Best Exercise Choices for Scoliosis

Exercise and Scoliosis – What Are My Choices?

Best Exercise Choices for ScoliosisMany adults and teenagers with scoliosis, are curious about the risks and benefits of exercises and sports participation. Although it is important for all people, including those with scoliosis, to exercise and remain physically fit we recommend a bit of caution while embarking on a new regimen.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. The spine bends sideways and twists creating a lateral, or side to side curvature. Usually the upper or lower back is twisted, but in rare cases scoliosis can affect the neck.  Although scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity, on an x-ray, scoliosis curves can often look like a simple “S” or a “C” shape.

80-85% percent of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. But it appears that heredity is one factor, since scoliosis tends to run in families.

Scoliosis often appears during the onset of puberty, and more females than males are affected.

Treatment for Scoliosis

Scoliosis is complex and affects everyone differently. Accordingly, it is crucial to accurately diagnose and analyze each patient on a case-by-case basis, and design a treatment plan based on the individual’s unique situation.

As a CLEAR™ Institute certified location; South Florida Scoliosis Center (SFSC) does not endorse any type of bracing. In fact, clinical experience demonstrates that attempting to utilize a brace while the patient is undergoing our treatment may have an adverse effect. Our protocols attempt to strengthen the same postural muscles which are made weaker by relying upon the brace.

Scoliosis and Exercise

If you have scoliosis, posture and muscle changes caused by the condition may restrict your movements while exercising. In some cases, your endurance may be affected by reduced lung capacity. Regimens that include running or jumping can also be especially hard on the scoliotic spine further compressing one misaligned vertebrae into the other.

For those who suffer from Scoliosis and even those who don’t we recommend swimming. No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body (without putting stress on your joints)

Benefits of Swimming for Exercise:

  • Increased Muscle Tone and Strength
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Stronger Heart Muscle
  • Weight Control
  • Improved Asthma Symptoms
  • Improved Cholesterol
  • Lower Stress, Higher Spirits and a Better Brain

Make an appointment today and take control of your spine health! 305-705-0777

Adult Scoliosis – Is it the Cause of Your Pain?

Adult Scoliosis – Is it the Cause of Your Pain?

Adult Scoliosis – Is it the Cause of Your Pain?Because scoliosis typically affects adolescents, adults who are diagnosed with adult scoliosis are often shocked. Scoliosis is a condition in which an individual’s spine develops a side to side curvature – or sideways S or C shape. Although the symptoms of scoliosis are the same for adults as well as teenagers, adults face a different set of challenges than teenagers.

What are the Symptoms of Adult Scoliosis?
Symptoms of adult scoliosis can include one or more of the following:

  • Lower back pain and back aches
  • Tiring of the spine due to lengthy periods of sitting and/or standing
  • Hip and shoulders that are uneven
  • A spine that curves to one side.

What causes Adult Scoliosis?
There are several different reasons that an adult can get scoliosis. Some adults have had scoliosis from childhood, but the deformity and pain worsens as they become an adult. Disc degeneration can cause scoliosis as well, as can fractures in the spine. Individuals who suffer from muscular dystrophies, polio or other neuromuscular disorders often suffer from neuro-muscular scoliosis. The most common causes of adult scoliosis are the following:

  • A Degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis- when the vertebrae and/or discs on one side of the spine weaken or degenerate more than those on the other side, creating a curve.
  • Idiopathic Scoliosis that went unnoticed and untreated during adolescence- a curvature that went unnoticed during adolescence now becomes noticeable in adulthood because it has continued to progress or because it begins to cause pain.
  • Scoliosis that was treated with surgery during adolescence- individuals who undergo scoliosis surgery as teens continue to struggle with the symptoms of scoliosis throughout their lives.

How is Adult Scoliosis Treated?
While scoliosis does not generally cause pain in children or teens, it can cause pain in adults, especially those with osteoarthritis. Even in other types of adult scoliosis, pain may be present because the natural flexibility of youth has diminished, and the muscles that have helped to compensate for the curve become overtaxed.

Traditional medicine generally employs pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to alleviate the painful symptoms of adult scoliosis. The problem with these drugs is that they only last a few hours, they have many side effects and don’t resolve the underlying problem.

At South Florida Scoliosis Center we offer a safe and natural alternative to alleviating the pain and symptoms of adult scoliosis.

SFSC Scoliosis Treatment Method

If your adult scoliosis stems from a degenerative condition, vertebrae and discs can be out of alignment and compressing nerves, which can cause your scoliosis pain. If the scoliosis has been present for many years, whether treated with surgery or not, there’s a good chance that compensatory muscles have become strained. And with the scoliosis curvature existing for years, the unnatural position can cause other misalignments and further interfere with proper nerve function. Our scoliosis treatment methods can begin correcting structural misalignments and restoring optimal function to the nervous system.

If you’ve never considered chiropractic for your adult scoliosis, now is the time to contact us. At South Florida Scoliosis Center we will go to great lengths to understand your particular situation, by performing an extensive exam. Discuss all findings, and design a customized plan for working with your adult scoliosis.

Make an appointment today and take control of your spine health! 305-705-0777

Spring your Spine Health into Spring!

Spring your Spine Health into Spring!

Spring your Spine Health into Spring!The beautiful South Florida Spring season brings many opportunities to stay outdoors and increase your physical activity. While everyone can benefit from taking advantage of the pleasant weather, the trick is not to overdo it. Getting your body used to an active lifestyle takes conditioning and common sense.

Before you head outdoors this spring keep the following tips in mind:

Stretch to Release Stiff Joints and Stay Injury Free-

Whether it’s golf, tennis, gardening or just walking- stretching is one way to assure you remain in action longer. A five minute stretching session both before and after physical activity can pay big dividends by keeping you healthy and preserving your motivation to stay active.

First focus on the larger muscle groups. Because the quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs are generally the largest muscles of the body and play a key supporting role for your back, they deserve special attention. That means stretching the back, front, plus the inner and outer thigh.

Lastly stretch the whole body. Work up through the back, arms and neck, and then down through the calf and ankles.

Hydrate before you exercise-

Nearly every cell of the human body contains water. Without water, cells don’t function properly and they certainly don’t function to their full potential during exercise. This is why it is important to hydrate before exercise.

Studies show that dehydrated exercisers complete three to five fewer reps per set, during strength-training sessions. Dehydration also lowers hormone levels necessary for strong muscles.

One to two hours prior to your heading outdoors, we recommend drinking one ounce of water for every 10 pounds of your body weight. If you weigh 120 pounds, drink 12 ounces of water before and don’t forget to sip water during your workout to replenish the fluids your body loses through sweat.

Heat Therapy Soothes Muscles Before and After Exercise-

Most of us are aware that a heating pad or warm bath after a workout can make a big difference in terms of pain reduction and comfort. What is not so well known is that heat can also play a preventative role, as well.

Applying heat before a workout session can significantly minimize muscle strain. Studies have shown that individuals who applied a heat to their lower back before a workout session rated their post-exercise pain as 50% less intense as those who only stretched prior to working out. Using commercial heat wrap products available in drugstores may help keep you comfortable and get you back to action sooner.

Applying heat therapy after exercise calms the muscles and prevents cramping. After a workout, muscles and joints are potentially dehydrated and, not as stable as when resting. Applying a heating pad or wrap for approximately 10 minutes while seated or lying down after a workout session or strenuous activity can help muscles calm down and return to their normal state without seizing up.


Lighten the Load - Backpack Safety for Spinal Health

Lighten the Load- Backpack Safety for Spinal Health

Lighten the Load - Backpack Safety for Spinal HealthDid you know (as per the American Physical Therapy Association) your child’s backpack should never exceed 10-15% of his or her body weight?

Thanks to heavy homework loads and inconvenient or non-existent lockers, the average child carries 22-27% of their bodyweight in their backpack. This creates unnecessary strain on a child’s spine. A heavy back pack can pull a child backwards making him or her overcompensate by 1- bending forward or 2- arching their backs, in turn compressing the spine. In the case of the “over one shoulder sling” a child tends to lean far to the one side to offset the weight of the heavy backpack. Repeated use, overtime, leads to poor posture, muscle strain and pain in the back neck and shoulder areas. In addition, backpacks with tight narrow straps that dig into the skin can block circulation and nerve function, resulting in tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms and hands.

Signs My Child’s Back pack is too Heavy:

  • Change in posture?
  • Signs of struggle while putting on or taking off the backpack
  • Complaining of pain from wearing the back pack
  • Red marks on the shoulder area from wearing the backpack
  • Complaints of numbness or tingling in the arms and hands

Safety Precautions to Lighten the Load:

  • Purchase a back that’s lightweight yet durable- many backpacks, though fashionable, may be heavier construction
  • Make sure the backpack has two wide padded shoulder straps
  • Purchase a backpack with a waist strap- this helps the weight distribute more evenly
  • A padded back can make the load more comfortable while protecting from sharp objects poking out the back
  • Multiple compartments help the weight distribute more evenly
  • Rolling backpacks are ideal provided there is no need for climbing stairs or rolling across uneven terrain- i.e. grass or snow
  • When packing the backpack- pack heavier items towards the back and evenly distribute smaller items in compartments
  • Weigh your child’s backpack- make sure it doesn’t exceed 10-15% of his or her bodyweight
  • Adjust the straps to fit tight against the body

Now you’re ready to send your child safely off to school! Always encourage your child to tell you about any discomfort concerning his backpack and pay attention to any symptoms he or she may be experiencing.

Remember- A heavy backpack does not cause Scoliosis but may disguise a spinal curve in it’s initial stages. Scoliosis first shows up between the ages of 9-15 so make sure your child is screened on a regular basis.