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Alexander Technique and Scheuermann's Disease

Written by David Moore
February 2, 2009

As response to an inquiry as to whether AT can help people with Scheuermann's  disease.

I have worked with a number of people with Scheuermann's kyphosis.As you know the deformation caused by anterior wedging of the thoracic vertebrae causes an increased thoracic curve. The amount of this curvature varies significantly between different people with this condition.

This predisposes towards a particular use of the body which can create back pain. Firstly people's attempt to hold themselves upright against the curvature of the upper spine is normally too forceful and is initiated by a considerable contraction of the lower back - resulting in lower back pain which can sometimes be acute and in some cases sciatica. The second problem is that when people with this condition bend, they do so constantly from the curve in the upper back, so that over time this curve becomes more and more rigid and inflexible.

Working with people with this condition my aim is firstly to help them find a better postural balance, which reduces the lumbar contraction, secondly to introduce a variety of movements and procedures which will help increase thoracic flexibility, within the limitations of the vertebral deformities, and thirdly to help them to develop a different habit of bending which replace thoracic flexion with movement from the hip joints. Pain can normally be reduced considerably after just a few lessons, but you would need to consider a longer course of lessons to develop the awareness and skills to be able to apply the Alexander technique in your daily activities.

Should you wish to follow up on this I would suggest an initial one hour consultation which will include an assessment of your condition.

Best wishes

David Moore