Dos and Don’ts of Scoliosis in Malaysia
The dos and Don’ts of scoliosis are important to understand for successful nonsurgical clinical outcomes. But, before we jump in to do’s and don’ts of scoliosis, it may help us understand the most common causes of scoliosis. A huge percentage of scoliotic patients are idiopathic, meaning the curvature’s developmental cause remains unknown. As humans, occurrences that are unknown to us tend to create many confusion and misconceptions among us; this goes the same for scoliosis patients. Many are left in the dark regarding what can help them and what can, in fact, do more harm to them. We are here to answer all those doubts and clear up any confusion you may have, and as such, we have prepared this section: the dos and don’ts of scoliosis.
Here is the list of what you need to do!
Do exercises that strengthen your core and back muscles.
A strong core (strong back muscles) is the foundation for a healthy spine. If the foundation of a house is not solid, the house will crumble. It is important that scoliosis patients focus on this. A scoliotic spine will naturally be weaker than the average healthy spine. Hence, take some load off of it by doing specific strengthening exercises for those muscles.
Do be active and move!
The last thing we want for you is to be immobile, lethargic, or overweight. Don’t be afraid that the curve you have will worsen if you move too much. Live your life and start moving. Scoliosis is just a minor setback that can be helped with the right form of treatment. Don’t allow it to cripple you and prevent you from living a normal, healthy lifestyle.
Do swim, dance, and play sports.
Children and teenagers tend to develop particular interests in specific activities, and it is important they are allowed to pursue them. Studies have found that restricting children’s activities has a very high chance of causing psychological damage. This will cause a lot of unnecessary emotional distress, which, in turn, will lead to their withdrawal from any social setting. Let your children be active and play sports with their friends. However, this DO comes with some limitations. As there are a variety of curvatures that may be present in every individual, certain movements are a definite no-no to EVERYONE. Before continuing any sports or activities, please consult with our chiropractor or a specialist who can assess the structural and mechanical aspects that come into play with scoliosis.
Do chemical testing
Hormonal and nutritional testing should also be done on every scoliotic patient. This is because there will be a combination of nutritional, chemical, and hormonal imbalance in a person with scoliosis. These imbalances must be addressed as they make neuromuscular retraining very difficult. Hormones also can play a vital role in the development of curvature, especially in younger females who are just about to or have just started their menses. These tests are straightforward and easy and can be helpful in the recovery of scoliosis patients.
Do get a good mattress.
Optimally, a person should be sleeping for at least 8 hours a day. This indirectly means they will be sleeping for 1/3 of their lives. That is a very substantial amount of time. Hence, please start loving your spine and get a good mattress. There is no perfect mattress, but a good mattress should be one that is not so hard to the point where your muscles are unable to relax throughout the night, and it should not be too soft to the point where there is no support for the spine. A good mattress should cradle and support your spine in all regions.
Do get early intervention.
A gram of prevention is always better than a kilo of cure. Early detection of scoliosis will go a long way in helping with the treatments. Get your child or any loved one checked from as young as three years old, especially when there is a family history of scoliosis. Scoliosis has a strong genetic predisposition. Contact us today for more information on what you need to do if you have scoliosis.
The DON’Ts of Scoliosis in Malaysia
Don’t waste time.
DO NOT WATCH AND WAIT. This method of care is outdated and must be put to death. Decades ago, scoliotic patients were asked to go home and wait to see if the curve progresses. This strategy to combat scoliosis is ineffective, as it wastes valuable time. Why wait to check if something will progress or not; get to the root of it and start treating it then and there before it worsens. You won’t wait to see if cancer will spread or not, would you?
Don’t be a tech addict!
Put down those gadgets and take a break from the computer. While at any restaurant, waiting room, or even during a traffic jam, take a look around and observe the people around you. More than 50% of people will be on their phones either texting or playing games, and a vast majority of them will be children or teenagers. Bad posture puts a lot of additional load on our spine, causing us to develop a text neck and causing degeneration to occur at a quicker rate. This DON’T, in all honesty, should not just be applied to scoliosis patients, but to all individuals.
Don’t lie down on your stomach.
Lying prone when sleeping increases the pressure on the lower back by a substantial amount. Sleeping in the prone position or on the stomach, cause the neck to be in a rotated or twisted (turned) position for prolonged periods. Also, the sleeping on the tummy will cause the natural curves of the upper and mid back to flatten out. The cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper and mid back) impact are further worsened with excessive rotations of spinal bones in the low back. In short, sleeping on the tummy can rapidly worsen a scoliotic curve.
We have talked about how scoliosis is a three-dimensional disorder. When one dimension is under pressure, the other dimension will work overtime to compensate and, in turn, will also be adversely affected. Always lie facing upward or sideways with a pillow/bolster placed between your legs.
Don’t do any back extension exercises.
Stay away from any motion or exercise that induces back extension. Repeated or prolonged extension of the torso causes the extensor muscles to tense up. This may induce more rotation to certain vertebral segments and indirectly, a further worsening of the spinal curvature, which will be harder to undo. This is one of the main reasons we are very hesitant to recommend yoga to any of our scoliosis patients.
Don’t get too much exposure to bright lights during or right before sleeping.
This happens to be a “don’t” that many people have very little knowledge about. When a child is asleep, a hormone responsible for the regulation of puberty, known as melatonin, will be released by the pineal gland. The presence of light during or before sleep will impede the production of this hormone. A deficiency of this hormone can cause an early onset of scoliosis, hence causing a quick growth spurt. When this happens in a scoliotic patient, it can severely worsen the curvature. Therefore, take the phones away from your children at night. They do more harm than good.
Do not play on the trampoline
Trampolines are great fun, and everyone loves them. However, they induce repetitions of great impulses of force on the spine. This is dangerous for the spinal discs and soft tissues surrounding the spine as it puts them at a higher risk of damage. The biomechanical and structural changes present in scoliotic patients already put them at a greater risk for injury, and jumping on a trampoline would add fuel to the fire.
Do not carry heavy backpacks!
Parents, this cannot be emphasized enough! Heavy backpacks put an enormous load of pressure on a person’s spine. The worst part is that this is becoming the norm. Many school children carry bags that are a quarter of their weight. This is very dangerous. The maximal limit of weight one should carry 10% of one’s body weight. Anything above that is too strenuous on the lower back and becomes a scoliotic hazard. Visit one of our centers to understand the do’s and don’ts of scoliosis better today.
We hope the Do’s and Don’ts of scoliosis has helped you understand the importance of targeted care and effective management. For more information about the do’s and don’ts, please visit one of our centers today. The chiropractors and physiotherapists of Chiropractic Specialty Center® are amongst the top physiotherapist and best Chiropractors in Malaysia.