Being diagnosed with Scoliosis can be confusing. You do not know what you can and what you cannot do. What is this disease? It is characterized by the spinal cord having an s or c-shaped curve when viewed from the back using an x ray machine (instead of being straight). Its onset is at young ages being mainly diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. In most cases, there is no known cause and it is referred to as idiopathic. Read more and find out what some known causes are and more information on this disease.
After your diagnosis, the immediate thing you should do is to look for Scoliosis treatment options. What are these? Your doctor will explain the options you have. The ideal choice will depend on the severity of the disease. In mild cases, all the doctor may prescribe is frequent checkup to see if the angle of curvature is increasing. If the angle does not increase with time, there may be no treatment needed. If the angle keeps increasing and in advanced cases treatment options include back braces and surgery. Regardless of the chosen treatment method, exercise is an important part of Scoliosis treatment. It helps reduce the effects of the disease on the muscles and slow down the advancement of the curvature.
Regular exercise should be added to the treatment regime of anyone suffering from this disease. Why? Exercising helps strengthen the muscles that are strained by the curved spine. It also helps improve balancing and mobility. A recent study reported that with the right exercises, the life of someone living with Scoliosis can be greatly improved.
What forms of exercise can one do? A good choice would be physiotherapy. This involves doing specific exercises under the guidance of qualified physiotherapists Singapore. The physiotherapists will demonstrate these exercises and help you do them. They will teach you exercises that are safe to perform and confer benefits. Physiotherapy will help one achieve better pelvis alignment, easy breathing, lessen pain and strengthen the back. Other than talking to physiotherapists in Singapore, you need to consider other exercises that you love. Swimming is a great example and we will look at this in detail.
The Benefits of Swimming with Scoliosis
A dip on the cold waters on a hot afternoon is refreshing but people with Scoliosis need to think twice before jumping in. Is it safe? What are the benefits you will gain? Well, you will definitely feel refreshed. You will also get stronger back muscles and improve your breathing capacity. Thanks to the water’s buoyancy, the pressure applied on the spinal cord when swimming is minimal. It will be less painful than other high-impact exercises like playing soccer. The resistance provided by the water as you move round tones back muscles and strengthens the arm and leg muscles.
In people suffering from this disease, breathing problems may occur. This is because the curvature on the back bone presses on the organs in the thoracic region including lungs. This causes the lungs to have a reduced capacity. Well, a regular swim can help with this. You only need to start slowly and get more intense over time. This will eventually increase your lungs’ capacity. You will be able to breathe better.
The cool water improves circulation to all parts of the body. With your back getting more oxygen supply, pain can be alleviated. Back pain is a common symptom in people with this disease and swimming seems to help alleviate it.
Challenges You Will Face
Remember that your back bone is curved and is therefore not working like that of any other person, or like yours before you had the condition. Swimming with Scoliosis will not be easy and you will need to put in more effort than others. Remember that the curved backbone affects the back muscles causing them to tense, strain and change in shape. This in turn affects balance and flexibility. At first, you will experience some pain when you try to swim. Your range of motion is also decreased.
Reduced lung capacity means that you do not breathe as others do. You may experience difficult breathing from time to time. Swimming very fast can get you out of breath really fast.
Beat the Challenges and Enjoy Swimming with Scoliosis
It is said that challenges come to make us stronger. With an urge to succeed and a willingness to put in extra effort, you will become a successful swimmer. It is important to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise including swimming. Your doctor will advise you on how to go about it. If you ever experience severe pain stop immediately and seek medical attention.
Trying to swim with Scoliosis is not easy. You may try a move and you are unable to do it. Do not feel frustrated. With a decreased range of motion, you may need to modify some swim movements. Do what causes you the least pain and enjoy it. Have a willingness to work hard and better your skills without being too hard on yourself. If you are a competitive swimmer, understand that it will take some time before you can swim as well as you used to.
Breathing problems should not stop you from getting into the water. All you need to do is take it easy. Start with short sessions with simple movements and then advance slowly. Do not strain yourself and get out of the water at the slightest sign of strained breathing. Over time, swim more intensely and you will see your lung capacity increase.
It is possible to go for a swim even when you have Scoliosis. You can even engage in competitions and win. You just need to be willing to go the extra mile. Consult your doctor at all times and proceed slowly. Understand that it will not be easy but the many benefits you stand to gain should motivate you. You will have strong back muscles, better breathing and increased flexibility to name but a few.