In the physiotherapy world, the word mobility refers to the freedom of movement that exists in a muscle or group of muscles. People with scoliosis often experience reduced mobility in their backs (frequently accompanied by pain).
Regularly performing lower back mobilisation exercises can help to:
- Strengthen muscles in the lower back
- Improve posture
- Relieve lower back pain
- Increase mobility
- Reduce the likelihood of injury
There are lots of different mobility exercises that you can try. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we try to tailor all of our corrective exercises to each patient's specific condition - the exercise, how often you should do it, and the other exercises we recommend incorporating into your routine are largely dependant on the severity of your scoliosis, and on your end goal. If you are someone who wants to run a marathon, you may need to perform lower back mobilisation exercises more frequently than someone with no such aspirations.
Watch the video below for a lower back mobilisation exercise that has helped many of our scoliosis patients.
This exercise uses a flat surface (e.g. the wall or the floor) to straighten your spine while you stretch your lower back muscles. Over time, repetition of this exercise will not only improve mobility and posture, it will also help to relieve tension and pain in the lower back.
If you suffer from scoliosis and think you may benefit from one of our exercise-based treatment courses, please get in touch today. We're happy to answer any questions you might have.
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Individuals with idiopathic scoliosis don't always experience pain as a result of this condition, but there may be a loss of back strength depending on the severity of the spinal curvature. With the right exercises, however, this can be overcome - for instance, it may be beneficial to place greater emphasis on enhancing the strength, range of motion, and length-tension relationship of the working muscles on either side of the vertebral column.
Range of Motion
Defined as the 'measurement of movement around a specific joint in the body', range of motion simply refers to how freely a particular part of your body can move. In the case of idiopathic scoliosis, an 'S' or 'C' curve can result in shortened musculature on the concave working muscles of the spine. These differences can dramatically decrease the unilateral range of motion at different joints in the spine, leading to reduced mobility and irregularities in one's posture.
Back strength is essential for balance, posture and the transmission of power throughout the body. Each of these factors can make a big difference to everyday activities such as going up and down stairs, picking up objects, and standing up from a sitting position. Incorporating back strengthening exercises into a corrective scoliosis treatment programme can significantly improve functional strength and postural symmetry.
Defined as the 'ability of a joint to move freely through its range of motion', flexibility is an important consideration for scoliosis therapists as it plays a vital role in restoring a regular length-tension relationship in the patient's tightened skeletal muscles. Improved flexibility can result in enhanced postural symmetry, improved performance, reduced pain, and minimised risk of further injuries.
The video below showcases an effective back strengthening exercise that you can try at home:
Regular exercise is vital when attempting to correct and alleviate the symptoms of scoliosis. The exercise in the video above is just one of many that can aid in improving the strength, flexibility and range of motion in your spine.
More Scoliosis Exercises > Contact Scoliosis SOS >
If you suffer from scoliosis, there's a good chance that you will experience a loss of flexibility as your spinal curvature progresses. This can impact your ability to move around and go about your daily routine; it can also adversely impact your performance if you participate in sports or other physical activities like dancing.
Unfortunately, spinal fusion surgery - the standard treatment for severe scoliosis in most territories - can itself cause a loss of flexibility, and so it's easy for scoliosis patients to feel like they can't win either way. Surgery involves the insertion of numerous rods into the site of the curve, followed by the application of a bone graft that eventually fuses with the spine; this procedure is often very effective, and it has enabled countless scoliosis sufferers to enjoy a better overall quality of life, but from a flexibility standpoint it's far from ideal.
But as we've seen time and again here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, it is possible for scoliosis patients to regain their flexibility and continue taking part in the activities they love.
Improving your flexibility through exercise
Certain stretches and exercises can have a very positive effect on scoliosis and the problematic symptoms that patients commonly experience. ScolioGold, the combination of non-surgical treatment methods that the Scoliosis SOS team use to treat people with curved spines, is primarily exercise-based, and it has proven incredibly effective when it comes to:
Visit our Results page to see before-and-after photos that demonstrate how effective ScolioGold treatment can be, or watch some of our patient experience videos to find out what some of our previous patients had to say post-treatment.
Which exercises should I try?
Every case of scoliosis is unique, and we strongly recommend that you attend an initial consultation so that we can assess your condition and recommend the best course of action for you.
However, if you are looking for some exercises that you can perform at home today, try the following links:
You may also wish to read our guide to Scoliosis Exercises to Avoid in order to make yourself aware of what stretches/exercises risk making your condition worse.
Whether you're struggling with scoliosis or recovering after a spinal fusion procedure, Scoliosis SOS can help you to regain your flexibility and move around more easily. Click here to see upcoming treatment course dates, or get in touch now to arrange an initial consultation.
The effects of scoliosis can be very detrimental to one's life. While some patients suffer only minor discomfort, others suffer from chronic pain. The curve of the spine is often the cause of this discomfort, leading to problems with the neck, shoulders, hips, and the back itself.
In order to combat this pain and discomfort, our own ScolioGold treatment method includes a wide variety of spine-straightening exercises. ScolioGold therapy has repeatedly proven capable of reducing the curve in the spine - see our results here.
If you do not want to undergo surgery for whatever reason, there are many exercises we can teach you to help with the effects of scoliosis. Here are some spine-straightening exercises that you can try at home:
Standing against a wall
The simple exercise can actually help improve your posture and build strength! All you need is a flat wall to stand against - here's what to do once you've found one:
- Stand with your head and shoulders pressed firmly against the wall behind you and place your feet approximately 20cm in front of you.
- Push your lower back towards the wall and hold this position for a few seconds.
- Take a few deep breaths and then breathe out as you relax. Repeat.
Planking is a helpful spine-straightening exercise as it strengthens your core muscles whilst also targeting your lower back to help improve posture. Here's what you need to do:
- Lie on the floor on your front (use a mat to avoid slipping, as shown in the photo above).
- Hold yourself up using your forearms and toes and raise your whole body off the floor.
- Keeping your legs straight and your hips raised, place your shoulders directly above your elbows to create a straight line from head to toe.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax and repeat again several times.
'Bird dog' stretches (leg/arm extensions)
This is another strengthening exercise. It is often performed with a gym ball (as shown in the photo above), but you can still do this exercise if you don't have one handy.
- Firstly, lie face-down on the ball and gradually extend your right arm whilst using your left arm to support you (same technique without the ball).
- While holding this position, gradually extend your left leg up behind you as shown below.
3. Hold for a couple of seconds, then alternate to the opposite limbs. Repeat this alternating movement back and forth between right and left.
Interested in completing a full treatment course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic? To book your consultation or request more information, please contact us today.
Pilates is a system of exercises devised by a German physical trainer named Joseph Pilates. It has become incredibly popular in the Western world, with countless Pilates classes available throughout the UK.
But is Pilates beneficial for scoliosis sufferers? It certainly can be - there is evidence that Pilates can help to improve balance and muscle conditioning, and some scoliosis patients also find that Pilates helps to relieve tension, improve posture and increase joint mobility.
This method of exercising is usually very safe, and while it's no substitute for an intensive ScolioGold treatment course, you may find that Pilates goes some way towards helping you cope with your spinal curvature. Today we will be looking at some helpful Pilates techniques for scoliosis sufferers and how you can perform them at home.
Seated Pelvic Tilt on a Stability Ball
To perform this exercise:
- Sit up straight on a stability ball with your feet flat on the floor and hold a support in front of you.
- Slowly tuck your tailbone under, curving your pelvis beneath you. You should feel the ball roll forward slightly.
- Release, then start again.
The side bend exercise focuses on the upper half of your back. Here's how to do it:
- Raise one hand up over your head, towards the ceiling, then bend your knees.
- Once you're in a bending position, take your other hand and rest it on the side of your hip.
- Lengthen your body to one side, rest, and then bend to the other side. Repeat.
This exercise is very gentle and can be conducted by patients of all ages. Lie flat on your back on a soft mat to begin with, then follows these steps:
- With your knees bent and feet flat on the floor (hip-width apart), find your 'neutral pelvis' as shown in the photos above. First, move your lower back as far as you can away from the mat...
- ...and then press it as far as you can towards the mat. The midpoint between these two positions is your 'neutral pelvis'.
- To engage your core, place your finger tips on the inside of your hip bone. Try to tighten your stomach muscles in towards the spine - your tummy should move away from your fingers.
- Hold for six seconds, and then repeat.
These are just a few gentle Pilates exercises that can be completed every morning. Regularly completing this routine can help relieve tension and other symptoms of scoliosis, but if you're looking for a more specialised exercise routine to prevent long-term progression of your condition, we can provide this here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.
Contact us today for details, or click here to learn more about our ScolioGold treatment method.