Purchasing your own gym ball (also known as a Swiss ball, exercise ball or stability ball) is a great idea if you have scoliosis and you want to build up your core strength by performing stretches and exercises at home. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we’ve seen countless scoliosis sufferers make astounding improvements simply by following a specially-tailored exercise regime, and we very often use gym balls as part of our ScolioGold treatment courses.
If you have a curved spine and you’d like to work on your back muscles at home, here are 3 simple, beginner-level gym ball exercises for you to try:

Straight Leg Gym Ball Bridge

Straight Leg Gym Ball Bridge
This exercise can be used to activate your gluteal (bottom) muscles and strengthen your core.
  • To begin with, lie on your back with your legs straight and your feet resting on a gym ball. Ensure that you are lying in a straight line. (See image above left.)
  • Engage your core muscles: try to draw your navel in towards your spine.
  • Slowly lift your hips up towards the ceiling by squeezing the muscles in your bottom. Lift up until your body is in a straight diagonal line (see image above right). Be careful not to arch your lower back or flare your ribs.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat 10 times

Walk Out Gym Ball Bridge

Walk Out Gym Ball Bridge
This is an alternative exercise to the commonly-completed floor bridge.
  • Start by sitting on a gym ball with your arms out in front of you.
  • Slowly walk your feet forwards and allow the ball to roll so that your upper body comes into contact with the ball.
  • Keep going until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your body is in one straight line. You should now be lying with your back on the ball, looking up at the ceiling.
  • Squeeze the muscles in your bottom and be sure to keep your hips up and your pelvis tucked so that you do not arch your lower back.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds, then slowly walk your feet back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Gym Ball Balancing

Gym Ball Balancing
This exercise can be used to work on your core stability and postural balance.
  • To start with, sit on your gym ball with your feet hip-width apart and your knees in line with your hips. Place your hands on your hips. (If possible, perform this exercise while facing a mirror.)
  • Elongate up through your spine to ensure that you are not slouching. Check in the mirror to make sure your body is in a straight alignment. Engage your core muscles by drawing your navel to your spine.
  • Try to lift one foot up from the floor without letting any other part of your body move. Ensure that your pelvis does not rock from side to side. Keep your shoulders level.
  • Try to hold this position for 5 seconds, then change sides. Repeat 10 times on each side.

More Scoliosis Exercises:

Disclaimer: The above information should not be treated as medical advice and the scoliosis exercises described may not be suitable or beneficial for everyone. You should not begin any exercise routine without consulting a qualified health practitioner, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly, or if you have any chronic or recurring conditions. Any application of scoliosis exercises suggested is at the reader’s sole discretion and risk. Scoliosis SOS accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss or injuries caused directly or indirectly through the performing of any exercises described. If you feel any discomfort or pain during exercise, stop immediately. Always consult your own GP if you are in any way concerned about your health or anything associated with it.
Spinal Treatment
When seeking out non-surgical treatments for scoliosis, it’s easy to feel somewhat overwhelmed and confused by the number of approaches which exist, particularly when their aims appear to be so similar. Physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths…what do all of these practitioners actually do? How do their methods differ from one another? Are these titles all just different names for the same thing? These are common questions among scoliosis sufferers and other individuals seeking out physical therapy.
In order to clear up some confusion, we thought we’d outline the details of each approach and highlight their similarities and differences. To begin, it’s probably easiest to discuss the aims and practices of each treatment method individually:

Physiotherapy

The primary aim of physiotherapy is to enable function and movement in the body, often after an accident, illness, or other form of trauma. A combination of massage, exercise and movement is used to restore the body of the patient, improving their physical ability and preventing further damage/progression. Physiotherapy is often used to treat and aid recovery from several conditions, from injuries impacting the joints and soft tissues to those affecting the brain, heart and lungs.

Chiropractic

The chiropractic profession specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions which affect the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves,  always focusing on the spine. In its most basic form, treatment involves the gentle manipulation of specific areas in order to free joints in the spine, although alternative treatments such as acupuncture are sometimes integrated into the therapy. While most chiropractors specifically treat conditions related to the spine and neck, they do provide treatment for a number of related conditions as well.

Osteopathy

Osteopaths work to ensure that the muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in the body are able to function smoothly together in order to treat conditions which affect these areas of the body, particularly the spine. A combination of physical manipulation, massage and stretching is used to increase patient mobility while also restoring balance and optimal function within the body. This works to relieve muscle tension, improve blood supply, and promote healing, providing the patient with improved health and relief from pain.
As you can see from these descriptions, these treatment methods have many things in common, primarily their holistic approach to improving overall bodily function alongside the treatment of a specific concern. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we use some elements of osteopathy alongside specialised physiotherapy as part of our ScolioGold treatment programme, which combines the principles of several proven non-surgical treatment methods in order to fully treat various issues experienced by our patients.
Our reason for including some components of osteopathy in our successful therapy, exercise and treatment programme is to improve joint mobility while also providing relief from the pain experienced by many scoliosis sufferers. It has allowed us to provide lasting results for our patients, improving their posture and enhancing their ease of movement – aspects of scoliosis which are often not properly addressed by surgical treatment.
If you would like to find out more about our treatment programme and how it may be able to help you with your condition, please get in touch here.