Because scoliosis affects the spine, many gym-goers who have been diagnosed with scoliosis stop with their training for fear of damaging their backbone or further exacerbating the curve. But you'll be happy to know that you can continue to train as long as you're careful not to overdo it.
If you suffer from scoliosis and you enjoy training at the gym - or perhaps you're a personal trainer working with a client who suffers from the condition - you should know that you can still work out with a curved spine; in fact, physical therapy is encouraged as it stretches and strengthens the muscles and improves neuromuscular stability around the spine. However, it's important that you don't do anything too strenuous, as this may cause your condition to worsen.
Here is some advice that may help with your training:
- It's important that you focus on movements that stretch the tightened muscle groups on the inside of your curve, and on movements that strengthen the muscles on the outside of the curve that have been stretched. It's also important that you focus on exercises that improve your 'core' - the central area that holds important stabilising muscles and helps keep the body upright.
- Kettlebell exercises are a great way to improve strength and motor control. The windmill exercise is perfect for improving flexibility: this technique involves holding a kettlebell above your head, leaning to one side, and trying to touch the ground with your free hand whilst keeping the kettlebell held over your head.
- It's important that you add weight slowly; progressing too quickly may cause you to strain the muscles surrounding the spine and possibly even damage the spine itself. Avoid overhead presses if they cause any discomfort.
- If you are feeling any pain and it's limiting your movements, we suggest that you stop your training and visit a licensed physical therapist for an evaluation.
How can Scoliosis SOS help?
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we have a dedicated team of therapists specialising in physical therapy to help treat your spinal curve. Our ScolioGold method is a combination of the Schroth method and a range of other non-surgical spinal techniques from around the world, such as the PNF technique and the FITS method.
We also work to devise scoliosis-beneficial gym-based exercise programmes for our patients, as well as offering advice on what workout positions are best avoided and how these can be substituted with helpful ways to correctly strengthen your muscles while still getting the most out of all the equipment available at your gym.
Using our own combination of methods, we're able to provide you with gold-standard results. If you wish to undergo physical therapy, or if you want to find out more about our non-surgical treatment courses, please do not hesitate to contact us.