Scoliosis in Sports

Scoliosis is a spine deformity in the
side-to-side (or lateral) plane of more than 10 degrees of angulation.  The majority of the time this occurs
spontaneously during the pubertal growth spurt in an individual with normal spine development, up until that time.  Currently this type of scoliosis is called
“idiopathic”, meaning there is no known cause.
However genetic researchers are finding more and more associations
between patients’ genetics and the development of scoliosis.  There is nothing the patient or caregiver
did, or didn’t do, to cause the scoliosis to occur.  Most individuals with idiopathic scoliosis
are involved, to some degree, in athletic endeavors whether it be recreational
or high-level competition
at the time they are diagnosed with scoliosis.  Often sports are interwoven into their
day-to-day activities, so a new diagnosis of scoliosis raises questions about
what sporting activities, and level of participation, a person with scoliosis
may participate.
Despite the lateral curvature of the spine, the bony stability of the
spine is normal, without instability

or weakness
There is no increased risk of damage to the spine during athletic
participation when compared to a si
milar individual whose spine does not have scoliosis, or is absolutely
straight.  We encourage all patients with
scoliosis to be as athletically active as they desire, as the benefits of an
active lifestyle are well-known. 
best way to prevent back pain in scoliosis is to remain athletically active, specifically to be aerobically fit.  For those individuals who do not participate
in an organized athletic activity we encourage every other day workouts.  These should be 20-30 minutes, at a minimum,
in which the patient raises their heartrate and
breaks into a sweat.  More elaborate
methods to quantify heartrate are commercially available, but are not
Even patients whose scoliosis requires
brace use we encourage sports participa
tion.  The brace can be removed and
they can participate in their sport

at full capacity.  After completion of
the sporting activity the
can be re-applied.  It is not desirable
to have the patients who are wearing a brace to stop their athletic
activities.  There are many negative
implications of being sedentary. 
So go out there and Play Ball!
Next Blogpost: What is Spondylolysis or
a Pars Fracture?

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