Around 9 million people are affected by spinal issues in the US. This also includes scoliosis. Generally, scoliosis is more common in children above the age of 11, but it can also happen to adults.
Because of this spinal issue, people with scoliosis have a limited range of motion, meaning their joints can’t move freely. As the issue progresses, the range of motion reduces, and in some cases, surgery is needed to realign the spine and prevent any further discomfort.
Although many people don’t need surgeries as their scoliosis is mild, they might feel intense back pain from time to time. This mainly happens due to a lack of movement of the muscles surrounding the spine. Here are some exercises for scoliosis you can recommend to your clients to reduce their back pain. Additionally, if you’re looking to expand your fitness training expertise, check out our medical fitness course.
P.S. This blog provides general information on scoliosis, and the contents should not be considered a substitute for medical advice.
How Does Scoliosis Happen?
Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes a person’s spine to curve sideways. As a result, the ribcage, in some cases, also twists to one side. Some common symptoms of scoliosis include uneven shoulders, unaligned hips, one shoulder blade being more prominent, and one side of the rib case sitting higher. On top of that, people with cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy can also lead to scoliosis. A common symptom of scoliosis is intense back pain that can also lead to breathing issues due to lung compressions. Staying in one position for long periods can also cause muscle fatigue.
Exercises For Scoliosis
Pelvic tilts help strengthen your pelvic muscles, which in turn help better support your back and reduce back pain. If you’re clients specifically complain of lower back pain, then chances are their pelvic muscles aren’t strong enough to support their back. This, combined with scoliosis, can lead to more pain and muscle fatigue.
Pelvic tilting exercises work the pelvic and stomach muscles and release the built-up tension in the back. However, pelvic exercises alone aren’t enough to help with back pain, so it’s best to combine them with other exercises to enhance the results and give more relief to the clients.
Stretching is necessary before starting any workout, but do you know it can also be a stand-alone workout for people with scoliosis? A lot of times, a good stretching session can drastically improve posture and reduce back pain. The key to finding the right mix of stretching and exercise is to determine the extent of the pack pain and the severity of scoliosis.
A client with a severe scoliosis condition won’t offer a lot of movement, so you’ll have to rely on easier stretches to prevent strain or muscle fatigue. On the other hand, a client with mild scoliosis has a wider range of movement and can take on challenging exercises. This enhances the results and also makes it easier for the clients to go about their day without their back pain hurdling their activities.
Yoga is the by far the best option for relieving pain due to scoliosis. On top of that, yoga postures are low-impact exercises that improve flexibility and improve core strength. Yoga poses, like the cat or bird pose, directly target the back muscles and release the pent-up tension in the muscles. It also improves the blood flow, which further conditions the muscles.
The best part about doing yoga is that you can recommend different postures and figure out which one suits your client best. Not just that, but these low-impact postures also require less resting time, making them a good option for your older clients.
Simple core exercises like sit-ups, crunches, and leg and arm extensions are easy, strengthen the muscles, and reduce back strain. The kind of core exercises you recommend to your clients strongly depend on their age, fitness levels, and stamina. With scoliosis, you need to be careful not to push the clients too hard. That’s because the wrong movement or postures can lead to more muscle damage rather than reducing back pain.
Strength conditioning works on the overall endurance of the body. This means muscles surrounding the spine. In some cases, strength conditioning can also slow the progression of the spinal curve and reduce constant back pain. Strength conditioning exercises focus on muscle building and increasing the body’s lean muscle mass. However, you need to be careful not to overwork your clients; otherwise, they might end up with muscle damage.
The best way to reduce back pain from scoliosis is by strengthening the core muscles so your body’s weight doesn’t fall on your back. Planking is a great way to strengthen the core muscles without doing any heaver exercises. The exercise strengthens the shoulder, legs, and pelvic muscles.
With time, it’ll also start conditioning your client’s stomach muscles and improving their overall strength. However, one thing you must keep in mind is not to go overboard with planking. If your clients complain of back pain or pain in any other area, it could be because their muscles are strained, or they are doing planks wrong. If that happens, it’s best to reduce their planking time to better accommodate their muscles.
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