Scoliosis is a spinal-disease which affects approximately 3 percent of the population. The disease involves the development of a spinal curve i.e. the spine bends side-ways, which causes the patient a series of problems. This includes limited mobility, chronic pain, and physical disfiguration. Although most cases of the disease are minor, patients who suffer from an extreme form of scoliosis can have their lives at risk.
As an adult with scoliosis, you may think that you can overpower it. Doctors can provide you with various treatment options, and there are many activities you can do to help alleviate your misaligned spine. But here are some of the things that you might not know about scoliosis.
- A Diagnosis Of Scoliosis Doesn’t Always Need Surgery. This is a common fear for those who have scoliosis – that they to be operated to align their spine. But according to most spinal specialists, only a minor population requires major surgery, and many individuals can deal with their symptoms without any surgery. The treatment would usually be targeted on alleviating the symptoms instead of fixing the curve.
Conventional treatments include anti-inflammatory medications or injections to relieve the pain, physical therapy for strength and stability. The final resort, spinal decompression surgery, is done if the person’s pain is not relieved with physical therapy or medication. A piece of valuable advice, though, is to make sure that a spine specialist does your surgery.
- The Site Or Scope Of The Curve Does Not Tell Whether Or Not Symptoms Will Appear. As you grow older, your spine starts to weaken. As it weakens, it might also begin to bend or create a curve, although some individuals with scoliosis may not experience symptoms at all. Others, on the contrary, may have numbness or tingling, back pain, and leg pain.
Looking at a person on a side view, you will see that his spine has three normal curves that are located in the lower back, middle back, and neck. The curvature in the lower back tends to disappear as a person grows older, which is actually what builds the problems and causes symptoms to develop.
- The Two Types Of Scoliosis Can Both Be Present In One Person. In adults, doctors describe two types of scoliosis. One is degenerative, where the usual wear and tear of the lower back that occurs as one age, results in the formation of curvature in the spine. The second type, which is seen in teenagers, is known as idiopathic scoliosis. Some of the cases of this type involve the progression of the curve and the manifestation of symptoms during adulthood. Still, in some, the scoliosis is not identified until the person reaches adulthood.
- Smoking Can Affect Scoliosis And Other Problems. While you are seeking management for your scoliosis, you can also help yourself at home by doing the right things to decrease your symptoms. One of the most vital things you can do is to stop smoking. Additionally, doctors agree that smoking has been the leading cause of neck and back problems.
- Exercising Is Not Contraindicated But Rather Encouraged For Those With Scoliosis. Many people with scoliosis have been advised not to exercise, but specialists don’t entirely agree with this. In fact, they say that the more active these individuals are regularly, the lesser are their chances of being symptomatic. If you’re overweight, for instance, you’ll need to lose weight through diet and exercise to help decrease scoliosis symptoms. Sports can also be engaged as long as scoliotic individuals discuss this issue with their doctor first.
Scoliosis most often appears to be just a bone condition because it is most evident through a curve in the spine, but it is also a neuromuscular one. Motor-sensory nerves in the upper and lower trunk fail to give and receive the right messages from the brain and vice-versa about the proper position and strength required by movements of the back.
According to current reports, there is as many as 20% of young athletes that are diagnosed with scoliosis. Indeed, sports and scoliosis are often seen together.
A lot of parents are concerned about allowing their children with scoliosis to engage in sports. Exercise is vital to any effective treatment regimen. It helps prevent muscle stiffness, builds core muscles, particularly those that strengthen the spine and improves overall health and well-being. This fact is backed by the studies that were published in the Journal o Chiropractic Medicine, which stated physical activity is beneficial for those with scoliosis.
Sports Dos For Scoliosis
Some of the sports that individuals with scoliosis can play and engage in include:
- Swimming. This has been a recommended sport and hobby continuously for scoliosis through the years. It is an ideal complement that doctors prescribe because it builds strength in the spine without unnecessary weight. It also uses most, if not all, major muscles of the body in a more balanced way compared to other sports. However, doctors agree that scoliotic patients should be on the side of caution when it comes to competitive swimming.
- Children and adults can benefit from soccer, especially those with curvatures in the mid-back. When playing, the core muscles contract to retain the spinal shape of the thoracic area, which further prevents flattening.
- Cycling is a low-impact sport that provides a complete cardiovascular exercise without putting much impact on the spine and the scoliosis curves. The only limitation for this sport is off-road cycling, which can impinge the structures inside the spine.
- Strength Training. Improving strength is vital for an individual with spinal conditions because strong muscles are needed to support the spine. But it is just as important to do it the right way. Increasing weight should be done incrementally to prevent more stress on the spine, which would, in turn, worsen the spine condition. Lifting weights above the head and squatting are complete contraindications.
- Flexibility is crucial for people with scoliosis, which is why it is very beneficial to incorporate stretching into their routine. Frequent stretching alleviates tension in the back muscles and restores movement. If correctly performed, stretching can help counter the spine’s abnormal curves. Just do your research and learn what stretches are not appropriate for your specific curvature. If you’re doing yoga, for instance, find alternative poses that would prevent you from hyper-extending or over-twisting your spine.
Sports Don’ts For Scoliosis
Playing doesn’t cause scoliosis, but it can exacerbate the condition. It’s okay to play recreationally but not at a competitive level, as there will be many hours involved in competitive training. Most often, the doctor doesn’t recommend you to stop playing a particular sport altogether, but the young are usually told to limit the frequency of playing sports that:
Hyper-Extend The Mid Back. In the young athletes’ category, the highest frequency of scoliosis is seen among gymnasts and dancers. When they dance or perform gymnastics, they are almost always doing backbends that results in rotation of the vertebrae towards the hollow or concave side of the spine, leading to exacerbation.
Cause The Spine To Be Compressed. Whenever a child jumps, hops or runs, his spine is compressed. In the young with scoliosis, repeated high-impact activities put a lot of stress on the spine, which can undoubtedly increase the scoliosis curvature over time. Football is a sport where many young athletes are seen with increasing curves. Squatting, cheerleading, weightlifting overhead, and long-distance running are also some activities that should be limited, if not avoided.
While some activities should be restricted or avoided, scoliosis, and engaging in sports, do go hand in hand. Thus, allowing children and teens to continue playing their favorite sports but with the appropriate limitations, can be critical to an effective treatment.
Living with scoliosis has several implications for a teen’s future. These teens may need to get used to frequent treatment sessions and avoiding specific activities. However, one question that most teens with scoliosis ask is: can their condition affect their future relationships and marriages? Let us see what other people with the same condition think.
I have C-curve scoliosis that my parents found out when I was about five. After the growth spurt, the healthcare team assigned to me decided to let me wear a brace and go through surgery, which I am now actually thankful for.
I am lucky that growing up, I never really felt that my scoliosis distracted or stopped me from doing the things I loved, although I do acknowledge that there are side effects to the misalignment of my body. When I reached the age of 18, I started doing yoga and I am still doing it today. It is this yoga journey of mine that made me understand the ways of my scoliotic spine and how to deal with it.
It technically means a lateral curvature of the spine. While in normal circumstances, your spine would be erect and straight, with scoliosis, it creates an S or a C curve. This curve may be present in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral spine.
The two primary types of scoliosis are functional and structural. Most of us have a mild category of functional scoliosis, which may be due to repetitive activities to only one side of the body, like carrying your bag on one particular side for years. This happens typically because of muscle development instead of something structural or innate.
Structural scoliosis, on the other hand, affects the structures of the body and is mostly discovered in childhood. This type of scoliosis results in muscle tightness on one side of the body, leading to one lung having less space than the other. Most individuals with moderate to severe scoliosis have tried medical and surgical treatments or routine appointments when they were kids. But what can yoga possibly offer?
Yoga For Scoliosis
If you want to incorporate yoga into your other exercises to help alleviate your scoliosis, the goal is to release the tight muscles that have been contracted and to increase the strength of the weakened muscles. The key is to understand and accept the way we are built and the way we are. We must not expect yoga to correct the curve of our spine miraculously, but it certainly provides us with solutions on treating our bodies to enhance health and improve balance.
Useful Yoga Poses
- To Lengthen The Spine
Cat and Cow. This stretches the supporting muscles of the spine and provides an opening of the vertebrae.
Child’s Pose. It relaxes the back muscles.
- Asymmetrical Poses
When you have scoliosis, the two sides of your body have different necessities, so it is important to work with asymmetrical types of poses to isolate the various muscles that you need to work on. You will also need to do poses for both sides to emphasize balance.
- The Twists
Some books and articles report that twists may not be useful for scoliosis, there has been plenty of evidence that it does help improve scoliosis. It is effective in releasing energy from the spine. You can start twisting while seated with the spine erect and the feet together. Your restriction or tolerance for pain will depend on your body. Let it guide you.
- Triangle Pose. This lengthens and widens the spine. You can reach towards a chair to concentrate on lengthening the thoracic spine by flexing forward. This is for the concave or hollow side. For the convex or rounded side, on the other hand, try to reach the lower hand to your shin and your upper hand towards the sacrum instead of reaching out to the ceiling. All these emphasize twisting on your upper body and opening of your shoulders.
As with any condition – mild, moderate, or severe – it is always wise to see a doctor and having yourself checked before starting this yoga journey.
When it comes to love, it knows no boundaries, nor illness. It is not discriminatory, and at times it is even unexplainable. Despite the existence of an illness, it is still essential to be able to understand and support our partners.
For people with partners dealing with scoliosis, it may be hard to support them if you don’t understand their condition. People diagnosed with scoliosis require proper care, and it is essential to understand these needs to take care of your loved one better.
Scoliosis is a condition that affects the curvature of one’s spine and is said to affect about 2-3% of the world’s population. While it may not be as physically noticeable in some, it affects each person emotionally to some degree.
Scoliosis is a medical condition wherein it causes the spine to curve on one side. It can affect not only the posture of the person but also his capabilities. In fact, living with scoliosis can be hard for people who wish to have kids someday. However, it is not impossible.
The spine is a fundamental part of the body that serves to hold and protect the spinal cord – where the nerves connect to the brain. It also controls the body’s movement. However, when the spine makes an inappropriate rotation, it creates what the therapist calls a rib hump. The condition is known as scoliosis. It gets represented by making the body look like an S or C body formation. Usually, it is due to the ribs too much movement that somehow creates a noticeable imbalance physical structure in the upper torso. It creates a significant difference in the breast and changes chest size also. It makes the shoulders and waist appear uneven as well. As an individual with scoliosis, the curve of the body becomes more considerable as he grows. That is up in about 45 to 50 degrees total spine deformation. And without proper medical assistance, the struggle can go on throughout the person’s life.