Yoga Exercises for Scoliosis Patients
Scoliosis or bent spine is more common in women where an abnormal sideways curve of the spine produces excruciating back pain. This can affect people of all age groups including children and adolescents. Though this is a hereditary condition, it may often cause by slumping and poor posture in childhood. Surgery or medications are not the only treatment method for scoliosis, yoga for scoliosis is also effective in many ways.
Scoliosis is a spine disorder where your spine gets deviated and forms S or C shaped curvature. This can cause immense pain if you don’t opt for the right treatment. Yoga poses for scoliosis will gradually correct the curvature of the spine.
3 Reasons Why Yoga is beneficial in Scoliosis?
1. Strengthens and Stretches Your Body
While performing yoga, certain parts of your body get stretched. Other parts of the body are forced to contract by performing various movement patterns that you need to hold to perform a certain posture. This enhances the mobility of the thoracic spine.
2. Lessens Pain and Stiffness
By firming the forced closure, yoga makes a proper alignment of muscles and connective tissues. This keeps your spine in the right place and thus, you don’t experience much pain. Yoga will also improve the overall function of the spine. Yoga will help in the maintenance of a neutral spine
3. Improves Spinal Position
A study was performed on 25 participants who had scoliosis. After the study, it has been found that participants who performed yoga pose like the Side Plank pose saw astonishing improvement in the primary scoliotic curve of the spine. The participants practiced the yoga pose for 90 seconds, 6 days per week, for more than 6 months.
Some other benefits of yoga for scoliosis are:
- Fortifies the deteriorated areas affected by the spine’s position
- Reinforces the core overall
- Manages your pain
- Improves mobility and flexibility
Top Yoga Poses for Scoliosis
Yoga and scoliosis go hand in hand. Some yoga exercises for scoliosis are:
- First, you need to lie down on your stomach with your facing down
- Keep your forearms on the floor beside you
- Inhale slowly, elevate your upper body, and by pushing your forearms forward, support yourself
- Hold this position for a few seconds like a sphinx
- Exhale gradually and lower your body back to the starting position
- Get back to the starting posture and take a rest for a few seconds before repeating the posture
2. Camel Pose
- Bow down on the floor while keeping the rest of the body straight and place your hands by your side
- Now, touch your back slowly with your hands to grab your heels. Hold your hips forward and your head back
- Hold this posture for 30 seconds
- Then, return to the kneeling position to complete one round
- Repeat this posture 3-4 times
This asana is extremely powerful and beneficial but novice players may find it difficult. If you find it problematic keep your head elevated instead of letting it stretch backwards. In the beginning, you might feel lightheaded or nauseous but the situation will improve with practice.
3. Mountain Pose or Tadasana
This quintessential pose is very much effective against scoliosis.
- Stand on your feet while keeping your heels slightly apart and toes touching each other
- Elevate your toes and spread them out as much as you can
- Then lay them back down and make a wider base as per your convenience
- Ensure your body weight is divided in all four corners of both feet and press those corners firmly onto the floor evenly
- Now, draw your knee caps and thigh muscles up
- Lift your ribcage up
- Stretch your hands and fingers straight down along your sides
- Keep balancing your head firmly on your spinal column
Apart from improving posture, this yoga exercise strengthens your abdomen and legs.
Other Yoga Poses
- Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasna)
- Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha)
- Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
- Side-Reclining Leg Lift (Anantasana)
4 Best Stretching Exercises for Scoliosis
- Use Bolsters, Rollers, Or Other Fixtures to Stretch: To stretch your back, you need to lie over a bolster. You should opt for correct breathing techniques such as lying on your side so that the apex of the scoliosis curve gets benefitted.
- Practice Your Posture: Postural awareness is also beneficial to combat scoliosis. You should opt for poses like a Mountain pose.
- Try Mild Spinal Twists and Side Bends: Spinal rotation and side twists could be extremely beneficial to rectify the imbalance. But these movements could be difficult for beginners, thus, practice with a trainer initially. Your trainer will focus on the weaker side to improve the motion and function.
- Strengthen Your Core: You need to use your core and back muscles to execute some movements; your spine will become stronger gradually.
Keep The Focus on Balancing Not Symmetry
Though you can’t achieve perfect symmetry initially, it will improve your overall function and assuage discomfort.
The Bottom Line
Scoliosis exercises will not only reduce the pain but also minimize the curvature of the spine. But you should carefully practice your poses without hurting the spine. Initially, practice in the presence of a trainer or an expert, after that, you can do it yourself.
Does scoliosis affect flexibility?
Scoliosis restricts your flexibility or movements. Due to muscular imbalance, you may not perform certain activities smoothly.
Does stretching help scoliosis?
When you start feeling pain due to scoliosis, you may get benefitted from stretching. Stretching with scoliosis will reduce your back pain by releasing the tension in the surrounding muscles of the spine. It also enhances blood flow and lubrication in the joints.
Is massage good for scoliosis?
A deep tissue massage could be beneficial for those who are suffering from scoliosis. A deep tissue massage along with stretching and neuromuscular therapy will lessen your back pain by increasing the blood flow to the back.
How do you sit with scoliosis?
With scoliosis, you need to sit back into your chair keeping your back straight. Try to distribute your weight between the buttocks and thighs. Don’t sit very far forward in your chair.
What should I avoid if I have scoliosis?
Never perform the below-mentioned things.
Recurrent extension of your thoracic spine with backbends
Dance exercises (especially in ballet)
Avoid yoga positions where you need to rotate your vertebrate further