Living with scoliosis can be tough and painful. This spinal deformity is caused when the brain fails to respond correctly to gravity. As a result, the spine gets oriented incorrectly and the posture is affected. But, the good news is, there are non-surgical treatments available for scoliosis. According to many orthopedic surgeons, the best way to treat scoliosis is to exercise and stay active. You can do these exercises by either lying down or standing up with the support of a wall. Interesting, right? Read on to know all about it.
Why Scoliosis Exercises Are Good For You
Exercise is the best way to strengthen and straighten the physical posture and avoid curvature on one side. But, when it comes to scoliosis, you have to be a little more mindful about the exercises you choose to do. Breathing exercises (like taking deep breaths) can provide temporary relief, but is not an effective remedy. Doing yoga, which does help to give the muscles some balance, is not the go-to solution in case of scoliosis. Finally, scoliosis bracing is also a temporary solution, as the spinal curve can reappear when you stop wearing the brace. So, you must do the exercises mentioned here. Of course, you must consult your doctor before doing them. Before we start, let me tell you about the types of scoliosis exercises.
Types Of Scoliosis Exercises
- Involuntary exercises to train the muscles and the brain.
- Anti-scoliosis postures for day-to-day activities.
- Mirror image exercises to balance the curvature.
- Breathing mechanics and functions.
Benefits Of Scoliosis Exercises
- Reduces spinal curvature.
- Improves brain and muscle coordination.
- Slows or stops scoliosis progression.
- Stabilizes and reduces existing curvature.
- Reduces the need for surgery or invasive bracing.
Now, to perform these exercises, you need the following tools.
Helpful Scoliosis Exercise Tools
Foam Roller – Foam rollers not only relieve pain but also help build strength. They provide support when you do core strengthening exercises.
Stability Ball – Stability balls provide support and stability to your back and strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Training Wedges – Training wedges are wedged soft mats that give you extra support if you have multiple curves in your spine.
BOSU Balance Trainer –This dome-shaped balance trainer helps strengthen your back muscles.
ScoliSMART Activity Suit – This is a very helpful and effective suit that you can wear even while doing your daily chores. It helps maintain proper posture and reduces the spinal curvature with regular usage.
Now, let’s see which exercises you should do for scoliosis.
Top 10 Scoliosis Exercises
1. Bird Dog Stretching
It’s a form of scoliosis exercise that needs a gym ball for support. It is a very beneficial exercise for beginners as it doesn’t hurt much and helps you attain the perfect posture. Here’s how to do it.
Hamstrings, glutes, shoulder, lats, lower back, triceps, and quads.
Take a gym ball. Lay down with your tummy on the ball and support your body with your toes.
- Now, lift your left leg up and right hand up. Hold for 3 seconds.
- Put your left leg and right hand down.
- Now, lift your right leg up and left hand up. Hold for 3 seconds.
- Put them down.
- Repeat this 10 times.
Stabilize your body using the stability ball so that you don’t fall and hurt yourself.
It’s the starting point of the Scoliosis exercise regime. This can be done lying down or standing with the support of a wall. It helps in building strength and posture. This enhances the resistance power of the patient. Here are the steps to do it correctly.
Hamstrings, glutes, lats, and lower back.
Lie down flat on your back and fold your knees.
- Take a small gym ball and keep it between your knees.
- Keep your palms on the side.
- Now, gently push your hips up to lift your mid-body. Hold for 3 seconds.
- Lower down and exhale.
- Repeat this 10 times.
Make sure to arch your back when you lie down and start doing the exercise.
3. Triceps Raise Or Row
Best known as row raise, but in colloquial language triceps raise, it helps to work the muscles and provides support for the trunk. Free weights are best suited to perform this exercise, but if needed, you can make use of a machine too. During this course, the best way to choose your form will depend on the challenges you face while initially undergoing treatment, as then one can determine which mode will help you attain satisfactory results. Here is what you should do.
Triceps, lats, and lower back.
Sit on a gym ball with your legs shoulder width apart.
- Take a weight in your right hand and lift it above your head.
- Support your right hand with your left hand.
- Now, bend your right elbow and push your right forearm down.
- Then, pull your right forearm up and exhale.
- Repeat this 10 times.
- Do this with your left hand as well.
Proper breathing is extremely important. Inhale when you flex your elbow and exhale when you straighten your hand.
4. Hip Roll And Bridge
Hip Roll and Bridge as an exercise inclines one’s pelvis area, raising your vertebrae to form a full circle, and lets the hip move, which is a must if you have scoliosis. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
Lower back, middle back, upper back, hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
Lie down on your back, bend your knees, and tuck your legs in.
- Support your body by placing your arms away from your body, palm facing down.
- Now, roll your pelvis region from the left to the right.
- Repeat this 20 times.
Stop if your experience a sharp pain.
There are several ways of performing planks as it helps strengthen core muscles. However, the recommended one for beginners is the form that requires one’s forearms and toes to face the plank. Here’s what you need to do.
Abs, shoulders, biceps, upper back, lower back, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Lie down facing the ground, bend your elbows, and support your body with your toes.
- Squeeze your abs in and hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Rest, and breathe in and out.
- Repeat these steps 10 times.
Do not bend your knees.
6. Spine Release
This is an excellent exercise to correct your posture and the spinal curvature.
Upper back, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
Lie down on your side with your knees flexed. Your thighs should be at a right angle to the calves. Extend your arms to the side.
- Slowly, move your neck, arms, and mid-torso to the opposite direction.
- Hold this pose for 5 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.
- Do this on the opposite side too.
- Repeat this 10 times.
Do not twist too much or for too long.
7. Scoliosis Yoga – Cat Pose
This a very good spine strengthening and relaxing exercise. This will also help cure backache.
Upper back, lower back, and glutes.
Come to a cat-like position by supporting your torso on both your palms and knees.
- Push your lower back down and look up at the ceiling. Feel the stretch in your lower back.
- Now, exhale and carve the belly in and form a “hunch back”. Look toward your navel.
- Inhale, and repeat this again 20 times.
Make sure you breathe in and out while doing this exercise.
8. Scoliosis Yoga – Tree Pose
The tree pose is of immense help if you want to improve your balance.
Upper back, lower back, adductors, biceps, triceps, and quads.
Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Support your body on your right foot and flex your left knee. Grab your left knee with both your palms.
- Now, put your left foot flat on your right inner thigh.
- Join your palms together and put your hands up.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Do this on the other side.
- Repeat this 5 times.
Take help of someone to balance yourself if you are not comfortable the first time.
9. Scoliosis Breathing Exercise
Breathing in deeply helps to facilitate blood circulation.
Upper back and lower back.
Lie on your back on a mat and relax your shoulders.
- Put your fingertips on your chest and breathe in and breathe out. Do this 10 times.
- Now, flex your knees and lift your legs up.
- Drop your shins and lift them up again. Do this 10 times.
- Lie down on your side with a pillow supporting your upper torso.
- Now, breathe in and out. Do this 10 times.
- Lie down on your back, knees flexed, and foot flat on the floor.
- Breathe in and out. Do this 10 times.
Relax and do this exercise.
10. Schroth Method
The Schroth Method is one of the best innovations of Germany, and has helped many.
Upper back and lower back.
Lie down on your right side on the floor.
- Lift your left leg up. Hold it there for 3 seconds and then release.
- Do this 10 times.
- Position yourself underneath a bar that is not too high, so that you can keep your feet on the ground.
- Now, hold the bar, position your feet right below the bar, and pull your body down. Feel the stretch and count to 10.
- Now, without leaving the bar, come to a sitting position. Count to 10.
- Repeat this set 3 times.
Take help from a trainer while doing this exercise.
So, these are the 10 scoliosis exercises that will help correct your posture. Now, can you play a sport if you have a scoliotic spine? Yes, you can. Here are the best sports that you can play if you have scoliosis.
Sports To Play If You Have Scoliosis
- Strength training
True, living with scoliosis can be challenging. So, why not detect it way earlier? Here’s how you can do that.
ScolioSMART Early Stage Intervention
The ScoliSMART™ Early Stage Intervention is a five-day treatment, which helps kick-start the crucial neuromuscular retraining. It also includes home treatment and assessments of improvement. It includes the following.
- A genetic risk assessment — saliva samples are taken to find the likelihood of scoliosis.
- Neurotransmitter testing — hormone imbalances are determined that contribute to brain-muscle miscommunication.
- Home muscle training program — involuntary exercise program.
- Nutritional testing and support — supplements are given to correct hormonal imbalances
Always get professional help. Before doing any scoliosis exercise, get a thorough check up done. Start these exercises under the guidance of a professional.
If you do these exercises, you will slowly develop strength and correct your posture. So, do not wait anymore, consult a doctor today and start doing these exercises right away.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Does Cold Weather Affect Scoliosis Pain?
Yes, cold weather can aggravate scoliosis pain. Wear warm clothes and try to stay warm during winters.
What is infantile scoliosis?
If children below 5 years of age are affected by scoliosis, it is known as infantile scoliosis.
Is walking good for scoliosis?
Wear ScolioSMART suit for walking.
Is swimming good for someone with scoliosis?
Yes, swimming is good for the scoliotic spine.
How should I sleep with scoliosis?
This can vary from person to person. Talk to your doctor about the best position that you can sleep in.
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