Scoliosis, a condition known as the sideways curvature of the spine, can result in mild to severe pain. Research shows that as many as 7 million people in the United States alone have scoliosis. This means 2-3% of the population suffers from this condition.
Scoliosis patients often live with pain daily, but there are ways to lessen the pain and make living with scoliosis more bearable. If you are after pain relief, these four healthy habits can help.
1. Exercise Regularly
Many people think that you shouldn't exercise if you have scoliosis because it could worsen the pain. However, the opposite is actually true. Stretching and exercise can help improve range of motion and prevent muscle atrophy, which can help lessen scoliosis pain.
Some exercises are more difficult than others due to the pain and curvature of your spine. However, exercising regularly can help lessen the amount of pain you experience. Thankfully, there are different exercises safe for scoliosis patients, like the following.
Bird Dog Stretches (Leg/Arm Extensions)
Kneel on the floor, with your palms touching the ground. Gradually extend your left arm and right leg, using the remaining right arm and left leg to support yourself. Hold the position for three to five seconds, relax, and then do the same using the opposite limbs. Repeat five times.
Standing Against the Wall
Lean your back against a smooth wall with your feet roughly 20cm in front of you. Press your head and shoulders against the wall, pushing your lower back without moving your head, shoulders, and upper back. Hold the position, take a few deep breaths, then repeat five times.
Position yourself in a doorway facing the room. Place your arm 90 degrees to your shoulder, putting your forearm against the doorframe. Step forward with your inner leg, lean slightly forward, hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat two times. Turn around and repeat the process with your other shoulder.
When choosing a scoliosis exercise, search for activities that will help stretch your spine. Thankfully, many experts now offer exercise-based therapies for scoliosis patients. Consult with the pros dedicated to helping patients with scoliosis before trying any exercise.
2. Practice Good Posture
Good posture isn't just about looking confident. It also helps to take pressure off your spine, which can help lessen scoliosis pain. Poor posture will only worsen the curvature and increase the amount of pain you experience.
When practicing good posture, keep the following in mind.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet helps ensure that your spine and muscles get the nutrients they need to function properly. This can help reduce pain and prevent further damage to your spine.
Certain foods are particularly beneficial for scoliosis patients. These include:
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Depriving your body with sleep puts it under a lot of stress. This can lead to muscle pain and further damage to your spine. Getting enough sleep is essential for reducing scoliosis pain.
Adults should sleep for 7-8 hours per night. Teenagers need 8-10 hours while children need 9-11 hours.
Don't forget about improving your sleep quality. Sticking to a bedtime routine signals your body that it's time to rest. Stop using gadgets for at least an hour before bed to help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
Don't forget to create a calm and comfortable sleeping environment. Make your room is quietm dark, and cool. You can have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about other options, such as medication or therapy. They can help you to find a solution that will finally give you the rest you need.
Following these healthy habits can help to reduce pain and improve your quality of life. If you are struggling with pain from scoliosis, be sure to consult a doctor and ask about exercises that may be helpful for you. Making small changes in your lifestyle and adopting good health habits can make living with scoliosis much easier.