Scoliosis can make life tougher than normal. You’ll often experience pain in varying severity, which can disrupt your daily routines. Even if your scoliosis is congenital, you surely still feel frustrated and uncomfortable from time to time.
But regardless of when you developed the condition, moments of hopelessness definitely plague you every so often, because the pain limits the physical activities you can perform. If you dream of being an athlete, your condition can crush that so easily. Other strenuous activities, like exercising and hiking, may be risky for you as well.
But giving up isn’t an option. With a skilled scoliosis specialist, your pain will diminish, allowing you to try out more powerful movements. This will raise your self-confidence, improve your health and fitness, and fill you with a lot more happiness.
That said, let’s learn how your pain will be treated, and the sports you can engage in afterwards.
Common Treatments for Scoliosis
There are varioustreatments available for scoliosis patients. Depending on your pain level and doctor’s advice, you can be subject to any of the following:
- Complementary Therapies
These therapies include hydrotherapy and massage, stomach and back muscle exercises (Pilates, yoga, swimming, stretching), and back braces.
There are over-the-counter medicines that can relieve back pain from scoliosis. If they don’t work, your doctor can prescribe you stronger meds or recommend another form of treatment.
Though it won’t soothe physical pain, counseling helps patients cope better with their condition. Counselors can also assist in developing pain management techniques.
- Spinal Injections
Steroids can help relieve pain, but not for the long term. Though they may help in fighting acute pain as part of a pain management plan.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
When the nerves are already damaged, electrical wires may be attached along the spinal cord, and then connected to a small stimulator box that is inserted beneath the skin. This is called a spinal cord stimulation treatment. Patients may activate the stimulation via a handheld remote controller.
It is important for scoliosis to be diagnosed and treated early. Neglected cases may result in a worsened spine curvature, causing permanent muscle and tissue damage. In such scenario, treatment may no longer suffice in eliminating the pain.
Suitable Sports for People with Scoliosis
People with non-structural scoliosis face norestrictions on sports participation. Conditions that fall in the non-structural category are postural scoliosis, compensatory scoliosis, and antalgic scoliosis. People with postural scoliosis, in particular, even benefit in playing sports.
People with structural scoliosis can typically participate in sports without problems. They can also do normal exercises, as long as their spines won’t be strained.
On the other hand, sports may be restricted for people with non-idiopathic scoliosis. But it depends on the underlying disease. For those with idiopathic scoliosis, there is no evidence that sports such as weightlifting is dangerous to the spine, as the condition isn’t caused by carrying heavy weights. Still, caution is advised.
Therefore, non-idiopathic and idiopathic scoliosis patients may still engage in weightlifting, rugby football, gymnastics, javelin throwing, golf, shot-putting, and bodybuilding, provided that they do so while practicing heavy monitoring. The same practice is also advised for less strenuous sports such as swimming, cycling, running, and tennis.
Sports participation will also be restricted if a patient has just undergone surgery. They may instead engage in recreational activities for at least one year, or until they fully recover.
If your back pain tends to be severe, you may need to avoid keeping your neck downward for long periods (e.g. when using a smartphone), football, ballet, gymnastics, certain yoga poses, jumping, horseback riding, and long-distance running.
Before engaging in any type of allowed sport, get your doctor’s approval first. They’ll certainly love to help you prep for sports, as they stimulate self-esteem and physical fitness.