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Old 10-30-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
Troy Kerr
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Default Scoliosis

A female crossfitter at my box was recently diagnosed with scoliosis a few months back. When speaking with her earlier this week and figuring out what movements bothered her she listed: Front squats, thrusters, deadlifts specifically. Basically whenever the spine is in extension resisting flexion. She has recently began crossfitting She used to follow a typical body-building program with lots of extended aerobic work. While relatively new to the program, she is a relatively strong and fit athlete. She has low body-fat, relatively decent weightlifting numbers, and has a high motivation, and shows great potential.
My programming for the xfit classes consist of the the Max Effort Black Box, with metcon's similar to that of crossfit atm, aka, intense, heavy, and usually 8-12 minutes in duration, with the occasional 15 minute duration.
Basically I am wondering how can we work around this issue? Should I be programming additional pre-hab movments? Are there any movements, or alterations to movements I should avoid? I realize everyone needs to be able to squat and deadlift properly, but are there alterations to these lifts I could program for her instead?

I should also add that pistol squats bother her extremely. She can't complete a pistol squat without dealing with serious pain and discomfort. However when we were having a handstand walking competition, holding a handstand with a hollow back (extended as opposed to straight) she could maintain this position pain free.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
Steven Low
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She was recently diagnosed? Like after growing up without problems?

Sounds to me more like a slipped SI joint or something else that can "cause" scoliosis.

Especially if pistols and those other exercise bother here in the hip/pelvis or lower back area near the SI joint.

Might want to get that checked by a chiro or PT.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
Jarod Barker
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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
She was recently diagnosed? Like after growing up without problems?

Sounds to me more like a slipped SI joint or something else that can "cause" scoliosis.

Especially if pistols and those other exercise bother here in the hip/pelvis or lower back area near the SI joint.

Might want to get that checked by a chiro or PT.
I'll second that just based on personal experience. I totally blew a snacth, it came down on my low back, and I did something to my SI joint, never got a proper diagnosis, but when I finally went to a doc, he said my back hurt because I had scoliosis. I asked him how did I develop scoliosis at the age of 24 when I had never had it all my entire life? He had no explanation, so I went to a chiro instead who tried like hell to adjust my SI joint, but literally 5 minutes after he put it in place, it'd move right back out of alignment. For months though, it looked like I had scoliosis.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:38 AM   #4
Steven Low
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Yeah, if there's a leg length discrepancy that wasn't there before it's likely SI joint
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
Troy Kerr
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She was diagnosed back in january. She stated that she had always had low back pain even as a child in gymnastics, but for some reason she finally decided to get it looked at. She told me they found a massive curve in her spine and was diagnosed as scoliosis. Since then she has been seeing a chiropractor getting adjusted, but her job is very physical as well as her work at the gym, so she's still not at 100%.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
Steven Low
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So is that a yes there is a problem that is being worked on as it can be fixed all the way? Or is that a no it can't be fixed all of the way?

It would be unwise to continue training when rehab work should be indicated if something can be adjusted and fixed. The only thing you'll really be helping is reinforncing wrong compensation patterns.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:14 PM   #7
Troy Kerr
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That is a yes there is a problem, the chiropractic work helps but i am unsure if she is either in between treatments or what. We only spoke on it for a few minutes. She is a pretty solid athlete and has be involved in some form of sport her whole life. She can easily manage 2-3 metcons back to back. So telling her to stop gym work would be impossible.
Are you saying adding additional lower back work would be un-helpful?
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
Derek Weaver
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Originally Posted by Chad Cilli View Post
I'll second that just based on personal experience. I totally blew a snacth, it came down on my low back, and I did something to my SI joint, never got a proper diagnosis, but when I finally went to a doc, he said my back hurt because I had scoliosis. I asked him how did I develop scoliosis at the age of 24 when I had never had it all my entire life? He had no explanation, so I went to a chiro instead who tried like hell to adjust my SI joint, but literally 5 minutes after he put it in place, it'd move right back out of alignment. For months though, it looked like I had scoliosis.
What's your current situation here? Are you still out of alignment? Getting regular adjustments to eventually correct the issue?
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:40 PM   #9
Jarod Barker
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What's your current situation here? Are you still out of alignment? Getting regular adjustments to eventually correct the issue?
I'm good now. That was 2 years ago, and I had problems with it for about 6 months. My chiro was great. I had to come in almost everyday, so he started charging me less and less, and he really worked with me on treatment. I'd come in, we'd put heat on it, he'd adjust me, then I'd spend some time on the traction table, then we'd use some ultrasound on the SI joint and electrostim on the muscles in my low back, and then he'd check my alignment again and adjust me again if needed before I left. It was a real bugger. Just kept going right back out of alignment, and you could definitely see the leg length difference every time. I did a ton of massage as well. I went to the same massage therapist as Joey Porter. Some days I felt awful from all the muscle work.

I wouldn't say it's ever been back to 100%. Almost, but not quite. Occasionally it flares up, I have some popping and pain, but it's good most of the time, and it doesn't interfere with my everyday life anymore.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:05 PM   #10
Meghan Leigh Ramos
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Originally Posted by Troy Kerr View Post
She was diagnosed back in january. She stated that she had always had low back pain even as a child in gymnastics, but for some reason she finally decided to get it looked at. She told me they found a massive curve in her spine and was diagnosed as scoliosis. Since then she has been seeing a chiropractor getting adjusted, but her job is very physical as well as her work at the gym, so she's still not at 100%.
First off, hi everyone! Just popped over from the CF boards. Really interested in learning more about other programs and modalities and such, and I love arguing about nutrition, haha.

When you say she had a "massive curve" - can you elaborate on the degree of curvature? And what direction is the curvature - is it an S curve that results in one shoulder being higher when she bends forward or is it excessively kyphotic or lordotic? Just curious as to how this compares to my own current experience. I'm not qualified to offer advice but I can say what my experience has been and what I'm doing to work through it.
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