Scoliosis sufferer in the British army

If it is your ambition to join the British Army, you may be concerned about whether your curved spine will scupper your chances of achieving this goal. Today, we'd like to put your fears to rest.

Army Entry Requirements

The British Army's entry requirements state that all would-be soldiers looking to join a UOTC (University Officers' Training Corps) must satisfy the Army's medical requirements. Certain conditions - such as deafness, blindness, and the absence of one or more limbs - are deemed 'immediate barriers', meaning that anyone with these conditions is automatically disqualified from entry into a UOTC. The rules are more flexible for other conditions; for example, if you have ever suffered from diseases like malaria, pneumonia, heart disease, or tuberculosis, this may disqualify you from signing up, but the final decision will depend on the details of your specific case.

Back pain, in addition to being a common symptom of scoliosis, is one of the factors that can potentially disqualify a person from entering the British Army. However, it's worth noting that none of the effects of scoliosis are immediate barriers, and generally speaking, your spinal curve should only keep you from joining the Army if it has a significant effect on your mobility and/or your overall health.

Matthew's Story

24-year-old Matthew Gilson from Somerset wanted to join the British Armed Forces, but he feared that this ambition would have to be laid to rest when he was diagnosed with scoliosis. He found himself suffering from intense back pain, and this forced him to put his demanding training regime on hold for a while.

Scoliosis sufferer Matthew from Wells

However, after completing a 4-week ScolioGold treatment course here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Matthew's pain levels had receded massively, and his posture was better as well. This improvement allowed him to re-apply for the Army and continue following his dream of serving in the military.

If you require scoliosis treatment, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to find out how our non-surgical treatment courses may be able to help you.
When you're concentrating on work, it can be very easy to fall into bad posture habits - especially if you spend most of the working day sitting at a desk. Sitting still for long periods of time can be quite bad for your body to begin with, but when you're sitting in a position that is putting pressure on certain parts of your musculoskeletal system, the effect is compounded, with potentially dire results.

A desk job can be particularly hazardous to your health if you already suffer from scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine) or hyper-kyphosis (an excessive forward curve in the spine). Poor desk posture can exacerbate back pain, a common symptom of scoliosis, and may even contribute to the continued progression of one's existing spinal curve.

Therapeutic stretches to try at work

Whether you suffer from a spinal condition or not, you can perform the following stretches while seated at your desk in order to stave off the potential health consequences of bad posture:

Thoracic Extension at Desk

Stretch #1: Thoracic Extension at a Desk

  1. Sit forwards in your seat with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor.

  2. Place the palms of your hands and your mid-forearms underneath your desk, with elbows bent to 90 degrees.

  3. Apply gentle pressure in an upwards direction with your hands and mid-forearms, while simultaneously extending your upper back and allowing your pelvis to rock forwards.

  4. Ensure that your chin is tucked in as your neck elongates upwards.

  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat 3 times for one set.

  6. Complete this stretch again after 30 minutes of sitting.

Levator Scapulae Stretch

Stretch #2: Levator Scapulae Stretch

  1. Sit comfortably in your chair with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet firmly on the floor.

  2. Place one hand behind your lower back to ensure a correct lumbar lordosis.

  3. With your head, look over to the right side and diagonally downwards towards your armpit.

  4. Place your right hand onto the occiput (the bony part of the base of your skull).

  5. Use the weight of your arm to stretch the neck in a downward and diagonal direction.

  6. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat 3 times for one set.

  7. Swap sides and repeat.

  8. Complete this stretch again after 30 minutes of sitting.

Sitting Piriformis Stretch

Stretch #3: Sitting Piriformis Stretch

  1. Sit comfortably in your chair with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet firmly on the floor.

  2. With one leg at a time, place your ankle across your opposite knee, as though you are crossing your legs individually.

  3. Ensure that you maintain a small lumbar lordosis with a contracted core to optimise the position of your pelvis and lumbar spine.

  4. Push down gently on the crossed leg's knee to stretch the piriformis muscle (located on the outside of the gluteal region).

  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for one set.

  6. Swap sides and repeat.

  7. Complete this stretch again after 30 minutes of sitting.
If you suffer from scoliosis, or another spinal condition, and you are looking for an effective non-surgical treatment route, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to learn about our ScolioGold therapy courses.
Scoliosis Clothing
 
Anyone can develop scoliosis, although it affects girls more often than boys, and idiopathic scoliosis - the condition's most common form - almost always develops during adolescence. Due to the visible symptoms of scoliosis, people with curved spines (especially teenagers) often feel insecure and uncomfortable, which can lead to them avoiding certain clothing if they feel it is likely to draw attention to the spinal curve.
 
Finding clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable can be difficult when you're a scoliosis sufferer, so we thought that it would be a good idea to share a few tips:

Layering

Layering is the perfect way to hide your uneven joints or the outline of your scoliosis brace (if you wear one). Denim jackets, cardigans and button-downs are always in fashion, and they're great for adding a little extra coverage. Some scoliosis sufferers also use shoulder pads to balance out their uneven shoulders.

Asymmetrical Lines & Eye-Catching Features

Clothing with asymmetrical lines is a great way to make a statement whilst also drawing attention away from uneven shoulders or hips. Fabric that drapes unconventionally gives you a relaxed look that will always be in style, while garments with eye-catching features will also help to draw attention away from your curved spine.

Peplum Tops

The peplum top has been on the high street for quite some time now, and is especially ideal for those who have lumbar spinal curves. Peplum tops are a great way to look fashionable and add extra dimension to our outfit whilst also concealing your spinal curvature.

Swing and Skater Dresses

Dressing up can be difficult when you suffer with scoliosis, and trying to find a dress that complements or hides the shape of your back can be difficult. Swing or skater dresses are ideal if you're looking to dress up for those special events, as they provide a flattering fit without clinging to your curve.

Don't Forget to Accessorise!

Accessories are very useful if you suffer from scoliosis. They're a great way to express your sense of style and draw attention away from areas that you want to play down. A large bag can help balance out your hips, whilst a scarf is a great way to hide your uneven shoulders and draw attention to your face. 
 
If you're a scoliosis sufferer and you're looking for a treatment method other than bracing or surgery, you may be interested in our ScolioGold treatment courses. If you wish to book an initial consultation, or if you have any questions, please contact us today!