Spinal curvature, or scoliosis, is fairly common. Many people with scoliosis wind up in a brace during their adolescent growth spurt, while others don’t realize they have scoliosis until they’re past the growth spurt and need to manage the condition without correction.
If your scoliosis is severe enough, you may need surgery. Whether corrected or not, scoliosis can lead to nerve pain. Is there pain relief for scoliosis? Chiropractic care can be extremely helpful for those struggling with spinal pain. You will want to work with a chiropractor who cares for folks of all ages and all fitness levels. You will also want to work with a personal trainer or a physical therapist to help you find the healthiest way to move your body.
Build Strength to Create Space
One of the greatest sources of pain for those with scoliosis is an impinged nerve that is compressed by limited gaps in your spinal joints. This may include bone contact, but often this impingement is caused by inflammation in the soft tissue along the spine. Many with scoliosis struggle to find ways to move in proper alignment; if your spine is crooked, your understanding of what is properly aligned can be quite confusing. Working with a physical therapist if you’re in pain or a personal trainer if you want to get in better shape can help you learn what proper alignment feels like.
Once you’ve trained your body to function in proper alignment, weight training can be extremely helpful. Be prepared to be a bit bored. Your trainer may have you working with 3 to 5 pound weights until you build up the physical memory to automatically move in proper alignment. As you build both memory and strength, you can start to add more weight. Once the motions are automatic, you can start working out on your own. Make sure you undergo regular chiropractic appointments as you increase your musculature. A strong spine will have more space between the vertebrae.
Your chiropractor can help you make tiny corrections as these gaps expand, lessening your risk of another nerve flare-up. Consider also working with your trainer to build a stretching routine. Take a gentle yoga class and put your mat near the teacher. Let them know about your spinal concerns before you start.
Many with scoliosis have learned to dress in clothing that’s a bit loose to camouflage the curvature. When working with your trainer or your yoga teacher, wear something with some cling so they can easily see where your mechanics are most challenging. Another way to take pressure off the spine and build strength and flexibility is to get in the water. Again, this may lead to some discomfort; bathing suits are extremely revealing. However, getting in the water will take a great deal of pressure off your joints, from your feet to the top of your neck.
As possible, work in warm water so you can relax fully. Start in armpit deep water and walk or jog in place to loosen your body. Move to where the water is waist deep and grab the edge of the pool with your toes against the wall. Push your bottom back into the water behind you and feel your spine stretch from tailbone to shoulders. If you’re comfortable, lower your face into the water to feel the stretch in your neck. Stand up and open your feet, pointing your toes out and bring your chest as close to the walls as you can. This stretch will open the pelvis and low back.
Move gently as you work on the low back; if you have scoliosis in the low back, make sure you keep your navel tucked tight to avoid excessive movement in the low spine. Finally, you might want to move to the shallows. Sit along the edge of the pool with your feet straight out and the water up to your shoulders.
Slowly lower your chin to stretch your neck. The right chiropractor can guide you to a quality personal trainer and help you find a physical therapist who will push you in the healthiest direction. If you have avoided exercise because of your pain level or because you’re concerned about energy, you may be pleased to find that you actually can exercise if you take it slow and learn the best way to move for your condition. Contact us today at 205-637-1363.