Can you play sports with scoliosis?

By Karena Thek, Founder of Scolio-Pilates 

Sports and Scoliosis: What can you do?

Can I do what I love to do without making my scoliosis worse? That depends. Do you love throwing yourself from rooftops? Slamming yourself backward over large trashcans? How about being trampled by large numbers of sloberry hound dogs? If these are not your passions in life, then you are probably ok. Really. How about your sports?

To be honest, the questions we often get are sport-specific. Can I golf, kayak, paddleboard, cycle, run, hike, backpack, surf, ski, snowboard, garden, dance, play tennis, football, soccer…  The answer is yes, you can. And the likelihood of you making your curve worse is low. To understand why the answer is “yes,” there are a couple of things you need to understand about scoliosis. 

First thing, scoliosis is not a postural decision.

You didn’t wake up one morning and decide that scoliosis would be a terrific way to hang out for the rest of your life. If you had made this decision, then it would be fairly easy to un-do this decision. No, instead, scoliosis is a change in the shape of the bones of the spine. Exercise won’t change the individual shape of the bones of the spine any more than it will change the shape of the bones in your hands. Therefore, we use this knowledge to understand that if exercise can make us stronger, and healthier but can’t dramatically change the shape of our bones for better or worse, then we are safe doing what we love. 

Second thing, scoliosis frequently comes with some level of discomfort that can come and go.

Of course, what we want is for the discomfort to go and be gone. We want to do what we love without any intrusion from “pain.” This is very possible, and this is going to take some work on our part. The more active we are, the more we need to give some extra care to our bodies—they are doing more work, after all, it stands to reason that they need more care! With scoliosis, the amount of work that your spine is doing can be considered to easily be 20-50% more work than your counterparts who are doing the same activity. So, therefore, more care is needed. This care comes in the form of scoliosis-specific exercises like Scolio-Pilates (I’m sure you saw that coming). But really, these exercises are designed to keep you and many of our professional athletes on track with what they love to do and actually live to do. Keeping your body care levels high will keep you moving through all the possibilities in life.

We highly recommend that you do our Reset before you exercise and our Restore after exercise. It’s accessible to you, so try it out! 

Want more? Check out what Kyra Condie can do. She is an Olympian climber with a spinal fusion! How about the fastest man on earth? Look at Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, who also has a scoliosis. Who said you couldn’t play sports with scoliosis?

Are you ready to begin today? Whether you are someone living with scoliosis or a professional helping those with scoliosis, join our Scolio-Pilates On Demand here. You will have two weeks of free scoliosis-specific exercises with a live class every Thursday at 3 pm ET (New York, USA) and access to over 100 classes. Then, it’s time to take control. Be a Scolio-Mover!”

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Can you play sports with scoliosis?