Fitness Magazine

Side Plank Pose for Scoliosis Challenge: Conclusions

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Nina
Side Plank Pose for Scoliosis Challenge: Conclusions In the fall, I read some compelling about Dr. Loren Fishman’s study on using Side Plank Pose (Vasithasana) to improve scoliosis (see Side Plank Pose (Vastithasana) Could Reduce Spinal Curves in People with Scoliosis!) . Because I myself have mild scoliosis, I decided to experiment by doing the practice myself and I issued the Side Plank Pose for Scoliosis Challenge on November 17, 2014. I said that I was going to be doing the pose as Baxter recommended: twice on my convex side (the left side for me) and once on my concave side (the right side for me). I asked you to join me and report back on the results of your experiments.
Side Plank Pose for Scoliosis Challenge: ConclusionsOn December 11, I wrote an update on my experiment so far Honestly? Progress Report on the Side Plank Pose Challenge. At that time I said that because the pose was causing me wrist and hand pain and that I had come to dread practicing the pose every day that decided I would no longer practice it six or seven days a week. I said that because I knew that practicing a strength building pose three or four times a week is often enough to build strength, I decided to go for a more modest strategy of practicing only every other day, which felt much safer to me. And when I told Baxter about the modifications I was making, he wrote me:
“I agree that doing the same pose every day is going to produce some problems for students in the wrist, elbow or shoulder on the weight bearing side, although Loren denies that was a problem in their study.”Side Plank Pose for Scoliosis Challenge: ConclusionsAre you wondering what ever happened to me since then? Unfortunately, things got worse for me. Before I go into it, I want to say that I learned that the type of scoliosis I have, low lumbar scoliosis, is very rare (only about 5 percent of all types of scoliosis) so I have a feeling that the people in Loren Fishman’s study did not have the same type of scoliosis that I do. And the feedback I’ve gotten so far from our readers showed that none of them developed the problems that I did. But the truth of what happened to me—despite my hopes and best efforts—is that this practice did not work for me.Side Plank Pose for Scoliosis Challenge: ConclusionsBasically what happened was my low back pain got worse. And the last time I did Side Plank pose, I felt a terrible twinge just as I was going into it. So I used common sense and stopped practicing the pose entirely. Then I went to see my favorite MD/yoga teacher for an assessment to see if he thought I was having any serious back problems. After running me through the usual medical tests, checking for disc problems, etc., Baxter (yeah, it was him—I’m lucky, right?) concluded I had no serious problems. But he recommended that I should give up the Side Plank pose experiment permanently as it did not seem to be helping me.

Since then I’ve gone back to practicing Side Plank pose the way I used to do it, about once a week, once on each side, for upper body strength building. And it now feels fine. 

Of course, I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t find an easy yoga solution for my scoliosis, but I’m also realistic to know that everyone has a unique body, and that works well for one person might not work for another. 

How about you? Are you still practicing? If so, how are you doing? And, if not, why did you give it up?

By the way, if you'd like to listen to Loren Fishman and Ellen Saltonstall discuss the original study, Yoga U Online now has a free download of there discussion here. And since we now have good photos of all four versions of Side Plank pose, I thought I'd include them all in this post. For information on practicing them, see Featured Pose: Side Plank Pose (Vasithasana).

Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging by Email ° Follow Yoga for Healthy Aging on Facebook ° Join this site with Google Friend Connect

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog