Practical Tips for Managing Scoliosis

Here are a few useful tips that will benefit those suffering from scoliosis

Bare back of a woman | scoliosis concept
Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, approximately six to nine million people in the U.S. are affected by this condition. This represents as many as two to three percent of the population.

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown or idiopathic. In other instances, scoliosis may already be present at birth resulting in a congenital condition or develop due to some other neuromuscular condition such as cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy.

Practical Tips for Managing Scoliosis

While the types of scoliosis may vary, individuals with this condition can benefit from incorporating certain practices into their daily routine to help them manage their symptoms and reduce any discomfort they may experience.

Daily Stretching

Certain stretching techniques can help individuals with scoliosis to keep their spine and surrounding areas flexible and healthy. When used to complement an individual’s overall treatment plan, stretching can be a powerful aid that helps to strengthen and relax tight and misaligned muscles.

Due to the spinal curvature caused by scoliosis, imbalances can occur that can cause an over-reliance on muscles on one side of the body, while weakening those on the other.  Certain stretches that target the spinal area can be effective in managing the back pain or discomfort associated with scoliosis. These include the following stretches:

  • Latissimus Dorsi stretch: This stretch targets the largest muscles in the back, improving flexibility and range of motion in the back and shoulders.
  • The Piriformis Stretch: This stretch relieves tension in the hips and pelvic area as well as the sciatic nerve.
  • Pelvic tilt: Pelvic tilt can help align and balance the muscles around the pelvis and lower back.

To ensure the safety and efficacy of each stretch it is advisable for individuals to consult with their healthcare professional first.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Due to the pressure placed on the vertebrae and spinal discs, scoliosis can cause inflammation in the spinal joints. To help reduce the painful symptoms that may follow, it can be beneficial for individuals with scoliosis to consume an anti-inflammatory diet. This includes foods like:

In addition to these dietary tips, certain supplements such as Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial for supporting bone health and spinal flexibility in individuals with scoliosis.

Sleeping Suggestions

For many people with scoliosis, sleep difficulties can arise. According to a 2018 study, scoliosis can impair breathing, resulting in sleep disorders like sleep apnea and hypopnea.  The following tips can help people with scoliosis get a more restful night’s sleep:

  • Use a quality mattress: To ensure the spine has enough support while sleeping, it is advisable to choose a firm mattress that supports the legs, hips and spine.
  • Sleeping position: People with scoliosis should avoid sleeping on their stomachs and instead sleep on their back with a pillow under their knees. This will help to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and reduce pressure on the lower back. Sleeping on the side with a pillow placed between the knees can also keep the spine supported and aligned while sleeping.

By following these tips, individuals with scoliosis can help manage their symptoms and help to strengthen and support their spine.


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