Unfortunately, there is no quality evidence that supports the use of exercise to treat scoliosis. There is also no evidence to suggest that exercise would make scoliosis worse. But doing an exercise program without medical advise may result in misdiagnosis and/or delayed diagnosis and thus delay in appropriate treatment.
Scoliosis (adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)) is a serious medical condition. Anyone who has or suspects they or their child may have AIS should seek medical advice from a GP or physiotherapist ASAP and certainly prior to any exercise program been given. If an exercise program is to be given, it should be part of team approach to managment of AIS. The team should include at least a GP, spinal orthopaedic surgeon and a physiotherapist, but may also include a pyschologist or exercise physiologist.
Exercises that have been proposed for AIS include those which aim to strengthen the abdominal and back muscles, exercises to improved posture, exercises to improve flexibility and exercises that aim to reverse/correct/limit to curve associated with AIS.
Postural scoliosis as a result of a leg length difference, hand dominance in sport and posture is very different from AIS and can be treated very effectively with exercise.
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