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Scoliosis and Exercise Questions...

Coach.

I was diagnosed with a minor case of scoliosis about 6 years ago, I have a 36 degree curve on my spine. Now I have went through all the scoliosis topics on tnation and couldnt find anything I was looking for.

I have been lifting for about a year now and have never had any back problems or pains, however I don’t squat or deadlift. I feel that they are the 2 best lifts and I would love to incorporate them into my workout but I am worried to do them because of my back.

Any suggestions or advice on weather or not squats and or deadlifts will further worsen my back or if my back will be able to sustain it would really be appreciated.

Ive also asked doctors before and I have gotten mixed answers, some doctors say that the best thing is to strengthen my back and that my scoliosis should not hold me back from anything. I also have other doctors saying that physical work and constant weight on my back will worsen my condition. Because of these mixed answers I have gotten in the past im hoping that I will get some closure to my question.

Thank You

I have to wonder if front squats might be a better choice than back squats in your case.

Do you know if you have a leg length discrepency too? If so, I’d deadlift and squat with a heel lift or corrective platform under the shorter leg.

FYI, I’m not a doctor, just have a 1/4 leg length discrepency myself.

I was diagnosed with a similar degree of scholiosis in middle school. I had some SI joint problems and back pain because of it, to the point I had to stop playing soccer because there were periods I couldn’t really run. Getting my back stronger has eliminated these problems completely. I’m now also competing in powerlifting.

Some guys even use it to their advantage:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1122739/1/index.htm

How old are you and has the curve progressed?

There are many variations of scoliosis.

If you have minor scoliosis, it’s not problematic, a lot of people live with it their whole lives without knowing it. It doesn’t affect your body much.

If you have leg length discrepency it’s also not “ture” scoliosis and treatable by a qualified osteopath.

If you have flared ribs on one side, then it’s a structural scoliosis which is problematic for living and lifting.

No one can tell you how to lift with it though. You pretty much lift on your risk.

As someone suggested “front squats might be a better choice” - no, there are no better choices when you put load on a malfucntioning spine. Either way it’s a dangerous load on a bad spine…

While we’re at it, I’ve found that lighter front squats are even worse than heavier back squats because they challenge the core a lot, and if you have lumbar scoliosis all the problems are in the core area.

As for me, I have a scoliosis that gives a lot of trouble. The doctors said that I should never lift. But I choose to deadlift, squat , power clean, etc., although with suboptimal results because of the scoliosis. I might face the consequences later if not now. But I want to lift and will do it anyway.

[quote]Dadnatron wrote:
How old are you and has the curve progressed?[/quote]

Im 19 and it has not progressed. I had to wear a back brace for a few years to stop it from progressing which worked.

[quote]ds1973 wrote:
I have to wonder if front squats might be a better choice than back squats in your case.

Do you know if you have a leg length discrepency too? If so, I’d deadlift and squat with a heel lift or corrective platform under the shorter leg.

FYI, I’m not a doctor, just have a 1/4 leg length discrepency myself.[/quote]

Im pretty sure I dont have a leg length discrepency. My spine curves in the upper part of my back so it doesnt mess up my legs to much.

I am on the same page as THY. I have scoliosis brought on by trauma. Hips where broken right down the middle. Had my back fused and caged, broken neck, one leg is shorter than the other, among other things.

Try partial dead lifting. Setting up in the rack and adjusting the bars to whats comfortable. Being 6’6" there are days I put the bar as high as 2 1/2 feet. It works for me. I vary it. I have absolutely no suggestions for squats they hurt like hell, even sissy squats.

You have to play it day by day. I don’t really think we are different from others, just that we are more susceptible to variations like change of weather, sleep, etc. My .02. Regardless its better to go to the gym anyway. Staying consistent, continue to push yourself and have fun is the key.