Is ice skating bad for scoliosis? Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that can result from uneven development in the spine during fetal life.
Depending on the severity, there are three types of scoliosis, i.e., mild, moderate, and severe scoliosis.
Mild scoliosis is characterized by a curvature of less than 20 degrees; moderate scoliosis curvature is between 25 and 40 degrees, while severe scoliosis curvature is more than 50 degrees.
Even though scoliosis may cause mild to severe back pain in sufferers, there is little evidence to suggest that ice skating is bad for people with the condition.
Several activities, including some disciplines of ice skating, may cause scoliosis to worsen.
However, there is currently no clear evidence that ice skating causes scoliosis in individuals with the condition.
If you have scoliosis and are considering ice skating, this is the perfect blog. So, read on!
Is ice skating bad for scoliosis?
Is ice skating bad for scoliosis? Ice skating isn’t bad for scoliosis if you avoid some skating disciplines like figure skating, which puts an uneven load on the spine.
Skating is suitable for people with scoliosis as it helps improve flexibility and balance, strengthens the back muscles, and protects the spine.
According to the New York Times, some researchers have reported a higher risk of scoliosis progression in young athletes who participate in sports that put an uneven load on the spine, such as figure skating.
However, sticking to basic skating disciplines like ice hockey shouldn’t be a bad idea.
So long as you keep your spine in proper alignment when skating, there’s no need to worry about scoliosis development or progression from ice skating.
The good news is that you can go back to ice skating after successful scoliosis surgery.
Cheri Donnelly, a three-time national solo skating champion, has undergone spinal fusion to reverse her scoliosis.
A Children’shealth report also reveals that Alexa Hassell returned to figure skating four months after undergoing severe scoliosis surgery at 16 years old.
She had been diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
What does it feel like to have scoliosis
The symptoms of scoliosis usually include;
- Pain in the back when you move your spine
- Backache regularly
- A noticeable curvature of the spine
- breathing difficulty
- Difficulty doing certain tricks that require bending
Importantly, scoliosis shouldn’t worry you when you have a mild or moderate form.
However, if your scoliosis is severe, you should avoid participating in ice skating disciplines like figure skating, which puts an uneven load on the spine.
Risks and benefits of ice skating for those with scoliosis
Here are the risks of ice skating for those with scoliosis;
- Ice skating can worsen scoliosis if you do it incorrectly; Ice skaters with scoliosis may find that their condition worsens the more they skate. You should consult a physical therapist before ice skating to ensure it is safe for you.
There are also benefits of ice skating for those with scoliosis. Here’s a quick rundown;
- Ice skating can provide a physical activity that is good for your spine
- It can help you maintain good posture and balance while you’re doing it
- It’s an affordable form of exercise that most people can do
- It can be a fun way to spend time with friends
- If you can avoid figure skating, most ice skating disciplines are safe for those with scoliosis.
How to ice skate with scoliosis
Here’s how to ice skate with scoliosis;
1. Consult your doctor
Before you start ice skating, you must consult a doctor for physical therapy. They will be able to advise you on the safest way for you to participate in the activity.
2. Avoid falling on your back
It’s essential to keep your balance while you’re ice skating. If you fall onto your lower back, it can aggravate your scoliosis and make the curvature worse.
3. Stay away from figure skating
If you have severe scoliosis, it’s best to avoid figure skating. This is because an uneven load on the spine can worsen your condition.
Stick to more simple ice skating disciplines like free skating or beginner ice dancing
4. Avoid aggressive ice skating
It’s important to avoid aggressive ice skating like backflips. This includes skidding and taking sudden sharp turns. Skating in an uncontrolled way can cause your scoliosis to worsen.
5. Wear comfortable ice skates
Wearing comfortable ice skates is essential. Ensure the skate has good arch support and fits snugly around your feet.
This will ensure that you don’t fall while you’re skating. Read this complete guide to learn more about the correct ice skates.
6. Avoid overskating
Avoid overskating. This means skating too fast or going too hard on the ice. Overtraining your back can aggravate your scoliosis and make it worse.
7. Wear your bracing
If you’re using scoliosis-specific bracing, ensure it’s fitted correctly and in line with your spine’s curvature. Wearing a brace will provide added support during ice skating.
8. Stretch lightly
When you’re stretching before ice skating, make sure that you do it lightly.
Stretching too hard can cause your scoliosis to worsen. Stretching correctly also improves your posture and relieves back pain.
Is ice skating bad for scoliosis? FAQs
What sports should be avoided with scoliosis?
Sports that involve high impact, such as running and jumping, should be avoided with scoliosis.
These activities can cause your spine to curve further and stress your body unnecessarily.
Sports prone to collisions or sudden movements should also be avoided because they exacerbate your condition.
Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, and cycling may be okay if you are still in the early stages of the disease but should not become a regular part of your routine once you have developed curvature along most of your spine.
What is the best sport for scoliosis?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best sport for scoliosis will vary depending on your anatomy and your case’s severity.
However, some sports that are often recommended for people with scoliosis include ballet (because of its flexibility), martial arts (due to its balance and coordination), swimming (for its endurance and resistance training), and cycling (for its breathing exercises and cardiovascular workout).
If you’re unsure which sport would be best for you, consult a doctor or specialist.
What exercises can worsen scoliosis?
Excessive exercise can worsen scoliosis if it is performed incorrectly.
Improper stretching and strengthening of the body’s muscles surrounding your spine can increase the curvature of your spine.
Do not attempt to do too many advanced or challenging exercises without consulting a doctor first – you may risk further damage to your spine.
What are the dos and don’ts of scoliosis?
When it comes to scoliosis, the most important thing is to follow a personalized treatment plan for you.
This means that you need to undergo regular screenings and be assessed by a doctor so your care can be customized accordingly.
There are also some general guidelines that everyone with scoliosis should abide by in order not to experience significant negative consequences.
These include: staying active, maintaining good posture, avoiding heavy lifting and excessive stretching, wearing supportive clothing when possible, and using proper shoes (preferably ones with ankle support).
If you adopt these simple lifestyle habits, chances are high that your scoliosis will remain under control.
Is ice skating bad for scoliosis? Final thoughts
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can result from spinal curvature in childhood or adolescence.
While many different exercises can be done to prevent progression and worsening, improper execution may cause additional damage.
As for whether you can ice skate with scoliosis, it’s crystal clear that you can.
But you’ll want to avoid specific ice skating disciplines like figure skating since it’s not a good idea.
Figure skating can put undue stress on your lower back, causing more pain.
More importantly, consult a doctor before beginning any strenuous exercise program if you have scoliosis. Good luck, mate!