Scoliosis Massage

scoliosis massage

Most people see massages as a luxury, a practice synonymous with relaxation. However, massages also hold healing properties that are not the most pleasurable when put into practice. A good scoliosis massage should not be comfortable. It should reach deep into the muscles, carrying that good kind of hurt.

How Does Scoliosis Massage Work?

A scoliotic spine creates an imbalance of work on different muscle groups in the neck, back and down through the hamstrings. When muscles are overworked to the point where they begin to spasm, the best way to release those muscles is through a deep tissue massage. After a good deep tissue massage, the muscles are less painful, no longer in danger of spasms, and can return to normal activity and scoliosis treatment.

There’s an additional perk to a scoliosis massage. A deep and calculated massage loosens up the spine and back muscles for adjustments. Tight muscles that impede flexibility can actually fight against chiropractic adjustments. If the adjustment is performed on tight muscles, the muscles will pull the spine back into its previous position, making the chiropractic adjustment ineffective.

Can Any Massage Therapist Give a Scoliosis Massage?

However, a scoliosis massage is not an undertaking for just any massage therapist. It’s important to have a good understanding of scoliosis and the ways in which it affects the muscles. In general, the muscles running along the inside of the curve will be overly loose and flexible, meaning the massage therapist should be careful digging into those muscles. The muscles on the outside of the curve are generally extremely tight and will need a lot of attention to ensure that those muscles don’t pull the spine and further increase the curve.

Whether the massage therapist is practiced in scoliosis massage or not, a person with scoliosis is likely to achieve basic benefits from any massage - mainly pain relief. In the short term, any massage is a good massage. However, when we stretch into the long term, the knowledge of which muscles to focus on and which to leave alone becomes vastly more important. A scoliosis massage can work, along with other treatment methods like scoliosis-specific chiropractic adjustments, to actually correct the curve.

Since a scoliosis massage requires such deep penetration of the muscles and precision as far as which muscles to target, some experts use specially developed massage tools. One such tool is the Core Muscle Stimulator (which, in the nature of full transparency, is used by CLEAR-certified chiropractors). Essentially, it’s a modified power tool with a plastic tip (for greater comfort, the original saw blade was removed) that delivers a straight up and down motion vibration. Although unconventional, this tool is ideal for targeting those tight muscles on the outside of the curve before an adjustment and has significant benefits over traditional orbital massagers.

Scoliosis massage can provide major benefits to those living with scoliosis. Pain relief is nothing to scoff at, but the wonders it works for scoliosis-specific chiropractic adjustments allow those corrections to take hold and decrease the Cobb angle over time.

Have you tried a scoliosis massage? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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24 comments on “Scoliosis Massage”

  1. I go to a 'rolfer' since 4 months. The best I have ever done in my 30 +years of having scoliosis (and Schroth therapy helps a lot but that is not massage)

  2. I do the deep tissue therapy to remove scar tissues. I learned it from Dr. Ric Alexander in California. It helps a lot!

  3. I would greatly appreciate any information about scoliosis massage therapist located in the St Louis Area. I had a 62% curvature about 8 years ago and have not had any x-rays since that time. I am in a lot of pain most of the time. I take hydrocodone (350) for pain every 12-24 hours. I am grateful for any information about someone in or near the St Louis Area.

    1. Hello,
      Unfortunately we do not have any CLEAR Certified Chiropractors in the St. Louis area, nor am I aware of any massage therapists in the area specializing in scoliosis. Hopefully someone else in the area will read your post and can share their experiences with you.
      There are three chiropractors in the area that claim some experience in scoliosis (that I know of); Comprehensive Chiropractic with Dr. Feder, who is SpineCor certified; Citrin Chiropractic, which has a massage therapist on staff but no doctors with any formal certification in scoliosis treatment; and, Beck Wellness Center, which I would NOT recommend. Dr. Mark Beck was formally CLEAR certified, but had his certification revoked after a patient complaint against him was found to have significant and serious merit.

  4. Good blog on scoliosis and massage! I am a licensed massage therapist and have worked with different clients over the years. I have personally witnessed a few clients curvature of the spine straighten out better. Of course this is massage 1 to 2 times weekly for months. .. sometimes the client went to a chiro after.. sometimes they didn't. Their pain level greatly adjusted from a 10 down to 2 or 1 and in some cases zero! Of course if they didn't get regular massages every week the pain would come back. Its a lifestyle change and I believe it has to be done on the regular to see results ! I wish It didn't have to be that hard for people who have scoliosis! ????

    1. The closest clinic to this region would be Wheaton Chiropractic, with Dr. Mark Myers. You can find their contact information on the Find a Doctor page.

    1. Unfortunately, we do not currently have any CLEAR doctors in Pennsylvania who are currently accepting new patients. Your closest options would be Dr. Paul Kang in NY or NJ (he has two clinics), or Dr. Diana D'Angelo or Dr. Andrew Strauss in NY (you can find their contact information on the Find a Doctor page). For more information about your options when there is not a CLEAR doctor in your area, please read our blog post.

    1. We don't have a CLEAR doctor in Milwaukee, but we do have 2 CLEAR doctors in La Cross. You can contact Dr. Amy Breidenbach or Dr. Ben Breidenbach at 608-386-9538.

    1. Hello, Marie,

      The CLEAR-certified doctor nearest Sonoma County is Dr. Matthew Janzen in Campbell, CA. You can call him at 408-379-0133.

  5. It was great to know that a physical therapist will work on the pain and injury that causes an imbalance in the body and promote healing and recovery while preventing permanent damage. That sounds nice. I will surely suggest this to my younger brother as he has been injured during the last sports meet in his school. Since he wants to recover fully soon, I think physical therapy is what he needs. Thanks!

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