Marta Pagnini is a former Italian gymnast, captain of the Italian National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team, a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and a member of the Air Force Military Corps and … she has scoliosis!
Discovered when she was thirteen years old initially treated with only exercises, she had to surrender to the corset when she was already 18 and was risking sporting qualification to the competitive activity. Given the late development due to gymnastics and her growth not yet completed, the brace was still an option.
After the inevitable initial moments of fatigue, pain and despair, within a few months, she got used to it and understood that the brace was her ally. She had hoped she wouldn’t have to wear it, but once accepted, everything went downhill. Marta was lucky to have a coach who understood and tried to understand; thus, she was able to express herself to the fullest, feeling at ease despite scoliosis.
Marta has won countless medals, and it was sports activity that was also in the sleeve against the disease: it helped her to keep the physical fitness, elasticity and muscle tone, doing a lot of good to her back.
Martha is living proof of what has been demonstrated recently by an ISICO study, Winner of the SOSORT Award 2019, on over 700 patients according to which those who wear a full-time brace and practice sport are more likely to improve than those who are sedentary. (Effect of sport activity added to full-time bracing in 785 Risser 0-2 adolescents with high degree idiopathic scoliosis).
«Playing sports several times a week, even at a competitive level, has positive effects for those who wear a rigid brace and it makes no sense to forbid it to those who have scoliosis “, underlines Alessandra Negrini, physiotherapist in Isico, who has conducted the research. «Sport is not a therapy so that in the presence of a pathology of the spine it is essential to associate it with a specific treatment. Without any doubt, it has a positive impact: once a week it is irrelevant, from two upwards, the positive effect is much more marked. Not quitting is fundamental, also because competitive spirit is a deep passion and can make therapies easier to accept.»
Marta has recently become patient in our Milan headquarter, where she follows our specific exercise approach to scoliosis with SEAS exercises.