5 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.
This guide provides instructions on the following exercises:
Good Standing Posture
Bad Standing 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, at home, at school, riding in a car, eating a meal, etc.
These exercises are general exercises that can be used prior to initiating a physical therapy program that will highlight individualized corrections for specific curves. They are not specific to Schroth treatment, but will improve proprioception, spinal mobility and stability.
1. 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.
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.
3. Double-Leg Abdominal Press
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.
4. Single Leg Balance
(If possible, perform in front of a mirror to help visualize a straight spine.)
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.
5. 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.
Schroth Exercises for Scoliosis at CHOC
When it comes to scoliosis, you want the least invasive treatments, without interrupting childhood. The Schroth Method is a low-impact form of physical therapy, with exercises designed to stop curve progression and improve quality of life. In some cases, it can even prevent the need for spine surgery.
CHOC physical therapists are among a limited number of specialists regionally and nationally who are certified in the Schroth Method.
Looking for a physical therapist for scoliosis? Please call CHOC Rehabilitation Services at 714-509-4220 for more information.
3745 W. Chapman Ave., Suite 200 | Orange, CA 92868 | 714-509-4220