If you have scoliosis and are looking for scoliosis exercises, start here.
Scoliosis causes the spine to curve sideways, characterized by an S- or C- shaped curve in the spine, causing pain, weakness, and changes in the way a person walks.
It’s usually seen in childhood, but it can also come about in adulthood.
In adults, scoliosis may occur for a number of causes, including anatomy, spinal injuries or infections, uneven pelvic position, previous spinal or joint operations, distortions of the knee or foot, or even head injuries.
The difference between a normal spine and that of a person with scoliosis is that the former can move from side to side.
In mild cases, scoliosis is often managed simply with specific exercises and stretches alone, eliminating the need for surgery.
For some people with scoliosis, performing a single yoga pose for 90 seconds for at least 3 days a week could reduce spine curvature in patients with scoliosis in as little as 3 months.
Stretches and Exercises to Fix Scoliosis
The correct exercises for scoliosis depend on the position of the curve for scoliosis.
People with lumbar scoliosis should concentrate on lower back exercise, while those with thoracic scoliosis should exercise their shoulders.
Scoliosis exercises should be done thoroughly and performed with proper technique.
The aim is to promote symmetry within the spine to restore trunk alignment.
Here are 5 of the best exercises and stretches for people with scoliosis:
Scoliosis Exercise #1: Step Down and One-Arm Reach
- If you have uneven hips, one leg maybe longer than the other, with whichever leg appears longer when you lay on your back, step onto a small box or step.
- Then lower the opposite leg down to the floor as you bend your knee.
- As you start moving down, raise the arm on the same side as the lowered leg up as high as possible. For instance, if you lowered your left leg, then raise your left arm.
- Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps on this side only. Remember DO NOT perform the exercise on the other side.
Scoliosis Exercise #2: Pelvic Tilts
- Lie with your back on the floor in a neutral position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Flatten back by pull your belly button in toward your spine, pushing your pelvis up toward the ceiling.
- Tighten your gluteus and stomach muscles as you tilt your pelvis forward.
- Hold for 5 seconds while breathing normally.
- Do 5 sets per session, repeat 10 times per set.
- Do at least 3 session per week.
Scoliosis Exercise #3: Split Stance with Arm Reach
- With your longer leg, lunge forward in a (slightly) exaggerated stride.
- Keep your torso as upright as possible at all times then begin shifting weight back and forth, allowing the forward knee to bend as you observe the weight shift onto it.
- As you shift your weight forward, raise your arm opposite your forward leg to as high as you can. For example, if you have your right leg forward, raise your left arm.
- While you are raising your arm, reach the other arm back with the palm up as much as possible with palm facing up. This will cause the spine and the torso to turn toward the side of the forward leg.
- Perform this exercise ONLY on that side and perform 3 sets of 10 reps. Remember DO NOT perform on the other side.
Scoliosis Exercise #4: Double-Leg Abdominal Press
- Lying on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, keeping your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor.
- Avoid tilting your hips and flatten back by tightening stomach muscles and buttocks.
- Raise your legs off the floor one at a time so that your knees and hips are bent at 90° angles, rest your hands on top of your knees.
- Push your hands against your knees while pulling your knees toward your hands, keep your arms straight, hold for 5 seconds, breathing normally.
- Return to the start position and repeat 10 times per set.
- Do 3 sets per session and at least 3 session per week.
Scoliosis Exercise #5: Cat/Cow
- Begin on your hands and knees in table pose, aligning your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips, with a neutral spine.
- Look at the floor, keeping your head straight in line with your torso and spine — think of the spine as a straight line connecting the shoulders to the hips.
- As you inhale and move into cow pose, round your back, lifting your spine toward the ceiling. Your eyes should face your belly.
- Hold for a deep breath.
- As you exhale, come into cat pose, slowly lift your chest and tailbone toward the ceiling, letting your stomach sink toward the ground. Your eyes will look up toward the ceiling.
- After another breath, gently round your back and lift your spine toward the ceiling again.
- Repeat the Cat-Cow Stretch on each inhale and exhale, matching the movement to your own breath.
- Continue for 5 to 10 breaths, moving the whole spine.
- After your final exhale, come back to a neutral spine.
- You can do this exercise daily and most importantly, just relax.