If you were sent home with instructions to wait&see, did your doctor also say swimming might help? Swimming is normally considered beneficial for scoliosis.
There’s a number of reasons why, here’s a quick look at the mechanical aspects:-
- Water buoyancy means less jarring movements and less weight on the spine, therefore making it a low impact sport
- Water resistance works the muscles, strengthening the back and abdominal as these are engaged to help the body float
- Balanced and symmetrical build of muscles as both sides are used to propel the body forwards in water
- Lung capacity and breathing techniques improve which helps in lengthening the spine
- Improvement in overall balance and strength
Other therapeutic benefits of swimming include release of endorphins and endocannabinoids (which are the brain’s natural pain killing substances). These compounds also help reduce stress and anxiety response. Learning to swim creates new neurons and pathways in the brain. At the same time, swimming trains the mind-body connection and response. The constant stretch and and relax of muscles coupled with rhythmic breathing lulls a person into a semi meditative state similar to practicing yoga. All this snowballs into a satisfying feeling of fluidity which comes with the use and practice of skills.
Sounds very good? However, in Singapore it may be hard to swim regularly due to our hectic and crowded lifestyles. Self discipline is also needed for a person to actually swim laps instead of just splashing about in the water.
Aside from that here are a few considerations for those with severe cases of scoliosis:-
- Reduction in lung capacity may cause one to tire and frustrate quickly
- Restricted range of motion may lead to difficulty in executing certain swim strokes
- Constant repetitive motion may aggravate muscle imbalance
- Hyper extension of the lumbar spine in butterfly and breast stroke
While swimming is great aerobic exercise for the whole body and physical appearance, experts have concluded that it does not help reduce the curve structurally. Talk to us to find out how the Align Brace can change the structure of your spine without compressing the body, bone or muscle. Your spine deserves better! So do you.