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Old 01-28-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Scoliosis

I am not sure how many of you know what this is, but basically it means that my spine is twisted.
This has caused my left lower back musculature to be stretched and weaker and my right lower back is a lot stronger as it takes more of the force of any movements. It isn't a particularly bad case of the condition but it is noticable.
I am seriously considering gong hard into powerbuilding-type workouts as listed on this site.
However I am not sure if this is advisable considering deadlifts are a focus on them and although I really want strong deads I am unsure if this may cause injury or not. Or even increase the uneven-ness.
Is there any way that I could do a deadlift that would be easier on my back? even just for the first few workouts?

Btw I am a 17 year old who has been working out for a year. I can leg press 500kg, Bench Press 100kg, Squat at least 150kg.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum WM. A rack deadlift might be easier on your back, but that's pure speculation on my part. I would think if you deadlift from pins just below the knee or a little higher that it might remove some of the back stress.

If you want to avoid the lift completely, that would be ok too. I built quite a bit of back muscle prior to my deadlift days.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:22 PM   #3
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I am a trainer, and myself have a scoliosis.

You should get the advice of a sports physiotherapist, since the degree of problem varies a LOT from person to person. However, speaking generally, you can do all the normal powerlifting lifts.

Everyone when lifting needs to be conscious of their posture. But most people only need to worry about it front-to-back, rounding their lower back on deadlifts, that sort of thing. You and I need to worry about it left to right, too.

Almost nobody has a perfectly straight spine, particularly not once you load them up with 100kg or whatever. What we do is have the best possible posture in each rep.

Scoliosis and other postural issues are of two kinds - functional and structural. A functional scoliosis (etc) means that the muscles are imbalanced, and this pulls the spine out. Happens to people like rowers and tennis players. A structural scoliosis means that the spine itself is out, and this adjusts the muscles.

A functional issue can be entirely resolved by exercise - balance the muscles and you're fine. A structural issue can never be cured by exercise, since whatever you do, the spine is as it is. However, if you never exercise it gets worse, and if you do exercise the muscle imbalances can be mitigated somewhat. That is, exercise stops the structural scoliosis person from getting worse, and generally improves their function.

Of course, the progress for someone with health issues of whatever kind is a bit slower than others.

A scoliosis person who starts their lifting young can do great things. Look up Lamar Gant - first person to deadlift 5x bodyweight (300kg @60kg). Looks a bit funny in his pictures, short torso... he has a severe scoliosis, when he lifts the spine twists more and his torso gets shorter, it's very freaky.

So powerlifting and other strength compound lifts can certainly benefit the scoliosis person, and they can certainly lift a heap of weight with proper training. But it depends on the severity of the condition, you may need some funky little exercises and stretches to help things out. That's why I said to check with a sports physiotherapist first.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
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Wheelchair BBer. NO dead lifts. You fully take advantage of other back exercises.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:06 PM   #5
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Deadlifts can be beneficial for the person with scoliosis, Rich, since they build up the muscles of the lower back, and thus improve posture, reducing lower back pain and so on. If nothing else, learning to stand up straight with 100kg in your hands will help you stand up straighter with no weight in your hands.

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Old 01-28-2011, 11:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron View Post
Deadlifts can be beneficial for the person with scoliosis, Rich, since they build up the muscles of the lower back, and thus improve posture, reducing lower back pain and so on. If nothing else, learning to stand up straight with 100kg in your hands will help you stand up straighter with no weight in your hands.

It's not all just about building bigger muscles, you know Rich
My mom has scoliosis.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron View Post
I am a trainer, and myself have a scoliosis.

You should get the advice of a sports physiotherapist, since the degree of problem varies a LOT from person to person. However, speaking generally, you can do all the normal powerlifting lifts.

Everyone when lifting needs to be conscious of their posture. But most people only need to worry about it front-to-back, rounding their lower back on deadlifts, that sort of thing. You and I need to worry about it left to right, too.

Almost nobody has a perfectly straight spine, particularly not once you load them up with 100kg or whatever. What we do is have the best possible posture in each rep.

Scoliosis and other postural issues are of two kinds - functional and structural. A functional scoliosis (etc) means that the muscles are imbalanced, and this pulls the spine out. Happens to people like rowers and tennis players. A structural scoliosis means that the spine itself is out, and this adjusts the muscles.

A functional issue can be entirely resolved by exercise - balance the muscles and you're fine. A structural issue can never be cured by exercise, since whatever you do, the spine is as it is. However, if you never exercise it gets worse, and if you do exercise the muscle imbalances can be mitigated somewhat. That is, exercise stops the structural scoliosis person from getting worse, and generally improves their function.

Of course, the progress for someone with health issues of whatever kind is a bit slower than others.

A scoliosis person who starts their lifting young can do great things. Look up Lamar Gant - first person to deadlift 5x bodyweight (300kg @60kg). Looks a bit funny in his pictures, short torso... he has a severe scoliosis, when he lifts the spine twists more and his torso gets shorter, it's very freaky.

So powerlifting and other strength compound lifts can certainly benefit the scoliosis person, and they can certainly lift a heap of weight with proper training. But it depends on the severity of the condition, you may need some funky little exercises and stretches to help things out. That's why I said to check with a sports physiotherapist first.


Thanks so much man, good to hear! Tbh my condition probably wouldn't be considered too significant and I have built some mass on the weaker side already in an attempt to compensate. Going on what you are saying, I think mine would have to be structural as I have always had this problem. I first noticed when doing scrummaging in rugby as a kid if you know about that sport.
I am actually going to see a physio soon for another injury soon so will ask then. thanks. Im looking forward to getting an insanely strong back now and the advantages that will surely some with it.
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