The Benefits of Swimming for People with Scoliosis – What to Know
December 25, 2019
December 25, 2019
Scoliosis is a kind of medical condition wherein a person’s spine curves sideways either in a C-shape or S-shape. About three percent of people suffer from this, mostly those between the age of ten and 20.
Scoliosis may range from mild cases causing a few minor problems to severe cases that potentially require bracing or surgery, or causing breathing difficulties. Scoliosis should not be confused with bad posture, although it is one of the most visible side effects of this condition.
People who have scoliosis need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible since this condition worsens with age. Through early diagnosis and intervention, the chances of correcting the spine or at least lessening the curvature are higher.
Exercise as a Treatment for Scoliosis
One of the many misconceptions surrounding scoliosis is that a person suffering from this condition should not exercise. Yes, exercising can be a pain for those with such conditions, but given the right kind of exercise, it can actually strengthen the muscles around the spine. That said, it can be an excellent treatment option for scoliosis.
Olympians, like Usain Bolt, and professional athletes, like Jessica Ashwood, both succeeded in sports while managing their scoliosis. While having this condition may pose extra considerations and challenges, it should not limit what a person can do. You need to check with your physical therapist or orthopedist to determine if your case will allow you to play certain kinds of sports.
Swimming with Scoliosis
Swimming has long been recommended as a preferred exercise for people suffering from scoliosis. For centuries, water is considered as one of the best therapeutic options. Most therapies recommend swimming for patients with back problems because there is less pressure on the spine as water gives buoyancy. Water also provides resistance, which works out your muscles the same way as weights and gym machines provide without adding extreme pressure on your spine.
Another reason swimming is good for scoliosis is that it generally strengthens the core muscles on the whole back. So, even if swimming will not ideally target the muscles around the spine’s curvature, it will help strengthen the back and minimize the pain caused by muscle imbalance. Continued swimming will ultimately boost muscle flexibility and endurance, helping people with scoliosis in their regular physical activities even off the water.
Swimming Eases Breathing Difficulties
For people with severe scoliosis, swimming can be a challenge. In general, scoliosis changes the shape of the torso and may put pressure on the lungs, resulting in difficulty in breathing. At first, swimming may prove to be incredibly difficult for those with severe cases since it could lower their stamina while swimming. However, over time, it will strengthen their lungs and help them with proper breathing techniques, which are beneficial when managing breathing difficulties.
Check with your Therapist for the Best Possible Treatment
Despite the fact that swimming is good for people with scoliosis, the shape of your spine remains the same. Treatments may be needed to help prevent the worsening of the condition of further curvature of the spine. Keep in mind that if you have back problems related to your condition, swimming may or may not alleviate the discomfort. Talk with your physical therapist or doctor to learn about how swimming can benefit you.
If you are looking to know more about the benefits of swimming for people with scoliosis, get in touch with our scoliosis chiropractor in NYC today to see how we can help.