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ELDOA™ as a home tool to address scoliosis and back pain

   According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK; “in 80% of cases the cause of scoliosis is often not identified.” This is known as idiopathic scoliosis. That is 8 out of 10 cases. 


   One online resource says; “Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine bends to the side abnormally; either to the right or left. The curvature can be moderate to severe. Any part of the spine can be bent in scoliosis; but the most common regions are the chest area, thoracic scoliosis, or the lower part of the back, lumbar scoliosis.”


  While these explanations may be useful for layperson to identify someone with scoliosis it doesn’t unfortunately say much about how this condition forms and what can be done about it.


From a mechanical point of view, the origin of scoliosis lies within the rotation of the vertebrae. Due to the orientation of articular surfaces of the vertebral joints (facet/zygapophyseal joint), when the vertebra rotates both on the intervertebral disc and the facet, side bending occurs in the spine. If the rotation is not corrected, the side bending is there to stay. That is the basic mechanics of scoliosis.


   In many cases people with scoliosis develop two curves. The first one is the primary curve, and then a secondary curve, which is often the curve of compensation. This often occurs because of our instinct to maintain our eyes level with the horizon.

    If our aim is to correct the scoliosis, we need to focus on correcting the rotation. We need to consider the alignment of the pelvis and how the sacrum sits between the two ilia. 

Often times, the patient needs a very precise structural correction of the rotation of the vertebrae. To maintain the correction and to further improve the alignment of the spine, spinal ELDOA needs to be practiced for the segments of where the beginning, the middle and the apex of each curve is.

   Designed by Guy Voyer himself, the ELDOA utilize myofascial tension to create a centre of “separating forces” around a primary lesion. As we can target the tension to isolate a specific segment the benefits of this exercises are both local and global.

Locally, there is targeted stimulation of intrinsic muscle action in a "long" range which affects not only the muscle but the joint capsule and the surrounding ligaments, resulting in better proprioception and awareness of the segment. The fascial tension affects the diameter of the blood vessels resulting in an increase in blood flow while it provides a mechanical stimulation for the symphatetic trunk ganglia, which are anterolateral to the vertebral body, bringing about a neurohormonal normalisation. The release of compression on the segment result in increased joint range of motion, reduced intervertebral disc pressure and a stimulation of the water uptake of the disc, while having a positive effect on the peripheric nerves and structures that the given segment supplies.

This targeted isolation is achieved in a global posture where various myofascial chains are engaged and worked simultaneously resulting in normalisation of muscles tone within the chain and an improved balance and coordination between the various myofascial chains.

The by-product of this is often less pain, better posture, and an increased sense of well-being.

   Once learned, each ELDOA exercise take a minute or two to perform, meaning if you have a single curve, in 3-5 minutes a day you can continuously improve your scoliosis.  If you have a double curve, in 7-10 minutes a day you can improve and eventually correct the functional part of your scoliosis, which is basically the muscular and soft tissue adaptation to the misaligned body structure.

   In what time frame you can expect to correct a scoliosis? Dr Voyer suggests it will largely depend on the degree of curve and the age of the person.

In his experience you can completely correct the scoliotic spine of the growing child and adolescent while the adult person could only expect an approximate 50% correction, which is approximately the functional part of the scoliosis. 

If not corrected in time, the long-term consequences of scoliosis can include pain, osteoarthritis, functional limitation of the viscera affecting;

-the lungs due to the modification of the shape of the thoracic cage,

-the heart due to the retraction of the pericardium,

-the liver, the pancreas and the spleen via their connection wit the diaphragm and so on.

  Although the practice of ELDOA is a very unique and effective way of treating scoliosis, yet it is not a quick fix.  Its benefits are often felt immediately, it still needs to be practiced over months and continue them throughout the years to have an impact on the structural changes of the young growing spine.

But if that’s what it takes to avoid the negative consequences that scoliosis can bring about, if one can comprehend what these consequences mean to somebody’s health and quality of life…. I’m sure one will willingly take an extra few minutes a day.

The question is when are you going to start?


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