Can my child with scoliosis still exercise and participate in physical activity?

Yes. While it will not cure scoliosis, exercise might lessen any potential reduction in your child’s physical function over time. Keeping physically fit and exercising can also improve your child's overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Can playing sports can make my child's scoliosis worse?

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the most common type of scoliosis, often occurs between the ages of 10 and 16 — just when many children are eager to jump in to a smorgasbord of middle school and high school sports and athletic programs.

But don’t despair. Playing sports won’t make scoliosis worse. In fact, participating in sports that promote flexibility and core strength can actually reduce your child’s back pain. Sports that can help scoliosis include:

  • Swimming, which can increase core strength since it requires your child to use all of his or her muscles at once.
  • Gymnastics, which can boost your child’s flexibility and improve core strength.

Should my child should avoid certain sports?

Most sports, even weightlifting, are generally fine. However, if a child has had back surgery, they should avoid contact sports. These include hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and football.

For sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis and swimming, your child can probably start participating in them again about six months after surgery. But be sure to talk with your child’s doctor first.

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