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Thread: excercise

  1. #16
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    Dec 2009
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    Hey, Mamamax,

    Yes, definitely ask about the affiliations. It would be hard to find a pilates instructor who has that level of scoliosis expertise, but a PT could really help. I brought my xrays to the PT and we talked about them.

    Ah, I kid about the "skinny once again." I have absolutely no interest in dieting. I'm just going to continue to eat junk and go to the gym and see if that helps me fit in my pants any better. I'm a writer, and I firmly believe that "chewy candy keeps your butt in the chair." Of course, then you risk a bigger, and bigger butt! I was just very skinny as a young person, and now I just can't afford to go up a size and need new clothes! hahaha. Vegan?! I could never! I'm a red meat girl. But those are good suggestions. I just can't do it all--work is quite challenging, and working out will be enough for me to worry about without dieting on top of it.

    Honestly, my goals are some more flexibility and some less pain. But my 39th birthday is approaching this year, and I suspect that if I don't start working on that tummy, I may be out of luck! I'm not really overweight, but I do weigh more than I ever have--with the exception of late pregnancy thank goodness--and I wonder if that hasn't contributed to some of my recent intensifying pain. I do secretly hope that my workouts with the PT and at the gym will tone me up and make me feel better about the way my body looks as well as feels though. We'll see! It's been like a whole week and I'm still going to the gym. In fact, I have to go 8 times a month or I have to pay a $50 fee. My insurance picks up the membership as long as I go 8 times a month...so, I've made a commitment for a year.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Y'know, the other thing...is this gym has a pool, hot tub, sauna, and steam room. Even if you just did some light stretching at first and then relaxed a bit with the other things, you might feel a bit better. That warm heat always seemed to help me in the past--haven't had the time to try it out yet here.

    Lots of excitement and hope during January...let's hope in April I'm still motivated.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fandango View Post
    There are a lot of users here who use exercise as an effective pain control. Can you tell me how much and how often you exercise? Open to overcoming my lethargy and becoming fanatical if it will help.
    Really fed up with the pain
    Hi Fandango, I'm sorry I didn't reply very comprehensively to your question, reading it over. I did 6 weeks of PT a year ago, and we focused on core strength, spinal stability, and flexibility (mobilization?). I was assigned to a PT at my gym who has a daughter with scoliosis so she was "an expert". Before you try these, I would check with a PT for safety. We did "bowls of jello"- laying down with legs up in a ^, move lower back up and down to floor 15x, then hips side to side 15x, then repeat. I do this a few times a week, feeling it keeps things able to move and not stuck. Then, still on back, legs straight up in air feet together, move feet 1" to right then 1" to left, repeat 10 or 15x, twice. You will feel this working your core and also providing the stability benefit. Then, bridges, not going up too far, for stability, 10x X 2. Then what my sister calls "not getting very far very fast"- lay on floor legs up 90* at hips, 90* (degrees) at knees-out. It's called 90/90 for this reason. Try to hold your core steady and put one foot to the floor then the opposite - at first I could barely do one and now I do about 10 each side, feet further away. Start with 5 each foot alternating, repeat. Then "dying bug" ha ha- on back, alternate one arm up and opposite knee toward chest holding lower back to floor, steady. Again, you will want to do these with PT supervision to be sure you're doing them correctly. Then the famous Pilates "V" to count of 100- I still only get to 80, then flip to stomach, pillows under abdomen, one arm out opposite leg up 10x each side. Oh before that, each leg up only 10x each side. Again, please get supervision, I would not want you to hurt yourself in any way! I paid $500 for this but gladly share it with anyone who has to put up with our condition! Best to you, find a PT who knows about scoliosis, even if you have to drive. It will be worth it.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    I've had a long love/hate relationship with exercise. Love it because in the beginning it makes me feel good, but after awhile I just hate it - it is as if my body protests.
    Many report good things about Yoga and Pilates - I'm pondering these and if I do start a program, will be sure the instructor has experience with scoliosis patients because just like any exercise - modification makes sense to me for those with spinal curves.
    Yes-- I try to stay interested by alternating what I do. For the past 3 months it was machines, and I got so it was getting to be a chore, so I took up swimming and yoga, but now I have seen some concerns about yoga so I tried - guess what - Belly Dancing yesterday! Like you said, I try to inform the instructor, even if after class, about my condition. I told the yoga teacher the other week that the legs up over shoulders position was too much weight on the back for scoliosis, and she thanked me and said it made her interested to read up more on scoliosis. I was so encouraged. Who needs the month of June only, I am going to start my own scoliosis awareness Also, I was very happy yesterday--after belly dancing, I asked the teacher if there were any things to be aware of for someone with scoliosis. Turns out, she has it, she said! Wow. She said after she began dancing she's had no more pain. It really does work the core and back- it's hard to do. Before I went, like usual I try to research online to find out if something is bad for my back. I found that people with scoliosis belly dance so I went when a friend said she was going. Now, to stick with it- that'll be the hard part. Pilates is very hard, but like I said to Fandango, the exercises I did were a modified Pilates-- I tried a pilates class and there was no way I could do it - my PT explained it by saying my the two sides of my back have a hard time working together. That helped. I hope you can find a good PT to start with. My surgeon sent me to PT but I had to find one with experience in scoliosis. Now, my lower back is virtually pain - free and I attribute it to the strength I've gained. I can sit up taller. But with your cool brace you probably can do better with that than me. How do you like the Spinecor brace?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    You know, I really admire you - making 2010 the Year Of The Back. I think most of us who have scoliosis do spend a lot of time concerned with it. Why not spend the time wisely by actively doing something about it? I think I shall join you :-) ...Our touching on psychological needs is interesting. Due to some experience with the mind/spine connection (condition better when "happy", worse when "sad"), I wondered if there was literature to support any connection .. and there is. Apparently this connection is well understood, but it is something I rarely see actually talked about. ...Our doctors can caution us against things that they know may cause harm - and when we find something of benefit, they can add this to their knowledge base for others....I like the web site you offered up thread - thank you. That is where I found exercises for respiratory improvement, though the file is too large to upload here.
    Hi there! Thanks to you and Cbeem for joining me in The Year of the Back! Our support of each other really helps. I feel that if I can bring it out in the open in positive ways, it is a boost, as sometimes we can feel ashamed for no reason. We do have a lot to be proud of if we are working on it and not just letting pain get us down. I've recently been participating in NIH pain studies (hey - nice to make $ from it at least), and many questions correlate mood outlook with pain level, it seemed.
    Amen to informing doctors. Since the common method of treatment has been surgery, not a whole lot is known of how to deal otherwise. Hooray for my Dr.'s office for wanting to know what has helped. Incidentally my Dr. will be participating in a study called: Multicenter Prospective Study of Quality of Life in Adult Scoliosis-- http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00854828. I am very happy to help if for pay or just for awareness! I emailed the contact (Christine) and she sent my name to my Dr.
    I am glad you found the exercise post helpful. I'm not sure I'm in the market for any new things at the moment but I hope you like it if you get the juicer. I am currently having SlimFast bars and fruit for lunch and I make use of Angel Food ministry meals for dinner or cook for the week if I'm up to it. Like you Cbeem I am busy with work (full-time office job) so with this also, it keeps me quite occupied. I do get out at lunchtime and walk with coworkers which is great, for Vit D and a break from sitting!
    Last edited by dailystrength; 01-18-2010 at 08:33 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbeem View Post
    ...this gym has a pool, hot tub, sauna, and steam room. Even if you just did some light stretching at first and then relaxed a bit with the other things, you might feel a bit better. That warm heat always seemed to help me in the past--haven't had the time to try it out yet here.
    Yay - mine does to. I love to use the sauna and whirlpool. I always feel I'm giving myself a treat. I do feel better afterwards.

  6. #21
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    "The Year of the Back" I love it! I feel like I have been living The Year of the Back for years and years now. I'm going to join you as well, if you don't mind.

    As far as exercise...I have been working out all of my life. I really don't remember a time that I wasn't active. I'm 39 now.

    About 5 years ago I really started researching anything and everything that might help my back. I started doing yoga when I bought the Yoga for Scoliosis DVD and have been doing it ever since, off and on. For the last 6 months or so I've committed myself to yoga everyday, even if for just 15 minutes. I take an hour long yoga class once a week.

    I bike a lot, it doesn't bother my back at all. I road bike and mountain bike and plan on doing mountain bike racing this summer. I used to run because I loved having a competitive outlet (I did 5ks and marathons) but I'm trying to make my body strong and for me, running definitely doesn't do good things for my back. I quit that about 10 years ago. So I love cycling for something that I can push myself without hurting myself.

    I lift weights usually 2 times a week right now. I go through phases with lifting and now I'm kind of burnt out on it so I just do the minimum. Sometimes I lift 4 times a week when I'm more into it.

    I do core work regularly as well, mostly planks and stuff at the gym.

    I have two little girls that are 7 and 3 so often I can't get to the gym. I have a bunch of workout dvds that I do at home when my youngest is napping.

    I also like to walk and hike. I am out and about with my girls everyday when the weather is nice. We walk to shops and the library whenever we can.

    I want to start swimming this year. My gym has a pool and it's something I have always wanted to do. I may take lessons as I'm not very good at it and could use some tips.

    Working out and being active for me is not about being thin, I feel better when I move.

  7. #22
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    Go Girl!!! And welcome aboard the train :-) I see something here with you ... you stay active.

    Thank you for the inspirational posting!! Needed it

    Have you taken a look into Schroth therapy? This may help with pain?
    Last edited by mamamax; 01-18-2010 at 09:32 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dailystrength View Post
    Hi Mamamax, thanks for sharing all that. Yes, nutrition and psychological needs also are important, I agree. This year I have given myself permission to focus on my back. I think about it much of time anyway! This comes with accepting my back and its limits, while continuing to learn and do what I can. Nutrition also as you said is also important; I take extra Calcium & Vitamin D along with my daily multi, as recommended by my Dr.

    I am very interested in learning Schroth exercises as many on this forum have mentioned them. I emailed a clinic about 2 hours away, in the DC area, today. I am wondering what type of time commitment it is. I learned today on a Schroth site that some yoga postures are not helpful for scoliosis! http://www.schrothmethod.com/index.p...scoliosis-menu I may stick with swimming as I pursue Schroth-- I am always trying to figure out what is best in terms of posture- standing, sitting, lying.

    I am impressed that you had a brace in your 50s or 60 and got such great results! I am curious as to the type of brace it was.

    As far as my curves, I had a 34 left thoracic over a 49 right lumbar as of last May. I had a brace when I was a teen for a year, and was fine until marked progression showed up on an x-ray in Nov. 08. I am anxious to see how this coming May's x-rays are. The first six months I held steady, and the Dr. said I was doing everything right.
    I just want to point out that a physical therapist on here at one point in time said that swimming can be detrimental for people with scoliosis. The reason was that, while swimming, you end up doing a lot of breathing...particularly deep breathing. And, breaths always follow the path of least resistance naturally (i.e. going right into your convex area and thus exacerbating the problem). Unless you totally focus on sending all your breath to your concave area while swimming, I'm not sure it's the best form of physical exercises for someone with scoliosis. Just wanted to point that out.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    I just want to point out that a physical therapist on here at one point in time said that swimming can be detrimental for people with scoliosis. The reason was that, while swimming, you end up doing a lot of breathing...particularly deep breathing. And, breaths always follow the path of least resistance naturally (i.e. going right into your convex area and thus exacerbating the problem). Unless you totally focus on sending all your breath to your concave area while swimming, I'm not sure it's the best form of physical exercises for someone with scoliosis. Just wanted to point that out.
    I do a lot of breathing no matter what. Just kidding, I know what you/she are saying and I mean no disrespect but I would like to see if there's any actual research on this rather than just one persons opinion. I would hate to see anyone not doing physical activity for this reason. I can't imagine that deep breathing would have a huge affect on bones, muscles, ligaments etc. but I am open to being totally wrong about this.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    Go Girl!!! And welcome aboard the train :-) I see something here with you ... you stay active.

    Thank you for the inspirational posting!! Needed it

    Have you taken a look into Schroth therapy? This may help with pain?
    Thank YOU! I think I bought that expensive scroth therapy book last year when I was researching. I bought it and put it in my bookcase. Very Helpful. I will find it today and read it.

    I majored in exercise physiology and nutrition so I feel like being active/taking care of myself is just a part of who I am. I am sure that if I was not as active as I am I would be in a whole heck of a lot more pain than I have.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerchick View Post
    I do a lot of breathing no matter what. Just kidding, I know what you/she are saying and I mean no disrespect but I would like to see if there's any actual research on this rather than just one persons opinion. I would hate to see anyone not doing physical activity for this reason. I can't imagine that deep breathing would have a huge affect on bones, muscles, ligaments etc. but I am open to being totally wrong about this.
    Good to see another exercise physiologist on here!

    Interestingly, there was a study published a few years ago (or it might have just been a presentation/published abstract) linking swimming in the first year of life to an increased rate of scoliosis. It was a study looking retrospectively at physical activity throughout life in AIS and non-AIS patients. They suggest it might have something to do with the chemicals AND DO NOT SUGGEST THIS IS THE CAUSE, they are just making the observation. (Sorry for the caps just trying to keep any lurkers from freaking out if they went swimming with their infant.) Obviously this study isn't suggesting the breathing thing... Just thought it was an interesting contribution.

    As far as breathing is concerned, you're correct that it can have an effect on bone, lig, muscles, etc... There is something called directional breathing and another therapy called the Dobosiewicz (Du-bo-shevitz) Method. All about breathing and scoliosis.

    Last thing... There was one study back in 1986 that showed some adolescent swimmers with scoliosis. It had more to do with the breathing side, i.e. they all breathed to the right, and they had overdeveloped right sided spinal musculature.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skevimc View Post
    Good to see another exercise physiologist on here!



    Last thing... There was one study back in 1986 that showed some adolescent swimmers with scoliosis. It had more to do with the breathing side, i.e. they all breathed to the right, and they had overdeveloped right sided spinal musculature.
    Right back at you!

    Obviously I need to do some research. You do have to wonder though, if they all already had a bit of scoliosis to begin with and the swimming/breathing made it worse rather than actually causing it. Obviously everyone that swims does not get scoliosis. I am fascinated by this idea though. There is a pilates for scoliosis dvd out there that focuses on the major impact that breathing has on the structure of the spine. I actually have it but have never had the patience to sit through the entire dvd.

    The last x-rays I had, the doc saw that my sacrum was tilted. I don't remember the doctors ever mentioning it as a teen (although I don't remember much of anything from then anyway). Anyway, was it tilted due to the scoliosis or did it cause it? chicken or the egg, I guess, and I will probably never know the answer to that.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    I just want to point out that a physical therapist on here at one point in time said that swimming can be detrimental for people with scoliosis. The reason was that, while swimming, you end up doing a lot of breathing...particularly deep breathing. And, breaths always follow the path of least resistance naturally (i.e. going right into your convex area and thus exacerbating the problem). Unless you totally focus on sending all your breath to your concave area while swimming, I'm not sure it's the best form of physical exercises for someone with scoliosis. Just wanted to point that out.
    Interesting-- thank you, Miss Emmy! So, along those lines, do you have any resources for breathing techniques? I have come across only one exercise. Also, I swam myself silly a week ago, and then did belly dancing, and then got-- sick. Blah. Virus. And I fought with my back, and wondered if I overdid something. I think I may ease back into the yoga, gently.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerchick View Post
    I am sure that if I was not as active as I am I would be in a whole heck of a lot more pain than I have.
    AMEN to that and welcome to the Year of the Back, or the Next Year of the Back in your case . I am also impressed by your activity. Thanks for inspiring us. And I agree here with you- before I got my x-rays and knew how bad I was, I went to Flow yoga a couple of times a week and walked a lot- the PT said I was probably much better off having done that.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by skevimc View Post
    There is something called directional breathing and another therapy called the Dobosiewicz (Du-bo-shevitz) Method. All about breathing and scoliosis.

    Last thing... There was one study back in 1986 that showed some adolescent swimmers with scoliosis. It had more to do with the breathing side, i.e. they all breathed to the right, and they had overdeveloped right sided spinal musculature.
    Interesting! I will have to do some research there.
    About the swimming, since my thoracic curve is to the left, I wonder if swimming would then benefit my right side
    Last edited by dailystrength; 01-21-2010 at 08:17 PM.

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