When your spine's out of alignment, even a little, you'll feel pain in your arms and legs as well as your back. Scoliosis amplifies back pain by pushing your spine into an unnatural curvature. Strengthening your back muscles will provide support for your spine and help with your posture. You'll feel better in general when the pain is gone and you're standing straight and tall with a strong back. If you've never worked out before, take it slow at first. Perform stretching exercises before graduating to weight-bearing exercises. After all, the goal is to avoid the pain, not generate more.
Perform four to five Spider Walk exercises each day for three to four weeks. It's a full-body exercise, but your ab muscles will stabilize your spine, and your back muscles will be stretched and worked as you move forward and back while keeping your body suspended above the floor in a pushup position.
Add stretching exercises to your Spider Walk routine after two or three weeks. Yoga is a helpful practice for scoliosis patients that will stretch and strengthen muscles while encouraging alignment. Poses such as Extended Puppy pose, Triangle pose, Locust pose, Chair Twists and Reclining Backbends can be done three or four times a week.
Introduce strength exercises after four weeks of stretching exercises. Three or four times a week, do exercises that will strengthen your lower back and core, such as low rows, situps and crunches, bridges and planks. Your upper back will benefit from the support it will get from strengthening your shoulders and your chest. Work your trapezius muscles with shrugs, your deltoids with lateral raises and your pectorals with pushups and bench presses.
- Once you've added strength training to your regimen, don't eliminate the stretching exercises. They'll keep your muscles flexible and will continue to alleviate back pain that can flare up.
- Consult with your doctor before beginning any stretching or exercise program. People with scoliosis have different degrees of curvature, and some might not be able to physically perform some movements and exercises correctly. Doing any exercise outside of proper form won't be beneficial and could even cause injury.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.