View Full Version : Exercise?

08-04-2004, 10:42 PM
I'm 57 and was diagnosed with mild scoliosis a few months ago - I have had right sided rib pain for some years and my husband noticed one shoulder was lower than the other so I went to see a chiropractor. I have some osteoporosis (taking Actonel) and I see the chiropractor each week.
I now have custom orthotics in my shoes and the chiro does adjustments and other treatment.
I am convinced that I need an exercise program to help deal with this problem - not to straighten my spine so much as to get some flexibility in my muscles. The intercostal muscles are so tight that my ribs are constantly sore and I get neuralgia in my abdomen on that same side.
Has anyone found any exercise that helps? I walk regularly but my work requires that I sit at the desk, in front of a computer, and that is when the pain is at its worst. If PT would help, I could ask my primary care doctor for a referral. The chiropractor hasn't given me any exercise program apart from some stretching on an exercise ball.

08-05-2004, 12:05 AM
Two suggestions . Try to get a chair that is more suited to your back and a standing work station for at least part of your work. I like Seven of Nine. She does all her computing standing up. As for the exercise. I am asking one of the teenagers to tell me about his.

08-05-2004, 12:07 AM
Why are we junior members? We are nearly the oldest ones here.


08-05-2004, 12:25 AM
I was wondering the same thing about being a "Junior". Did I put some wrong information in my original registration?? Thanks for the feedback.

Mary Lou
08-05-2004, 06:26 AM
I'm not positive, but I think the "Junior" comes from the amount of postings you do or how long you have been using the forum. Don't worry, before long you will all be "Members"!

As for the exercises, my daughter who will be 13 in 10 days(!) was given exercises from a physical therapist. As you said, they aren't for straightening her back, but to help strengthen the muscles in her back, stretch her hamstrings, etc. If you are interested, let me know and I'll try to explain some of them to you.

Mary Lou

Karen Ocker
08-05-2004, 07:30 AM
I found Pilates conditioning helped me before my revision and after as well. It specifically strenghtens the trunk and reduced pain.
Kare(I am 62)

08-05-2004, 09:56 PM
Many thanks to everyone who responded. I decided to contact my primary care physician today to ask for a referral to a physical therapist. I'm hopeful that the PT can provide some therapy for the pain and then design a program of exercises to provide some long term relief and flexibility.

08-08-2004, 12:19 AM
Everyone recommends swimming to me. My back can not stand the stresses involved with walking, much less jogging. Iíve tried using a ski device where I donít have to pick Ďem up and lay Ďem down, like walking, and it almost worked, but standing erect for long hurts too much. I think jogging on a treadmill would work if you can take the stress off of the back by hanging on to bars by the side, but my arthritis in the wrists prevents that. Donít have a nearby pool, so can only suggest on that one. It does sound like a good solution though.

I have a forum similar in structure to this one. You will remain a Junior Member until some arbitrary number of posts are reached then you will become a Member. Next level is (usually) Senior Member. I love thinking of myself as a ĎJuniorí.

08-08-2004, 02:23 PM
Pennant, your intuition is right on. I had the same feeling a couple years ago, and eventually came to the conclusion that the problem with my and many others' scoliosis is that the spinal erector muscles on one side of my back are stronger than on the other. You can usually test this easily by feeling both sides, though the convex side will be jutting out more. Many clinical studies on scoliosis note muscular strength imbalance.

So once a week I just lie on a sturdy, narrow table, strap my feet to it, place a pillow on the edge and my convex-side (strong side) hip on the pillow. Then I lean way down and slowly raise up to level (5-10 seconds) using my weak-side muscles to pull, then slowly back down. Do as many times as you can, to the absolute limit. (Usually this will be less than 20 repetitions.) Exhale while raising, inhale while returning down. Before starting, lift the same way a few times but take some load off by bracing yourself with your arm, just to warm up the muscles about to be exercised. You can do this exercise twice a week if you wish, but more often will not achieve a faster result, according to clinical studies.

This routine is adapted from recommendations in bodybuilding articles by Arthur Jones (inventor of the Nautilus and MedX machines), MedX machine research studies, and the book on physiotherapeutic treatment of scoliosis by Christa Lehnert-Schroth (Dreidimensionale Skoliosebehandlung). Your physical therapist will advise you more specifically, I'm sure.

Good luck.

08-08-2004, 09:16 PM
Thanks to everyone who has responded - I really appreciate your input.
When I saw the chiropractor a couple of days ago, I mentioned to her that I thought the problems I have started soon after I had a nasty fall on our driveway, about 8 years ago. We have a steep driveway, I was rushing out to take my son to school, was wearing shoes with a slippery sole then oops! down I went, landing heavily on my tailbone. I drove him to school but when I got back home, I had the worst headache I have had in all my life. It cleared up after some Advil and a rest, and I never went to see the doc.
When she heard this, the chiropractor told me that I may have damaged my tailbone (pushed it forward) and that could account for some of the pain I have though she thinks the scoliosis was there already but I was just not aware of it. So, I'm seeing the other chiro in the practice on Tuesday because he specializes in evaluating damage to the tailbone, so we'll see.
Anyway, at this last appointment, I had some deep tissue massage which was wonderful and the young woman doing the massage showed me some stretches I can do to make the muscles less tight. I will try the stretching that some of you have suggested. Thanks again!