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u/sockaddr · 2 pointsr/scoliosis

No problem on the stalking, haha.

Those are good questions about lifting. I've also done a lot of googling on the topic and come away frustrated. I started about 3.5 years ago, and I train mostly for strength. Overall, I think it's been a good thing for my scoliosis. It can be frustrating - lifting is harder when you don't have a straight spine supporting the weight. I've been able to get decently strong and continue to make progress, though (495x1 deadlift, 335x5 squat, and 210ish bench). All my lifts continue to go up each week, although I have had injuries and tweaks along the way. I can't say if it's due to my scoliosis or not, so I just deal with them and keep training.

I think the way scoliosis will impact lifting will be a little different for everyone since everyone's curves are unique. For the most part, I can perform the lifts with minimal modifications. Bench is hard for me because my right shoulder comes out at a weight angle due to my thoracic curve, but I'm still able to get stronger.

I think lifting has made my curves less noticeable, but it's really hard to say. Ultimately, a body with muscle on it is going to look better than one without, and being stronger is going to be better than being weaker. I do struggle with body image issues with the scoliosis from time to time, and lifting has been very helpful for that. I have a lot more confidence, both from having muscle and from knowing that I'm stronger than most other guys walking around on the street.

Are you familiar with the Starting Strength program? I would highly recommend that program. It's a basic barbell program, and it's the most effective way to get stronger. There's a large community on the starting strength forums, which is a great place to ask for advice and post form checks. There are a lot of things grouped under "Starting Strength": "the program" I just mentioned, the methods of executing the lifts, weekend seminars put on by Mark Rippetoe, a coaching certification, an app, an online coaching service, and a series of books. Sometimes starting strength gets flack from bros online, but I would ignore that. Just go to the forums and look at people's training logs - you'll see some big numbers achieved relatively quickly.

The 2 big things for success in the gym are proper form and adhering to a program without giving up or adding stuff to it. For form, the best thing you can do is find an "SSC" (Starting Strength Coach) near you and schedule a training session. They'll teach you how to perform the lifts safely in accordance with the SS model, along with any modifications you might need to make due to your scoliosis. For example, with a lumbar curve, you may have an effective leg length discrepancy and need to shim one of your shoes. They'll be able to tell you that. They'll also be able to help you get started on the novice program.

To find a coach, you can look here:

Rippetoe himself also puts on seminars, which I mentioned, which you can find a list of here:

I also mentioned the starting strength books. The first one to read is "Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training" (abbreviated as SSBBT). You can get it on amazon here: This book covers how to perform the lifts, and briefly talks about the novice program toward the end. The book is very dense, and I wouldn't recommend reading it cover to cover at first. I'd read the "how to" parts for each lift first, then go back and fill in the blanks.

The next book is "Practical Programming for Strength Training" ( This covers how to structure a training program. It goes into more detail on the novice program, then lays out different types of intermediate and advanced programming. This one isn't as essential to order right away - you can find the general novice program here: (scroll down to "The Program").

I guess that was a long response. Hopefully this info is helpful for you or anyone in the future who might find this thread. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Depending on your location, I may be able to recommend a coach or gym. I wish I knew all of this when I was your age, so don't hesitate to get in touch.

u/taH_pagh_taHbe · 2 pointsr/scoliosis

There is really only anecdotal evidence of this. One 'breakthrough' study was done on the effectiveness of the side plank to reduce the curve, and it concluded that it did reduce the curve but needed further study. It's been highly criticized though as the methods are counter intuitive, they used a small sample size, no control group used (big no-no) and relied on self reporting. It also advises people to strengthen the muscles on the bulging, convex side, which is supposed to be the stronger side that works too much. The astounding results are hard to ignore, though one example is provided where the

I highly recommend you pickup a hard copy of the book yoga and scoliosis by marcia monroe( She does say she's reduced a few peoples curves by unbelievable amounts like 40% through Iyengar yoga. I think she gives an example of an 80~ year old woman reducing her curve from 100 to about 60 degrees. Again, this is all anecdotal and should be taken as unreliable and unconfirmed.

I do hear over and over again how good Iyengar Yoga is for scoliosis, and I know it's helped me a lot in terms of pain and breathing but i just started doing it, and i'm at around 90degrees. I highly suggest you find an experienced and well respected practitioner and ask if they can help you, again specifically Iyengar Yoga as they specialize in using props to help people of any age or disability do the poses.

If you can, also, buy the book that I mentioned above on Yoga and scoliosis by Monroe. Even if you don't do many of the specific yoga exercises there's some more general ones and lots of great advice on training yourself mentally to combat the imbalance. If you can't find a place to buy it, PM me and I can help. Good luck!

u/Rebar77 · 2 pointsr/scoliosis

Hi all! Just found this sub. Thought I'd add a long winded(ie. stoned) reply to a similar question as op someone had the other day. Long, sorry.


I had a 64/62 S in my lower, started when 12. Surgery at 19, 5 fused verts. Am 42 now. Home Physio will never end, ever.


>It varies person to person. Whether it's the whole spine, just a section, the direction (front/back). I had a 64 degree S from mid to lower so I got away with only needing a section fused. Nine times out of ten something like cables are mounted with hooks where your rib cage starts - on the outside of the ribs. = Vertical scar down center.
>You may as well start googling images to know what you're in for if you haven't already. This isn't getting your appendix out and you get ice cream for a week. This might turn into a ramble after smoking while typing, sorry in advance but you asked and you should know what you're in for friend.
>The surgeon, in London 23 years ago when I was 19, drilled and bolted me from the inside of the rib cage. This was so I could keep more mobility and stay semi-active. Compared to having hooks between or above shoulder blades and not leaning forward/side/twist as much anymore. Depends on the severity. My scar looks like a side swipe from a Katana. Belly button around to under my shoulder blade, left side. Bar itself is like 7", fusing 5 verts, bolts are just long enough to go through the thickest diameter. Years later the first free discs have been crapping out on me because they now had to take the brunt of those 5 top and bottom.
>Before surgery I had the option of using/giving my own blood. Like, give a quart every week(or two I forget) beforehand. But I was living in Kitchener at the time so London was a bit of a cruise. The friggin specialist that arranges the blood draw would only accept blood drawn at his location. Couldn't draw it locally and post it to the blood bank at the London Hospital for some damned reason. Somebody mis-labeled something 34 years ago and are still paying off the law suit. I digress...
>After surgery I was fitted for a brace. Two girls one bucket of plaster... and cast tape stuff. Two weeks on my back in the hospital then 4 weeks on my back at home. Needed a cane and heavy wall leaning to truck to the Loo. If I even moved a wrongly, and god help me if I sneezed, the muscles would totally spaz out. k, they(every back muscle) were so used to the curve were now stretched on one side and way over-slack on the other. The over-slack side would spasm and twist up into this huge knot of twitching fury for 10mins a pop. Time and physio did help with that but it took months to settle downand even out. The now stretched side wasn't happy either btw.
>So yea, after four weeks back at home the brace arrived(woo). They used the plaster mold from the hospital to form it to me. It opened in the back, held closed with straps. From resting on my hip bones to my arm pits. Yay I could walk down the street and back with a cane, then around the block, *insert rocky theme song*, went back to work six months later. Small offset printing presses at the time.
>*results my vary*
>Get your own Physiotherapy equipment right now, or as soon as you can. For me 20+ years ago physiotherapy was covered by OHIP until they dropped it 18 years ago. $40-60 per physio session twice a month now has to come out of your pocket. Screw that! If you've never been maybe go to one or two, or watch youtube vids, either/or.
>Links are for example only, probably better deals to be found on ebay and whatnot:
>Ultrasound Wand. You don't need the horsepower of the $1k+ professional units therapists use. Pricey up front but lets be generous and say you'd get 5 visits out of that $235. Stale waiting room wait. They show you a stretch and how long to hold it(can't do that at home). Lay you down or sit backwards in a chair while they goop up their wand and rub it in the area you say it hurts for 2mins [pro unit higher wattage so less time needed for deep pen]. Can't do that at home, nope. Then for the last minutes they'll stick the four TENS pads in the area where you say it hurts and you play with the dials. Too complicated to do at home I tell you!
>Inversion Table - $152! Was $250'ish five years ago to doorstep from Amazon. May be cheaper finds on local Kijiji or w/e. Absolutely helps decompress everything. Takes getting used to. I suggest a target and Nerf Batarang's while you dangle to kill time.
>TENS machine. $40 box with electrodes to train and/or sooth deeep muscle pain. And/or focus on one side to build up strength and build muscle. Especially if one side always seems to be doing the work.
>So yea, for like eight visits where you have to drive, or bus, take off work, or w/e, it pays for the equipment you can use daily for as long as you want/need!

u/CudderXx · 1 pointr/scoliosis

Everyone makes it sound like it's so affordable to get yourself a trainer, but if you can't, then I'd recommend you this book that was recommended to me when I was in a similiar postition to yours: It really helps you understand the correct forms you need to do to get the exercise right and much more. Also you can definitely lift more than 5kg, your body is way more stronger than you think it is. But as always, being too cautious is never a bad thing. Good luck!

u/diskprept · 1 pointr/scoliosis

Last year I was using this pack and made sure I was on the hip belt mostly - that definitely helps. But getting into that 5th+ mile of the day, it still felt like there was a knife in my back. I'm having an ultralight bag custom made for this year's trip so hopefully that helps.

u/MightySchwa · 1 pointr/scoliosis

a TENS/EMS unit may be of help. It passes a low voltage electrical current through the muscles to help them to relax. I've got this one and it has been fantastic.

u/paradigmnomad · 1 pointr/scoliosis

Gaming chairs, I've heard mixed things about. I for sure want to purchase one in the future to try them out to see if what people say is true or not.

This is the chair I own but I wish it had more padding in the seat. It's not a gaming chair obviously but I've usually good for about 4-5 hours before I need to get up. I have the back tilted a little bit as that's more comfortable with my rods but it keeps my posture in check for sure since I am still able to slouch.

It's really hard to find something without sitting down in them for a bit :\ Everything in stores was pricey or that 'executive' style which I've only heard negative things about for the back.

u/zugunruh3 · 2 pointsr/scoliosis

My husband gives me lots of back rubs too, but if you have the cash I highly recommend something like this. They're usually advertised as 'pressure point massagers' or something similar if you want to try to find a less expensive model (the large ones in my experience always run that price, though). You can buy the little one for $10 if you don't want to spend $30-40, but I can't vouch for how well it works on its own. I got a large one as a gift and it helps me so much to be able to get exactly where I know the tension is and apply as much pressure as I need.

u/StevenRaposo · 1 pointr/scoliosis

Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know that I found a really good book on scoliosis on Amazon, and its for free on kindle till tonight. I have no financial agenda around this post. As someone that suffers with scoliosis I found this book to be helpful.

u/PickleChomp · 2 pointsr/scoliosis

It's sort of like this thing but much softer and with levels you can add below it (to raise it).

u/a4d9 · 1 pointr/scoliosis

(Part2)#5 (Super long explanation, but it's definitely needed) A Tennis ball massage, sounds crazy right? Yeah, you need one of those things you throw for a dog or play tennis with, you can grab one of them super cheap at a dollar store, and you shouldn't need more than one, however it's useful to stash a few of them around the house. You need crouch a little bit and get your back up against a wall, and set the tennis ball between one of your shoulder muscles (Between your shoulder blade and your spine) and the wall. Then, lean back into the tennis ball and put some pressure into it, and work the tennis ball up and down, probe around and look for the most painful spots. I know, it sounds contradictory, "I'm trying to get rid of pain, not cause it!" but this process is GOING to be painful from the start, and always will be painful, but you want to press the tennis ball into your back, and massage it. If you can stand it, and put pressure into these muscles and knots, once you're done you'll feel a LOT better. When you find a specific painful spot, I want you to sit there and use the tennis ball to work on that spot for 10 seconds. Put as much pressure and weight into it as you can possibly handle, and just work on it.

One of the biggest things here, is while you're putting pressure into this, I want you to try to relax into the ball as much as possible, and take deep breaths in and out, and try to stay loosened up. This is super important, because you're trying to loosen up your muscles by putting pressure into it, and if you tense up while you're working it nullifies the effect of everything you're doing, and you can start spasms by tensing up too much.

"Working on it" is whatever it means to you, it's pretty hard to do this wrong, but unfortunately the more painful it is, that usually means you're on the right track. Usually I just roll over whatever spot hurts repeatedly, of course according to how much pain I'm willing to endure. But again, you can cause spasms with this if you're REALLY tight, and if you work on a single spot for too long, so you need to figure out the difference between "Good" and "Bad" pain. The key difference between the two is "Good" pain is JUST painful, usually a burning, aching, stabbing pain, and bad pain is when you have all of those things, but along with those the muscle is getting tense and tightening up. If you're getting this tense tight feel while you're working, you should stop and come back to this exercise later and come at it with a little less pressure, especially the spot that was getting tight, but if you try to relax into the ball, and stay loose and breathe, it's pretty hard to start spasms doing this, out of the 2 years I've been doing this I've only started a spasm once, and I usually use this technique to STOP spasms. But, once you've done your 10 seconds on a spot that hurts a lot, move on.

Keep working the tennis ball down whichever side of your back your working on, and you may have to stop and move the ball which is fine, but work the tennis ball down your back and stop and work on the most painful spots. For me, the most painful things to work on feel like little ball things, and rods-like things that roll around out of the way of the tennis ball, and it's generally those thing that are causing the pain for me, and those are the things I roll over repeatedly. Those are the tight knots and muscles in your back, and those are the things that cause my back pain, and probably yours too. Anyways, you want to work the tennis ball down your back, and it'll generally take about a minute or two for each side. Once you've done this, you should probably leave your back alone, relax on the couch for a few minutes and let it recuperate, and for you to recover from the intense pain. When I started out with this, I did it about 3 times a day, and not much more. You can use the tennis ball to get one specific spot instead of going through the entire process of working down both sides of your back but you don't work on a single spot for too long or you can start a spasm. During the beginning, its really easy to over-work your back, and with how much pressure and pain you're putting it through, you definitely don't want to over-work it, so again, use your best judgment. Once you feel comfortable doing this against the wall, and it's not hurting quite as much anymore, you can transition to doing the exact same thing on carpeted floor or a yoga mat, something to cushion , and you can start doing it a little more often. Once that starts getting less painful and you're getting more comfortable with that, you can switch to an official Massage ball, which you can find and order online for pretty cheap. As a side note, it's great to work with the tennis ball after a really hot shower when your muscles are already loosened up, it makes for a much easier time and a better end result.

#6 Theracane! Sounds like something a 70-year-old-grandmother would have laying around her house that she saw in one of those cheesy info commercials that sits in the attic collecting dust, but this has EASILY been the biggest jump in pain relief for me, aside from Massage's. Extremely similar to the Tennis Ball technique, but this is directed towards working in very specific spots, and you can get a LOT more pressure into this thing than you can a tennis ball. If the Tennis ball worked for you, than I can guarantee this will change your world. The irregular shape makes it very useful to getting to those really weird spots where there's knots, and I also use it for plenty of of other things, like hooking it under my leg and having it stand up, so I can rest my phone on it at eye level so I don't have to look down too much to save my neck muscles some trouble. I also use it to hold up books, and use it as a temporary arm-rest when I'm out and about and my shoulder muscles are getting tight. I literally carry this thing around with me wherever I go because it's so much easier and portable to use than a massage ball, and it makes it to where I can actually stay places for longer because I don't have to go home and lay down to let my muscles relax or get on my massage ball. DEFINITELY invest in one of these if the massage ball does something for you. Also a great thing to use after a hot shower.