Camping with scoliosis

Camping is a great way to get in touch with nature and really enjoy the great outdoors. It can help give your mental health a positive boost, and it gives you a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

For people with scoliosis, though, camping can cause a lot of worries. Will I be able to sleep? Will I be able to go on long walks? What if I need to go home?

Roughing it in the wild without any pain or discomfort might seem like an impossible dream for those of us with curved spines, but there are a few things you can do to help make your camping experience more enjoyable.

1. Keep doing your scoliosis exercises. As you know, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic promote an exercise-based system of scoliosis treatment. If you are able to, we recommend that you visit us for treatment before going on your camping trip. Our ScolioGold therapists will teach you some vital exercises that you can do to improve your mobility and comfort while you are away.

2. Take a few extra pillows with you. Having extra pillows will make it easier to support the parts of your body that are aching when you go to sleep. Try placing a pillow between your legs to help straighten your spine. Aligning your spine in this way can really help to reduce pain for the next day.

3. Take a soft, thick roll mat or blow-up bed. This will put something between your back and the ground when you lie down to go to sleep. If you're already struggling with back pain due to your scoliosis, lying on uneven ground is likely to accentuate it further. Outdoor stores sell plenty of comfortable, lightweight mats and inflatable beds that are ideal for camping trips.

4. Pack lots of blankets and warm clothes. If you're camping in the summertime (at a music festival, for instance), this tip may seem a little counter-intuitive. But even if it's hot during the day, the temperature will drop dramatically after dark, and sleeping in cold temperatures can cause your muscles to tense throughout the night. Keeping warm during the night will help you to achieve a better range of motion when you wake up in the morning.

5. Ensure you have comfortable hiking boots with ankle supports. Investing in a high-quality pair of hiking boots will prevent knee and back pain during the day. It's generally advised that you wear them in a little before embarking on your trip into the great outdoors - you don't want to give yourself blisters!

6. Choose your backpack wisely. There are hundreds of backpacks for you to choose from. Spend some time trying different ones on and getting an idea of what's comfortable for you. If your shoulders or hips sit unevenly, adjust the backpack straps to compensate. This will help the backpack sit straighter on your back and reduce discomfort throughout the day.

7. Take painkillers with you. One drawback of venturing into the wilderness is that you can't just pop to the shops if there's something you've forgotten. If you think your scoliosis pain will become too overbearing to sleep through, put some painkillers in your rucksack before you set off. Your doctor can advise you on the best medication to take with you on your camping trip.

8. Have a backup plan. Although you might find camping a breeze for the first night or two, things may get harder the longer you stay away from home. It's OK to end the trip early if needs be, but be sure to have a plan in place that will enable you to get home if you decide you've had enough. This will put your mind at ease and allow you to enjoy your camping holiday to the maximum.

Learn Some Scoliosis Exercises >   Book a Scoliosis Consultation >

Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSEs) are an increasingly popular non-surgical method for treating scoliosis. PSSEs - so named to differentiate them from non-specific physiotherapy programmes - aim to provide a more functional approach to scoliosis management and improve the patient's quality of life.

Scoliosis PSSE Treatment

The Schroth method

The Schroth method is a particularly well-known type of non-surgical scoliosis treatment. Devised by a German woman named Katharina Schroth, it uses tailored exercises for each individual to help their curved spine return to a straighter, more natural position.

Schroth realised that 3D postural correction could only be achieved through a series of corrective exercises designed to support a corrected posture and alter the postural perception of the individual suffering from scoliosis. Focusing on a number of objectives - including de-rotating, elongating and stabilising the spine on a three-dimensional plane - Schroth exercises focus on restoring muscular symmetry and alignment of posture whilst teaching patients to be more aware of their posture on a day-to-day basis.

Learn more about the Schroth method >>

 

Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises

Scoliosis is, of course, a very complex condition. From the rear, it looks like a sideways curve in either a 'C' or an 'S' shape. However, what you can't see are the ways in which the vertebrae in the spine rotate as that curve develops. Spaces between the vertebrae may also become stretched in some areas and compressed in others. For this reason, scoliosis-specific physiotherapy requires a 3D approach to address the curve from all angles and directions.

The extent of the rotation in the spine differs widely from one case to the next; therefore, when treating scoliosis with PSSEs, the exercises need to be tailored to the unique condition of the patient's spine. Exercises can be performed whilst sitting, laying down or standing up, with several props being used to assist such as gym balls and wall bars. Take a look at our video below to see some simple versions of these exercises in action!

These exercises help to promote:

  • Muscular symmetry - The muscles in your back are affected by changes in the curvature of your spine. One side may see muscles weaken, whereas on the other side muscles may be overworked. Therapeutic exercises should seek to address both problems and achieve symmetry between the two sides.
  • Rotational breathing - The Schroth method utilises a unique breathing technique known as 'rotational breathing', where the idea is to use breathing to assist in the de-rotation of the spine, thereby reshaping the rib cage and the surrounding soft tissue.
  • Postural awareness - Being aware of the position of your spine is the first step towards correcting it. Postural awareness is particularly important when it comes to performing day-to-day activities.

 

Treating scoliosis with PSSEs

The Schroth method forms the foundation of the scoliosis treatment courses we provide here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. However, we understand that there are elements of postural correction that Schroth is unable to address on its own. Therefore, all of our treatment plans are enhanced and complemented by an assortment of other well-established physiotherapeutic techniques from all around the world, ensuring that all aspects of each patient's condition can be addressed effectively.

The result is our internationally-renowned ScolioGold treatment method. Use the links below to view before/after photos or book your initial consultation with Scoliosis SOS.

Photos: Before & After Treatment >   Book an Initial Consultation >

For people with scoliosis, low self-confidence and insecurities about one's physical appearance are all too common. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we want to promote positive body image and inspire everyone with scoliosis to wear whatever they feel comfortable in.

That being said, we understand that finding clothes to fit your body can be a struggle when you have a curved spine. You may have uneven shoulders, prominent ribs, or some other kind of asymmetry, and as a result, you might find that standard skirts and trousers don't sit properly, or that dresses and shirts fit your body in a strange way.

But there are ways to overcome these problems. Here are some summer clothing tips for people with scoliosis!

 

Male and female clothing models

Cover-Ups

One of the easiest ways to accessorise your summer outfit so that your curvature is less noticeable is to throw on a jacket or casual shirt. This is a great option if you already own some clothing that you don't feel 100% confident wearing.

For the time being, you can use your jacket to give you a little bit of extra coverage, and if you find yourself feeling adventurous and decide to show off your new T-shirt or cute crop top, your jacket can easily be removed! Lightweight flannel shirts, denim jackets, soft leather jackets or a shawl are all ideal options for warm summer days.

 

Woman in loose, floaty clothing

Loose and Floaty

Another good way to help reduce the visibility your curve is to wear clothes that don't cling to your body. This works in your favour when the temperature is high - loose, floaty clothes are the best at keeping you cool while still looking effortlessly stylish!

For ladies, babydoll dresses, T-shirt dresses, wide leg trousers, and lightweight blouses are all perfect options (and they're always on-trend). For men, linen tops and oversized T-shirts are sure to do the trick. Choose a print, colour or design that makes you feel good and you'll be suitably covered without looking frumpy or boring.

 

Summer footwear

Comfortable Footwear

Comfortable summer footwear is a must if you have scoliosis - or even if you don't! Try and choose something cushioned that offers support whilst still being breathable. If you're heading out with family or friends, you don't want to jolt your spine and potentially cause yourself severe pain because you've chosen inappropriate footwear.

Flip-flops and sliders don't offer very much support, and your feet can slip around in them a lot. They also tend to have very thin soles, which don't provide ample cushioning. Ideally, you want to choose a shoe that covers your whole foot and also has a cushioned sole to reduce the likelihood of a harsh jolt.

Canvas slip-on shoes like those pictured above are ideal and look great on both men and women. Similarly, good quality sandals with chunky ankle straps will support your feet and ankles while still letting your feet breathe. Another excellent choice for both men and women.

We hope that these summer clothing tips will help you to feel like your best self when temperatures soar this summer. Of course, if you would like to start working towards reducing your scoliosis curve using exercise-based therapy, we can also help with that!

Our Treatment Method >   Book a Consultation >

Scoliosis tennis stories

The 2019 Wimbledon Championships are in full swing right now, and even if you're not usually interested in tennis, it's hard not to get swept up in all the excitement and prestige. This year's tournament has already made headlines - the first round saw 15-year-old Grand Slam newcomer Cori Gauff defeat five-time champ Venus Williams - and there are no doubt plenty of thrills still to come.

Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we've treated a number of avid tennis players whose curved spines were threatening to force them off the court for good. Here are some of their stories:

Scoliosis SOS patient Abigail playing tennis

Abigail Bendall

"Scoliosis completely rocked my world...I really felt like my world had fallen apart, and I didn't know how to cope with all the emotions that were going around in my head. I cannot wait to get back to the specialists at the hospital and show them what I have achieved."

Read Abigail's Story >>

 

Louise Alexander with tennis racket

Louise Alexander

"I was amazed by what I had achieved in a relatively short time. To see the improvements that I had made from before and after the course was unbelievable. I am no longer dreading the possibility of surgery and I can concentrate on my tennis again."

Read Louise's Story >>

 

James Taylor playing tennis

James Taylor

"When my parents told me about the treatment, I was ecstatic. I love sports, so doing exercises to keep my back in good condition and to avoid surgery was not a problem. I'm looking forward to the summer as I missed out on so many tennis games last year."

Read James's Story >>

 

Rebecca with tennis racket

Rebecca Larett

"The staff at the clinic were amazing, they made me feel normal again. I cannot wait to get back to playing tennis. I am also so excited about life again."

Read Rebecca's Story >>

 

Scoliosis SOS patient Sarah on tennis court

Sarah Nunn

"When I was told that I had scoliosis, I didn't really understand to start with. No one ever sat me down and explained what was going on until I got to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic."

Read Sarah's Story >>

 

Stephanie on the tennis court

Stephanie Wood

"After completing the therapy, my life completely changed. My back looks a million times better, and I feel stronger."

Read Stephanie's Story >>

The Scoliosis SOS Clinic is a non-surgical scoliosis treatment centre in London, UK. Learn about our treatment methods here, or please get in touch if you'd like to arrange a consultation.