Boxing/Kickboxing/Muay Thai with a Thoracic Spinal Fusion. Is it Possible?

Hey T nation. I’m 18 and I’m fused at the thoracic spine for scoliosis since i was 11. I want to start boxing or kickboxing with intentions to compete. Is it possible?

The main thing im concerned with is the technique. I know punches are rotational movements. I can’t rotate at the thoracic spine. I can rotate my knees, ankles, and hips, but not the thoracic spine. Will i be okay?

In terms of activities I can do, I can run, sprint, jump, squat, deadlift, and all the big lifts. But I’ve never tried fighting before.


Most of the rotation comes from your hips and foot work. My daughter has rods in her back and does BJJ with me. Give it a shot and see what happens.

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Yes, that’s where it comes from, but this dude said he cannot rotate at the thoracic spine.

Wanna box? Box. Train as hard as you can push yourself. But this:

This is something OP needs to get far out of his mind. Until you can demonstrate that not being able to rotate the largest portion of his spine won’t put him in a seriously vulnerable position, competition shouldn’t even be an option. I’m not even worried about him hurting his back - I don’t think people realize how badly one fight can hurt you. Or, if he goes the kickboxing route, how badly a shin to your head can hurt you.

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You could also consult your surgeon, they’d have a good idea of the limitations of your specific hardware setup.


Hi, thanks for the advice. I understand the risks of combat sports.
I suppose I’ll only know if I’m truly able to safely box once I try boxing, but I won’t be able to start for a few months so I was hoping to get some online advice first.

Also, if it’s at all relevant, I’m able to do med ball rotational slams and side sledgehammer swings on a tire. I figured since they’re both rotational power moves like punching, I might be able to do it. Of course, I’m not at all knowledgeable on boxing techniques.

I appreciate your realistic outlook on my situation. I really would like to compete but if it’s not possible then I’ll just have to accept that.

Hey, that’s cool about your daughter. What part of her spine is fused? Does she compete in BJJ?

In that case, you should move full steam ahead and do everything you can do to succeed. I mean that. People often ‘understand’ the risks of combat sports but don’t actually comprehend what can happen. If you’re willing to be open minded about it, then I could not be more in your corner. Best of luck, dude.

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Thoracic. She can’t complete because she has too many limitations to be hard sparring. But when rolling with other people her size with reasonable resistance she can still do enough to have fun and progress. It’s not twisting that is the problem it’s flexion. Like getting stacked by someone in her closed guard is a no go.

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I see, that’s interesting. Although I have a thoracic spinal fusion as well, our limitations are the opposite. Flexion is fine but rotation is trickier. I can do stuff like crunches easy but russian twists are a no-go.

Although I suppose getting stacked in BJJ is much more “flexion” than doing a crunch lol.