Thank you in advance for your time. Michelle

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