Scoliosis in runners participating in Running

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine. It may also be a twist or rotated with the ribs pulled with it and distorting the shape of the chest. It occurs most often during rapid spurts of growth during adolescence. Though some conditions seem to cause scoliosis, the cause in most cases is not known. Cases seem to have their origin in congenital scoliosis. Those which result from birth defects.

scoliosis in runners

Most will show up as the more common idiopathic scoliosis during adolescence. So, there may be a reason for congenital scoliosis being less common. There is not always an obvious spinal curvature at birth. The defects may go undetected until the curved spine begins to show. This may be until the adolescent years. So, adolescent scoliosis may be the later outcome of a problem less obvious at birth.

Effects of Scoliosis on life and living

Runners with scoliosis have an abnormal curve of the spine. Your spine has a normal curve viewed from your side but should be straight in a view from the back. We see the abnormal curve when the back view shows a curve to the sides. The slow rate at which the curve happens makes it easy to miss before it becomes severe. The deformity may prevent your clothes from fitting as before. You may see an uneven waist, or your pants are longer on one side.

With Scoliosis your head may appear off-center. One hip or shoulder may be higher. In some cases, there may be a more obvious curve on one side at the back of the rib cage from twisted vertebrae and ribs. If it is more severe, it can cause difficulty in the functioning of the heart and lungs. This results in a short breath and chest pain. In some instances, scoliosis may cause neck pain and back pain. Rib pain, abdominal pain, and muscle spasms may also occur.

How can scoliosis limit a runner?

A curve in your spine can cause problems for movement and flexibility. And if you are an athlete as a runner it is likely to limit your running activities. What are the ways in which scoliosis affects your performance as one of the many runners? And what are possible options for scoliosis treatment? To allow for successful running with scoliosis.

There are several ways in which scoliosis can affect your ability to run. Having a curved spine can often cause discomfort and pain. And when it does it can limit your stamina as a runner. This will happen if the pain lasts for a long time.

When scoliosis results in a severe curve of the spine, you may have reduced lung capacity. This will affect breathing. And you may know that efficient breathing is important for running. This is more important in long-distance running. With scoliosis affecting your lung capacity, then breathing will be difficult for running. Scoliosis can also result in reduced flexibility. As a runner, a limit on your range of movement will limit your performance.

Will running cause scoliosis to get worse?

You will need to be careful when running. If you are already limited in breathing, flexibility, and movement by scoliosis. You will need to avoid making the spinal curve worse. Scoliosis often by itself gets worse with time. But some physical activities inclusive of running activities may speed it up. Sometimes activities can cause the Cobb angle to increase quite faster.

The way the back flexes and rotates with each step will cause scoliosis to get worse. You will need to avoid running on hard paved surfaces. It can increase the weight of a curved scoliotic spine. And so, increase the effects of gravity each day you run. The poor support of your spine can soon grow worse.

Scoliosis Treatment for runners

It is normal for your primary care provider to diagnose the problem. Then consult a specialist orthopedic or neurosurgeon for spine surgery if needed. Also, you may need a rehabilitation specialist and, or a physiotherapist. For your scoliosis treatment, you may also need a neurologist, as part of the team for your treatment.

Scoliosis does not have a cure, but you can control and reduce its effects. Ways to treat scoliosis will depend on how severe the curve is and the risk of it getting worse. You can observe it, support it with a brace, or you can have surgery.

Wearing a back brace may be as restrictive as scoliosis itself. But it can help in halting the curve from getting worse. The back brace itself is a rigid shell that limits movement. If the Cobb angle increases too much spinal fusion surgery may be an option as a treatment. But this too can reduce flexibility and mobility. The purpose of surgery for scoliosis treatment is to correct and stabilize the curve. Also, to reduce pain and give the spinal column a more normal appearance and curve.

If you must do surgery, then you will need recovery time. You could be out of bed the next day but will need physiotherapy. Physiotherapists in Singapore are available if you live there. He will assist you to start walking after your surgery. As your recovery continues improving your muscle strength is important. The physiotherapist can help with exercises to improve your strength.

But there is still hope for you if scoliosis limits your life. There are non-surgical treatment courses that you can get to reduce scoliosis symptoms. You can get treatment for scoliosis without any invasive methods.

Running with scoliosis

Scoliosis should not stop you from running if you want to and are able. But know that, scoliosis causes muscle imbalance of the muscles. This can make you more prone to injury. So, you must pace the build-up of your running program. Avoid pushing yourself too hard. With scoliosis, you must be patient. And start by mixing walking with running activities.

Strong muscles are important for runners to avoid injuries. So, you need to continue to do strength-building exercises. To build your core muscles to support your running activities.