Have you experienced fatigue and mild back pain? Or maybe you know someone who has an abnormal spinal curvature? Well, a curved spine is not a really good sign. The spine or what we normally call the backbone is a series of vertebrae reaching from the skull to the small of the back, surrounding the spinal cord and providing support for the thorax and abdomen. You will easily know if a person has a spinal curvature disorder through his or her posture. Here are the three main types of a spinal curvature disorders and ways to correct spinal curvature disorder with corresponding exercises.
First, we have what we call Scoliosis. Symptoms are the following: uneven shoulder blades, uneven waist or hips and leaning to one side. Second is Kyphosis, symptoms of which are a humped back, fatigue, and stiffness. The third spinal curvature disorder is Lordosis which will have you experiencing back pain and discomfort, difficulty moving, and a gap in between the lower back and the floor when you’re lying down.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is described as a deformity of the spine characterized by its sideways curve. The curve is usually “S”- or “C”-shaped. In some cases, the degree of curve is stable, while in others, it increases over time. Normally, mild scoliosis does not cause any problems. However, severe cases can obstruct one’s breathing but, typically, no pain is present.
Exercises to help correct spinal curvature disorder Scoliosis
Steps Down and One-Arm Reach
- Using the leg that appears longer when you lay on your back, step on a small box or a step.
- Lower the opposite leg down to the floor bending your knee.
- As you go down, raise the arm on the same side as the lowered leg up as high as you can. So, if your right foot is lowered to the floor, raise your right arm.
- Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on one side only. Do not repeat the exercise on the other side.
Upward and Downward Dog
- From a lying face-down position, stretch your arms out straight and push your hips back and up as far as you can.
- Hold this for 2 seconds and then lower your hips back down toward the floor.
- Try to get as low as possible without feeling any pain or back discomfort.
- Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.
Split Stance with Arm Reach
- Bring forward the longer leg in a bit of an overemphasized stride length.
- Keep your torso as erect as you can at all times.
- Start moving your weight back and forth. Bend the forward knee a bit as you feel the weight shift onto it.
- As you move your weight forward, raise your arm that’s opposite of your forward leg as high ups you can.
- While that arm is reaching upward, reach the other arm back with the palm up as much as possible. This causes the torso and spine to turn toward the side of the forward leg.
- Perform this exercise only on that side. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.
What is Kyphosis?
Kyphosis can be called a roundback or Kelso’s hunchback. It’s an abnormally disproportionate convex kyphotic curvature of the spine occurring in the cervical, thoracic and sacral regions. Abnormal inward concave lordotic curving of the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine is called lordosis.
Exercises to help correct spinal curvature disorder Khyposis
- Stand straight or lean against the wall if needed.
- With your chin tucked slightly inward, position your head back in line with your shoulders.
- Try to stretch and move your shoulder blades back and down. Keep this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rest a bit if you start to feel pain.
- Lie down on the floor facing the ceiling.
- Pull your chin back toward the floor, as if you’re trying to make a double chin.
- Hold it for 15 seconds repeat 10 times.
- Lying on your stomach, extend your hands in front of your head.
- Keep your head in a neutral and relaxed position. Look down the floor, lift your arms, and legs up as high as possible.
- Feel the stretch in your hands and feet. Hold this position for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Start with standing tall, knees relaxed, core engaged, chest upright, and shoulder blades back and down.
- When you reach the ideal posture, lift your arms up forming a Y, with your thumbs pointed behind you.
- Focusing on maintaining this position, take two to three deep breaths.
Spine Foam Roller Stretches
- Sit on the floor and set your foam roller about a foot behind you. Lie back with your feet hip-width apart on the floor, with the middle of your back touching the roller.
- Cross your arms over your chest and bend back over the roller. Try touching your head to the ground. Keep this position for 30 seconds before returning to starting position.
- Repeat this exercise with your back until you feel the stretch in the muscles of your shoulders and neck.
What is Lumbar Lordosis?
Lordosis is defined as the normal concave or inward arching of the spine in the cervical and lumbar regions. However, when the inward curve becomes excessive, it is called lordosis or swayback. Kyphosis or kyphotic, on the other hand, refers to the normal outward or convex curvature in the thoracic and sacral regions. The term comes from the Greek lordōsis, from lordos which means “bent backwards.”
Exercises to help correct spinal curvature disorder Lordosis
Hip Flexor Stretch (Standing)
- Stand straight
- Bend your knee and hold on to your ankle (When you pull your leg back, tilt your pelvis forward.
- Hold the stretch position for 30 seconds
Lower Back Stretch
- Sit on a chair and lean your body forward.
- Place your head and arms between legs
- Try reaching your arms through your legs as far as you can and then return to starting position.
- Lie down on the floor facing the ceiling and straighten your feet on the floor.
- Tilt your pelvis back by pushing your lower back into the floor.
- Lift your torso off the floor to a 30-degree angle and support your neck with your hands.
- Come back slowly to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise 10 times.
- Start by lying on your side, with your forearm down and your knees slightly bent.
- Roll slightly back onto your butt as if you are sitting on the back pocket of your jeans. Lift your legs a few inches off the mat and place your other hand behind your head so the elbow is also bent.
- Lift your legs up, bringing your knees to meet your bent elbow while moving your elbow down toward your knee at the same time. Engage your core with each lift. Do the desired number of repetitions and switch sides.
Gluteal Activation Lift
- Tilt the pelvis.
- Lift one leg slightly from the ground for about three inches.
- Return the leg to the ground.
- Do this exercise ten times with each leg.
Interested in learning more about posture and your health? Take a look at our Better Posture Program and get started on the way to a healthier, more active life.