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Exercises for Riders with Scoliosis

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  • Exercises for Riders with Scoliosis

    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.

    Last edited by cgray0983; Dec. 1, 2009, 08:01 PM.
    Coruscant Stables

  • #2
    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.
    Forward momentum!


    • #3
      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". But it has REALLY helped. Wish I started doing it years ago.

      Hope it helps!
      ~Living the life I imagined~


      • #4
        Originally posted by hey101 View Post
        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".
        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.
        Forward momentum!


        • Original Poster

          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).
          Coruscant Stables


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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.
              Karma and Drifter girl


              • #8
                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!
                Linda D with Whirl Wind aka "Whirly", 15 year old School Master