Things Not to Do With Scoliosis

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A diagnosis of scoliosis, a side-to-side curvature of the spine, does not usually come with a "things not to do" list. There are, however, some activities you may want to avoid doing and some activities that could cause the symptoms or even the curve itself to worsen.

Everyone is Different

The severity and rotation of the spinal curve will have the greatest effect on each patient's ability to participate in any given activity. Other variables include the patient's pain tolerance, determination and a certain amount of pure luck.

Physical Activities

Exercising the core muscles is always a good thing. Organized physical sports, on the other hand, can be painful and cause breathing difficulties in a scoliosis patient.

Difficulty Breathing

Any activity requiring good lung capacity will be increasingly difficult as the curve progresses, because the spine rotates and distorts the rib cage. One lung may become compromised as the rib cage compresses it.

Contact Sports

Because the scoliosis patient's body is not symmetrical, contact sports can result in pain and even injuries from seemingly ordinary contact. The greater the curve, the more likely it is that contact will be made at an odd angle.

Exhaustion

A person with scoliosis performs an unconscious balancing act just to walk or bend over. Patients with severe curves are likely to tire easily because it takes a lot of work just to get through the day.

Life Phases

Some life phases and other conditions may allow a curve to increase, especially in women. Pregnancy or even ordinary weight gain can worsen a curve due to the extra weight being supported by the spine. Likewise, osteoporosis can cause the curve to increase as the spine becomes weaker.

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