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Scoliosis and Spina Bifida



Scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine. Although, in most cases, the cause of scoliosis in individuals is unknown, common treatment plans for those managing scoliosis often include an exercise regime which strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine.  According to the National Scoliosis Foundation an important part of treatment for the disorder is exercise for scoliosis.  You may be able to impact the curvature of the spine by exercising. Exercise for scoliosis could also beneficial for limiting progression of the curvature. However, if the cause of the curve is a shortened leg exercise will not change the sources of the problem and cannot completely correct it. While a physical therapist or other health professional is the only one you who can properly evaluate your condition and prescribe the correct treatment, those managing scoliosis should be as aware of their posture as possible, whether they are standing, sitting, or lying down. Stand tall, shoulders back, with the head back over the shoulders, and your body in as good of alignment as possible. Sit with your weight evenly distributed on both sides of the buttocks. Use a small pillow or a folded towel in the small of the back to provide support for the normal inward curvature of the lower back. If the lower back is in good position, it is easier to sit with good posture with she shoulders and back and the head over the shoulders. Check periodically as you are sitting to be sure there is as much distance as possible between your lower ribs and your pelvis.

In bed, lie with good posture as well. Avoid using more pillows under your head than necessary. Lying on your back or side should be acceptable. You should probably avoid lying on the side that accentuates your curve. Lying over a pillow to stretch your side can be a viable option, but it is important that you recheck with your physical therapist regarding which side, length of time, and exact position for best results.

Recommended Sit and Be Fit exercises for those managing scoliosis:



Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida (SB) is a condition that is present at birth and results from an abnormality in the development of the neural tube, which forms the spinal cord. Depending on the location of the abnormality, people with this condition may experience weakness in the areas that the damaged nerves control.  Commonly, areas of the spinal cord related to sensation, muscle coordination, the abdomen, legs, bowel, and bladder may be affected in individuals with Spina Bifida.

According to the National Center on Physical Activy and Disability, exercising is very important for those managing Spina Bifida because it helps prevent deconditioning, promotes function and endurance, and helps prevent obesity.  Exercises for Spina Bifida and may help treat constipation, resist infection, improve mood, and reduce stress.  In addition, those who use exercise to help manage the symptoms of Spina Bifida will find that the exercise also helps them prevent diabetes, decrease the risk of atherosclerotic heart disease, and helps lower blood pressure. Clearly, exercise is very important for those who want help for Spina Bifida and other conditions.  Sit and Be Fit workouts are great for those managing Spina Bifida because they are gentle, yet very effective. Those looking for ways to help with managing Spina Bifida should talk to their physician before they start any exercise program. In addition to discussing with your physician your exercise program, the NCAPD advises that those managing Spina Bifida take the following precautions into consideration when starting a program of exercises for Spina Bifida or other conditions:

  • Start slowly, beginning with only a few sets and/or repetitions, or with lesser resistance/weight. Then gradually build these elements up as you go.
  • Warm-up for approximately 10 minutes before starting your exercises, and cool-down after your exercise session.
  • Regularly monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE). (See NCPAD's General Exercise Guidelines factsheet for more information.)
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain or discomfort.
  • Don't exercise if you are ill (i.e., cold, flu, bladder infection, pressure ulcer, unusual spasticity).
  • Check medications and their effect on exercise tolerance.
  • Extended periods of inactivity may cause osteoporosis.

Recommended Sit and Be Fit exercises for those managing Spina Bifida:




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