We spent some time in the studio today to answer, “What is an S-Curve Scoliosis?” And the question that always follows is: “What is this 3 and 4-Curve Scoliosis that you talk about all the time?” Great questions.
An S-Curve is a 3-Curve and an S-Curve is a 4-Curve. Doctors use the term “S” and we use the terms “3” or “4”. All three (S, 3 and 4) describe the same thing. They describe a spine that has short neat little curves that compensate for each other from one side of the spine to the other. Make sense? Clear as mud?
Here’s another way to look at it. Your spine has three levels: Cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back) and lumbar (low back). In an S, 3 and 4 Curve, one curve of the spine will tend to only stay in one region before changing direction at the next level. So if my spine curves to the right in the thoracic, it will switch directions and give me an opposite curve in the neck and low back.
Doctors use the term S-Curve because it describes the shape of the curves. In exercise, we use the terms 3 and 4-Curve because it tells us exactly how many compensations we are dealing with and which exercises will best help out our clients. Different language, same meaning.
Maybe it’s time for some pictures. Try these videos out and see if they help.
Videos: What is S-Curve Scoliosis?
3-Curve Scoliosis Explained: