Tag: Scoliosis exercises

Scoliosis exercise

Movements to avoid: Modified exercises for Scoliosis

Children and teenagers with scoliosis have changes in the alignment of the curve of their spines. Changes in the spine impact how the bones slide over each other when moving during day to day activities.  In addition, changes in the ligaments and muscle length result in the spine moving further into the Scoliotic posture when bending, extending, and rotating the spine. People with scoliosis should avoid these movements when possible. Repetitive movements into these postures can cause the curve to worsen during periods of growth. Children and teenagers are constantly growing which makes childhood and adolescence critical periods for ensuring proper movement and posture.

Functional movements that children and teenagers commonly perform that result in increased bending and rotating at the spine include: picking up/carrying objects, squatting, and doing stretches and core exercises. For children and teenagers, it is important to avoid these movements while playing, doing sports, socializing, and during everyday activities at school and home. A Schroth-certified physical therapist can help to make movement and posture modifications in order to bring the spine to a more natural position. They are trained to help children and teenagers learn safe movement and posture habits so that they can use them every day.

Children and teenagers with scoliosis should avoid exercises like sit-ups. They should also make sure to maintain a straight spine when performing other movements and stretches.  Other modifications include having your child bend their legs instead of their spine when picking up objects. They can do this by squatting down or kneeling on one knee when picking up something off the floor. Further, a Schroth-certified physical therapist can create a customized treatment plan that can address specific activities or sports that your child loves to do so that they can continue to participate in the safest way possible.

Stretching is still possible for your child or teenager, but it is important they try to keep their neck extended and maintain a straight spine. They can also perform stretches on their back when possible.  If your child’s head is flexed (bent down) the rest of their spine will follow this harmful posture and the spine may be progressed into a more curved position. 



Core Exercise Modifications


                    • Prone planks



                    • Bird Dogs


                • Leg lifts/lowers while laying on back


If your child or teenager has scoliosis, they can still excel in the sports and activities they love. They will just need to learn a few modifications to help maintain a healthy spine. Using the Schroth Method for scoliosis, physical therapists at BDI Playhouse can work with you and your child to achieve any goal while learning safe ways to perform certain movements. To learn more about how we can work together to make those goals a reality, schedule a free screening or call us at (708) 478-1820. 


Scoliosis Intervention

Scoliosis Intervention

Scoliosis in childhood

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Understanding Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a curve that forms in the spine that moves from side to side instead of maintaining a healthy straight path. The curve is 3D and includes rotation that can cause uncomfortable symptoms and poor posture.

You may notice:

  • Abnormal back shape
  • Difficulty bending/extending
  • Back pain
  • Asymmetrical posture and body strength
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Reduced capacity in breathing
  • Limited or decreased mobility of the rib cage
  • Decreased performance in sports
  • More serious effects if left unaddressed

The curve is most likely to change during growth.  Monitoring overall height and comparing trunk height helps indicate whether a curve is changing for better or worse.

What is a Schroth Certified Therapist?

A Schroth Certified therapist has extensive specialized training and has completed a certification process to ensure competency in the specifics of a research proven method that is used to effectively treat Scoliosis. 

Verify Schroth Certification for Illinois Schroth Certified Therapists 


Schroth Intervention improves posture through:

  • Postural awareness
  • Strengthening/flexibility
  • Improving motor control
  • Working with a brace for the best results (if necessary)

Scoliosis Specific Exercises are used to:

  • Stop the progression of the curve
  • Improve physical appearance
  • Contribute to general good health
  • Diminish functional limitations


What to Expect

You will have a one on one session with a therapist that will educate you on the changes that take place in your muscles and bones when you have scoliosis. You will learn about the uneven forces on your body and how that can impact your posture and movement patterns. You will become self-sufficient with scoliosis specific exercises which can play an important role in curve progression or regression.

  • Prior to treatment your x- rays will be reviewed and your curve classified for better understanding and progress tracking.
  • You will receive a full-body evaluation. This will consist of
    • digital photographs of your posture
    • assessment of your range of motion, strength, and functional mobility
    • Measurement of your trunk shape and lung function utilizing specialized tools.
  • The Schroth therapist will work with each patient and family to discuss the best options for exercise progression and home programming that fits into your child’s needs and schedule to insure you are successful with curve correction and management.
  • Treatment will include 1 on 1 sessions with a Schroth certified therapist to teach you scoliosis specific exercises. The therapist will also incorporate functional mobility and sport-specific training.         
  • After completion of the program and demonstration of consistent independence with the exercises, the therapist will continue to follow-up with you as you grow to ensure you are managing your curve appropriately and to address any concerns you have as life changes occur.


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