Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that causes problems with arthritis and even a number of neurological, lung, and heart complications. In most cases, the start of scoliosis is usually discovered in adolescence and most commonly presents itself in girls than it does in boys. Living with scoliosis is something that is very difficult, for it causes pain and debilitation from morning to night. However, if treated proactively, scoliosis is a deformity that can be managed.
Here are some of the best stretches/exercises for Scoliosis that you can do at the gym or the comfort of your home:
Bird-Dog Stretches: Bird-dog stretches are fantastic for those who suffer from scoliosis since it promotes the extension of the spine while maintaining proper posture and rotation. To perform this stretch, you will need a large, gym ball for added support. The bird-dog stretches not only help to improve posture, but they also target the strengthening of your glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, lower back, lats, and triceps. To do this stretch, you’ll want to take your gym ball, lay across it on your stomach, and support your body with your toes. Once you are in position, lift your left leg up and right arm up and hold for three seconds. Every three seconds, switch arms and legs for 10 intervals.
Tricep Raises (Row): This specific exercise works the latissimus dorsi muscles that span through the entire back area while targeting the triceps, and lats. Many prefer to do this exercise with free weights since it provides them with more of a challenge. To do this exercise, you’ll want to sit on your gym ball with your legs shoulder-width apart. Using your weights, take one in your right hand and raise it above your head. Bend your right elbow, and with your left hand, push your right forearm down. Lift your right arm back up and repeat 10 times on each side.
Hip Roll and Bridge: The hip role and bridge exercises help to define both hip and spine extension and flexion, strengthening your hips, spine, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. To start, lie down on your back, bend your knees, and bring your knees to your chest. For support, place your arms straight out with your palms touching the ground. Once you are in this position, roll your pelvic region from left to right and repeat at least 10-20 times. Once you have completed the hip roll, it will be time to move to the bridge. Move your arms to the sides of your body and lower your feet to the ground, knees still bent. Keeping your spine very still, lift your hips and lower back off the ground. During the bridge, you want to keep your spine completely aligned, while using your core for strength.
Spine Release: Spine releases are a very beneficial exercise for scoliosis patients that need to work on correcting their posture and spinal curvature. Not only do spine releases strengthen your spine, but it also targets your hamstrings and glutes. To start, lie down on your side with your knees flexed–your legs should be in the form of a right angle. Extend your arms to your side and slowly move your neck, arms, and torso to the opposite direction. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly move back to the original position. For maximum results, complete this exercise on both sides for at least 10 intervals.
If you are having difficulties completing the exercises, consider wearing your scoliosis brace to assist you with extra support. Or, you can talk to your doctor about exercises that you can perform that are less demanding and strenuous. Although it’s so important to do what you can to strengthen your spine, you never want to put excess stress and pressure on that area.