Scoliosis-Rehabilitation: Exercise Therapy


Scoliosis Rehabilitation Contd….

Improved technology & the ability to assess muscle function have changed the Scoliosis picture. We now know that there is asymmetry in muscle function for everyone with scoliosis. More specifically, there is an uneven strength in trunk rotation.

Exercise is known to increase strength, flexibility & endurance in the apparently healthy populations. Your scoliosis may pose a challenge to you in finding exercise that helps without hurting. Exercise is an important part in maintaining & building muscle strength. The exercise benefits you receive will only be as good as the specific way your program addresses your individual needs.

  • Physical Therapy
  • Yoga: Yoga exercises also can restore mobility to the spine & provide pain relief. It reduces the effects of scoliosis by conditioning your legs, training breath, correcting alignment & strengthening the muscles that have been weakened in scoliosis.
  • Pilates
  • Aerobic Exercise: Walking, Swimming  (30 minutes)
  • Water exercise classes or aqua jogging
  • Deep breathing exercises

Physical Therapy

Teaching Alignment

Many scoliosis patients don’t understand what good posture & alignment feel like. Exercises that help them understand proper alignment are very useful. When the problem is a thoracic curve issue, scoliosis patients can reach upward and diagonally while sitting tall & slightly forward. This gives them a kinesthetic sense of what a straight spine feels like.

EXERCISES WITH BRACE OFF

Exercise

Type

Pelvic Tilt

Strength:

Back

Back Extension

Strength:

Back

Side Bend Exercise

 

Strength:

Depending on what side you bend toward.

Chair Back Exercise

Strength:

Back

Back Strengthening

Strength:

Back

Back Strengthening

Strength:

Back

Back Extension

 

Strength:

Back

Bent Over Raise

 

Strength:

Upper Back

Oblique Muscle Strengthening

 

Strength:

Abdominal

Abdominal Holds

Strength:

Abdominal

Cycling

Strength:

Trunk

Trunk Rotations

Strength & Stretch:

Muscles tend to be weaker on the sides corresponding to concavity — where the spine bends away from the body’s mid-line. Rotating the trunk side-to-side from the waist can simultaneously strengthen and stretch the muscles that support the spine.

Ball Exercises

Side Stretch

Stretch:

Tight Trunk Muscles on side of curve

Cat Stretch

Stretch:

Back

Stretch Up Reach Down

Stretch:

Stabilize the curvature in your back, lengthen the surrounding muscles and tendons & improve the range of motion in your back

MILWAUKEE BRACE EXERCISES

  • Push-ups with a tilted pelvis are a good exercise for scoliosis patients with a brace.
  • Try pushing your side toward the floor. Lie on one side with a pillow under your ribs and your top arm and leg straight and your bottom arm and leg bent. Tilt your pelvis and attempt to push your side toward the floor.
  • The once-a-day standing pelvic tilt is done with relaxed knees. The patient pulls in his abdomen and tilts his pelvis and then attempts to walk while holding the tilt.
  • Correcting thoracic lordosis and rib hump involves doing a standing pelvic tilt & then taking a deep breath while spreading your ribs & pressing the chest wall backward.
  • Active curve correction also involves a standing pelvic tilt. Shift your body away from the rib pad in the brace, then away from the lumbar pad. Finally, attempt to shift away from both pads at the same time and stretch upward.

“With scoliosis, what feels aligned is often misaligned, & what feels misaligned is often balanced alignment”…so it is crucial & imperative for Scoliosis patients to exercise.

WARNING: If pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, stop exercising and contact your doctor.

We have tried to add as many exercises as possible. If there are any we have missed, please write to us in our comments section. Thanks!

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Exercising in Ankylosing Spondylitis


Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis is what many often enquire about. People ask for treatment that completely cures ankylosing spondylitis disorder. Well, there is no known curative treatment for ankylosing spondylitis. However, there are different techniques & methods that reduce the effects or intensity of ankylosing spondylitis considerably.
Understanding ankylosing spondylitis, is very important so that you can opt for the best suited treatment for it. Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects spinal cord & sacroiliac joints, causing fusion of the spine- Bamboo Spine. It is of type autoimmune spondyloarthropathy. There may be involvement of other organs such as kidneys, lungs, eyes and heart. Hence, when your diagnosis is ankylosing spondylitis, you should immediately seek the treatment.

Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis includes various options such as medications, exercise & physiotherapy.
Goal of Treatment: Relieve pain, manage symptoms & prevent further progress of the disease.
Physiotherapy:
  • Various types of movements of back & neck
  • Deep breathing for expansion of lungs
  • Stretching exercises for joint mobility
  • Guidelines- Maintaining erect posture is also very important to reduce spinal scoilotic curvature. Slipping on firm surface & avoid use of pillow while sleeping
Yoga:
  • Yoga can provide a relief from pain, stiffness, improve breathing & improve the range of mobility.
  • Yoga also helps to reduce stress and maintain the energy of patients
  • Asanas: (positions in Yoga) such as Vajra Asana, Dhanura Asana, Makara Asana, Bhujanga Asana, Ardha Matsyendrasana & Neti kriya help to remove rigidity, improve flexibility of joints & also correct bad posture. Pranayama is helpful for muscle relaxation as well as to improve the movements of ribs & changes in pressure within abdomen & chest
  • Before practicing Yoga session, a person should perform stretching to prevent sprains, muscle strains or further injuries
Pilates:
  • Build flexibility, increase strength, endurance, & coordination in legs, abdominals, arms & back.
  • Help with maintaining the  natural curves of the body
  • Create a neutral position for each joint that is close to the optimal alignment of the head, shoulders, thorax, spine & pelvis which ensures that all sections of the body are in their ideal place
However, high-impact exercises such as jogging & sports are jarring to your frame and are generally not recommended. Instead, engage in Tai chi, Swimming because it involves all muscles & joints in a low-impact, buoyant environment. Cycling can also help restore lost movement.
Option of surgery is also viable, in case of severe ankylosing spondylitis condition. Joint replacement surgery, especially of hip and knees is opted for reducing further development of ankylosing spondylitis.
Significance
Exercise, even in small five to 10 minute doses, can improve posture & mobility. According to the Spondylitis Association of America, most people say that their condition improves after exercise. However, first consult a rheumatologist or physical therapist before you begin, because movements that may be beneficial under normal conditions may actually harm those with AS.
Time Frame
Convenience and consistency are the most important parts of your routine. If you feel stiff in the morning, then you may try to loosen up early & then exercise in the midday or evening. If necessary, you can split your exercises throughout the day. For example, you can first do exercises while lying down, and then later in the day you can work on neck stretches or deep breathing.
Much relief can be gained in ankylosing spondylitis by following an exercise regime consistently.
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your medical professional before beginning exercises.