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Scoliosis Patients: Get In the Game

Author: CHKD Sports Medicine, Whitney Huffman, DPT, Schroth-Barcelona C1 Certified
Published Date: Thursday, February 06, 2020

As a sports physical therapist who specializes in scoliosis, I’m often asked whether children with scoliosis should participate in sports. The question is normally followed by, “Which sports are safe?” and “Are there physical activities my child should avoid?” Some are surprised to learn that scoliosis is not caused by sports or specific physical activities. Adolescent scoliosis is typically idiopathic, which means the cause is largely unknown.

Children with scoliosis should stay active. They should perform core strengthening and flexibility exercises on a regular basis. It is recommended that these exercises be guided by a physical therapist to help prevent excessive stress on the spine.

Physical activity and sports are encouraged for most all children. This is especially true for those with scoliosis. If you are performing your recommended exercises on a regular basis to maintain core strength, then your spine should be able to tolerate sports and physical activity. Many professional and Olympic athletes have scoliosis, and they have been very successful with their careers and are able to compete at the highest level.

Some individuals may have discomfort with activities such as dance or gymnastics. This is due to the excessive spinal extension frequently required for these sports. However, these athletes typically having pain because they lack range of motion in their hips or legs. Spinal stability exercises paired with improved range of motion throughout the hips, knees, ankles, and trunk will set youth athletes up for success in their sport.

If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis or if you have questions regarding treatment, schedule a visit with one of our physical therapists at CHKD Sports Medicine.



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About CHKD Sports Medicine

CHKD's sports medicine program offers the most comprehensive care for your young athlete. From diagnosis and treatment to customized rehabilitation plans, we specialize in physical therapy and injury prevention programs for active children and teens. Our team is composed of pediatric orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physician assistants, certified athletic trainers and pediatric sports medicine physical therapists.

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