Many people see scoliosis as a limiting condition preventing patients from participating in physical activities, leading most to believe that those with scoliosis are fragile individuals who need to be kept away from any form of physical activity. However, for those with scoliosis, exercising and staying active is vital in treating the condition and speeding up their recovery. Participating in physical activities like sports and regular exercises can help patients with scoliosis improve in various aspects of life, helping them realize life doesn’t need to be limited by their diagnosis.
The following are the best and safest exercises for those with scoliosis suitable for anyone of any age. Even seniors living in a nursing home or at home care can find some of these activities enjoyable and fun.
Rowing can help strengthen your latissimus dorsi back muscles, mitigating any pain associated with scoliosis, all the while improving your overall strength and flexibility. You can do this in several ways, such as sitting on a stability ball while facing a pulley machine or using rowing equipment.
A simple and safe exercise you can do when you have scoliosis is pelvic tilts as they strengthen your abdominal muscles with minimal effort. All you need to do is lie on your back while keeping your knees bent and pulling your belly button in to push your pelvis towards the ceiling, hold it for at least 20 seconds, and slowly bring it back down. Do this ten times per session every day and when performing pelvic tilts, make sure to rely on your muscle rather than pushing with your legs for the best results.
One of the simplest exercises individuals can do is the plank. Although it may seem like a deceptively easy way to improve your body’s core strength, it is one of the most efficient methods out there. Plus, you can do it at any time of the day. You can do this by placing your forearms and knees on the ground, imitating a pre-push-up position, hold it as long as you can, and do this every day while gradually making it longer.
Doing this daily can improve your core strength, restoring your balance and flexibility. Plus, it can help make your stomach flatter—making it a win-win exercise.
This simple stretching exercise can help loosen and strengthen your lat muscles, which often feels tighter because of scoliosis, negatively affecting your motor skills. You can do this by standing with your knees slightly bent, reaching overhead, and grabbing your left wrist using your right hand, then bend your right side until you feel a “stretch,” and hold the position for at least five to ten seconds. Do this for both sides every day for the best results.
Individuals with scoliosis may develop progressive loss of their balance when standing, making it challenging for them to walk correctly. This exercise can change that by gradually conditioning your body and restoring your body’s balance. For this, you need to bend one knee up and balance using one foot and do it for both legs—repeating it at least five times per set.
Arm or Leg Raise
Scoliosis can lead to debilitating lower back pain. Arm and leg raise can help strengthen your lower back and core muscles, which support your spine, alleviating any discomfort you may have. You can do this by lying on your stomach on a flat surface while keeping your chin and forehead to the ground, slowly raising an arm off the ground, holding it, and lowering it down. Repeat the movements for your other arm and legs, with 15 repetitions in each one.
Doing this every day can help strengthen your spine, gradually improving your flexibility and ability to walk.
The cat camel is an easy pose that can help you keep your spine flexible and free from pain. All you need to do is get your hands and knees on the floor while maintaining tight abdominals with your head straight, and take a deep breath while lifting your lower rib cage, and lowering your chest when breathing out while looking slightly upward. After this, return to the starting position while keeping your abdominals tight.
For the best results, repeat the movement at least ten times per set and do two sets per session every day.
Scoliosis is a debilitating medical condition, but exercise and participation in sports aid programs can improve one’s strength, flexibility, and overall health and wellness. Those exercises mentioned are some of the safest and efficient ones you can start with, guiding you to more positive outcomes for scoliosis treatment.