Scoliosis and Weightlifting

Weightlifting has the potential to be quite a damaging pastime for people with scoliosis, but it can also be beneficial in the correct circumstances. If approached carefully, weight-based exercise may help to improve muscle balance and reduce the visibility of one's spinal curvature.

In this blog post, we'll discuss a few things to bear in mind if you have scoliosis and you plan to start lifting weights.

Weightlifting might be painful - don't push yourself too hard!

Would-be weightlifters with scoliosis need to be mindful of their condition at all times. Start with small weights and simple exercises to gauge what's comfortable and what isn't. Work with a comfortable weight for the first few weeks, and then step up your weight a little bit and see how you feel.

Don't do anything that causes you pain - you should avoid certain back-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats or lunges unless you are certain you can handle them. Bending and straightening your back while carrying weight is likely to cause injury. Speak to your GP to discuss what weightlifting exercises are appropriate for your condition; you could also enlist the help of a personal trainer to guide you while you're lifting.

Focus on exercises that stretch your back muscles instead of compressing them.

Here are some weightlifting exercises you may wish to try if you have scoliosis:

  • Pull-down cable exercises
  • Rowing
  • Seated exercises

Stretching and strengthening the muscles on the concave side of your spinal curve can gradually help to improve mobility and reduce pain. That's because the muscles on the convex side usually do most of the work for you back - these are muscles that have been trying to keep your back upright since you developed scoliosis.

Convex and Concave Sides

The concave muscles, however, are often shorter and atrophied (weaker), so working on these muscles can help to correct your scoliosis curve.

How can Scoliosis SOS help?

If you have scoliosis and you're interested in pursuing weightlifting or another physically-demanding leisure activity, we recommend coming to our clinic for a consultation to establish how severe your condition is. Our consultants will be able to offer advice about the best types of exercise for you and what you can work towards in the future.

Our 4-week ScolioGold treatment courses are ideal if you want to work towards being able to lift weights (or to carry on weightlifting, if this was a hobby you enjoyed before you were diagnosed). Click the button below to get in touch and book your initial consultation.

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Teenager Scoliosis X-Ray

For many teenagers with scoliosis, treatment options are limited and uniformly unappealing. Bracing, for instance, may help to control the condition, but scoliosis braces can be uncomfortable and they don't actually reverse the spine's curvature (they're designed to prevent it from getting worse).

And then there's spinal fusion surgery, which tends to be the recommended treatment for severe cases of scoliosis. Surgery can be an incredibly daunting prospect, especially for a teenager, so it's no wonder so many young scoliosis patients come to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in search of an alternative treatment option.

Case Study: Molly, 16 Years Old

Molly came to our clinic because, like a lot of teenagers with scoliosis, she wanted to avoid having to undergo surgery except as a last resort. Molly was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 15 years old, and she came across Scoliosis SOS while looking online for alternative treatment methods (since her curved spine was causing her pain and she didn't like the way it made her look).

Our ScolioGold treatment programme proved to be the ideal solution for Molly because it gave her the tools to improve her own condition through a set of carefully-chosen corrective exercises. The ScolioGold method combines a variety of non-invasive techniques that gradually restore the back's muscle balance and reverse the curvature of the spine. Learning and practising these exercises in a controlled environment with our expert physiotherapists gives teenage patients the knowledge and skills they need to continue improving their condition long after they have left our clinic.

If you want to hear more about Molly's scoliosis experience, you can watch our interview with her here:

Would you like to find out more about our scoliosis treatment courses? Get in touch with Scoliosis SOS today to arrange an initial consultation.

Yasamin came to London from Iran to receive non-surgical treatment for her scoliosis. Read on to find out about her Scoliosis SOS experience so far!

Scoliosis Patient from Iran

About a year and a half ago, Yasamin's gym trainer raised concerns that there might be something wrong with Yasamin's back. When Yasamin visited her doctor, her X-rays confirmed that she had a 60-degree scoliosis curve that would need to be operated on.

Yasamin was very upset about this, but she wasn't given any other option at the time. In the end, Yasamin decided that she would come to the UK to try the treatment offered by the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and she was very excited to see London again after visiting as a young child some years prior.

Scoliosis treatment goals

Yasamin's treatment goals include:

  • Avoiding scoliosis surgery
  • Being able to walk better
  • Stopping people from looking at her in a funny way

So far, her ScolioGold treatment has corrected her shoulder tilt, which is already making her feel much better about herself. Overall, she has been enjoying the course and getting on well with our physiotherapists, and she feels that she knows a lot more about her condition now than she did before. Yasamin will take home with her a much broader knowledge of how the stretches and exercises she's doing are helping to correct her scoliosis.

Watch our interview with Yasamin:

If you have any questions about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and our treatment courses, please get in touch today!

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Katharina Schroth Treatment

Though our ScolioGold programme is made up of many different scoliosis treatment techniques from around the world, the Schroth method is still at the core of the therapy we provide here at Scoliosis SOS.

The Schroth method was developed in the early 20th century by Katharina Schroth, and today - 22 February 2019 - would have been her 125th birthday! To mark the occasion, we'd like to tell you a little bit more about Katharina Schroth and the treatment method to which she gave her name.

Who was Katharina Schroth?

Katharina Schroth was born on 22 February 1894 in Dresden, Germany. Though she initially worked as a teacher in a business school, she made the jump to physiotherapy when she decided to try and treat her own scoliosis.

She developed the Schroth method over the years that followed, and she eventually opened a clinic so that other people with scoliosis could benefit from her exercise-based treatment regimen.

In 1969, Schroth was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her work. In the 1970s, she handed the clinic over to her daughter, Christa Lehnert-Schroth, who continued to develop the Schroth method after her mother had retired from treatment.

How does the Schroth method work?

The Schroth method uses a variety of exercises and stretches to work the muscles around the rib cage and in the upper trunk to help correct the spinal abnormalities caused by scoliosis.

  • Using exercises, it restores muscular symmetry where there is a muscular imbalance around the scoliosis curve.
  • It also teaches rotational angular breathing techniques, which contribute to the reshaping of the ribcage and surrounding soft tissue.
  • Finally, it encourages patients to be aware of their posture as they go about their everyday lives, preventing them from sitting or standing in a way that will cause their scoliosis to become worse.

Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we combine the Schroth method with a range of other non-invasive, exercise-based treatments to deliver outstanding results for people with scoliosis and other spinal conditions. See our results here.

Thanks in part to Katharina Schroth's life's work, we are able to offer scoliosis patients a real alternative to surgery and help them to dramatically improve their quality of life. So happy birthday, Katharina!

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Susanne Henderson (a 69-year-old woman from Totnes, Devon) contacted the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in the hope that we'd be able to treat her hyperkyphosis. Read on to hear her story and how we were able to help her and reduce her spinal curve!

Hyperkyphosis case study

Susanne, unlike the majority of patients we treat here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, doesn't have scoliosis. Rather, she has a condition known as hyperkyphosis, characterised by an excessive forward curvature of the thoracic (upper) spine.

Susanne was diagnosed with hyperkyphosis following a series of accidents that gave her back a rounded shape and left her experiencing mild to moderate pain in her spine. When the medical professionals Susanne consulted didn't take her worries seriously enough, she decided to take it upon herself to find the treatment she needed.

Susanne contacted the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to enquire about our ScolioGold treatment programme. Although the corrective course is quite intensive, Susanne says that she has "coped very well", and that she appreciated being allowed to perform exercises at her own pace while still being pushed. When asked what she would say to other individuals with hyperkyphosis, Susanne recommended: "start taking action yourself and treat it before it gets worse".

As a result of the corrective exercises we have prescribed for Susanne, she says she's started to feel more "liberated, empowered and confident", and she is confident that she can carry on improving now that her ScolioGold course has come to an end.

To see a full account of Susanne's story, watch the video below:

If you have any questions about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, or if you would like to book an initial consultation with us, please get in touch today!

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