5 Tips for Exercising with Scoliosis

If you are living with scoliosis, exercise is a fantastic way to strengthen your muscles and ease the pain that comes with a curved spine. Not every exercise is great for your scoliosis, and you must be careful about the kind of workout you do. These five tips will help you keep a fit, healthy body and live life to the fullest.

Avoid Torso Extensions

Building your core strength is essential to long term pain relief. Many conventional core strengthening exercises require repetitive, excessive extensions of your torso. While this may work for most people, having scoliosis means you need to be a little more careful. Extending your torso too much causes painful vertebrate rotation that worsens your spine curvature over time. Avoid hastening the progression of your scoliosis by skipping exercises that require torso extensions.

Yoga for back pain is a wonderful activity for scoliosis. Many yoga stretches extend the torso too far and cause the vertebrate to twist into the hollow curvature of the spine. Avoid this by looking for yoga routines that are developed specifically for those with scoliosis. Some other exercises with which to use caution are certain barre classes and specific types of gym machines. If in doubt, always consult your physician or physical therapist.

Use Caution When Running

Running on a regular schedule is one of the best ways to boost your cardiovascular health. It also strengthens your leg and hip muscles and helps you develop your core. That being said, running too far and too often has negative effects on your spine when you have scoliosis. Excessive running can cause your spine to become compressed. This spells trouble for those with even the mildest scoliosis. This does not mean that you can’t enjoy the benefits of this great exercise, but you do need to be cautious and know your limits.

If you like to run outside, keep to terrain that is flat and even. Running up and down hills is very jarring on the spine. If you prefer running in the gym, keep the incline on zero. Keep your runs to short, easy distances. Twenty minutes of elevated heart rate is enough to get a good cardiovascular workout.

Low and Slow Weight Training

Weight lifting is an amazing exercise that strengthens your arms, firms your core and builds stamina. Strengthening your muscles is one of the best exercises you can do for scoliosis. Strong muscles help support your spine and ease the pain that comes with having underdeveloped muscles. There are a few important strength training tips to remember to get the most out of your workout.

When you begin lifting weights, use the lightest weights possible and slowly build up your strength before adding more weight. The worst thing you can do for your spine is get overly enthusiastic and try to lift too much too fast. This is the quickest way to increase your physical therapy time and set back your workouts. Also remember to work both sides evenly. If one side is worked more, the other side will compensate causing extreme pain.

Use Exercise Aids

Fortunately, we live in a time where there are a variety of exercise tools that are designed to make up for reduced flexibility and assist in taking the brunt of the force. When you have a curved back, it is important to reduce the force and pressure applied during exercise as much as possible.

Resistance bands, foam rollers, yoga blocks and pads are all useful tools to help those with scoliosis reduce exercise impact and ultimately prevent injury. Take advantage of the variety of tools available and find the ones that work best for you.

Listen to Your Body

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent injury or a worsening of your scoliosis is to be constantly in tune with your body. Pain is a good indicator of when you are pushing your limits too far. A little discomfort is normal during a workout, but if it progresses to extreme discomfort or pain, discontinue the exercise immediately. Listen to what your body is saying and you will be rewarded with few injuries and a stronger, healthier physique.


When beginning a new workout routine, it is best practice to consult your medical team. Exercise is a healthy and necessary part of living life with scoliosis. Take every safety precaution and you will find your quality of life increased.



Author Bio:

Brent Frayser is a media relations representative for Pure Barre, who is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration (Major in Marketing, Minor in Management).  He was born and raised in the south, is very outgoing, with a strong sense of determination.  In his spare time, he enjoys: reading, writing, coaching baseball and football, and spending time with family and friends. 


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