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.