Scoliosis exercises are aimed primarily at the back and abdominal muscles and promote the erection of the body along the spine. They should help to maintain a natural posture pattern and correct the body position. Scoliosis exercises are particularly useful for slight spine curvature, severe scoliosis forms can hardly improve. Find out here which scoliosis exercises are available.
Objectives of scoliosis exercises
Among the scoliosis exercises there are on the one hand physiotherapeutic applications in which the patient hardly has to work. On the other hand, he learns physiotherapy exercises, which he can actively repeat at home. The purpose of the scoliosis exercises is primarily to help stop the progression of the disease and reduce existing curvatures in the spine. Other goals of scoliosis exercises are:
- Improvement of posture
- Strengthening muscle power
- Elimination of forward curvature (lordosis) and backward (kyphosis)
- Increase in lung and heart function
There are numerous exercises against scoliosis and different physiotherapeutic treatment concepts. Whether they can actually meet their goals remains controversial. Studies have so far not clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of such exercises. Nevertheless, physicians recommend performing scoliosis exercises as part of a corset treatment or surgical therapy.
Scoliosis exercise methods
There are now over 100 different methods of physiotherapy and alternative medicine to treat scoliosis. In the following, three known and widespread therapeutic approaches are described in more detail.
The German surgeon Rudolf Klapp developed in 1905 exercises in scoliosis. They are executed in quadruped. Felt or foam cushions protect hands, feet and knees. In the case of the individual scoliosis exercises, for example, the patients “crawl” on their hands and knees (for example, passport or cloister) or slip forward by stretching their arms (sliding). This is intended to strengthen and stretch the core muscles and make the spine more flexible.
Vojta technique (neurophysiological movement training)
The scoliosis exercises of the Czech neurologist Václav Vojta are summarized under the term Reflexlokomotion. A reflex is always the same physical reaction to a certain stimulus.
In the Vojta technique, the patients are either on the stomach, the back or on the side. The therapist then presses on specific body parts to specifically trigger movement reflexes. This in turn stimulates nerves that provide certain muscles. These scoliosis exercises are used primarily in infants and young children to be able to compensate for the imbalance of individual muscle groups.
The Vojta technique can also help in adults and many other nerve or muscle diseases (e.g., spinal cord injury, childhood brain damage, stroke, multiple sclerosis). It has an effect on balance control, body alignment and targeted movements (for example, with your hands). These processes occur automatically in healthy individuals, but are significantly limited in various diseases.
With regular use of these scoliosis exercises according to Vojta the responsible nerve tracts can be activated more easily (facilitation). In addition to body posture, the technique also affects various body functions, such as breathing, bladder and bowel function or speaking and swallowing.
Three-dimensional scoliosis exercises according to Schroth (-Lehnert)
This method was established by the gymnastics teacher Katharina Schroth and subsequently developed further. The patient looks at himself in the mirror and, together with the therapist, optimally corrects his wrong posture. Subsequently, he should consciously perceive joint positions, muscle lengths or ligament extensions and internalize.
Conversely, the person concerned should recognize and avoid wrong body positions that cause scoliosis to progress (for example, crooked sitting in the workplace). In summary, these scoliosis exercises train coordination, posture, and movement. They are to be increasingly subconsciously incorporated into everyday life.
Rotation angle breathing
The scoliosis exercises according to Schroth also include the so-called rotational angle breathing. By deliberately inhaling (during rotation and stretching of the upper body), the ribs on the side should be pressed forward again, where the twisted spine causes a flattened rib cage. Ideally, the spine also rotates at the same time and reaches a healthier position.
More scoliosis exercises
In addition to the mentioned therapy methods, there are many more scoliosis exercises. Alternative healing approaches such as osteopathy or chiropractic are also used in scoliosis therapy. As a rule, various scoliosis exercises are performed and combined with each other. The following table is intended to give an overview:
Examples of suitable scoliosis exercises or forms of therapy
Strengthen the core muscles
Erection of the spine
Obtaining the (achieved) state
Which sports are suitable for scoliosis?
Doing scoliosis sports is not only possible, but absolutely recommended. Exceptions to this are severe spinal curvatures with limitations of cardiopulmonary function. Lack of exercise promotes the progression of scoliosis. Sport, on the other hand, strengthens the back and trunk muscles and optimally complements scoliosis exercises. Even after surgical interventions, the patient can do sports again after a certain time.
Sports with jerky shock and rotation should avoid those affected. These include, for example, bodybuilding, weightlifting, tennis, trampolining, free riding or golf. Particularly suitable sports, however, are:
- Nordic walking and hiking
- Inline skating, roller skating, skating or cross-country skiing
- To go biking
- Swimming (especially back and front swimming), water sports (eg aquagym)
- therapeutical riding
- Yoga, Pilates
Even jogging is useful in scoliosis, but should be paid to appropriate footwear. In addition, soft soils (forest, meadow) are more suitable than asphalt. Dance or gymnastics, such as aerobics, can also counteract scoliosis. However, scoliosis can be found frequently among artistic gymnasts and ballet dancers, which is why a direct benefit remains controversial. The optimal sport for scoliosis is climbing. There are even special ones Scoliosis exercises for climbing and wall bars.