We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are huge advocates for scoliosis self-correction and treatment through exercise!
If you’re suffering because of your scoliosis, there are a lot of things you can do to relieve pain and prevent your spinal curve from worsening. One of these things is active self-correction (ASC), just one of the many treatment methods that make up our ScolioGold therapy programme.
Active self-correction is often referred to as the scientific exercise approach to scoliosis treatment. It involves a series of movements designed to stabilise the scoliosis curvature. Our ScolioGold therapists teach you how to actively self-correct by standing you in front of a mirror and showing you how you can physically unbend and de-rotate the curve in your spine.
As much as we’d love to teach you how to actively correct your scoliosis with a few simple instructions, every spine is unique, and each patient needs to be taught how to correct their own curvature. See one of our patients actively self-correcting their scoliosis curvature in this video:
You can see how this patient’s spine moves into a much better position with a few simple, conscious movements. These movements are often called:
Now that our patient knows how to get into this position, they will be able to actively correct their curvature over and over again, until it becomes a more natural sitting and standing position.
See more examples of scoliosis self-correction on our Instagram highlights:
- Activation – ‘unlocks’ the curvature from its resting position
- Correction – encourages the spine to sit in a more healthy position
- Repetition – ‘locks’ the straighter spine in place (this involves retraining the postural control centre in the brain to accept the ‘fixed’ position)
See Our Patients Performing ASC >
Part of active self-correction is developing a better awareness of your posture. We’ve written numerous blogs about the effects of bad posture on your spine, and unfortunately, people with and without scoliosis fall foul of poor posture all the time. Whether you work in an office, play a musical instrument or make frequent long journeys, you’re often susceptible to slouching and (potentially) damaging your spine.
Scoliosis self-correction teaches you to be continually aware of your posture, actively moving and straightening to create a straighter and stronger spine. There are a whole host of postural exercises that you can do to help improve your spinal position – of course, you’ll need to practice these exercises regularly if you want to see a significant improvement. Most posture-correcting exercises can be done at home and without any equipment!
Posture-Improving Exercises >
If you’re interested in finding out more about our exercise-based scoliosis therapy, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0207 488 4428 or submit an enquiry here.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be a tough task for people with scoliosis, especially those who find themselves in perpetual pain and discomfort as a result of their condition.
Chronic back pain can slam the brakes on physical activity – even when the mind is willing, you may feel physically unable to get up and exercise, and this can take its toll on your overall fitness.
But that doesn’t mean you have to throw the towel in and resign yourself to a life of inactivity. Luckily, there are a whole host of ways for scoliosis patients to stay healthy and keep weight gain at bay.
While it might seem like exercising with scoliosis is putting yourself on the fast track to a bad back, it can actually have the opposite effect – as long as you’re careful.
Staying active can be beneficial for your body in a number of ways, helping you stay slim and trim while also keeping your body limber and flexible.
Being smart about the exercises you choose can make a huge difference, so be sure to exercise caution before you exercise your body.
In the weight room, heavy deadlifts are obviously not a good choice for someone with spinal issues. The same goes for other back-heavy exercises, like good-mornings and power cleans. Meanwhile, lower-body exercises like squats and lunges can also put indirect pressure on your spine.
Exercises to Avoid If You Have Scoliosis >>
Even some yoga positions, such as the cobra pose, can cause your vertebrae to rotate beyond the point of comfort. Be smart and avoid exercises that are likely to put considerable strain on your spine.
Strengthening your core can be a great way to alleviate discomfort, while regular stretching can also help to reduce back pain.
Young at heart
Running can put a lot of stress on the spine, jarring the body every time your feet hit the ground. As such, going out for a jog or hitting the treadmill may be a bad idea – but that doesn’t mean cardio is completely off the table.
Most gyms have elliptical trainers (cross trainers) that allow you to exercise in a fluid motion without the jarring effect of running. Similarly, the stair climber is also a good way to get your cardio fix while reducing the impact on your spine.
Another great way to maintain and improve cardiovascular fitness with scoliosis is swimming. The buoyancy of the water minimises impact on the joints while still providing resistance, making it the ideal cardio exercise for scoliosis sufferers.
Swimming with Scoliosis >>
That being said, these exercises can be challenging for people with severe scoliosis, particularly those with reduced lung capacity. If you are unable to complete the above exercises, it may be worth considering less strenuous options, such as walking or aqua aerobics.
If you’re a smoker, another great way to stay in shape is to – you guessed it – give up smoking.
Quitting smoking can help improve lung capacity by as much as 10% within nine months, and this can help considerably when it comes to exercise. Qutting will also improve your circulation, providing additional energy and reducing fatigue.
However, quitting smoking isn’t without its challenges. In addition to being a notoriously hard habit to break, it can also lead to some initial weight gain.
This is due to the fact that smoking suppresses your appetite and speeds up your metabolism. Meanwhile, it can be tempting to use food as a replacement for cigarettes – many ex-smokers find themselves snacking to fill the void.
That being said, while you may gain weight at first, giving up smoking will pay dividends in the long run – both in the gym and from a pain standpoint. A 1999 study by the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal found that smoking can exacerbate back pain, particularly in scoliosis sufferers. All the more reason to bin the cigs!
You are what you eat
Finally, and perhaps most obviously, diet plays a huge role in weight management. Even with plenty of exercise, you can’t out-train a bad diet – so be sensible when it comes to junk food and unhealthy snacks.
If your scoliosis is severe and limits your ability to exercise, a healthy diet is vital in maintaining a healthy weight. Removing exercise from the equation puts you at a disadvantage to begin with, making a healthy diet all the more important.
What’s more, certain foods are beneficial for reducing scoliosis symptoms, while others can only amplify those symptoms. Food and drinks that are rich in salt, sugar or caffeine can have a negative effect on calcium absorption, while alcohol can also contribute to poor bone density.
Avoid foods rich in additives, such as ready meals and fast food. Meanwhile, try to limit your consumption of soft drinks, tea, coffee and alcohol. Eating organic meals and fresh fruit and veg will give your body a fighting chance of fat loss, while also giving you a simultaneous boost in the bone department.
Best Diet for Scoliosis >>
If you would like to explore the possibility of non-surgical treatment for your scoliosis, please contact the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to arrange a consultation.
Lots of Scoliosis SOS patients ask us the same question:
What will I need to do after my treatment to continue seeing results?
The typical length of a ScolioGold treatment course is 4 weeks, and while our patients routinely see significant improvements within this short time, it is the long-term results that they (and we) are most concerned with!
During those 4 weeks of treatment, we teach every patient a set of exercises and stretches that will help them to continue their treatment independently when they get home. Each patient leaves our clinic with a daily exercise plan that’s tailored to their condition and long-term goals.
To give you a better idea of what those daily exercise routines contain, we spoke to Eleanor – who started ScolioGold treatment back in 2016 – and asked her a few questions about her daily exercise routine and how her scoliosis has been since she left the clinic.
Hi Eleanor! How did your initial ScolioGold treatment course help you?
I started treatment 3 years ago, when I was 12 years old. My consultant had told me that I needed to have surgery on my back because my curve was progressing, but my mum researched other options on the Internet and found the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. I did a 4-week course during my summer school holidays, and within a couple of days of starting treatment, my parents noticed that I was standing taller and straighter. By the time I finished treatment a month later, I had grown 3cm!
The main thing it has helped with is my self-confidence; I no longer feel ashamed of my back or have to hide under baggy jumpers. The best part was when we saw the consultant for a check-up appointment he said that I was no longer a candidate for surgery.
How often have you come back to the clinic since then?
I usually come back to see my therapist Charlie every 3 months, but once I have finished growing this will change to every 6 months. I grew a lot last year, so at Christmas, I did a refresher week where I learnt a few more advanced exercises and joined a couple of the group therapy sessions too.
What exercises do you do at home?
At my appointments, Charlie gives me a new exercise schedule that tells me what I have to do on each day. It’s nice to have a change, and it keeps me motivated when I go back home. Each day includes 3 specific exercises and a couple of stretches. My favourite is side-lying with a pole as I can really feel my muscles working when I do it and it always makes me feel straighter afterwards.
Some of the other things I do are: muscular cylinder, prone on stool, semi-hanging, PNF Pacquet and ASC.
How often do you do scoliosis exercises at home?
As I am still growing, I have to do 45 minutes of exercise each day.
Are the continued exercises helping you to manage your condition?
I have been discharged from the hospital, but the measurements and scans Charlie does at my check-ups show that my condition is stable and it improved a bit more after I did the refresher week.
If you’re suffering from scoliosis, we can provide an entirely exercise-based treatment course that will help you to manage your condition independently. To enquire about our treatment courses, give us a call on 0207 488 4428 or use the links below.
View Treatment Dates Book a Consultation
Celebrating the benefits of an active lifestyle, National Fitness Day takes place annually to help promote the benefits of physical fitness.
National Fitness Day 2019 falls on Wednesday 25 September. People across the UK will be encouraged to get active and commit to get fit in pursuit of healthier lives.
Organised by UK Active, this event aims to highlight the importance of keeping fit and staying active, regardless of your age and ability.
Staying fit with scoliosis
People with scoliosis sometimes find it difficult to take part in sports and other forms of strenuous exercise.
But scoliosis doesn’t have to dictate how you live your life, and it needn’t stop you from participating in activities you enjoy.
It’s a somewhat common misconception that sporting activity can make scoliosis worse. This myth has been debunked by medical professionals.
In fact, some sports can actually help to boost your flexibility and strengthen your core – particularly swimming, cycling and even football.
Usain Bolt has scoliosis!
For proof that people with scoliosis can achieve sporting glory, look no further than Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt.
Despite being born with scoliosis, the Jamaican youngster with the spinal curve never let it hamper his dreams, defying the odds to become one of the most celebrated Olympians in history.
Bolt overcame his spinal curvature and became known as the fastest man on Earth, shattering records in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay (and winning countless medals along the way).
Success stories from Scoliosis SOS
But Usain Bolt isn’t the only scoliosis sufferer who’s made his sporting dreams a reality. In fact, many of the patients we’ve treated here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic have managed to triumph over adversity and remain active despite their spinal issues.
Through their dedication and hard work, these people have been able to overcome the pain of scoliosis with the help of our non-surgical treatment courses, allowing them to continue to participate in the activities they love.
View some of our sporty success stories >
If you’re struggling with scoliosis and you’d like to book a consultation with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, please contact us today.
Consistency is key, especially when it comes to your scoliosis exercises. When you come to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic for a treatment course, our ScolioGold therapists will teach you a set of therapeutic exercises that you’ll need to complete every day once you’ve left us. This will help you to stay on top of your condition and continue reducing your Cobb angle measurement as time goes on.
Now, performing those exercises at home is one thing, but some of our patients find it difficult to keep up with their scoliosis stretches when they go on holiday. Reasons vary, but perhaps the most common problem is packing – it often isn’t possible to fit all the necessary equipment in a suitcase.
But that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your exercise routine while you’re away!
Ellie’s holiday scoliosis exercises
19-year-old Eleanor Ham is one of our past patients, and she understands the importance of consistently completing her scoliosis exercises, regardless of where she is.
As you can see in the video below, Ellie recently took a trip abroad, where she recorded herself completing a selection of stretches right where she was staying. In addition to demonstrating how easy it can be to complete your scoliosis exercises while on holiday, Ellie also provides a great example of how you can use common household objects as substitutes for any exercise equipment you’ve had to leave at home.
If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis, use the links below to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and find out how we can help you!
Contact Scoliosis SOS > More Scoliosis Exercises >
Disclaimer: The information and video on this page should not be treated as medical advice. 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 viewer’s sole discretion and risk. Scoliosis SOS accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss or injuries caused directly or indirectly through performing any of the exercises described here. 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.