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Two Isometric Yoga Poses Reduce the Curves in Degenerative and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Fishman, Loren M. MD, BPhil (Oxon); Groessl, Erik J. PhD; Bernstein, Paul OMS II

doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000159
Thieves' Market

Objective: Efficacy of 2 yoga poses for degenerative scoliosis (DS) and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Subjects and Methods: Retrospective study of 49 DS and 25 AIS patients with initial Cobb angles less than 120° (DS) and less than 75° (AIS) performing side plank daily, with lumbar and thoracolumbar curves' convex side inferior. In complex curves, the half-moon pose was added. Outcome measure included Cobb angles after mean 5.8 and 9.4 months, respectively.

Results: Mean lumbar/thoracolumbar improvement: 23.7% (P < .00) in DS, 34.2% (P = .001) in AIS. Thoracic curves improved 27.6% (P = .001) and 20.3% (P = .004): 2.5% per month and 3.5% per month, respectively.

Conclusions: These yoga poses may reduce scoliosis in DS and AIS.

Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York (Dr Fishman); Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego, La Jolla (Dr Groessl); VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California (Dr Groessl); and Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, Pikeville (Mr Bernstein).

Correspondence: Loren M. Fishman, MD, BPhil (Oxon), Columbia University Medical School, 133 East 58th St, New York, NY 10022 (

Each patient and, where appropriate, her or his parents have given full consent for their information to be published in this paper in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki updated at the WMA General Assembly in Fortaleza, Brazil, in October of 2013. The two people appearing in figures are not patients. They each have given full consent for these pictures to be shown in this publication.

Level IV evidence: Retrospective cohort and observational study with dramatic effect.

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest regarding this study.

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