Four Basic Exercises to Prevent Scoliosis

October 23, 2019
Scoliosis usually has a good prognosis in most cases. Improvement is related to the time of detection and the applied treatment. The sooner it's detected and treated, the better. In this article, discover four exercises to prevent scoliosis!

There are exercises to prevent scoliosis that can be combined with braces or surgery. In this article, we’ll suggest four of them to prevent this condition.

If you do them well, you can realign your spine, rib cage, shoulders, and pelvis and achieve a normal posture. However, we advise that you consult your doctor if your symptoms are very severe.

What’s scoliosis?

A woman with scoliosis.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects the back’s stability.

Scoliosis is a condition that causes a sideways curvature of the spine. However, most of the population has a curvature of less than or equal to 5%, which isn’t considered a problem. For someone to be diagnosed with this condition, their curvature must exceed this figure.

Thus, many degrees of scoliosis will either allow people to lead a normal life (with certain guidelines) or have to end up getting an operation to fix it.

You should also read: 8 Habits to Help Treat Low Back Pain

Causes

Although scoliosis usually manifests in childhood, it can also occur in adulthood. As of yet, the exact causes are unknown, although it can occur due to a variety of reasons, including genetic reasons, unequal pelvic position, spinal surgeries, and misalignment of the knee or foot, among others.

This condition usually has a good prognosis. Improvement is related to the time of detection and the applied treatment. The sooner it’s detected and treated, the better.

Useful tips to prevent scoliosis

If you suffer from scoliosis, you need to be aware of your body, especially your spine. This way, you can correct your posture during your daily activities.

  • Swim, because it’s one of the best sports to prevent and treat this condition. It causes axial traction of the entire spine and, therefore, straightens it.
  • Practice mindfulness. It’s been proven that this ancient practice is key to reducing pain.
  • You have to watch your posture in the various activities you do every day: when you sit, at work, when you grab something, etc.
  • Pay special attention when you do physical activity and play sports.
  • Watch your stress levels and care for your health. This is because conditions such as stress can worsen scoliosis.
  • Exercise regularly, either by stretching or doing strength training.

Exercises to prevent scoliosis

Before you start doing exercises to correct or prevent scoliosis, keep in mind that a specialized treatment will be necessary to correct the problem, depending on your type of spine curvature.

These exercises are particularly suitable to treat scoliosis before the end of a child’s growth period. However, they can also help adults improve their quality of life.

The goal is to do these exercises to prevent scoliosis three times a week. The duration of the exercises is 20 minutes and you can do them at home.

1. Pelvic tilt

A woman doing the pelvic tilt to precent scoliosis.

Exercise 1 to prevent scoliosis: Pelvic tilt

One of the best exercises for people who suffer from scoliosis is the pelvic tilt.

  • To do it, you must lie on the floor face up and bend your knees. Your arms should be relaxed at your sides.
  • Then, take the pressure or force to your abdominal area to release the tension from your lower back area.
  • After that, lift your pelvic area with a natural motion.
  • When your back is straight, stop for five seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.

2. Exercises to prevent scoliosis: Aligned leg

Here’s what you need to do:

  • On the floor, position yourself on your hands and knees. Keep your arms straight and your knees at a 90° angle.
  • Slowly raise your right leg and left arm at the same time and then return them to the resting position.
  • Then, slowly raise your left leg and right arm at the same time and then return them to the starting position.

Tip: Keep your leg and arm raised and aligned with your spine for 10 seconds. Do 12 repetitions.

3. The plank

A woman doing the plank.

Exercise 3 to prevent scoliosis: The plank

The plank is an exercise with many benefits for your back and posture. It belongs to a group of isometric exercises, meaning that, to do it, you must tighten a muscle in a certain position. When done right, you’ll notice the results in your shoulders, abs, and, of course, your back.

Remember that your body should be completely straight and parallel to the ground. You shouldn’t bend your knees and also be careful not to load your back.

This article may interest you: 10 Habits that Cause Back Pain

4. Cat-camel exercise

This is one of the easiest exercises to prevent scoliosis.

  1. First, position yourself on the floor on your knees.
  2. Then, place the palms of both of your hands on the floor and straighten your arms. Your knees should touch the ground and form a 90° angle. Arch your back by moving your stomach inward.
  3. Slightly stretch your hip forward and tilt your chin to your chest, taking in some air.
  4. Then, look up, contract your shoulder blades, and don’t force your stomach while exhaling.

The exercises we described here help prevent scoliosis. However, if you notice that your back pain gets worse, you should go see your doctor. They’ll tell you the best treatment options for your condition.

  • Pantoja, T. S., & Chamorro, L. M. (2015). Escoliosis en niños y adolescentes. Revista Médica Clínica Las Condes. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmclc.2015.02.011
  • Touzeau, C., Larroque, A., Marty, C., & Biot, B. (2002). Escoliosis Paralíticas. EMC – Kinesiterapia – Medicina Física. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1293-2965(02)71931-2
  • Bueno Sánchez, A. M.. (2014). Exploración de columna y cadera: cómo manejar la escoliosis. Pediatría Atención Primaria, 16(Supl. 23), 111-117. https://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S1139-76322014000200015