T Nation

Aligning 50 Year Old Female


Hi! I am a 50 yr old female. I have been active my whole life- which I really love and do not want to give it up! I have lifted weights but to be honest, only to be strong enough to protect my body doing the things I really love (aerobics, dance etc).

So my nightmare started a year ago with sore feet. About 20 physios, 3 chiro's, 1 massage therapist and a ton of imaging later, I now have a really good handle on what the problem really was: sciatica caused by spinal & pelvis rotation. Sound hideous, eh? Haha

Apparently many peoples' spines and hips are rotated to a certain degree because we live in an asymmetrical world. This sets up a huge number of asymmetries in the neuromuscular system which then start to amplify themselves.

So I now have a handle on what muscles are over-active, what muscles are too weak etc. In many cases I can even see it on my body- some muscles even look larger.

I will be posting pictures and videos. It is too much to go into everything right now. But I wanted to post a log here because, honestly, this T-Nation web site has helped me more than anything or anyone else in the last year. The quality of instruction and depth of knowledge here far far exceeds what I have seen from the physio's I have been to. Yes, they have been good and yes I plan to keep going, but this body is my responsibility, not theirs and I really feel like keeping a log here will help me and it may helps others too.

I am really obsessed with getting back into alignment because it is really what is going to keep me young (ish)happy and active by being able to continue to do the things I love. The sciatica crisis is over but I am not kidding myself- I really need to address this.

PLEASE if anyone ever has any idea or comments, no matter what, please feel free to post! I need all the ideas I can get. Also, if you have any questions about this whole spinal rotation thing, feel free to ask- I want to share what I have learnt because the whole thing is something I wish I knew 20 years ago.

Thank you!


Welcome to the forum!


Welcome, Reconstruction! I'm definitely interested in anything you find out, have had scoliosis for many years and constantly faced with asymmetrical spine situations.


Thank you!


Thank you! Well, most of the people I have seen have said this is not scoliosis because there is no- or hardly any- lateral curve. Do you have a lateral curve??

I am a bit confused over the whole scoliosis terminology. Both my Chiro and physio (the current ones) said I can derotate (over a period of months/years). But then other types of scoliosis are not reversable. Regardless, I can at least prevent the rotation from getting worse. Do you think yours is reversable? Is your pelvis rotated?

Anyway, I am really glad to meet you! Rotational strength training is supposed to be very good for this- but I think it is really tricky and not in the lumbar area. Hip mobility like the great article here wrote about:


"You want more hip motion and less lumbar spine motion, and in lower back pain patients, you see more of the latter"

I am sure this is one of the things that happened to me- I was rotating to the left using my lumbar spine instead of that hip joint. Now that I am straigtening myself out I can feel that my left leg has way much less external rotation.




Thanx Bulldog!

OK, My report for
Sunday September 26

I guess focus of the day was on the glute medius and abductors- both strengthening and stretching.


Keeping pelvis ABSOLUTELY square:
1)One legged squats (pistols)
2)One legged deadlifts (no weight)
3)One legged balancing with eyes closed (45 secs per leg x 3 sets)
4)Ronde de jambes (this hugely worked my right gluteus medius- I have been checked for a leg length discrepancy but they say my legs are equal, but my right glute medius is SO much weaker than my left, it is very hard for me to do this exercise properly- I am attaching a diagram of this exercise)
4)1st position plies (like squats with legs externally rotated- to try to equalize)


5)Standing Scapula rows (not many- I did a lot of back work yesterday)
6)Golf torso equalization (like deadbugs- here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzdfsaW4XJM&list=PL0943F62E138C964C&index=19)
7)Minor unweighted wood chop type movements (I didn't want to use weight today)


5)abductors/glute medius- especially the right

So I am sort of all over the map right now- but I am ok with that because I still am not totallly sure on what to do. More later.

All comments welcome!

ps- I was tested by a physio and she said my left glute medius was weaker. Then I was tested by a sports medicine doctor and she said my right glute medius was weaker! They both tested me the same way- I lay on the table, on my side, and had to push up with my leg with them resisting. I don't know how they came to different conclusions.



welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

very interested to follow your log since i'm working hard on recovering from injury / immobilization, too. doing all kinds of stuff trying to sort out my particularly dodgey right hip at the moment. just discovered pistols and step-ups and x-band walks... doing a lot of unweighted and weighted squats with a microband around my knees, too, to help me learn to drive them out hard.

do you do soft tissue work with a roller / tennis ball / lacrosse ball??




welcome :slight_smile:

amazing that utube you posted that it lasts up to 16 hours. More amazing i actuallyy watchedc the whole thing ha

Did/do you practice ballet?


Thanx! Good luck to you too :slightly_smiling:

Good question- I forgot about foam rolling. Last April my left iliotibeal band was really stinging etc. That was before I knew I had sciatica. So I thought I had ITB syndrome. So I foam rolled the begeez out of my left leg. I foam rolled my right quad too but not nearly as much. When I found out I had sciatica I was just so disgusted that I foam rolled it that I just stopped foam rolling altogether.

But you know, I will never really know if those ITB feelings were a tight fascia or sciatica. I always suspect nerve issues now whenever I feel something.

I know for sure the right glute medius is tight- regardless of what is causing it. So I think I will go back to foam rolling. I used to use a rolling pin on my quads- just lay on my back, put my leg at 90/90 and roll it out. But glute medius is harder to get at.

So thank you Alexus for reminding me of that! I know this site is big on foam rolling- I will have to read up on it.


Thanx :slight_smile:


Yes, well on another video of his he says it lasts 4 hrs. I guess it varies.

I did. I took it up as an adult. I love it and want to go back.

Thanx for the welcome Upscale!


Welcome to the Jungle.


As a previous back injured nurse i will be watching this one carefully, especially as having reduced rotation to one side which causes all sorts of problems in my canoeing/kayaking.

And...Welcome by the way.....


My scoliosis seems be "idiopathic", which means no obvious cause. Doesn't look reversable. Idiopathic scoliosis develops as bone growth develops. Once growth stops (low 20's), the scoliosis stops growing. Other scoliosis is "functional", spine gets pushed out of shape, you can retrain to eliminate it.

One of my cousins also has it, suggesting it's congenital. It consists of 2 C curves, one cervical, the other lumbar. The cervical is minor, the lumbar a bit worse, but not enough for any doctor to recommend surgery. Both curves are mainly lateral.

I was put through rehab exercise years ago to help strengthen up the core (I was horribly weak most of my life) by an orthopedic doctor. Since then, have concentrated on keeping back muscles strong to hold things in place. By now I can arch my back in my sleep.

Haven't seen a chiro or ortho doc in a while. Job problems, and we don't have the medical care you folks have, ours can cost a pretty penny. No pain, I can squat and deadlift fine, so I'm happy. However, I can feel the right side of low back jutting out a bit more than left side. Twisting my hips counterclockwise a bit makes everything nice and even. When squatting or DLing, I try to put a bit of twist there to correct for the scoliosis, but don't always remember. At any rate, the muscles seem to be developing equally.

Have experimented with twisting hips left side down right side up, hoping that will correct the lateral curve. Seems to help, but too much to concentrate on when lifting. I wear a heel lift in right shoe to help.


Welcome to the old folks home.


Check this out:


Thanx Big Nurse- so I am wondering- why do you have reduced rotation to one side? From the injury you mentioned? When did you find out? Which direction I wonder? I am thinking of taking up golf to help derotate- I don't like golf but I am right handed so I will swing to the left- (I am rotated to the right)

Ha, sorry for the questions, you don't have to reply but I'd love to know!


Thanx :slightly_smiling: It's very friendly here, I am grateful for that!