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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.

Scoliosis Treatment Exercises in this Guide

This guide provides instructions on the following exercises:

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, at home, at school, riding in a car, eating a meal, etc.


 Exercises

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

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.


2. 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.


3. 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.


4. 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.

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.

Contact Us

Looking for a physical therapist for scoliosis? Please call CHOC Children's Rehabilitation Services at 714-509-4220 for more information.


Exterior view of CHOC Children's Bill Holmes South Tower

CHOC Children’s Rehabilitation Services

1201 W. La Veta Ave. | Orange, CA 92868-3874 | 714-509-4220

Long Live Childhood

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