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Does lifting dumbbells or weights affect scoliosis development?

My brother has a scoliosis and we want to go to the gym together but I'm not sure if he can do it because his scoliosis might get worse if we will workout everyday. So, does lifting weights affect the scoliosis development or not?



  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,025

    It sure can if you do not use proper form and lift too much weight. My advice is to consult with his doctor, then possibly with a certified personal trainer.

    I have scoliosis and severe fast moving osteoarthritis, seven years ago with advice from my rheumatologist and doctors I decided I really needed to strengthen my spine by building muscle around it to support it. I'm at the gym a minimum of 5 days a week usually for 90 minutes average. I used to lift heavier weight but in the last few years I've gone to lifting less weights with more reps. Also added more body weight exercises and still have gotten great results. Right now I'm post-op of a major lower spine fusion so I'm back to square one at the gym doing minimal workouts suggested by my medical team. When they finally cut me loose I'll be after it again to regain all I've lost since surgery.

    Wish you and your brother the best,


  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,442

    i second that!  you definitely need a doctor's consult, and possible a physiotherapist to help with proper form.  last thing you want to do is load the imbalanced spine in an imbalanced heavy load and cause further issues. 

    i'm like ranger, scoli with inflammatory arthritis....just got a long fusion, T10 to S2 with pelvic screws.  you want to make sure you do everything properly so you don't end up young and in an awful lot of pain and needing surgery.  this surgery has a long recovery, and it's not easy.....i'm 8 months out now, and just getting back into serious working out, cardio and have been cleared for lifting again and i can say with 100% honesty, this is the hardest, most challenging and mentally and physically exhausting thing i have ever done in my entire life.

    try to do things correctly now, get strong, stay strong and hopefully avoid surgery altogether.  But please get a doctor's opinion before starting!!!!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

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  • dianenodianeno doncasterPosts: 54

    After spine surgery I was told no upper body weight training or if your spine is fragile, so I wouldn't unless a specialist in scoli has discussed it fully :)

  • scoliogirlsscoliogirl Augusta Posts: 36

    I am living proof of decompensation of spine due to weightlifting.  I worked out heavily for 30 years and enjoyed every minute of it until I started experiencing terrible pain (well 10 years there I had manageable pain).  I thought the weights would strengthen my body and back and was even told by chiropractor that I should continue.  Now I know after consulting with at PT who specialized in scoliosis told me "no more" - you are killing your back.  I do lift very LIGHT weights and changed my form drastically.  There is only one leg movement I can do - leg extension - no more lunges or legs hurls.  Squats the worse.  PT also said don't walk up hills if you can help it.  Walking around the track a couple of times is about maximum for me. I can tell you that a typical trainer at a gym knows nothing about scoliosis and they usually have a cookie cutter workout for everyone.

    Also running and jumping rope are out of the question.  I wish I would have know this bf.  All that pounding only compresses the spine. Hope this helps and I will be glad to answer specific questions.  

    Anyway as far as him lifting now and how bad his scoliosis is, I would say if it hurts your back and doesn't feel right - don't do it.  I also recommend not lifting weights everyday.  If your gym has an "Arc" machine for cardio, its' great.  One day cardio and one day weights and a break day is the best I can manage to do.

  • hi there I had t9 to s2 fussion, I lifted weights for yrs. it helped in the beginig but I did get to a point where it didn't help any more. and form is most important I agree. after my surgrey I am now back in the gym and just starting with very light weights. I is important to keep my muscles strong, but again you have to be very careful and proffenal advise is best to help with a work out. and I was told if I do legs, then I need a week recovery time befor I do legs again so my wok out is Mondays arms and core with wensday legs, them Friday back and shoulders. this way each area has a week recovery. I was a runner..my race was the 5k, and in my late fortys still took a second place for my age group. my doctor never liked the fact that I was a runner, never.  but I have such a love for it. and I had one doctor saying keep doing the running and yoga, its keeping you from surgrey and another that said its bad for you. so it comes down to doing what your body tells you you can handle, as running started to hurt, I backed off and put more into yoga.  I don't think there is a cut and dryed answer. good luck

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