SPONDYLOS Scoliosis & Kyphosis center
74 Messogion Ave - Athens - Greece
Activities that can help – or hurt – if your child has scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis is a misunderstood condition, as it should and should not be for people who have scoliosis.
You may think that scoliosis is caused by weak muscles or a problem with the spine, but in reality it is a genetic condition that is exacerbated by environmental factors.
Activities and bad postures can not cause scoliosis, but can accelerate its development and cause increased pain in adulthood.
The Don’ts: Activities that aggravate scoliosis.
Not in competitive swimming
Competitive swimming and scoliosis do not match.
Swimming for hours every day increases muscle strength in the muscles of the trunk, making the spine more rigid. This results in the difficulty of opening the scoliosis angle.
Gymnastics and classical ballet
In gymnastics and ballet dancers, where the sport or dancing is more than 3 times a week, hypokyfosis is generated (reduction of normal kyphosis), which combined with a thoracic scoliosis can lead to a decrease in vital capacity of the lungs.
However, a few times a week, no more than twice, will help your child in his psychology, without burdening him too much. A frustrated child often abandons the scoliosis treatment program quickly.
Not in Sports that exercise one side of the body (Tennis, rackets, table tennis, etc.)
The reason is that they strengthen one side of the trunk muscles more than the other and worsen scoliosis. The same applies as above with a maximum of twice a week.
Not many trunk overextensions
Repeatedly extending the thoracic spine to stretching exercises, gymnastics, high jumps, dance maneuvers (especially in ballet) and in some yoga positions, they force the vertebrae to rotate further into the cavity of the scoliosis curve. The force applied often causes rapid progression of scoliosis. Of course, instead of forcing your child to give up these activities, instruct them to perform the exercises with modified postures.
No long distance running on hard surfaces (eg roads and sidewalks)
Running long distances with scoliosis can cause various problems. Spinal compression occurs every time a child jumps or runs. Running on uneven ground creates equally problems. The prolonged running or jogging creates great risk of progression of scoliosis. We suggest limiting running to fewer meters.
Riding also compresses the spine and worsens scoliosis. Always of course at the championship level.
Jumping on trampolines is catastrophic if your child has scoliosis. They can lead to worsening of scoliosis and collapse of posture, because the jump compresses the spine with each bounce. If your child has even mild scoliosis, it is best to avoid this fun.
Not carrying heavy objects
Carrying heavy objects, especially on one side, adds to the natural attraction of gravity and further compresses your spine. An overloaded backpack is terrible for your child with scoliosis. Carrying the bag on a single shoulder is also wrong. This does not mean that they can not lift one or two bags from a supermarket, but we will not carry a can of oil weighing 17 kg.
The total weight of the school bag should not exceed 15% of the child’s weight. It should fit with both straps well off the shoulders and heavy objects should be at the bottom and towards the back and light ones up and out.
Not much time on mobile
The anterior flexion of the trunk with the neck flexed when we are on social media, write messages on cell phone or see some video is catastrophic for people with scoliosis (Not good for anyone, in fact). It creates pressure on the spinal cord by compressing the blood vessels
Often leads to chronic neck pain and may cause worsening of scoliosis.
Avoiding environmental factors of progression of scoliosis is important that the three dimensions of the spine to remain as close as possible to normal.
Not sleep face down
Sleeping prone is the worst position for scoliosis because it causes the thoracic spine to straighten, ie the back becomes flatter. Scoliosis is a three-dimensional disease. If one dimension deteriorates, the other will follow. Sleeping prone requires turning the head to the side, thereby twisting the spine.
No sleep with the lights on
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland when your child is asleep. This hormone regulates puberty, especially in girls. Studies show that people with scoliosis have lower levels of melatonin.Since melatonin is mainly secreted during sleep, even the slightest light can slow down or stop its release. A melatonin deficiency can cause the early onset of puberty and the associated increases in development and progress of scoliosis. If your child enters adolescence early, he or she has an increased risk of developing scoliosis because his or her brain and body are not yet in sync.
Therefore, sleeping with a light, night light or television is harmful for children with scoliosis, or who are at risk for scoliosis because the gene is present in the family. A light shining on the window also disrupts sleep and melatonin secretion.
The Do’s: Activities that improve scoliosis.
Start early intervention
Doctors may tell you to wait six months to a year if your child has a mild curve, but the best results can be achieved in the child before the curve reaches 30 degrees.
You have the right to get a second opinion and choose the best option for the early treatment of scoliosis.
Use a quality mattress
Although there is no ideal bed for scoliosis, finding the best mattress for scoliosis can take some time. Usually, the right mattress should be able to be compressed, after a while, in places such as the head, back and pelvis, but not too much. And this should be done every time we change sides. So choose one that fits the body of the child who has scoliosis.
Change position often
Standing or sitting in one place for a long time presses the spine. Stretch or take a walk as often as possible. Choose a chair with good support if it has to sit for extended periods of time (eg exams).
Stretching helps to alleviate the discomfort. For example:
To hang from a horizontal bar door as much as possible and do repetitions.
While hanging bend opposite the curve of scoliosis.
Lie down in lateral position, with a towel rolled down the curved part of scoliosis (hunch) and arms stretched over his head.
Doing sports that stretch the body
Such as basketball and volleyball.