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Scoliosis Exercises

If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis, it is important to become more aware of your body, especially your spine. This may help you use self-correction to change your spine’s position during daily activities.

For practice, we have developed a home exercise program that focuses on core strengthening, proprioception and posture. Scoliosis exercises should be done carefully and performed with proper technique. The goal is to promote symmetry within the spine to regain trunk alignment.

Please consult with your doctor before starting any home exercise program. These exercises should not replace instructions from your doctor.

Good Standing Posture

Good-Standing-Posture

Bad Standing Posture

Bad-Standing-Posture

Good Sitting Posture

Good-Sitting-Posture

 

Although good posture should be natural, you might feel stiff and awkward at first. The key is to practice good posture all the time.


 Exercises

The following exercises will focus on core strengthening, proprioception, and posture. Scoliosis exercises should be done carefully and performed with proper technique. Remember, the goal is to promote symmetry within the spine to regain trunk alignment.


Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic-Tilts

Lying on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Flatten back by tightening stomach muscles and buttocks. Hold for 5 seconds, breathing normally. Repeat ten (10) times per set. Do two (2) sets per session. Do one (1) session per day.


Cat-Camel

Cat-Camel

On hands and knees, maintain tight abdominals with head straight (Photo 1). Take a deep breath in and lift your lower rib cage, round your back and relax your neck (Photo 2). As you breathe out, lower your chest towards the floor, looking slightly upward. Return to beginning position with tight abdominals. Repeat ten (10) times per set. Do two (2) sets per session. Do one (1) session per day.


Double-Leg Abdominal Press

Double-Leg-Abdominal-Press1 Double-Leg-Abdominal-Press2

Lying on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor (Photo 1), keeping your back in a neutral position. Raise your legs off the floor one at a time so that your knees and hips are bent at 90° angles (Photo 2, 3).

Push your hands against your knees while pulling your knees toward your hands, which will engage your abdominal muscles (Photo 4). Keep your arms straight! Hold for three deep breaths. Repeat ten (10) times per set. Do two (2) sets per session. Do one (1) session per day.


Single Leg Balance

(If possible, perform in front of a mirror to help visualize a straight spine.)

Single-Leg-Balance

With your eyes open, bend one knee up and balance on one foot. At first you may use your hands, like holding the back of a chair, table, or the wall. As balancing gets easier, take your hand(s) away and place them out to the side. Challenge yourself by bringing your arms across your chest. Close your eyes for an even greater challenge. Repeat five (5) times per set. Do one (1) set per session. Do one (1) session per day.


Tea Pot

(If possible, perform in front of a mirror to help visualize a straight spine.)

Tea-Pot

1. LEFT CURVE:
Sit on your knees. Place left hand on top of left shoulder and right hand on the floor. Lean towards your right hip. Feel the stretch on the right side of your trunk. Hold for twenty (20) seconds. Repeat five (5) times.

2. RIGHT CURVE:
Sit on your knees. Place right hand on top of right shoulder and left hand on the floor. Lean towards your left hip. Feel the stretch on the left side of your trunk. Hold for twenty (20) seconds. Repeat five (5) times.


Side Shift

Side-Shift

1. LEFT CURVE:
Use left arm against wall and lean hips towards the left side.

2. RIGHT CURVE:
Use right arm against wall and lean hips towards the right side.

Stand next to a wall placing your arm bent on the wall. Your other arm should be rested on your side as shown. Lean towards the wall by moving your hips NOT your shoulder. This will cause a shifting motion at your pelvis to occur. Repeat ten (10) times per set. Do two (2) sets per session. Do one (1) session per day.

Plank Exercise

A plank is a basic stabilizing exercise that activates muscles that support your spine. Click on the video on the left for instructions on how to properly perform a plank.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine