Best Sitting Position for Scoliosis

If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may need to analyse certain things that you’ve never really thought about before. Posture is a great example – do you slouch when you’re sitting down? Are you putting excessive pressure on some areas of your body? Do you find yourself suddenly sitting up straight as you’re reading this? Posture is very important regardless of whether you’re standing or sitting, but since the average person in the UK spends 9 hours a day sitting down, it may be particularly important to assess your current sit-uation and identify the best sitting position for your scoliosis. Though your curved spine may make it somewhat difficult to maintain a good sitting position, a few slight adjustments could do you a world of good. Bad posture can expend your energy more quickly than a good posture, so it is better for your health overall if you know the best way to sit.

What is the best sitting position for scoliosis?

The best way to sit if you have scoliosis is by trying to sit back into your chair while keeping your back straight. The weight should be spread out across your buttocks and thighs. Try to stop the pelvis from tilting forwards or backwards by not sitting too far forward in your chair. It is advised to try and keep your knees lower than your hips and your feet flat on the floor. Try to avoid crossing your legs, as this stops you aligning your body properly and can lead to lower back pain, If possible, try to move frequently, as staying still for too long can make your muscles feel tight and tense. There are many chairs which can help support your back and improve your sitting position with scoliosis. An ergonomic chair is best for your health. If you do not have one of these, support cushions for the lower back can also help.

Desk exercises for scoliosis patients

If you are one of the many people who spend the working day sitting at a desk, desk exercises are a great way to help relieve any tension. These exercises are especially important if you have scoliosis, as a bad posture for a prolonged period can cause more issues in the future. Here’s a simple desk exercise to help with your sitting position. This should be repeated at 30-minute intervals:

Thoracic Extension at Desk

Thoracic Extension

  • As shown above, a thoracic extension involves sitting forwards in your seat, bending your knees 90 degrees and placing your feet flat on the floor.
  • Next, place the places of your hand and half of your forearm under your desk with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  • Then apply pressure on the desk, while extending your back and rocking for pelvis forward.
  • Elongate your neck and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Click here for more desk exercises to try at work > Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we’re dedicated to providing the best possible care for those suffering from scoliosis and similar conditions. To find out what we can do for you, please get in touch with us today.

What to Avoid When You Have Scoliosis

Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we do our best to help people with scoliosis live the lives they want. Our scoliosis treatment courses aim to reduce the condition’s impact on the patient’s lifestyle, and we’ve achieved some truly heartwarming victories over the years – for instance, we’ve enabled numerous people to enjoy their favourite sports again, and we made sure that one young man was able to follow his dream of joining the army. Having said that, there are some activities that scoliosis sufferers are better off avoiding (usually because they put unnecessary pressure on the spine, which can cause the curvature to get worse). Here are 5 things we recommend steering clear of – please remember that all cases of scoliosis are different, and that you should consult a medical professional before engaging in any activities you’re unsure about.

1. Looking down at your phone

When you bend your neck forward to stare down at your smartphone (adopting a posture sometimes known as ‘text neck’), the effect on your spine is as though your head were significantly heavier than it actually is. Of course, we’re all glued to our smartphones these days, but we’re not saying that you have to put your device down for good – just be aware of your posture when you’re using your phone, and try to avoid bending your neck forward if possible.

2. Lifting heavy objects

Lifting large weights puts pressure on your spine, and if it’s already curving to one side, the extra pressure can make that curvature even more pronounced. Scoliosis sufferers should endeavour to avoid lifting heavy objects alone. If you find yourself tasked with carrying a large weight, ask someone else to help you with it.

3. Certain exercises

Exercise is an important ally in the fight against scoliosis – indeed, our own ScoliGold treatment method is primarily exercise-based. However, certain exercises and stretches can do more harm than good when you’re coping with a curved spine. Read our blog post on Exercises to Avoid for more information on this subject.

4. One-sided / impact sports

Some sports are more problematic than others for scoliosis patients. To assess whether or not you should get involved in a particular sporting activity, ask yourself:
  • Will I be colliding with other players? Sports like rugby, hockey and lacrosse are best avoided for this reason.
  • Will I be putting more stress on one side of my body than on the other? Examples of one-sided sports include golf and racket games like tennis and badminton.
For more information on this topic, read our blog post on Sports to Avoid.

5. High heels, flip-flops, and other shoes that don’t provide much support

When you’re purchasing footwear, it’s important to look for shoes that will give your body the support it needs. High-heeled shoes can put your spine under a lot of stress, but so can overly flat footwear such as flip-flops. Try to wear shoes with good arch support (orthotics/insoles can help with this). If you are worried that your scoliosis will prevent you from participating in your favourite activities, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to arrange an initial consultation – we may be able to help you beat your condition.

Scoliosis Brace Clothing

Minors who are diagnosed with scoliosis (an excessive curvature of the spine) are often told to wear a scoliosis brace to prevent the curve from getting worse as they continue to grow. Bracing is an important part of the treatment process in many cases, but wearing a rigid plastic shell every day can take some getting used to. If you have to start wearing a scoliosis brace, there’s a good chance that it will affect the way you dress. Of course, you should wear whatever you feel comfortable in, but we’re here to give you a few pointers on the tricky topic of scoliosis brace clothing.

What to wear with a scoliosis brace

  • Tight-fitting clothes underneath the brace
To make your scoliosis brace feel as comfortable as possible, we recommend wearing some thin clothes beneath it. Try to find light, tight-fitting garments, as these will ensure that your brace is still able to do its job. Things like a cami top, tank top or a vest are suitable to wear beneath most braces. However, if your scoliosis brace reaches your armpits, you may be more comfortable wearing a t-shirt. It may also be more comfortable to wear leggings or tights on your lower half as this will cover the area where the brace sits.
  • Long tops and asymmetrical shirts/dresses
Concerned about what your brace might look like? Long, flowing tops are an attractive and concealing fashion choice. Long tops are perfect for summer (as well as for layering up in the winter). Similarly, asymmetrical shirts and dresses can help cover up parts of the scoliosis brace you don’t want to show. The off-the-shoulder fit can cover the auxiliary piece of the brace, and the slanting trim will be able to cover any part of your brace that goes down to your hip.
  • Hoodies and elasticated trousers
You may find you prefer wearing elasticated trousers over or underneath your scoliosis brace. Either way, elasticated trousers are a good go-to piece of clothing, and will keep you looking smart. Hoodies are also great for both guys and girls who would prefer to layer up when wearing a brace. They’re ideal for keeping you warm and comfortable during the winter months, too.
  • Maxi dresses and pleated skirts for special occasions
If you’re looking for something to wear to an event whilst wearing your scoliosis brace, we recommend maxi dresses and pleated skirts. Both cover the outline of the brace from the hip down beautifully. The elasticated waist will emphasise your waistline, which may be concealed slightly by the brace, and the pleated skirts will emphasise your hips.
  • Layered clothing
A scoliosis brace can cause your clothes to feel slightly uncomfortable as they may hang differently. If you find this is the case, layering up can help your clothes feel more comfortable. For example, wearing an infinity scarf, a long cardigan or even a jacket can help conceal any areas of the brace which may show through your clothes. It’s also a really cosy fashion statement all year through and can help boost your confidence when dressing with a scoliosis brace. The Scoliosis SOS Clinic provides treatment to scoliosis patients of all ages. If you’d like to arrange an initial consultation, please contact us today!

Horseback riding with scoliosis

The Grand National horse race is fast approaching, and this always raises a lot of questions for our scoliosis patients who are keen riders.

Horse riding is a very enjoyable hobby, and one that many ScolioGold patients are very passionate about. However, it can cause problems due to the high impact placed on the rider’s lower spine.

Can I still ride a horse if I have scoliosis?

The advice we give to all of our patients is that they never have to give up on the things they are passionate about. The simple answer is to ensure that you exercise properly in order to maintain a strong core. This should give you the ability to support the spine in a balanced symmetric position.

We also recommend that our patients pay attention to their hip position and keep an even weight across their pelvis. This can be a challenge for scoliosis patients, who often have one hip higher than the other (which causes uneven weight distribution). However, this can be corrected through specific ScolioGold exercises and strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine.

Did you know?

Horse riding is actually recommended by many health professionals, as it can encourage good posture and promote a strong core when done correctly.

Scoliosis patient and horse

People we’ve helped

We have treated lots of horse riders with scoliosis. One of them – Rosie from Twickenham – was featured in her local newspaper (see clipping above) after we helped her to overcome the pain and discomfort that was threatening to put her out of the saddle for good.

Another keen rider, Madhav, travelled to London from Kolkata to undergo treatment at our clinic. Watch the video below to hear his story.

If you have any further questions about scoliosis and how it may affect your ability to ride, please contact Scoliosis SOS today and we will be able to offer you help and advice, either in person or over the phone (our number is 0207 488 4428).

Mattress For Scoliosis

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep, but that’s a lot easier said than done when you’re suffering from scoliosis. Although some scoliosis patients don’t notice their condition too much at night, many others experience pain and discomfort that can make it difficult to doze off.

A mattress can’t cure your scoliosis, but you may be able to ease some of your discomfort by choosing the right mattress to sleep on.

 

Choosing a scoliosis-friendly mattress

When you have an abnormally curved spine, it’s incredibly important to choose a mattress that gives your back the support it needs. This is so you can distribute your weight evenly, which should relieve the pressure on your twisted spine.  With this in mind, we would recommend investing in a good medium-to-firm mattress that doesn’t give too much when you lie on it. If you’re finding that your mattress is too firm for your liking, you can always use a mattress topper for added comfort. You’ll want to pick a topper that is around 2 to 3 inches thick; any thicker and you start to lose the benefit the firm mattress provides.  

Other factors to consider

We recently shared some tips for sleeping with scoliosis, and in that blog post, we explained how pillows and sleep positions can affect your quality of sleep (both positively and negatively). Once you’ve found the right mattress for your condition, you will hopefully see a big improvement in your ability to sleep throughout the night – however, if you are still struggling, consider these other mitigating factors:
  • Do you have too many pillows? Pillows can elevate your head too much, which can put pressure on your neck, shoulders, and back.
  • Are you consuming too much caffeine before bed? This can make it difficult to drop off and disrupt your sleep pattern.
  • Try to go to bed at the same time each night. This will teach your body to follow a sleep routine, which has been proven to aid sleep quality.
 

Where can I find the right mattress for my scoliosis?

There have been plenty of tests conducted to determine which mattresses are most suitable for scoliosis patients. If you’re looking to invest in a mattress that will help with your discomfort, you may find these links helpful now that you know what you are looking for: If you have any questions about your condition – from the best mattress for scoliosis sufferers to how you can begin to treat your curved spine – we at Scoliosis SOS would be more than happy to help. Get in touch with our expert team and book your initial consultation today.