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Straighten Up: Scoliosis Exercises For Better Posture


Dr. Aatif Siddiqui


January 6, 2023

Table of Contents

There are many newer treatments that include scoliosis exercises. Schroth physical therapist focus on breathing mechanics, repetitive motions and other physical therapy uses mirror-image type exercises, but the best scoliosis exercises are those that help create a new “Posture Memory” while strengthening the core muscles. This approach teaches the brain how to hold the spine in a less-twisted, straighter posture automatically. Stretching can also be helpful in improving posture and reducing pain associated with scoliosis.

Scoliosis has been considered primarily a spinal abnormality since the Ancient Greeks’ times. All of the therapies developed for it are orthopedic, mechanical, or physical in nature because they have been conceived in this way for so long. These efforts, rather than being early-stage identification of at-risk patients and preventive intervention, are attempts to return the “toothpaste back into the tube”. Scoliosis patients have been stretched, dragged, pushed, hammered, stepped on, and twisted in practically every conceivable manner throughout the years. Scoliosis, on the other hand, continues to have no cure or solution. The scoliosis condition is still not cured by spinal fusion surgery, and curves gradually rise over time and have extremely high long-term complications, despite surgical fusion.

Just a few of the most popular scoliosis treatments from across the globe, as well as a history of when they were utilized, are listed below for your reference. It’s worth noting that until very recently, none of the aforementioned descriptions ever mentioned or depicted anything to do with genetic, hormonal, nutritional, or environmental aspects of scoliosis.

Specific exercises for curvature of the spine

The ScoliSMART doctors give credit to all physical therapist using the Schroth method and other exercises to help people with scoliosis, especially helping children avoid surgery. But, not all scoliosis exercises work the same. Voluntary movement exercises, like a side plank or ones done at a gym, DO NOT create a new posture memory. Only “Reflexive Response” exercises influence posture memory, including those that target the muscles in the buttocks and latissimus dorsi.

A brace and scoliosis surgery only focus on improving curve measurement on an x-ray.  ScoliSMART scoliosis exercises target the cause of scoliosis by retraining the posture memory. This process creates a new muscle memory to hold the curved spine straighter over time. In fact, in our peer-reviewed and independently published “success rate” study 93% of patients did not need fusion surgery and their scoliosis curves reduced by 9-15 degrees on average. Get free recommendations on scoliosis exercises, including scoliosis symptoms, sent directly to your email.

Reflexive response exercises occur when the body automatically responds to weight that unbalances the body’s center of gravity. For example, the whole body pulls to the left when carrying a heavy bucket of water in your right hand. These movements become automated habits in our brains. This same concept can create a new and straighter posture memory in the brains of scoliosis patients. Kids and adults

Why is this important? Most cases are adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (of unknown cause), yet the curve progression stems from a  problem with the brain’s control of the spine in response to gravity (Posture Memory). This occurs during periods of rapid growth spurts in kids and teens. The spine’s alignment is crucial in maintaining good posture, and this causes a deviation from the straight line, leading to discomfort and pain. Proper technique is essential in preventing further progression of the curve and maintaining good sitting posture.

Posture control/memory is an automatic reflex. Human beings do not have any direct control over spinal alignment. We don’t have to think about standing up and resisting gravity. Our brains pull out the mental picture out of our posture memory and remember how to do it. As infants, we keep trying to stand until we can do it without focusing on the task. ScoliSMART reflexive response exercises stop curve progression because they form a new posture memory. The condition comes in many forms, each with its own set of diagnostic criteria and specific age of onset. Nutrient therapies and specific exercises that will benefit your child, especially if action is taken immediately to avoid further curve progression. Muscular dystrophy can also affect posture control and may require different treatment approaches. Pelvic tilt is an important factor to consider when addressing posture control.

Adult spinal curve reduction exercises often concentrate on correcting posture collapse and reducing the asymmetric load on the spine, which in the long term reduces the chance of development. Adolescent patients concentrate on allowing natural vertebrae growth. It’s also possible that better mobility and biomechanical alterations in the spine’s soft tissues may help prevent progress. Reflexive Response Training, which uses posture memory building exercises to reeducate the mind to perceive a new center of equilibrium in the body, is another way of doing it. Patients may create additional neuromuscular connections that assist restore the posture and align of the lumbar spine by including the ScoliSMART Activity Suit and other specialized equipment with precise exercises.

Regardless of age or the severity of the curve, posture memory re-training is effective. ScoliSMART healed or reduced the curves of 9 out of every 10 people in a clinical trial, with mid-to upper-back curves reducing by 6 degrees or more in two-thirds of cases. ScoliSMART BootCamp, a 5 to 10 day program for patients with curves measuring at least 25 degrees, is ideal for adults who want to jump-start their treatment. Patients may spend time understanding how to do specific exercises and continue their therapy at home after completing moderate-intensity training. Surgery isn’t the only option just because a patient’s curves have persisted into adulthood. Even adults with severe cases may stop the progress and achieve curve improvement via the proper scoliosis exercises, even if early treatment is best. It is important to note that scoliosis can affect one side of the body more than the other, and it is crucial to understand the individual’s condition before starting any treatment.

To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

Treating the Whole Scoliosis Condition, Not Only the Spinal Curve

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has several genetic variations that may be examined easily and inexpensively! Even better, all 28 functional genetic types associated with the condition (which have been identified at the time of this writing) have been scientifically established using known nutrient treatment therapies. To put it another way, we may easily identify any given patient’s genetic “scratches,” and then choose the suitable natural supplementation and initiate non-invasive early stage intervention. Before they exhibit any signs of acquiring a spinal curve and beginning nutritional therapies to make up for their genetic deficiencies, this technology might even be utilized to identify which youngsters are genetically “high risk” for developing the condition. Additionally, it is important to note that the shoulder blades play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment.

Because it affects so many body systems and is organized on so many body levels, scoliosis should be referred to as a “condition.” The structure of our bodies is based on genetics, and genetic codes called variants are common throughout our species. These variations have a negative impact on genetic performance and may disrupt the proteins and enzymes that a certain gene generates. The metabolic pathways that link genetic products to produce more complex substances such as neurotransmitters and hormones might be severely affected by this interruption. The communication system between your brain and body is made up of neurotransmitters and hormones. When adolescent children with the genetic mutation combination for idiopathic scoliosis start to develop quickly, causing spinal curvature known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the disruption in brain-to-body communication becomes readily apparent. Osteoporosis is also a common complication of scoliosis, and it is important to monitor bone health in patients with arthritis and scoliosis.

Online consultation scheduling is available!

Now it’s even easier to connect with ScoliSMART. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation phone or Zoom consultation online with a ScoliSMART physician. Visit the ScoliSMART BootCamp page and click the “Schedule Online” button at the top of the page. Then select the best date and time to connect with a physician. Schedule your consultation right here!

Why Curvature Progression Skyrockets in Curves Over 25 Degrees

Curvatures of the spine over 25 degrees may progress to 50 degrees or more with or without a brace. This is when doctors start recommending fusion surgery. This is frustrating because the same doctors often suggest “wait and watch” for mild scoliosis (curves less than 25 degrees). They only recommend treatment options once the curve progression already has momentum.

ScoliSMART doctors never recommend waiting.  is crucial because the spine curve has a “twisting” effect that skyrockets the chances scoliosis will progress after curves reach 25 degrees. 

The spinal bending and rotation caused by the condition, changes and accelerates during puberty (during growth spurts) when a curve is more than 25 degrees. Like a twisting rubber band, increased twisting makes the spine bend even more. ScoliSMART focuses on treating the whole scoliosis condition. Our approach can stop the spinal curve progression, reduce the spinal curvature (Cobb angle on x-ray), while letting kids still be kids.  Get recommendations for preventing bracing for scoliosis sent directly to your email

Factors that Affect Curve Progression

Spinal curve development does not cease once you reach spinal maturity, as is commonly believed. Four out of every ten adult patients will have curve advancement over the course of two decades. The rise is moderate for most people, but it can accumulate overtime.

“It has been known for many years that scoliosis can continue to progress after skeletal maturity,” says spinal expert Alessandra Negrini. “Its evolution is slow and insidious and involves both the anatomic and the functional aspect of the curve.”

Whether you had the condition as a child or have developed de novo (new) scoliosis in adulthood, curve progression is generally influenced by four main factors:

Skeletal growth

When the spine is still developing, the condition speeds up, while once it has finished growing, it slows down. On a scale of 0 to 5, doctors determine skeletal maturity by measuring adult bone growth. Those with a 0 or 1 rating have a 68% chance of seeing curve progress, whereas those with a 2 to 4 rating only see 23%.



Curves over 30 degrees are 7 times more likely to progress in girls than boys. The rate of spine curves in men and women decreases as patients reach adulthood. Women, on the other hand, may be more likely to develop degenerative spine curves as they enter menopause and become osteoporotic. When estrogen is introduced during early teenage growth spurts and when estrogen is removed as patients reach or terminate menopause (leading to loss of bone density and bone mass), we observe rapid curve progress in female patients.

Curve pattern and size 

Curves are more likely to progress depending on certain characteristics. The two curve patterns most likely to progress are thoracic spine curves, which occur on the right side 90 percent of the time, and lumbar curves, which are commonly found on the left. Size is also a factor to consider. Curves that reach 50 degrees or higher are likely to progress faster than smaller curves when they measure more than 30 Cobb degrees at skeletal maturity.


Adults and children may find age to be a useful indicator of scoliosis progression. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of spinal curvature, which affects teenagers throughout adolescence. The chance of curve progression increases as a child gets older. Idiopathic conditioners usually have a sluggish and steady progress as they reach adulthood. The opposite is more common with de novo scoliosis. The risk of degenerative scoliosis development rises as people age, accompanied by bone density loss. The development of the curves can also be influenced by postural collapse and subsequent spinal degeneration.

Regular Chiropractic Care for Scoliosis

The Chiropractic profession seems like the natural and obvious choice for treating the condition. Their entire career and training focuses on the spine and vertebrae, so thoracic scoliosis or lumbar curves should be a natural fix, but the published research has produced mixed results. Traditional chiropractor adjustment with posture counselling and shoe lifts had little to no effect on the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. However, a more comprehensive approach also using nutrition and scoliosis exercises proved be much more effective, preventing the need for surgery 93% of the time.

Schroth Physical Therapy, Pilates, and Yoga May Also Benefit Adults with Scoliosis

While the reflexive response approach, featuring the ScoliSMART Activity Suit, is very effective for reducing back pain and discomfort, several other approached for treating adults with spinal curvatures have shown promise for improving quality of life in adults as well. SOSORT member physical therapist often use Schroth and bracing to help stabilize the lower back muscles of adult patients even with severe curves. Schroth exercises target the torso symmetry and spine rotation through self-correction repetitions and deep breaths. Some patients may find following exercises challenging (Ex: cerebral palsy), but modifications can be made by the physiotherapist.

Depending on the degree of curvature, some patients find Pilates and yoga helpful to maintain good posture and is becoming more popular in the United States, despite lack of recognition from the SRS. The pelvis, rib cage, abs, upper back, and opposite side of the curve (generally the right side in lumbar scoliosis and left side in thoracic scoliosis). As with Schroth, neutral position, mobility, and deep breath repetitions are emphasized.

What are the exercises for scoliosis?

Some of the general exercises include the pelvic tilt, shoulder blade squeeze, hip roll, and spinal twist. However, it’s important to consult with a physical therapist or doctor before starting any exercise program as certain exercises may worsen the condition.

Now it’s even easier to connect with ScoliSMART. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation phone or Zoom consultation online with a ScoliSMART physician right here!

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

Don’t know where to start?  Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.”  (No x-ray required)

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

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