T Nation

Scoliosis and Lifting

This is something I’ve been wondering about for a long time, and I figure this is the best place to ask it. I’ve been lifting for about a year, and about 5-6 months ago I started to get chronic back pain. I have mild scoliosis, and my left erector muscle in my back is bigger than the right one, most likely as a result of the disease.

I’m constantly “getting back into” squatting because I always have to stop my progress when the weights get heavy and my back starts hurting. The pain is located very low on my back, about where the erector muscles insert into the glutes. I honestly don’t know if my form is good or not but I keep my back flexed and as straight as possible while squatting or deadlifting. I’m afraid that my pain might be from a structural weakness in my spine caused by my scoliosis. Has anyone heard of anything like this? If so, what can I do?

Go see a chiropractor…

Find a “sports” doctor. There are doctors that specialize in sports medicine. Talk to him both about your lifting and your spine.

Try using a reverse hyper if you have access to one. It should help alleviate some pain.

Do you stretch?

Go see a sport rehab. I had similar problems and now I’m seriously injured. You should do tons of abs, lower back and hamstring exercises + stretches - that is for sure…

My wife has that. Sports rehab probably can’t “fix” it. however, they can help you adapt some exercises that will allow you to gain strength and retain as much balance as possible.

In her case, she doesn’t do squats at all but she has had excellent results doing hack squats.

RB

I have very mild Scoliosis, an imbalance in the size of my erectors, and now and then a similar injury to yours. You might want to start stretching your quadratus lumborums( especially on your tight side ) and make sure you’re not sleeping with one leg off to the side. My advice and injury may not have anything to do with my Scoliosis, I’m no doctor.

Hope this helps.

As mentioned in the NNM series, scoliosis is a tough cookie to try to fix. Contrary to what people may have said on this thread already, the scoliosis can (for the most part) be fixed. Do NOT see a chiropractor. Cracking your spine won’t fix it. See a physical therapist. Even a sports med. doctor will just give you a diagnosis of scoliosis (which you already know)and send you to physical therapy (or have some sort of outlandish surgery to pay for his next cruise).

I speak from experience not as a patient on this issue, but as a future PT.

Hey there Maxx, being that you are a future PT, I just thought I’d share my opinion towards your comments–myself being a future doctor of chiropractic. But most importantly, I’d like weaksauce, the original poster of this thread, to read this as well.

Scoliosis, depending on its etiology, may be able to benefit from chiropractic care. To begin with, scoliosis can be categorized into 2 general categories: 1)Functional(non structural) scoliosis, and 2)Structural scoliosis.

Functional scoliosis is due to muscle spasms,inflammation, and subluxated vertebrae (malpositioned/misaligned vertebrae). Chiropractic treatment can help treat this type.

Structural scoliosis is due to mostly bony deformities that are either congenital or acquired. Chiropractic recognizes the fact that we cannot treat this type of scoliosis.

My advice to weaksauce (the original poster of this thread) is to see a good sports chiropractor in your area about your scoliosis, in order for him to determine if it could be helped by chiropractic.

As far as physical therapy is concerned, chiropractors are trained in the use and practice of implementing physical therapy (i.e. chiropractors are LICENSED to practice physical therapy) and all of its modalities, including ultrasound, iontophoresis, e stim, hot and cold therapy, hydrotherapy, spinal distraction (the top sports chiropractor that aI worked for did underwater distraction in a pool), therapeutic exercises,etc. Chiropractors can also provide ART (active release techniques) if you should find one who is certified in this field.

And for the record, chiropractors can do everything a PT can do, and more. Besides taking classes in physiotherapy, Chiropractors have extensive training in radiological science/x ray, so yes, we do take and interpret x rays (chiros are licensed radiographers). PTs have no formal education in radiological/xray science, and are not trained to take/interpret x rays (they are not licensed radiographers).

Oh yeah, of course I cannot forget our bread and butter–yes, chiropractors adjust the spine and virtually any bony articulation. PTs have no education in adjusting the spine/bony articulations, and they are NOT licensed to do so. So remember, if you see a PT trying to do a crude manipulation, keep in mind that A)the PT has no formal education in manipulation/adjustment and B)the PT does not know the consequences from trying to attempt a crude manipulation.

I am just a chiropractic student now, so the little bits I have mentioned are just a fraction of our 4 year curriculum.

Oh yeah, weaksauce, you can go directly to a chiropractor of your choice because chiropractors are primary care/gateway providers. Compare this to a PT, where you have to see a M.D. FIRST in order to get a refferal to see a PT.

I just want to finish by saying I believe that chiropractors should be the top choice to see for your musculoskeletal pains/disorders if you are openminded and dont want to go the route with MD’s who will just give you pain killers/anti inflammatories and tell you to just stop whatever it is you are doing (i.e. working out, sports,etc). If you are into prescription drugs that mask symptoms and dont address the cause, then by all means go that route. And If you are into brushing off your musculoskeletal disorders for lengthy periods of time until the pathology of your case builds up to where it can only be treated by surgery, by all means go that route too.

[quote]the MaxX wrote:
As mentioned in the NNM series, scoliosis is a tough cookie to try to fix. Contrary to what people may have said on this thread already, the scoliosis can (for the most part) be fixed. Do NOT see a chiropractor. Cracking your spine won’t fix it. See a physical therapist. Even a sports med. doctor will just give you a diagnosis of scoliosis (which you already know)and send you to physical therapy (or have some sort of outlandish surgery to pay for his next cruise).

I speak from experience not as a patient on this issue, but as a future PT.[/quote]

I’m taking a week off right now, but afterwards I’m going to focus on stretching and strengthening my posterior chain. If that doesn’t help much I’ll definitely see a chiropractor, which I’ve been considering (but not very seriously until now). Thanks for all the replies.

Oh yeah, I realized that I spelled “sauce” wrong when I tried to log in. Oh well.