Many people have Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. Often, it is a genetic condition that presents itself with a variety of symptoms, everything from pain to limited motion can be an indication of Scoliosis. In most cases, Scoliosis treatment for mild cases does not require a brace. However, in women, the condition can be degenerative as they get older. Even so, this unusual curvature of the spine does not have to stop you from running or jogging.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis has an unknown origin, but most medical experts believe that genetics plays a critical role in the condition. When someone has Scoliosis it causes either a lateral curve which is a c-shape or two lateral curves that make an s-shape. The spine also has a rotation to it in people who suffer from this.
These curves in the spine seem to appear while very young, but the condition worsens with age. So people who had no symptoms may experience symptoms later in life.
In more severe cases, doctors often use some type of scoliosis treatment like a back brace for young children and teens who present the curvature.
However, when scoliosis treatment was never determined the curvature will continue throughout life and may worsen as you get older.
Scoliosis and Exercise
The National Institute of Arthritis and physiotherapists in Singapore say that exercise does not affect the nature of Scoliosis and in fact, may help minimize the effects of the disease and improve mobility. Scoliosis is not a condition negatively affected by exercise. Quite to the contrary, the pain and degenerative effects of the condition may lessen when you exercise.
Because women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis or a weakening of the bones later in life, doctors recommend regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running, gymnastics, and soccer. These types of activities can increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis, which can be extremely detrimental for people suffering from Scoliosis.
Areas Affected by Scoliosis
The joints between vertebrae in the spine are affected. Where two vertebrae meet, there are also joints on the sides. Because Scoliosis affects the natural curvature of the spine, the bones meet at different angles and can cause joint dysfunction and excessive wear.
In Scoliosis, the discs between vertebrae are compressed more on one side than on the other. This problem places pressure on the disc and causes it to bulge on one side. It results in nerve irritation and pain, which can be in the back or radiate down the leg. The muscles surrounding the spine are affected and either become shorter or longer. Eventually, it is a situation that causes tension and pain.
The pelvic alignment can also be affected, and people who suffer from the situation may even appear to have leg length misalignment. The pain caused by the condition can be helped with exercise and physiotherapy. You need to keep moving to keep the joints working best.
What Happens to Runners with Scoliosis?
This misalignment and compensation of the body causes pain in the lower back and sometimes down towards the leg. It can make running difficult; however, if you don’t experience severe back pain, there is no reason to stop jogging. Runners can continue to enjoy the exercise. On the other hand, if your run exacerbates the problem and you feel an increase in your back pain, then you should rest.
If you suffer from Scoliosis you may have a limited range of motion which could affect your ability to run and be more difficult. You should also consider your lung capacity when you have Scoliosis. If you feel short of breath or feel an extreme weakness of muscles. It means your muscles in these areas cannot contract effectively and may make it challenging to run.
If You Feel Fine – Go Ahead
When diagnosed with Scoliosis but you feel fine while walking or when you run, you can still enjoy the runners world. However, you should first see your doctor and discuss your options. You must understand your spine and its curvature so that you know what muscles and spinal discs are affected.
Most doctors agree that movement is essential for people with Scoliosis. It would be best if you worked on the motion of your limbs daily. In most cases, a doctor may recommend exercise routines like yoga.
However, scoliosis and running can go together. If you have a love for the run, you can decide to do this type of exercise, unless it makes your symptoms worse. You can schedule a gain analysis with your doctor to see how the Scoliosis affects your exercise routine.
How to Make Scoliosis and Running Easier?
Whether you run for fitness, weight loss or health, you must learn proper techniques and find a health program where you feel comfortable. Before you start, you must get a physical exam, especially if you have been sedentary.
Talk to your doctor about your Scoliosis and running plan and the goals you may have. Your doctor can help you better determine the risks. It would help if you also had a scoliosis specialist review your jogging regimen and help you create a scoliosis exercise program that minimizes the risk of injury from exercise. A unique exercise routine for Scoliosis can also help strengthen your hip muscles and your core which make you a stronger runner.
Equipment for Your Run
Be sure you use shoes fitted with support to lessen the impact. Get orthotics prescribed if there is a leg length discrepancy. You can have a scoliosis specialist provide you with specialized shoes for the strengthening of your spine, legs and feet.
Where To Run?
Stay away from concrete and try to run on grass to lessen the impact on your spine. Try other soft surfaces such as sand as well, providing you use support shoes.
Be sure to stretch before and after a good run to prevent joint problems with proper supplementation. Visit a chiropractor as well to get proper spinal treatment.
Use Proper Techniques?
Be sure to look ahead when you run. Don’t look at your feet. You can find other proper techniques on exercise websites.
Avoid landing on your toes or heels. If you land on your toes, your calves will tire quickly and landing on your heels means you are overstriding. If you land in the middle of your foot, you give your impulse more energy.
Keep your feet pointed straight ahead and in the direction you want to go. Don’t point your feet inward or outward as this leads to injury.
Keep your hands at waist level or at the top of your hips. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle. Relax your hands as you run. Avoid clenching your fists as it can lead to stress in your shoulders and neck.
Keep Your Posture
Try to run straight. Keep your head up and your back straight. Your shoulders should be under your ears. Don’t lean forward or backward. Slumping can lead to lower back pain or neck pain.
Be sure to start with a good warm-up and end your session with a cool-down. The warm-up dilates your blood vessels and gives your muscles oxygen. It also increases your muscle temperature, so you are limber for the run.
When you begin, don’t start racing. Start jogging slowly and gradually add more speed. Breathe easy, but if you feel yourself losing your breath slow down.
After you finish, cool-down. Stretching is not difficult at this point. Be sure to stretch your lower back, your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders and neck. Hold each stretch for about 14 seconds.
These are all things that can help you run safely. Scoliosis does not have to prevent you from running. However, you need to do it safely and healthily.