Do you or someone you know have scoliosis? If so, this blog is for you. While we all benefit from owning our health and taking care of ourselves, for those of us with scoliosis, self-care, takes on another meaning — self-care translates to minimizing the negative effects of the scoliosis condition.
There are many things we can do to help keep our spines healthy and pain-free. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 tips for self-care that will help you live a healthier life with scoliosis!
- Move more: Move often. Staying active is important for everyone, but particularly for us with scoliosis. Regular exercise helps keep your spine strong and flexible, which can help reduce pain. Try to get at least 45 minutes of exercise every day to keep your body healthy and strong! I am a big fan of Pilates as it involves linear movement with an emphasis on stretch, core strength, flexibility, and control. I would stay clear from one sided type sports (for example, rowing/sweeping or golf) as this could worsen your rotation and make the curve worse.
- Wear supportive clothing: Wearing supportive tools such as ScolISMART’s Scoliosis Activity Suit or corset type belt, especially when lifting heavy items, can help support your spine in alignment and reduce pain. Speak to your doctor about the best type of tool for you.
- Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. Repeat: Stretching is great for relieving muscle tension, improving flexibility and reducing pain from scoliosis. Incorporate gentle stretching into your routine every day to improve your flexibility, quality of life and reduce pain. Note: keep in mind not to stretch the convexity of your curve as that part of your spine is already over stretched.
- Get enough rest: Sleep is essential for healing, so make it a priority to get plenty of rest every day. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night as this will help rejuvenate your body and keep your body healthy and strong. Also make sure you have a good supportive pillow and a good supportive bed.
- Manage stress: Stress can worsen scoliosis symptoms, so it is important to anticipate stressors or triggers in your life and plan. Actively find ways to manage your stress levels. Incorporating activities such as yoga, breath, and meditation into your daily routine to support reducing stress and improving mental well-being. I always say, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. So, anticipate it and create your de-stress plan.
- Practice good posture: Practicing good posture can make a big difference when it comes to managing scoliosis pain. Make sure you are sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your chin tucked in when seated or standing, to ensure correct alignment of your spine. There are many different high-tech devices, including those that connect to an App on your phone, that can assist with posture.
- Use heat or cold therapy: Applying heat or cold to your back can help reduce pain and inflammation in the area, so it is worth trying either of these therapies if you are experiencing discomfort. Applying arnica gel, consuming curcumin and applying CBD creams can to aid with reducing inflammation. Speak to your doctor about which will work best for you.
- Engage in relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization can help reduce stress and pain levels, so try to incorporate these into your daily routine. Mediation has a great way of relaxing your body and once your body is more relaxed that pain will reduce as well.
- See a noninvasive scoliosis doctor regularly: It is important to get regular check-ups with your scoliosis doctor in order to monitor the progression of your scoliosis and ensure that you are receiving the best possible scoliosis care. Remember to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any discomfort or changes in your condition. Your doctor may take x-rays to see if the scoliosis has been changing so you are in a position to act sooner than later. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and keep all recommended appointments.
By following these tips for self-care, you can feel more in control, and help keep your spine healthy and pain-free and live a happier, healthier life with scoliosis! By taking good care of yourself, you can lead a fulfilling life with scoliosis and enjoy activities such as exercise, sports and socializing without pain. With the right self-care tips, you can make living with scoliosis easier and more comfortable!