25 August, 2009
Daily Exercises for Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a condition that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine and can be painful. Exercises are frequently recommended as treatment options for mild scoliosis, especially exercises that stretch and strengthen the back and core. Try these daily exercises, which typically can be performed in 30 minutes or less.
Stretch your body, particularly the back muscles and legs. Ideal stretches for those with scoliosis include:
While lying on your back, cross one leg over the other, then pull your legs in toward you. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat three times on each side.
Still lying down, put both feet on the floor, then lift one leg up straight in the air, pulling the leg back as far as possible. Then bend the leg and wrap your hands around the leg, holding it close to your chest. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat three times on each side.
Sit up and put your arms straight out in front of you. Interlace your fingers, with the palms out to stretch the upper body. Hold this pose for five seconds and repeat five times.
Stand up, then stretch one arm over your head, reaching your waist to the opposite side your arm is reaching. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times.
While other exercises may strengthen the arms, legs and abdominals, these exercises are specifically geared toward strengthening the back.
The Plank: Start by laying on your stomach, then place your elbows and forearms on the floor, holding the hands in a fist. Your back should be perfectly straight and in line, with your feet pushed together.
Wall Slide: Stand with your back against a wall, with the feet shoulder-width apart and a little over a foot away from the wall. Next, slowly slide your way straight down the wall, coming to rest in a squatting position. Hold for five seconds, then slowly slide back up the wall.
Core Strengthening Exercises
The abdominal muscles not only line the front of the stomach; they also wrap around the sides and rib cage. Typical abdominal exercises, such as crunches and bicycle crunches, are useful for scoliosis.
The Leg Extender: Laying on your back with your legs stretched out, begin to slowly lift your legs (you may wish to put your hands underneath your buttocks for extra support) to a 45-degree angle, then lower the legs down again. Repeat at least five times, working your way up to 15 times.
Practice isometric exercises. Sit up straight, then tightly clench your stomach muscles. This exercise can be performed anywhere, such as while driving, sitting at your desk at work or class, or even in the line at the grocery store.
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