Scoliosis is characterized as the sideways curvature of a spine that usually occurs during a child’s growth spurt during puberty. Scoliosis can be caused by chronic conditions, such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, but the common cause of scoliosis remains unknown.
To date, around 3 percent of adolescents are reported to have scoliosis. Most of these cases are mild, but these spine deformities progress to severe conditions as children grow. To help you better deal with scoliosis, here is a quick guide to dealing with scoliosis, as well as a list of things to avoid.
Tips for Dealing with Scoliosis
Early intervention is key
Doctors usually tell people to wait six months to a year if someone is diagnosed with a mild curve, but the best of results can be achieved earlier. Make sure that you get enough nutritional support and good muscle training before the spinal curve reaches 30 degrees. How often have you heard someone write off their pain as “just arthritis,” or expect that arthritis and pain are normal for their age?
Use a quality mattress
A mattress specifically made for scoliosis problems doesn’t exist, so finding the best mattress can be a challenge. Doctors usually recommend getting a firm or medium-firm mattress but choose one that fits your body well. Don’t get cushiony mattress pads because those provide little to no support—for maximum comfort, opt for extra pillows instead.
The best way to mitigate scoliosis pain and discomfort is by getting frequent stretches. There are also studies that link scoliosis and indigestion, which is why stretching is a good activity to follow. Some of the best stretches include the following activities:
- Hanging from a bar as long as possible
- Bend in the curve’s direction
- Spinal molding: lie on rolled towels, one under your neck and the other under the lower back
If you have mild scoliosis, soccer is a good exercise that doesn’t progress your scoliosis. It’s an aerobic sport that strengthens the core muscles, which is good muscle support for your curve. All positions in the team are good for you except for the goalkeeper. If you’re suffering from moderate to severe scoliosis, however, it’s best to consult your doctor first.
Try clinical and genetic testing
If you’re suffering from scoliosis, it’s likely that you’re also suffering from hormonal, nutritional, and neurotransmitter imbalances. Recent studies suggest that correcting such imbalances helps impede the progression of scoliosis. Moreover, the results of scoliosis-specific training will be enhanced. Balance in these neurotransmitters actually helps induce spinal alignment through proper muscle coordination.
Things that May Trigger Scoliosis Problems
Contrary to popular belief, scoliosis and competitive swimming do not go well together. Swimming for hours daily actually causes the thoracic spine to flatten, which then causes the spinal curve to progress even further. Research data also suggests that the same holds true for competitive ballet dancing and gymnastics. If you have scoliosis, it is best to avoid these environmental drivers of progression to ensure that your spine stays as close to normal as possible.
Sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping can be a pain for people who have scoliosis. Doctors specifically warn against sleeping on your stomach, as this specific position causes the thoracic spine to be flatter. Remember: scoliosis is three-dimensional. If one dimension of your spine worsens, the rest follows.
Running long distances on hard surfaces
If you have scoliosis, long-distance running on roads and sidewalks actually leads to several problems. Each time you take a step, jump, or run, spinal compression occurs. Running over uneven terrain causes you to rotate or bend your back. If these activities are prolonged, you cause your scoliosis to progress further. If it cannot be helped, limit your running to 400 meters, which is usually one lap around the track.
Carrying heavy things
Another activity that worsens scoliosis is carrying heavy things. It adds to the natural pull of gravity, which then compresses your spine even further. An overloaded backpack, for instance, is terrible for your back. Carrying bags over just one shoulder is also unhealthy. With these in mind, people dealing with scoliosis should also avoid any sports activity that involves weightlifting.
There is no cure for scoliosis yet, and the best way to deal with it is through early diagnosis and treatment, as with lifestyle changes. Arming yourself with the dont’s of scoliosis is also key, as this helps you know which activities should be avoided. It’s also important to regularly visit your doctor to help keep an eye on the progression of your spinal curve.
If you’re suffering from scoliosis pain and discomfort, we have a solution for you. Due to its treatment limitations, many turn to the power of chiropractors for relief. We have dedicated ourselves to improving the health and quality of life in the Scoliosis community, and that certainly includes you. If you’re looking for non-surgical scoliosis care, get in touch with us to book an appointment today!
To schedule a consultation with Revive Upper Cervical Chiropractic, call 724-772-7060, or fill out the form below.
If you are in or around the Cranberry Township area and are looking for a resource to help with scoliosis. In that case, you can visit us at the Revive Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Our practice is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm; Wednesday from 1 pm to 6 pm. You can also drop by on Fridays between 9 am to 12 noon.
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