10 Stretches to Help Alleviate Scoliosis Pain

Last updated on October 21st, 2021 at 08:38 am

When scoliosis starts causing pain, many patients find relief through stretching.

Stretching with scoliosis can help alleviate back by releasing tension in the muscles surrounding the spine. It also increases blood flow and lubrication in the joints, which helps keep the body limber.

While a normal spine moves from side to side (e.g. while walking), “people with scoliosis can bend only in one direction and are unable to access movement in the opposite direction,” says Rocky Snyder, a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. As you determine which side of your body lacks elasticity, you can focus your stretching on that area to help relieve discomfort, improve flexibility, and increase your range of motion.

Recent research has found that genetic testing, and subsequent nutrient therapies can significantly reduce pain associated with the scoliosis condition, and prevent further curve progression. Nutrient therapy, combined with appropriate stretching, will make a difference. Get ideas for “do-it-yourself” pain relief at home, direct to your email.

But keep in mind that scoliosis back stretches can work counter-intuitively.

While stretching in the opposite direction of your spinal curve would seem to make sense, it does little to impact the source of the pain (postural imbalance). Stretching further in the direction your spine already bends, on the other hand, can cause the elongated muscles to pull back and shorten a bit, which helps balance out your posture.

Pain-Relieving Stretches for Mild Scoliosis

Below are some simple scoliosis stretches you can do at home or in the gym to temporarily relieve back pain. Stretching with scoliosis is most beneficial when done on a regular basis; start with a few times a week, then work your way up. Adding a consistent, personalized, scoliosis-specific rehabilitation program will stop curve progression and relieve pain. 

Begin by holding each stretch for 30 seconds and repeating it two or three times. As the stretches become more comfortable, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend in each one.

Scoliosis Stretch #1

Chest Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms in front of your chest
  2. Pull your arms backwards and press your shoulder blades together, stretching the chest

Scoliosis Stretch #2

Right-Angle Wall Stretch

  1. Place your hands on a wall at shoulder level, shoulder-width apart
  2. Walk your feet back until they are directly under your hips
  3. Push your palms into the wall, lengthening your spine
  4. Keep your lower back tucked in and arms straight

Scoliosis Stretch #3

Back Stretch

This is one of the simplest scoliosis back stretches you can do.

  1. Stand with your arms extended in front of your chest
  2. Lace your fingers and push them away from your chest until your feel a stretch in your upper back
  3. Hold

Scoliosis Stretch #4

Child’s Pose

  1. Kneel, then push your hips back toward your heels
  2. Reach your arms forward and lay your hands flat on the floor
  3. Breathe into the stretch

Scoliosis Stretch #5

Up and Down Dog

  1. In a prone plank position (i.e. forearms on the mat in front of you with elbows directly under your shoulders), push your hips back as far as possible
  2. Hold for two seconds, then lower your hips toward the floor (as low as possible without discomfort)

Scoliosis Stretch #6

Rag Doll

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet wider than hip-width apart
  2. Bend forward, grabbing your elbows with the opposite hands, until the crown of your head faces the floor
  3. Breathe deeply and let the stretch expand slowly, allowing your spine to hang

Scoliosis Stretch #7

Lower Back Stretch

  1. Lie on your stomach with your legs and arms extended straight out
  2. Raise your left arm and right leg toward the ceiling and hold for 5-10 seconds
  3. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg

Scoliosis Stretch #8

Hip Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended
  2. Gently pull the left knee toward your chest with both hands, keeping your foot lifted toward the ceiling
  3. Stretch as far as you can without pain and hold
  4. Repeat on the other side

Scoliosis Stretch #9

Cat Stretch

  1. Kneel on all fours and face forward with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders, fingers spaced wide apart
  2. As you exhale, contract your abdomen to push your stomach toward your spine, while curving your back toward the ceiling

Scoliosis Stretch #10

Overhead Stretch

  1. Sit with your legs crossed and back to a wall
  2. Use both hands to grasp a small ball or rolled-up towel
  3. Raise the object over your head and stretch upward, keeping your elbows against the wall

Scoliosis Exercises for Long-Term Treatment

While simple stretches such as these can temporarily relieve scoliosis pain, they are not a long-term treatment.

There are, however, scoliosis exercises that achieve long-term results by retraining the brain to counteract the spine’s abnormal curvature.

The key is to use involuntary exercises — movements the body makes automatically in response to certain stimuli. For example, the ScoliSMART Activity Suit places small amounts of weight on the head, torso, and pelvis that trick the brain into perceiving a different balancing point for that part of your child’s body. The brain sends out an automatic response to re-balance the body, which in turn causes the entire spine to realign.

Clinical studies have proven ScoliSMART’s scoliosis exercise program effective at stopping scoliosis progression and reducing spinal curvature, all without the trauma and risks of bracing or surgery.

Treatment Solutions for All Ages

Pain and limited flexibility do not have to stop you from living your best life with scoliosis. Clinical testing, appropriate nutrient therapies and a dynamic exercise and rehabilitation program will prevent pain and limit curve progression. 

Don’t know where to start?  Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.”  (No x-ray required)

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

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