View Full Version : Exercises for Riders with Scoliosis

Dec. 1, 2009, 06:46 PM
Hi all, I was hoping someone might have some recommendations for a rider with scoliosis. My boyfriend has scoliosis that causes his back to curve, not side-to-side, but front-to-back, which makes it appear like he is not sitting correctly in the saddle. He has been riding for two and a half years, with a short hiatus after his horse passed away in September, and aspires to ride in the jumpers.

He and I talk about what he can do to strenghten the muscles around his spine to help him not collapse or break incorrectly at the hip over fences. To get a good core, so that his back is supported. But, I don't know if someone else might have some input from personal experience. He has the determination to do this - he sometimes just has a lot of back pain that is certainly associated from this and would like to know what can help.


Dec. 1, 2009, 06:51 PM
I have a side-to-side S curve but maybe what I was told will help. Core strength, core strength, core strength was emphasized over and over and over. I also saw a muscular therapist for several years (think the most painful massage ever) who helped a great deal.

I also work with a trainer who knows I have scoliosis. I will often call out "Do I look even?" and he'll either say I'm even or correct me.

Dec. 3, 2009, 05:44 PM
Everything Class Action said.

Pilates. Ride without stirrups. Have someone on the ground to tell him when he is straight (I always feel crooked when I am in fact straight, and vice versa). Physical therapy for him- I too am seeing a PT now, at least once or sometimes twice a week. The neck adjustments and microcurrent are a piece of cake, but the muscle therapy- let's just say I am gritting my teeth the whole time and praying for it to end! It falls under the category of "that which does not kill you will make you stronger". :lol: But it has REALLY helped. Wish I started doing it years ago.

Hope it helps!

Dec. 3, 2009, 06:02 PM
Everything Class Action said.
but the muscle therapy- let's just say I am gritting my teeth the whole time and praying for it to end! It falls under the category of "that which does not kill you will make you stronger". :lol:

OH yes! I particularly remember a moment when the therapist (I swear!!) got under my scapula. Holy crap ow. I tell you what ow!

Long term quite helpful though. Just erm be prepared.

Dec. 3, 2009, 06:10 PM
Thanks you two. :) This was helpful. I will make the suggestion that he go back to PT (he hasn't done it since he was playing tennis in college).

Dec. 6, 2009, 09:54 AM
Second the pilates and general core strength! Also the physio.

If he doesn't want to go to Pilates classes, the Sept. issue of Pilates style had a bunch of 'do at home' exercises to target the mid and upper back muscles.

All they required was a floor and a theraband.

Dec. 7, 2009, 08:59 PM
Certainly exercise caution if he is having pain associated with riding. Also consider the type of movement his horse is giving him and consider a horse that does not give a lot of forward/backward movement as that is where his scoliosis is most pronounced. As other have said strengthening is very important.

Dec. 20, 2009, 04:58 PM
Hi Everybody!

Whoa! Am I glad to have found this thread!

I am blessed with scoliosis on two planes, front to back twist and side to side twist (ouch!). In addition one leg is an entire inch shorter than the other.

I have only pursued treatment for it once, about 25 years ago. Because my case was considered 'mild' the Dr told me I did not need any treatment. At the time I thought I failed to impress on him just how painful my "mild" condition was. I came away from that appointment very sad and disappointed.

And then, in the past 25 years, much more serious conditions have reared their ugly heads, to where I am now on disability.

After reading about getting physio for scoliosis, I am now encouraged to seek help again. I have a completely different set of Dr.s now, so I'll see if I can't get some treatment going. Thank you!