Your #1 source for all things sports!

running-girl-silhouette Created with Sketch.
Cardio

Cardio articles

football-player Created with Sketch.
Sports

Sports articles

Shape Created with Sketch.
Exercise

Exercise articles

Shape Created with Sketch.
Stretching

Stretching articles

lifter Created with Sketch.
Equipment

Equipment articles

Shape Created with Sketch.

Exercising With Scoliosis & Spondylosis

Spinal conditions like scoliosis and spondylosis can cause back pain and stiffness severe enough to make you want to lie down and rest, but that's actually the worst thing you can do. Remaining stationary can actually increase stiffness, and the muscles will become weak from lack of use. Regular exercise, on the other hand, warms up the muscles and increases flexibility and range of motion. Not only can it actually relieve pain, but it can also help prevent pain from reoccurring.

Scoliosis and Spondylosis

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, while spondylosis is age-related wear on the discs between your vertabrae. According to Saurabh Jain of Living With Cerebral Palsy, scoliosis does not prevent you from participating in exercise. In fact, you can do the same exercises that people without scoliosis do with no ill effect. Spondylosis, on the other hand, can respond badly to high-impact activities. Because the discs that cushion the vertabrae are worn, they absorb less shock, so hard impacts can lead to an increase in pain.

Cardio

Kamiah A. Walker of Spine Universe suggests doing cardiovascular exercises at least three days per week. To accommodate your spondylosis, avoid high-impact aerobics, running, or any contact sport -- these activities could stress your discs and increase your pain. Walking, cycling or swimming are low-impact enough to provide a workout while protecting your back. Be aware of your posture while you workout, and make sure you don't favor whichever side your spine curves toward. Keep your back straight and your head in line with your shoulders throughout.

Strength Training

Strength training is important to those with spinal problems, as strong back and shoulder muscles can help support the spine. Work with a trainer to learn correct form to avoid aggravating the problem. If your spondylosis is in your neck, strengthen your shoulder and upper back muscles. If your spondylosis is in your back, concentrate on your core and back muscles. The website iScoliosis.com recommends back extensions, upright rows and bent-over raises as exercises that can strengthen the support muscles while improving your posture.

Stretching

Stretching is one of the most important exercises you can do for both spondylosis and scoliosis. Regular, gentle stretching helps pull the muscles into place, relieve tension that can aggravate back pain and help restore range of motion. A physical therapist can show you stretches designed to counteract the curvature of your spine -- this is different for everybody, so get personalized advice. A simple stretch like touching your toes can help open up the disc spaces and relieve the pain from spondylosis, but be sure not to overdo it. Stretching should create a gentle tension, but it should never hurt. Try a beginner's yoga class to learn moves that will straighten your posture and stretch your back under the guidance of a trained professional.

Cautions

Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Whatever form of exercise you try, learn from a professional who can teach you proper form and correct bad habits before they injure your back. Start slowly, and always recognize pain as a sign that you are doing something wrong. When it comes to spinal issues, the "no pain, no gain" mantra doesn't apply.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

This article was written by the SportsRec team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about SportsRec, contact us here.

Try our awesome promobar!