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Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. While it may vary in severity, it can cause discomfort and affect mobility. Incorporating specific stretches and exercises into your routine can promote strength, flexibility, and overall spinal health. Here, we will outline five stretches and exercises that can be beneficial for individuals with scoliosis.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine, typically forming an "S" or "C" shape. It can occur in children and adults, and the causes may vary, including genetics, muscle imbalances, or neuromuscular conditions. Scoliosis can lead to muscle stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion. However, incorporating specific stretches and exercises into your routine can help alleviate these symptoms and promote spinal health. In fact, in mild cases, people treating their scoliosis with specific exercises and stretches can prevent the need for surgery. Despite the variation of an individual's care plan dependent on their level of severity, exercises and stretches remain a vital component of treatment.

5 Stretches and Exercises to Help Scoliosis:

1. Pelvic Tilts:
Pelvic tilts focus on strengthening the core muscles, which play a vital role in supporting the spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward, pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 10-15 times.

2. Cat-Cow Stretch:
The cat-cow stretch targets the muscles surrounding the spine and helps improve flexibility. Start on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and knees beneath your hips. Arch your back upward like a cat, tucking your chin towards your chest. Then, slowly lower your back, lifting your chest and tailbone towards the ceiling. Repeat this movement for 10-12 repetitions.

3. Double Leg Abdominal Press:
This exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles and promotes balance. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your thighs. Press your hands against your thighs while simultaneously pushing your thighs against your hands. Maintain this resistance for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.

4. Latissimus Dorsi Stretch:
The latissimus dorsi stretch helps relieve tension in the muscles of the upper back and sides. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms above your head and clasp your hands together. Gently lean to one side, feeling a stretch along the opposite side of your body. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 3-4 times on each side.

5. Plank:
The plank exercise strengthens the core muscles, including the back muscles, which can aid in supporting the spine. Start by assuming a push-up position with your forearms on the ground. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe, engaging your abdominal muscles. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, gradually increasing the duration as you progress.

Incorporating these stretches and exercises into your daily routine can help improve the strength and flexibility of your muscles, ultimately promoting better spine alignment and reducing discomfort associated with scoliosis. However, it's essential to consult with a physical therapist or healthcare professional before starting any exercise program, especially if you have a severe case. For additional aid, reach out to your physical therapist for a consultation.

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