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Thread: Fitness and working out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    12

    Fitness and working out

    Hi all,

    Do any of you go to the gym?

    I'm a 21 year old female with a 60 degree right thoracic curve. I've always been thin -- I think one of the causes of my scoliosis is quite poor abdominal structure. I want to work on building strength and muscle in this area (and others) to better support my back -- would this be good idea considering my condition? For example, if I were to do intense cardio and strength training as part of my work out, would that hurt me?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denmark
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    54
    Hi,

    I think working out is a great idea, as long as you focus on core stabilization exercises. I myself do work out because it keeps me feeling good, but most often use my own body weight.

    A general rule of thumb is: If you feel better while doing the exercise and after doing the exercise (also 30 minutes after) it's probably good.

    These are the muscles that i encourage you to study (where the muscle sits, what it's function is etc) This could be your self-help homework for the next week :-)
    Google might be good for this or an anatomy book if you have one-

    Transversus abdominis (the big belt that protects your back when lifting and is exercises by sucking in the belly button)
    Rectus Abdominis (the 6 pack muscle)
    obliquus externus abdominis (used in twisting)
    Obliquus internus abdominis (used in twisting)

    Erector spinae
    multifidus These muscles are important in stabilizing the back and are good to exercise with caution. I have read many studies in books showing that what almost every back pain sufferer has in common is an imbalance in the multifidus muscles. So exercising these muscles is a great idea mixed with the abdominal work out.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. I myself am experimenting with a lot of exercises and anatomy. I think what is called "isometric" exercise is one of the best forms of exercise. It's an exercise where you don't shorten your muscle but hold it in same position, just like when you are fixed difficult in a position without moving. This gives you strength but without making your muscles tighter and shouter as you do in contraction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Central VA
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    190
    Yes, q_fruit, I did a program at the gym with special attention to stablizing my core as I used the weights. My trainer told me to go very steady and as slow as you need to in order to maintain your core stability. I had a special trainer who works with back issues.
    34L at diagnosis; Boston Brace 1979
    Current: 50L, 28T

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario
    Posts
    32
    q_fruit
    I go to the gym quite regularly. I have a 70 degree thoracic curve and there are very few things I cannot do.
    I refer you to the Dr. Orr interview thread as well as a thread I began, My Way Of Coping. There you can see a couple of photos. I do resistance training and cardio. Isometric can be part of exersize but it will not provide sufficient range of motion or resistance for effective strengthening alone.
    hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    I work out in a pool. Water walking, swimming, leg lifts, etc. I also work out on the elliptical and treadmill in the pool. In the water, you strengthen your muscles without the stress on the back. My pool also has weights that you can use in the water.
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian0710 View Post
    Hi,

    I think working out is a great idea, as long as you focus on core stabilization exercises. I myself do work out because it keeps me feeling good, but most often use my own body weight.

    A general rule of thumb is: If you feel better while doing the exercise and after doing the exercise (also 30 minutes after) it's probably good.

    These are the muscles that i encourage you to study (where the muscle sits, what it's function is etc) This could be your self-help homework for the next week :-)
    Google might be good for this or an anatomy book if you have one-

    Transversus abdominis (the big belt that protects your back when lifting and is exercises by sucking in the belly button)
    Rectus Abdominis (the 6 pack muscle)
    obliquus externus abdominis (used in twisting)
    Obliquus internus abdominis (used in twisting)

    Erector spinae
    multifidus These muscles are important in stabilizing the back and are good to exercise with caution. I have read many studies in books showing that what almost every back pain sufferer has in common is an imbalance in the multifidus muscles. So exercising these muscles is a great idea mixed with the abdominal work out.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. I myself am experimenting with a lot of exercises and anatomy. I think what is called "isometric" exercise is one of the best forms of exercise. It's an exercise where you don't shorten your muscle but hold it in same position, just like when you are fixed difficult in a position without moving. This gives you strength but without making your muscles tighter and shouter as you do in contraction.
    Hi Christian, thank you for your detailed answer! It all makes a lot of sense. I think that first muscle is esp important for me to strengthen because I find I need external things (ie. tight clothes, bra, corset, etc.) to support my back.

    I was doing crunches this morning on an exercise ball .... do you know the breathing pattern I need to adhere to? E.g. breathe out when contracting muscles?

    (And thanks to everyone else too!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by dailystrength View Post
    Yes, q_fruit, I did a program at the gym with special attention to stablizing my core as I used the weights. My trainer told me to go very steady and as slow as you need to in order to maintain your core stability. I had a special trainer who works with back issues.
    Did you find it helpful?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    25
    I go to the gym regularly and have for years. I love it and miss it when I don't go. I like to strength train pretty intensely and do spinning classes. There are certain things I stay away from, such as any kind of weight on my neck and shoulders like a barbell. I don't do any kind of high impact moves anymore, like running or plyometrics. Doing a lot of repetitive movements, such as a step class, hurts my body as well.

    Planks are a great exercise for the abdominal area and can easily be done at home. Crunches are not the best ab exercise and if you have neck issues already, crunches could be painful if done incorrectly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSHjT...eature=related

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerchick View Post
    I go to the gym regularly and have for years. I love it and miss it when I don't go. I like to strength train pretty intensely and do spinning classes. There are certain things I stay away from, such as any kind of weight on my neck and shoulders like a barbell. I don't do any kind of high impact moves anymore, like running or plyometrics. Doing a lot of repetitive movements, such as a step class, hurts my body as well.

    Planks are a great exercise for the abdominal area and can easily be done at home. Crunches are not the best ab exercise and if you have neck issues already, crunches could be painful if done incorrectly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSHjT...eature=related
    Hey, thanks for your response. I just attempted the plank and it strains my neck/shoulder area...I must be doing it wrong?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,976
    Quote Originally Posted by q_fruit View Post

    I'm a 21 year old female with a 60 degree right thoracic curve. I've always been thin -- I think one of the causes of my scoliosis is quite poor abdominal structure. I want to work on building strength and muscle in this area (and others) to better support my back -- would this be good idea considering my condition? For example, if I were to do intense cardio and strength training as part of my work out, would that hurt me?
    Iím not sure what are you looking for. If you want to reduce degrees, I could say now Iím sure that if would be possible that in few seconds you could have more strength in your muscles that Schwarzenegger, youíll not reduce your curve even in half degree. http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=11214
    May be you are more strong than you think. Why not make that proof? Sit down in a bench and ask for someone to push down your shoulders. Maybe your curve would not increase even with a great force. I think that if you know how to derotate your spine, this would be the best exercise you could do.
    May be that strong muscles could help for avoid progression with more than 50ļ?. How much important are abdominal muscles? Without doubt, skevmick is who can answer that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by q_fruit View Post
    Hey, thanks for your response. I just attempted the plank and it strains my neck/shoulder area...I must be doing it wrong?
    That is a bummer. Where on your neck/shoulders does it bug you? Front? Sides? You should keep your head in line with your spine, not looking up or down, but neutral.

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