Exercising with Scoliosis

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Scoliosis is a medical term used to describe abnormal curvature of the spine. In adults without scoliosis, the spine appears straight when viewed from the back. For those with scoliosis, the spine can take on a “C” or “S” appearance. Levels of severity can vary and treatment methods may range from no treatment at all to surgery to correct the curve.

For scoliosis sufferers, you may be living with back pain and discomfort. Everyday activities, such as sitting behind a desk, can become uncomfortable tasks. However, you cannot let your back pain get the in the way of things you enjoy, such as your favorite outdoor activities and hobbies. One way to help with the side effects of scoliosis is exercise. If approved by your doctor, there are exercises you can do at home to try and strength the back and to ultimately regain trunk alignment.

Approved Exercises For People With Scoliosis:

1.Pelvic Tilts: This exercise should be performed once a day in 2 sets of 10.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull your stomach muscles and buttocks in towards the floor, flattening your back. Hold this position for 5 seconds, breathing normally.

2.Double-Leg Abdominal Press: This exercise should be performed once a day in 2 sets of 10.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. One at a time, raise your legs off the floor so that your knees and hips are at a 90° angle. While in this position, push your hands against your knees while pulling your knees towards your hands. Keep your arms straight. Hold this position for 3 seconds.

3.Cat-Camel: This exercise should be performed once a day in 2 sets of 10.

Get on your hands and knees with your back and head straight and your abdomen pulled in tight. Inhale deeply and lift your rib cage, round your back, and relax your neck. As you exhale, lower your chest towards the floor, looking slightly upward. Repeat.

4.Tea Pot: This exercise should be performed once a day in 1 sets of 5 on each side.

Left Side: Sit on your knees with your right hand on the ground and your left hand on top of your left shoulder. Lean toward your right hip and hold for 20 seconds.

Right Side: Sit on your knees with your left hand on the ground and your right hand on top of your right shoulder. Lean toward your left hip and hold for 20 seconds.

5.Single Leg Balance: This exercise should be performed once a day in 1 sets of 5.

While standing straight, bend one knee up and balance on one foot. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds then switch legs. If needed, you may use a chair or wall for support. As your progress in the exercise, challenge yourself by bringing your arms across your chest or closing your eyes.

6.Side Shift: This exercise should be performed once a day in 2 sets of 10.

Left Side: Using a wall, bend your left arm and put it against the wall. Lean hips towards the left (the wall) without moving your shoulder.

Right Side: Using a wall, bend your right arm and put it against the wall. Lean hips towards the right (the wall) without moving your shoulder.

As always, speak with your doctor before beginning a new exercise. These exercises help with core strengthening, promote good posture, and help with proprioception. Growing up, if your parents kept telling you to sit up straight and not to slouch, they were on to something. When slouched, your ligaments and muscles struggle to keep your body upright and balanced. For this reason, it is important to practice good posture on a daily basis to eliminate scoliosis pain associated with bad posture.

Learn More About Exercising with Scoliosis

If back pain is disrupting your life, the doctors at EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region can help. Our doctors are experts in the condition of scoliosis, including diagnosis and treatment. Learn more about our Spine and Pain Clinic or request an appointment.