How To Fix Scoliosis: Best Exercises To Straighten Spine

This blog post will go through the best Scoliosis exercises to straighten the spine!


What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis refers to a spinal deformity which involves the presence of a lateral curvature (side bending) in the Thoracic and/or Lumbar spine.

(Additionally – there is influence from the position of the rib cage and rotation of the spine.)

Characteristics of Scoliosis

how to fix scoliosis
  • Tilted head
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Uneven nipple height
  • Winged scapula
  • Rotated torso
  • Rib hump
  • Compressed ribs (+/- breathing issues)
  • Uneven arm gap
  • Uneven muscle bulk
  • Asymmetrical abdominals
  • Hip hike (Lateral Pelvic Tilt)
  • Leg length discrepancy

Types of Scoliosis

There are 2 types of Scoliosis: Structural and Functional.


1. Structural Scoliosis

This is determined by your genetics and/or as a result of fused joints.

(If the joints in your spine have fused together, then there is a smaller likelihood of significantly impacting the shape of your spine by performing the Scoliosis exercises.)

2. Functional Scoliosis

This is determined by how your body habitually holds itself up as it attempts to maintain an up right posture against gravity.

It is able to be changed and/or improved.

(Read that last sentence again. This means that there’s a good chance that these Scoliosis exercises will help you!)

“Which type of Scoliosis do I have?”

Here are 2 quick tests on how to determine which type of Scoliosis you have.


a) Forward Bend Test

forward bend test for Scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Position 1:
    • Stand with your feet together.
    • Keep knees completely straight.
    • Take note of the severity of your Scoliosis.
  • Position 2:
    • Bend forwards at the waist until your torso is horizontal.

(Get someone to take a photo of your torso so that you can compare the 2 different positions.)

Results:

  • Structural Scoliosis: Nil change in the alignment of the spine.
  • Functional Scoliosis: Partial/Full correction in the alignment of the spine.

b) Side Bend Test

side bending test for scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Stand up right.
  • Side bend away from the side of the concave curve.

Results: If the curvature of the spine partially or completely reverses, then you have a Functional Scoliosis.)


What are the causes of Scoliosis?

The habitual positions that you adopt on a daily basis can often lead to Scoliosis.


The spine becomes so accustomed to using certain muscles in a certain position, that over time – you are now “hard wired” to hold this abnormal posture.

For example:

poor sitting posture
  • Asymmetrical sitting posture
  • Playing sport with dominant arm only
  • Always carrying bag on one side
  • Favoring one side at gym
  • Always sleeping on one side

Why is it an issue?

Scoliosis in the spine can bias the body to a particular position of asymmetry.

This can limit the amount of flexibility/mobility in the spine which may negatively influence posture and movement.

In my opinion – The body functions more efficiently and effortlessly when it is in a better alignment.

How can you move properly if you do not start from a good position?

(… Let’s be honest. Do we want to have a crooked spine?)

How to analyze your Scoliosis on X-ray:

By comparing your X-rays over time, it serves as a great way to keep track of how your alignment is progressing with the Scoliosis exercises!


X-Ray Analysis

scoliosis xray

1. Your Alignment vs Ideal Alignment [Red line]

  • Draw a vertical line that is the mid point between the 2 hip joints.

(This shows how much the alignment of your spine deviates from the ideal mid line.)

2. Pelvic Tilt [Orange line]

  • Draw a line between the waist heights.

(This shows if your pelvis is level or tilted.)

3. Leg Length Discrepancy [Yellow line]

  • Draw a line between the top of the hip bones.

(This shows if your legs are standing at the same vertical height.)

4. Identify the Convexity and Concavity curves

(This shows you the exact location of your Scoliosis.)

5. Determine the Cobb’s angle

(This determines the severity of the Scoliosis.)

Instructions:

  • Locate the:
    • Apex of the spine
    • The most tilted vertebra above and below the Apex
  • Draw a line that matches the angle of these 2 vertebra.
  • Add perpendicular lines.
  • The point where these 2 lines intersect creates the Cobb’s angle.
  • Measure the angle.

RESULTS:

  • <10 degrees: Relatively “normal”/minor
  • 10-20 degrees: Moderate
  • 20-40 degrees: Moderate/severe
  • >45 degrees: Severe

Note:

** The following Scoliosis exercises are best suited for those who have a curve of <20 degrees.

** The exercises will still help for those who have a curve of >20 degrees, however, other factors such as spinal rotation and rib position will likely need to be addressed as well. (.. which is a bit more complex!)

** For angles >40 degrees, surgical interventions may need to be considered. (Although – I would still strongly encourage you to persist with conservative treatment as much as you can!)


Exercises for Scoliosis

Please note:

  • The following Scoliosis exercises serve as a starting point when addressing the curvature of the spine.
  • With the presence of 2 (… or more) curves, there is a primary and a compensatory curve(s).
  • (The compensatory curve is the attempt of the body to maintain an upright posture as a response to the primary curve.)
  • For best results for your specific presentation – perform these specific exercises in conjunction with a health care professional.

Read this BEFORE you start:

Address your pelvis!

“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation”

As the position of the pelvis has a significant influence on the orientation of the entire spine, it is vital that this structure is in a neutral position when addressing your Scoliosis.


1. Lateral Pelvic Tilt:

This is the asymmetric positioning of the pelvis which involves uneven waist heights.

 To address this issue: How to Fix a Lateral pelvic tilt.


2. Leg Length Discrepancy:

Asymmetries between the length of your legs can lead to a Lateral Pelvic Tilt.

leg length discrepancy

How to measure:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Measure the distance from the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS) to the Medial Malleolus.
  • Do both sides.

Results: If these lengths are significantly different between the legs, then you may have a leg length discrepancy.

(Alternatively – you can get a CT scan to measure it.)

 To address this issue: If you have a true leg length discrepancy, consider getting inserts in your shoe to address the height difference.


3. Rotated Pelvis

rotated pelvis

This is where the pelvis is twisted and facing more towards one side.

 To address this issue: How to Fix a Rotated Pelvis.


… Now that the pelvis is level, let’s get on with the Scoliosis exercises to straighten the spine!

Scoliosis Exercises:

Table of Content:

  1. Releases
  2. Stretches
  3. Strengthening
  4. Corrections
  5. Progressions
  6. Asymmetrical position
  7. Addressing other areas
  8. Common questions
  9. Conclusion

1. Releases

It is important to know WHERE your concave curve is located.

For simplicity sake – release the muscles which fall within the shaded area of the concavity.

These muscles will tend to be tight and/or over active.


Possible muscles to target

Thoracic region:

Lumbar region:

  • Erector Spinae
  • Quadratus Lumborum
  • Psoas
  • Obliques
  • Thoracolumbar fascia

a) Ball releases

For the correct placement of the massage ball, use Google Images to locate the muscle you are trying to target.

releases for scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Place the target muscle on the side of your concavity on top of a ball.
  • Apply your body weight on top of the ball.
  • Make sure to cover the whole concavity.
  • Continue for 5-10 minutes.

Note: Do NOT roll directly onto your rib cage! Instead, do this…

b) Intercostals

intercostal releases

Instructions:

  • Place your finger tip in the gap between the ribs on the side of the concavity.
  • Apply a firm pressure as you trace around the ribs.
  • Continue for 1 minute per rib level.

2. Scoliosis Stretches

Stretching addresses the tight muscles that are holding the spine into a particular pattern of Scoliosis.


The Apex is where the spine bends the most.

It is very important to know the exact location of the apex.

This will dictate the specific area of the spine that needs to be targeted.

Aim to FEEL the stretch in the region of the concavity at the level of the apex.

Hold each stretch for at least 10 minutes (… go longer if you can).


For Thoracic Scoliosis:

a) Side stretch on floor

(Area targeted: Side of Rib Cage, Side of Thoracic Spine)

scoliosis exercises

Instructions:

  • Lie down with the side of concavity towards the ground.
  • Prop your upper body onto your forearm.
  • Whilst keeping your waist pinned down to the ground, push your torso up right.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of the rib cage and Thoracic Spine.
  • Take a deep breath into the area where you feel the stretch.
    • (Push your ribs and belly out as much as you can!)

Note: The angle of your torso whilst performing this stretch should be dictated by the area of the Thoracic region you are targeting.

  • Upper Thoracic: The torso will be less up right
  • Lower Thoracic: The torso will be more up right

b) Side Stretch with Flexion

(Area targeted: Side of spine)

stretch for thoracic scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Remain seated.
  • Curve your upper back region forwards.
    • Aim to curve your spine at the level of the apex.
  • Side bend the spine away from the side of concavity.
    • Try to isolate this movement to the Apex region.
  • Pull your head towards the armpit that is on the opposite side of the concavity.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your spine.
  • Take a deep breath into the area where you feel the stretch.

For Lumbar Scoliosis:

Side tilt 

stretch for lumbar scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Start with your feet wide apart with your left foot turned out to the side.
  • With arms outstretched, start to bend all the way to your left side.
  • Aim to reach your upper arm as far to the left as possible.
  • Keep your body in line with your left leg.
    • Do not rotate your body.
  • Keep your legs fairly straight.

For more stretches like this: Quadratus Lumborum Stretches.


Thoracic or Lumbar Scoliosis:

Stretches using equipment:

You can use a variety of equipment to help you stretch.

These include:

  • Foam roller
  • Gym ball
  • Yoga wheel
  • Rolled up towel

Which one to use? Pick the equipment with the appropriate width that you can comfortably feel the stretch.

Exercises To Straighten Spine

Instructions:

  • Lie on top of the equipment of your choice with the side of convexity on the lower side.
    • The foam roller should be on the same level of the Apex.
  • Reach over head with the upper arm.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the upper side (concavity).
  • Take deep breaths in this position.
    • The aim of breathing is to increase the stretch.

3. Decompress the Spine

Hanging from a bar is a good way to traction the tight joints in the spine.


Traction (Hanging)

traction for scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Hold onto a horizontal bar.
  • Drop down into a squat position and allow your body weight to completely hang off your arms.
  • Make sure that your feet are gently resting on the floor for support.
  • Lean slightly backwards.
  • Round your upper torso forwards.
  • Tuck your chin in.
  • Look downwards.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the upper back region.
  • Take a deep breath in between the shoulder blades to increase the stretch.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

4. Strengthening exercises for Scoliosis

To perform the following Scoliosis exercises, you will need to learn how to “bow the spine”.

“Bowing” is the active movement of a specific part of the spine (… as opposed to moving the whole spine) which allows for certain areas to be stretched or strengthened.

The aim is to move the spine so that the Apex of your curve is shifted towards the opposite direction.

(Don’t worry if you can’t get it straight away…It takes a bit of practice!)


a) For Thoracic Scoliosis:

Translations

strengthening exercise for scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Sit on the floor in the position as shown above.
  • Place the hand on the same side of the thoracic concavity onto the floor.
    • Keep your arm completely locked straight.
  • Sink your weight into your hand.
    • Keep the shoulder relaxed. It should naturally shrug up as you do this.
  • Bow the apex of your curve towards the side of concavity.
  • Aim to feel a:
    • Stretch into the concavity
    • Muscle contraction on the side of convexity
  • Hold 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Do you have at tight thoracic spine?
Check out this post: Exercise for the thoracic spine.


b) For Lumbar Scoliosis:

Leg drop/Arm reach

strengthening scoliosis exercises

Instructions:

  • Stand on the edge of a step with the leg on the opposite side of the lumbar concavity.
  • Keep this leg slightly bent and stationary throughout the exercise.
  • Perform these movements together:
    • Reach down towards the floor with your other foot
    • Reach your hand up/over your head.
  • Bow the apex of your curve towards the side of concavity.
  • Aim to feel a:
    • Stretch into the concavity
    • Muscle contraction on the side of convexity
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

5. Active Self-Corrections

After investing some time with the above Scoliosis exercises, you should notice that your spine is not as restricted as it was before.

A malleable spine will enable you to perform the following corrective exercises more effectively.


Key points:

  • Perform these exercises whilst using a mirror as to provide visual feedback of your posture.
  • Move as far as the body will allow you to without causing significant distortions to the rest of your alignment.
  • Remember – our immediate goal here is to reduce the degree of curvature (… even if it is a small amount) and not to eliminate it completely.
  • You are aiming for your best possible correction for your current level of ability.
  • If you are having difficulty with the corrections, focus more time and effort on the Releases/Stretches/Strengthening exercises first.

Instructions:

  • Remain seated. Keep equal weight distribution between your buttocks.
  • Remain elongated throughout the spine.
    • Imagine your head is being lengthened towards the sky.
  • Locate the apex of the convex curve.
  • Bow the apex back into place as far as you can achieve without causing major distortions to the rest of your spinal alignment.
  • Reset your position (whilst holding correction):
    • Perform a gentle circle motion of your head and shoulder.
    • Lift your buttock off the chair one side at a time.
  • Take slow and deep breaths in this corrected position for 5 minutes.
  • Use a mirror to help you guide your correction.
    • Pay attention to the spinal curve, shoulder height, level of the head etc.
    • SEE the correction. But more importantly – FEEL the correction.

Addressing multiple curves:

  • Target your correction to a single area first.
  • Whilst maintaining this correction, proceed to address the other curve.
  • Reset your head, shoulder and pelvis position.
  • As you become more confident with the exercise, you can perform the corrections for the different areas at the same time.

Progression: Challenge yourself by performing corrections in other static positions such as standing, planking, single leg balance

a) Standing Position

Instructions:

  • Stand up right.
  • Keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Breathe.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

b) Single Leg Lift

single leg balance

Instructions:

  • Stand up.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Lift your knee up to hip level.
  • Maintain your balance for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

c) Plank

plank scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Get into the plank position.
  • Position your pelvis in a neutral position.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Breathe.
  • Make sure your lower back does NOT sink in.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

6. Core Exercises for Scoliosis

Aim: To maintain your best possible correction whilst performing the following Scoliosis exercises.

Initially – it is very likely that you will need you rely on visual feedback (ie. using a mirror/video) to help you maintain the proper correction.

As your postural awareness improves with practice, aim to perform your correction by feel.


1. Corrections with limb movements

The following exercises involves keeping the torso still as you move the rest of the body.


a) Arm Lift

Instructions:

  • You can perform this exercise sitting or standing.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Lift your arm above your head.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Progression: Lift both arms at the same time.

b) Pelvic Tilt

pelvic tilt

Instructions:

  • Sit on a chair.
  • Perform your best possible correction.
  • Tilt your pelvic forwards and backwards.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.

c) Sit to Stand

sit to stand squat

Instructions:

  • Start from a seated position.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Stand up.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.

d) Hinge

hinge

Instructions:

  • Whilst in the standing position, gently engage your core muscles.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Bend forwards at the hips. Keep knees slightly bent.
  • As you bend forwards, sit your hips backwards as you lean you forwards.
  • Make sure that you maintain the torso alignment throughout movement.
  • Do NOT bend your lower back.
  • Hinge as far as you can until you can feel your hamstring start to stretch.
  • Resume starting position.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.

e) Bird/Dog

core exercises for scoliosis

Instructions:

  • Assume the 4 point kneel position.
  • Perform your best possible correction to straighten your spine.
  • Engage your core by drawing your stomach in wards.
  • Proceed to lift up your opposite arm and leg without loosing your correction.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Repeat 10 times.

2. Challenge with Spinal movement

The following exercises involves maintaining the best correction in the spine whilst moving the spine.


a) Torso Rotation

Torso rotation

Instructions:

  • Whilst sitting, rotate your torso as far as you can to one side.
  • Repeat on the other.
  • Make sure that your pelvis does not move.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.

b) Cat/Cow

cat cow exercise

Instructions:

  • Get into the 4 point kneel position. (Position 1)
  • Perform your best possible correction.
  • Proceed to round your upper back as much as you can. (Position 2)
    • Aim to feel a gentle stretch at the back as you round your spine.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Alternate between these positions for 20 repetitions.

c) Segmentation

spine segmentation

Instructions:

  • Whilst standing, wrap your arms around an exercise ball as much as you can. (see above)
    • Try to get your fingers tips to touch.
  • Perform your best self-correction.
  • Starting from the neck: Proceed to round your spine down one vertebra at a time.
  • The goal here is to emphasize the rounding over the areas where your Scoliosis is located.
  • From here, reverse your movements back to the beginning.
  • Repeat 20 times.

c) Walking

When walking – maintain your best possible correction in the spine.

d) Any movement you like

All this means is that you should practice maintaining your best correction whilst performing any activity that is important to you!

7. Asymmetrical positions

There is absolutely no point in performing all of these exercises if you continue to place your body in the position which has lead to your Scoliosis in the first place!


a) How Should You Sleep With Scoliosis?

Habitual side sleeping on the same side every night may encourage your Scoliosis.

Solution: If you must sleep on your side, make sure to support your body with pillows as to maintain a straight spine. (see below)

How should you sleep with Scoliosis

(See post: Best sleeping posture)

Generally speaking – you will want to sleep on your side with the concavity (Primary curve) on the low side.

b) Sitting Tilted To One Side

Solution: Ensure that you have equal weight distribution between your buttocks. Do not slouch to one side.

c) Carrying Bag On One Shoulder

Solution: Use a bag that straps over both shoulders.

d) Leaning On One Side

Solution: Ensure that you have equal weight distribution between your feet. Do not hitch your hips!

8. Addressing other areas

Addressing other areas of postural dysfunctions may help the Scoliosis exercises be even more effective.


1. Thoracic Kyphosis

This is where the upper back is locked in a hunched position.

thoracic kyphosis

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue: 

See post: Exercises for Hunchback Posture.

2. Flat Back Posture

This is where there is a loss of the normal curvature in the spine.

flat back posture

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue: 

See post: Flat Back Posture

3. Hyperlordosis

This is where there is a prominent arch in the lower back.

lumbar hyperlordosis

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue: 

See post: Hyperlordosis Exercises


9. Any questions?

Feel free to leave me a message in the comment section if you have any questions.


1. Can you correct Scoliosis with exercises?

If you have Functional Scoliosis, there is a good chance you can improve the alignment of your spine.

The exercises will help you attain and maintain a better spinal alignment as compared to what you have now.

Unfortunately with a Structural Scoliosis, it is not likely that the curvature of the spine will be significantly influenced by exercises alone.

2. Does everyone have it?

It is important to note that almost EVERYONE has some degree of Scoliosis (Ranging from mild, moderate to severe).

Its presence of Scoliosis is not always problematic in the short term.

3. How long will it take to fix Scoliosis without surgery?

If you’ve been through the comments in my other blog posts regarding fixing your posture, you will already know that I find this question VERY HARD to answer. (especially if I’ve never seen you in person)

The short answer – it depends!

Every one is different.

Instead – Focus on: Doing the exercises. Being consistent.  And celebrate the small wins!… You’ll get there!

4. What exercises to avoid with Scoliosis?

You don’t need to actively avoid exercises as I strongly believe that you need to focus on building strength and resilience in the body.

However – please be careful with the following:

  • Sports which pre-dominantly require the use of one side of the body only
  • Forcing end range movements of the spine
  • High impact sports
  • Jumping/Landing
  • Lifting heavy weights (especially over head)

(Note: As there are varying degrees of Scoliosis, it is advised that exercises should be specifically prescribed for the individual.)

5. What about a Scoliosis brace?

Wearing an external brace may help prevent or slow down the progression of Scoliosis.

Generally speaking – they are most effective during times of growth (Teenager years) but can still be worn to help fix Scoliosis in adults.

6. Do I need Scoliosis Surgery?

If you have:

  • Severe Scoliosis (Cobb’s angle >40 degrees).
  • Have persisted with the exercises for >12 months with nil improvement at all.
  • Participated in a strengthening program focused on improving function and still present with significant symptoms directly related to Scoliosis

… then it might be an idea to talk with a Specialist to see what options are available to you.


9. Conclusion

  • Scoliosis involves the abnormal sideways curves of the spine and presents differently from person to person.
  • The Scoliosis exercises are designed to be most effective for curves that are <20 degrees.
  • The Releases, Stretches and Strengthening sections are designed to give the opportunity for change to occur in the alignment of the spine.
  • The Corrections are designed to engage the muscles responsible for bringing the spine into a better alignment.
  • The Progressions will help challenge your ability to maintain the correction.
  • For best results – use these Scoliosis exercises in conjunction with seeing a Physical therapist.

What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me on the Facebook page. Let’s keep in touch!

3. Start doing the exercises!


DisclaimerThe content presented on this blog post is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. It exists for informational purposes only. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more informationMedical disclaimer.

170 thoughts on “How To Fix Scoliosis: Best Exercises To Straighten Spine”

  1. My girl as a mild L lumbar curvature scoliosis, and i want to make sure i’m doing the right thing to not injure her more. My question is, the side tilt exercise, am i bending to my left side to stretch out the L muscles or bending to the right side to stretch the right muscles? thank you very much and this as been very helpful

    Reply
  2. Hi Mark,

    When I perform the bird dog exercise I notice that my right abs and hip drops toward the floor or I shift all my weight to my left hip when both of my knees and hands are in contact with the ground? Can you steer me in the right direction?

    Thank you!

    Isaac

    Reply
    • Hi Isaac,

      Is your spine twisting to the left? See post: Twisted spine. That could make the right side drop closer to the floor.

      You might also need to check if your left gluteus medius is weak since you mentioned everything shifts to the left. This would result in a pelvis rotated towards the left which would also push the right abdominal region lower in this position. Here are some exercises: Gluteus Medius Exercises.

      Mark

      Reply
  3. Thank you for all the effort you put in the blogs.
    Just a general inquiry.
    If I’m having this along side some pelvic rotation and upper body rotation would general strengthing excersice be enough to fix these?
    Taking in consideration I’ve a small degree of joint hypermobility and my physiotherapist thinks all i need is general strengthing exercises as my muscles are weak, but I’m not totally convenienced as the tight muscles are causing very bad pains.
    Thank you

    Reply
  4. May I ask which side should I practice on doing side plank exercises as I am suffered from levoscoliosis? is it concave side the right side ? can I reduce my left lumbar curve by doing side plank exercises? Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Mark,

    I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thahk you. I am a very healthy and active 45 year old (though I do have two young children and work at a desk for long hours a day). But, I have all the poor posture problems and mild scoliosis that you refer to here. I also had all the bad habits you describe. I carried my 30 pound son (who was only 1 years old and could not walk) on my right hip always cocking my hip out to make it easier to hold him. I had two c-sections weakening my abs. I generally stand with my rear end out. I carry my heavy computer bag on my right side. I sleep on my side. And, about 2 years ago I started having repeat problems on the right side of my body from right arm numbness, subjective weakness and back pain on the right lower side. I tried yoga (but was not consistent enough), I saw a chiropractor and that worked for my shoulder arm and subjective weakness. I started working out with a trainer two times a weak to get stronger. And, I am not a “medicine” or surgery person. I also run about 3 times per weak. That said, I persisted with lower back pain on the right side. And, it would bother me terribly in the morning. After reading through your blog and trying just a few of your stretches. I IMMEDIATELY felt better (I think I have a QL issue). It is terrible to wake up feeling like you can’t quickly jump out of bed. My posture is genetic in some ways and terrible! My now 11 year old son has my body type (sort of rounded forward shoulders and not great posture) and looks like me.
    I want to “start over” and try to fix these issues with stretches and excercise and help him have better posture too. I have been to PT but they didn’t isolate these issues like you have done. What do you recommend for me going from ground zero? And, for the QL would you do one stretch daily?

    Where are you located?

    Reply
    • Hi Tanya,

      Sounds like that QL is a great place to start.

      Stretching and releasing the QL every day (or every other day) will help reduce the over-activity in this muscle. (See post: QL Stretches)

      Once you get your tight muscles loosened up, you will likely need to strengthen/activate the opposing muscle on the other side. (exercises mentioned in this blog post)

      If you have a tight QL, I am willing to bet that your right hip is also higher? If so, check out this post: How to fix a Lateral pelvic tilt.

      You may also have uneven shoulders (See post: Uneven shoulders)

      But keep things simple, target that Right QL first and then start to chase the other areas of the body.

      Mark

      Reply
  6. Let me start by saying I have been to 4 different Physical therapy clinics.

    I am trying to form a program based on your article on Scoliosis exercises.

    I have an X-ray report with images but it is hard for me to see where the actual concave and convex curves are.

    My curves are mild but enough so to give me pain. I would love your opinion on where my concave and convex regions are. I could formulate the rest based on your article. It’s just hard for me to tell. Can I send them to you please

    Reply
      • Hi,

        I unfortunately do not answer DMs on instagram. There are simply too many messages and I make a conscious effort to not use my phone throughout the day.

        This is why I endeavor to answer as many questions (if not all) in the comment sections of my blogs.

        You might need to use this link to post your photos.

        Mark

  7. Dear Posture Direct,
    I underwent bow leg straightening and limb lengthening at HSS in Manhattan.
    Ran into lengthening problems on 2nd,left femur and lengthening rod was beginning to bend. So an external fixator,ugh,for 8 weeks] was used to straighten lengthening rod,and rod did straighten but then began to bend again and almost break,surgery was scheduled on the fly.
    I had what is referred to a strengthening rod that is very strong and did straighten the left side so legs were even. But over the last few months I’ve developed scoliosis and pelvic tilt from the constant unevenness of my legs. My most recent left leg procedures have left me feeling like my left leg us shorter ,even though Dr says they are even and it us the scoliosis and pelvic tilt[which is brutal in the AM getting out of bed …my whole body feels twisted.] Can you tell me are your photos always from the back,so I can understand my spine curvature better[right leg longer because of scoliosis /pelvic tilt to the left[most recently problematic leg].
    It doesn’t help that I have a herniated L% disc from my powerlifting days. Oh ,I am a mature adult…that’s being kind to my self. It’s great to have my knees and hips tracking better because of bow leg correction. Being 5’4″ and now almost 5’8″ is really cool but the left leg complications have made me think twice.
    THANKS FOR THE GREAT SITE AND IF YOU COULD JUST TELL ME IF PICS ABOVE ARE FROM THE BACK IT WOULD REALLY HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY CONDITION BETTER!
    Sincerely ,
    Paul

    Reply
  8. Hi Mark, We are at our wits end, my 16 year old, 17 in May, Grand daughter has been diagnosed with moderate scoliosis. 28.60 degree top and 31.79 bottom,
    The NHS have said to leave it for 6 months! All I keep reading is that most people are in pain all their lives with this.
    What is the best way to treat this, just phsio, exercise or both? and would it be best to go to a class or boot camp for 4 weeks treatment?
    We are all so confused.
    Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you Beryl Williams

    Reply
    • Hi Beryl,

      The presence of scoliosis does not necessarily mean that there will be any pain or symptoms.

      If your grand daughter is presenting with issues directly related to the scoliosis, the exercises mentioned in this blog post are a great place to start.

      I would recommend seeing a physiotherapist in conjunction to performing the exercises.

      Make sure your grand daughter stays as active as possible. Spending long hours in the same position without moving can possibly exacerbate the issue!

      Mark

      Reply
  9. Hello Mark,

    I have a slight scoliosis that cause my head to tilt. my neck leans to the left a bit and my head tilts to the right to try and compensate and keep my head straight. The problem is that tilting my head right causes me eye strain in my right eye. Whenever i tilt my head left to line up with my neck my eye strain goes away but then my head is not straight anymore it’s tilted left. So is there any exercise i can do to get my neck to lean to the right more so it’s lined up with my head better and i won’t have eye strain? Hope this makes sense.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Josh,

      It is common to see a neck tilt with Scoliosis.

      To address your neck tilt, you will need to address the scoliosis first.

      If your spine is aligned and you still have a tilted neck, you will then need to address the neck.

      Mark

      Reply
  10. Hey Mark,

    I have very mild scoliosis in the thoracic spine (Cobb Angle only 7 degrees). On the x-ray you can see my thoracic spine (D4-D12) bends to the right. Should I be doing the side push on my left side then? It’s weird because my left side already feels like the stronger side. And when doing the side stretch with flexion: Where should I bend to ? Should I bend to my right or left armpit?

    Kind Regards,
    Björn

    Reply
    • Hey Bjorn,

      You will always want to side flex AWAY from the side of concavity.

      If you are bending towards the right (concavity right), then you will want to stretch towards the left.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Hey Mark,

        I am still in doubt. So I have a thoracic curve to the right (dextro scoliosis in D4-D10), what do I do in side stretch and what do I do in side stretch with flexion?

        When doing the side stretch, I would think to lean on my left side.
        When doing the side stretch with flexion, I would think to lean to my right side?

        What is correct, what is wrong?

  11. Hello Mark,

    X-ray of the thoracic and lumbar spine showed:
    thoracic:
    decrease in the height of the intervertebral spaces
    osteophytes
    subchondral sclerosis
    deformation of the transverse costal joints
    conclusion: signs of osteochondrosis, arthrosis of the transverse costal joints
    lumbar:
    signs of impaired statics and degenerative-dystrophic changes in the lumbosacral spine (osteochondrosis, deforming spondyloarthrosis)
    scoliosis – left C-curve (9 degrees)
    Spina bifida posterior S1

    I got all of this due to excessive sport exercises in a short period of time (thanks to boredom in quarantine 2020). Can I still do your exercises? And also can I do cardio and other workouts (booty, abs)? Or will I make more harm? And can all of this be cured? (I am only 25 and I have never had such problems (except scoliosis that I got in my teens))

    Reply
    • Hi Liza,

      Based purely on the information you provided, it is likely that you will be fine performing the exercises mentioned on the blog post.

      However, I would also encourage you to seek medical clearance from your doctor if you are not sure.

      The findings on the Xray are likely to be structural. This means there may be a certain limit as to how much you can change. Keep in mind – findings on scans DO NOT dictate your symptoms.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Can other exercises be done along with yours? for example, asymmetrical leg exercises with weights or 5 min jumping rope.
        I read that some exercises are prohibited for people with scoliosis (some asanas in yoga, jumping, running, symmetrical exercises).

  12. I have a 25 degree thoracolumbar C curve from T12 to L3 convex to the left. Do I do the thoracic or lumbar or both exercises for stretching and strengthening?

    Thank you

    Reply
  13. mark,

    so just to clarify your last comment, with an S curve you’re saying to stretch the convex sides and strengthen the concave sides?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Josh,

      For a typical “S” shape curve (not a reverse ‘S’ shape curve), you will want to stretch the concavity and strengthen the convexity.

      Mark

      Reply
  14. Hey Mark,

    I have an S curved spine. My x ray says that i have a “right curvature of the thoracic spine from the superior T6 vertebral body to T11 vertebral body that measures 15 degrees.” Also a “Left curvature of the lumbar spine from superior T12 to inferior L4 measures 17 degrees”.

    My back pain seems to be only on my left side, by my ribs. But the pain seems to be right in the middle where the thoracic and lumbar spine meet. Should i be strengthening my left lumbar spine and stretching my left thoracic side? Again the pain seems to be right in the middle so it’s a little confusing as where to stretch and where to strengthen.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Josh,

      If your symptoms are related to your S curve, Stretching the right thoracic and left lumbar spine can help. And strengthening the Left thoracic and right lumbar spine.

      Mark

      Reply
  15. Hey Mark,

    I found out that I have a 13.9 mm shift to the left, mid back tilt of 6.2 degrees, because my left is shorter than right causing my pelvis to shift, thus spine out of alignment. I have a shoe lift in left shoe but I still continue to have pain in left thoracic spine rib area of mid back(ribs slip in and out).
    Any ideas on how to get my spine straightened and fix this back pain? I have occasional hip pain also but mostly it’s the rib area in back.
    Thank you!!

    Reply
  16. HI Mark,

    I’m confused about something. You are suggesting to stretch the concave side of the curve. But wouldn’t strengthening / tightening the concave side bring the curve closer to the correct position? Seems counterintuitive. Could you explain that a bit? Forgive my ignorance!

    Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Hello Mark, a few questions regarding the side stretch with flexion for the spine.
    1, how many sets
    2, the length of time
    3, how often (daily every other day) a few times a day, once or twice a day.

    Also do you have any videos on how to perform these although you do explain to how to very well not like some others .
    Thanks mate. You have been very helpful to me.

    Reply
    • Hello Scott,

      The general rule for any stretch is to get at least 30 seconds. For scoliosis, I would actually recommend going closer to 2 minutes and beyond if you are significantly tight.

      You can perform these every day, 3/day.

      I don’t have any videos at present. (It will be something that I need to do though!)

      All the best.

      Mark

      Reply
  18. I have 14 yr old son with shorter left leg (approx. 8cm), with shoe insoles of .5cm.

    concavity is in the lumbar region. what exercises do you recommend?

    Reply
    • Hi Mel,

      Is he able to build up a heel lift to minimize the leg length difference? An 8cm difference will definitely impact the way his body will move.

      Focus on exercises that maintain as much mobility and strength in the spine (as shown on blog post).

      With a leg length discrepancy and lumbar lateral curvature, I would encourage you to have a look at this post as well : Lateral pelvic tilt exercises

      Mark

      Reply
    • Hi Mel,
      I have a winged scapula, lateral pelvic tilt along with slight scoliosis. Should I address the two first issues first or can I do all exercises in conjunction? Essentially, does the first two issues need to be fixed for the scoliosis exercises to work, or can I work on all problems at the same time? Also how often can the exercises be done?
      Leandros

      Reply
  19. Hello. I currently can not get an x ray done but i do have a left rib hump and winged scapula. How should i got about when finding my apex/curve region. Since its a left hump does that mean my spine is curving to the right? I’m so upset because i can’t get an x ray nor can i find my curve region

    Reply
    • Im 15 and I think its in the lumbar region due to it being a left hump but im just not sure.
      I do know i have a pelvic tilt though.
      Just cant figure out where the curve is so i know what to target

      Reply
  20. Mark,
    I have scoliosis and a herniated disk, in L3L4L5. I have a slight limp. Seem to be straight until I am on my feet for an extended period of time, then I ” get crooked” and then the muscles on the upper part of my thigh pulls and is un comfortable..will these exercises help this?

    Reply
  21. HI Mark..

    I have a high hip hike on my right side one leg is longer than the other. I am wondering if you can recommend any exercises for a double S reverse curve?
    As I get older I am worried about the angles and the rib preassure.
    Thanks
    Lawrence.

    Reply
  22. Hi mark,
    Commenting today as I’ve been dealing with upper back pain for a few years now, I have a side bend to the right but my most obvious problem is rotating my trunk around to the right I have major restriction,
    For example when I do the thread the needle exercise I can get good rotation when I rotate and reach my right arm to the left but when I rotate and reach my left arm underneath to the right I have crazy restriction any idea on what might be going on?

    Reply
    • Hey Dan,

      If there is an issue with rotating trunk to the right, make sure that your pelvis is not rotated towards one side.

      See post: Rotated Pelvis.

      If your pelvis is neutral, and still having issues with your torso rotation, and depending where you feel tight, there could be tightness in the thoracic spine joints. (this may be related to you right side bend). If this is the case, addressing the side bend may help unlock you torso rotation towards the right.

      Mark

      Reply
  23. Hi Mark

    I want to do Exercises For Scoliosis for my scoliosis. But I can’t locate where my concave curve is located. Can you help me find it?

    I have lateral pelvic tilt (Uneven Hips). My left hip is higher and my right hip is lower. Can this help to find the concave curve? Thank you

    Reply
  24. Hi mark, for a thoracolumbar sidebend with concavity facing towards the right the main section I need to be focusing on is stretching through the right serratus / lat part yeah?

    Reply
    • Mark please, please look at the pics I sent you on Facebook (George Aparaschivei, my name) if you could help me I would be very grateful.

      Reply
      • Mark,
        Could you captain me through my posterial rehab? Im having such a hard time finding anyone that can help.
        Rotated pelvis, twisted spine, andscoliosis, all self inflicted from 35 years of martial arts, and baseball.
        I am certain i can get through this through exercise.

        I am willing to travel and/or meet virtually. This is top priority for me and my family.
        Best,
        Michael

      • Hi Mike,

        Try to start with just one aspect of your posture. Out of the ones you have mentioned, I would generally go with the spine first.

        The next question would be to address the rotation or the side bending first. You can start with either, but I would go with the rotation in the spine.

        You might find that if you fix the spine, you can improve the pelvis rotation. (Keep in mind – for some people, you might actually benefit more from addressing the pelvis first)

        Mark

    • I’m in the Boston area but am willing to travel to get an assessment and some help. Where do you practice?

      Thanks,

      Danilo

      Reply
      • Hey Danilo,

        I might decide to do online assessments if there is a demand for it.

        I might be a bit too far for you to travel to!

        Mark

    • Hey Mark,

      Where are you located, though? I travel alot.

      Regarding online assessments, is there any way we can follow up with you to schedule that, if nothing else?

      Thanks,

      Danilo

      Reply
    • Oh, ok. Yeah, I won’t be getting out to Australia anytime soon. ha.

      OK, I’ll follow on Facebook for announcements for online assessments. I’ve done orofacial myofunctional therapy online for sleep apnea in the past, and it has worked really well for me. So I do hope you go ahead with a similar type of thing. Your website is fantastic, but it would be great to get some personalized help from the expert.

      Danilo

      Reply
  25. Hi Mark,
    You’re the only one on the web explaining in details the exercises so I can practising during the quarantine period.
    I had a 20 degree thoracolumbar scoliosis left-convex with retroflexion of the pelvis on the left. The right shoulder is lower and more foreward then the left one. My gibbus is in the left thorac and lumbar area but i’ve noticed that the left lumbar area and the right thoracic area are contracted. Even the feet have two different support on the ground. I love sport but i often run into injuries and it’s very frustrating.
    Could you explain me where i have the concavities and the convexities both in the lumbar and in the thoracic area so i can practise your exercise? How could i de-rotate my left hip?
    I’m sorry if I’m asking you too much. I’m so happy I find your web site!
    Thank you so much!!
    Natascia from Italy

    Reply
    • Hello Natascia from Italy,

      If you have a convex thoracolumbar curve on the left, then you will have the concavity on the right side at the same level.

      I would need to see your spine to tell you exactly where your other curves are located.

      If you have rotation in the pelvis, I would suggest that you have a read of the blog post:

      How to fix a Rotated Pelvis.

      Mark

      Reply
    • Ok, thank you, you’re very kind. I have an old rx of about 15 years ago, when I was 20 years old. I have to look for it even if I don’t think I’m worse. Do you think I have to do a new rx?
      I read your post about the rotation of pelvis and according to the feet test probably a have a left rotation, because my left foot supinates and the right one pronates.
      Thanks for your advises!

      Reply
  26. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your post.

    I was just wondering. I have a C-curve to the right. So every muscle, I have to release in the thoracic and lumbar region, are on the right, correct?

    Reply
    • Hey Sami,

      With a C curve, the concavity will be on the right.

      This would mean the muscles within the concavity are relatively tighter.

      So yes- release and stretch the muscles on the right.

      Mark

      Reply
  27. Hi mark,

    One last thing, I looked up concave (which is where there is the gap and convex where the spine is bent towards- in that case my right side is the convex where the curve is at (backward C) so I need to face the right side down to the ground?
    That’s why my right shoulder blade sticks out because The spine is pushed to the right side.

    Hope I’m making sense. And any exercise for shoulder blade to push back in that will be amazing.

    Thanks again

    Reply
  28. Hi mark

    Thanks for getting back. I think I get it. So my spine curve bends to the right side (c shape I think it’s called) I should face that down to the ground when doing that exercise? Does that help to push it up to straighten the spine though ?

    Also, on my back my right shoulder blade sticks out more (left one looks normal) where the bend is at the shoulder blade on right side sticks out. Any exercise you recommend for this?

    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes – if you are targeting a C shape curve, then lie down with the right side down to the floor (side lie position). By bending to the left, this will help stretch out the tight muscles involved with that concavity.

      It sounds like you are referring to winging of the scapula.

      If this applies to you, check out this blog post: Exercises to fix Winged Scapula.

      Reply
  29. Hi mark,

    I’m trying to do the sexy pose- however the curve is onto my right(so apex curve is bending towards the right side) when I’m doing the stretch..do I face the affected side towards the ground? So the curve side to the ground ? Or do I do the normal side to the ground? Can’t figure out which one it is.

    Reply
    • Hey Sarah,

      Haha – it’s funny when someone else refers that exercise as the “sexy pose”.

      You will want to have the CONCAVE side closer towards the floor.

      So – if you naturally bend to the right, you will want to have that right side nearer to the floor whilst doing the sexy pose.

      Hope this makes sense. If not – let me know!

      Mark

      Reply
  30. If i have a mild scoliosis and do some twisting and bending stretches, will it make the curve worse? I have a tiny s curve in the middle of my spine and Im scared that it’ll get worse. There is a lot of different that says bending and twisting and increase the curve and some says it improves it. Im kinda worried about it and im scared my scoliosis will keep increasing.

    Please tell me if these will increase the curve or decreases it.

    Reply
  31. Dear Sir,
    My son aged 20 years has operated for MISS LT L5/S1 micro discectomy c LT S1 Foraminotomy + MISS LT L3/L4 micro discectomy on 24th July 2019.
    After 40 days of operation, he has developed Dorso Lumbar Scoliosis.

    He is wearing a brace since last 5 months but it has not improved.

    Can you check the X-Rays, MRI report and other related reports and suggest exercises to be performed and other related corrective actions to be followed.

    Please reply

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hey Grajesh,

      Was there a specific reason why he had to wear a brace for 5 months?

      This sounds counter-productive to me as it will cause a whole lot of stiffness, atrophy and reliance on an external device.

      Mark

      Reply
  32. Hey mark i eevery time wait for postural assessement name but it never comes out i really need your help i have got every treatment and visited number of phyiotherapists but still got no results…i feel my one side body is rotated forward…one side stomach is also forward like there is rotation of rib cage …is this scoliosis

    Reply
  33. Hi Mark,

    I had a question regarding muscle imbalances. I have little muscle on my right pec and abdominals compared to my left side. I have a very hard time being able to feel the right side while working out. My rib cage also feels very different because my left side feels slightly more flared and the right side feels more flat. I also have some scapulas issues as the right side of my back has less musculature and my scapulas don’t match while performing most back exercises. Therefore it’s become uncomfortable to do some exercises and discouraging. I apologize for the very long message. Thank you.

    Reply
  34. Hey mark..whenever j stand straight my one side of body is more forward from shoulder to stomach and even stomach is also forward and one side of back is also forward,,,,,i dont know whats problem please help me out …i m not able to send picture here otherwise i can send you one side shoulder is also forward and when i walk my same side leg donot go back as left and feels short please tell me exercises

    Reply
  35. Thank you so much for this web site and your generous sharing of the exercises! Although I am a Pilates instructor, I have suffered from scoliosis pain for decades and I can’t believe how effective these exercises have been after literally only a few days! They have automatically reduced my discomfort and I understand now what needs to be done.
    The fact they are all grouped together with clear instructions is simply fantastic!
    I send you my gratitude! I shall be using them to help my clients!

    Reply
  36. Hello! Thanks for sharing these techniques. Is it normal to hear a lot of cracking noises as you release those tight muscles around the curvature?

    Reply
  37. My B/f has a double major curve. He is always in pain. What exercised might help relieve some of the pain? He’s done cat/cow and leg lifts but it usually causes more pain.

    Reply
  38. Hi, I have a scoliosis that curves left, and a right hip hike. I have a slight posterior pelvic tilt too but not much. I’ve been going to a chiropractor and hes been helping, He says my right leg is longer due to the right hip hike. I’ve been stretching my right QL but I want to take it a step further and address other muscle groups as well that you have listed on your lateral pelvic tilt page. My only question is should I stretch my right psoas and strengthen my left? Not sure. Thanks.

    Reply
    • I have exactly this issue and I need help!! Did anyone reply to you Tom? My chirop has seen me once a week for almost 3 years – had PT – nobody has addressed the scoliosis that’s on the xrays – never realized they were connected because I’ve been paying all these people who should KNOW that – I’m so thankful to find this but I’m not sure which side I’m convex and concave…taking to my new physio on Monday – I stretch the QL, the soas, do this, do that – pelvis keeps going “out”. I hope you get an answer to your question – following!

      Reply
  39. Thank you so much for your response. Please can one arrange to see you so that I can be properly assessed. I am in Nigeria. For the next mean while how can I get the massage balls, the one you are talking about and other accessories. Sorry to border you. This pain is really debilitating.

    Reply
  40. Thank you for the good work you are doing. I experience excruciating pain at the tip of my left Scapula and I was sent for an X- Ray which revailed that I had Scoliosis. That was about 20;years ago. I went to see a Physiotherapist who used Neck traction, infra Ray’s n massaging. Then I got better but the pains are unbearable now and I need your expert opinion. Can I benefit from Scoliosis brace. I need this pain to go please advise me

    Reply
    • Hi Charles,

      Do you mean that the pain is at the inferior angle of the scapula?

      If so – it might be due to the muscles that attach to the region.

      The scoliosis might play a role in the pain, but you might need to address the scapula first to settle the pain.

      Here are some links that might help:
      Shoulder blade pain
      Rounded shoulders.

      Mark

      Reply
  41. hellO
    First thank you for your time.My son had an x ray and found out a Scoliosis 9 gr left.Which are some right exercises in his case and which is the best sport for him as he went to basket three times a week and now quit it.
    Thanks once more for your reply.I Live in Albania.

    Reply
  42. Hello Mark,
    I have 7 years old daughter, she has 22degree scoliosis, she also was Uneven shoulder, for hip one lag is located longer in 1mm.
    looking at x-ray one category doctors sad that she has dysplasia hip, others sad no.

    I am From Tbilisi (Georgia) and i couldn’t find good person who could help me, i worry about my daughter future, i can pay on helpfull consultation

    Reply
  43. Hi Mark,

    I am male, 6′ 4″ tall, 200 pounds 62 years old. I sit at a computer for my job.
    In the last year, I’ve noticed a curve to the left in my spine while sitting. (scoliosis I presume). I’ve also noticed a desire to lean on the armrest with my elbow. What exercises or other remedy do you recommend? Also in what city do you do physical therapy? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sir i am prasanna my daughter is 11 years old is suffering scoliosis .i need more information regarding scoliosis and also need contact NUMBER and address please reply.

      Reply
  44. Hi Mark,

    Been fighting this for years now!

    The severity of my condition has lessened upon being more conscious of my posture and with the use weight lifting.

    But there is still a noticeable:
    -Left (hip hike,)
    -Rotation in the pelvis (belly button points right) and potentially spine
    -Uneven abs
    -Uneven Shoulder heights / arm crease / bulky trap 1 side, (left side higher, left trap bulkier)
    -What looks like thoracic scoliosis with curvature to the right, as the spine is straight but has noticeably more pronounced curvature between the shoulder blades.
    -And head tilt to the right as a result of it. Makes me look like a dog being offered a treat!

    Would you recommend first addressing the lateral pelvic tilt, then the rotation of the pelvis?

    Or would both be okay to do simultaneously?

    My current strategy is:
    0. Always awareness of feet posture
    1. Address tight calves / ankles
    2. Lateral pelvic tilt
    3. Pelvic rotation
    4. Scoliosis

    Can say 1, 2, and 3 be addressed at the same time?

    Or would it be more effective to solely focus on just 1 at a time?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Ben,

      You can address all at the same time and see how you respond to that.

      If there is a lack of improvement, you might need to address the main area that might be driving all of your other postural issues.

      Which area is that? Hard to say! But a common area is the thoracic spine!

      Mark

      Reply
  45. Hi, i am from Portugal and i want to thank you all of this information.
    I have a question, my rigth and left PSIS are leveled horizontally , but my left ASIS is lower(o.5cm) and foarwd (1cm) than the rigth one. My fisiotherapist says that i have a si joint disfunction, but i am in treatment almost a year now and i have this cronic pain on the region of the left PSIS.
    I would like to hear your opinion.
    Thank very much

    Reply
    • Hey Pedro,

      The ASIS and PSIS are common landmarks that we use to determine the position of your pelvis.

      Sometimes, however, these bones are not perfectly symmetrical in size and shape… which in turn can make determining the exact rotation of the pelvis a bit harder.

      If the left ASIS is notably 1cm more forward, I would say you would more likely have a pelvis that is rotated to the RIGHT. This can cause compression of the Left SIJ, however, this would probably need to be specifically assessed.

      If the physio believes you have a true SIJ issue, ask if they can determine if it is due to being too compressed or too loose. From here – you can start to formulate a program.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Thank you for your reply.
        I will ask her in my next physio sesion.
        I started two days ago doing the pelvic reset exercices, it has any problem? ( it makes my pain fell better)
        There are other exercices that can do?
        One more time thank for your help

  46. Hi Mark,
    My son is 5 years old and i have observed that his pelvis is rotated to right. His right shoulder drops. He stands on his left knee hyperextended and right knee flexed, left feet is more pronated. Xray shows thoracic region bend to right a little. Is he having pelvic rotation because of scoliosis or vice versa? He is a little hypermobile and tends to sit on his left hip.

    Reply
  47. Hey mark, my right side of body is rotated forward from mid back and shoulder pf same side is stuck forward and i have one hip of same side pulled forward…I walk by bearing weight on one side due to which it seems my ryt leg is short please tell me what i m going through…when i sit my spine becomes straight bht in xray it has shown very small amount of curve i.e spine goes to left side

    Reply
    • Hey mark! I have one side torso rotation..i tried contacting you but you have not replied yet… i had mild scoliosis in my xray but but xray reports dont show scoliosis just xray show that my spine is but rotated to left and i too have lumbar rotation i dont know ehat to do is it postural or what..

      Reply
      • I dont know whether pelvic os rotated or not but when i stand on both foot my one leg is forward and but cheek is also forward and one shoulder is forward than other and right leg seems short

  48. Hi,
    In my lumbar region the spine goes to the left (so concave on right side) when you look at me from the back. My left side however feels very tight especially the QL/ spinal erector area. So do I still need to strengthen this left convex side? My right hip sits a little bit higher btw.
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Hi Seba,

      I would still strengthen the convex side (left side).

      If your QL/Erector spinae muscle is tight, it is most probably due to a combination of the concavity to the right + some sort of rotation.

      Check out this post: How to fix a Rotated pelvis to see if you are rotated.

      Mark

      Reply
  49. Is scoliosis the result or the cause of pelvic rotation?

    Where the compensatory curve usually is when scoliosis occurs together with pelvic rotation?

    How can I get a diagnosis? I was put to MRI lying on my back. I think this straightens my pelvis so I don’t know if I got a correct diagnosis. Just a mild lumbar scoliosis but I get relief from thoracic scoliosis exercises after adressing pelvic rotation.

    Reply
    • Hey Samuli,

      Scoliosis can cause pelvic rotation… and vice versa!

      It is like the scenario with the chicken and the egg… which came first?

      Compensatory curves in regards to ROTATION (not mentioned on this blog post), will tend to exist to keep the eye sight in a centred position. So if you are pelvic rotating to the right, the counter twist is usually to the left. (generally speaking)

      If you get some relief of the thoracic spine with pelvic rotation exercises, it might be that the scoliosis is a result of the pelvis. (and thus fixing the pelvis position, helps with the position/movement of the spine)

      Mark

      Reply
  50. Dear Mark. My name is Cynthia Tan. Thank you for creating your helpful website! We have a 14 years old daughter who has a thoracolumbar AIS with Cobb angle of 19 degree. We understand the best sleeping position is on the back. But if we can choose one side sleeping position, is sleeping on her concave side preferable? We’d like to come for consultation but I don’t think you live in Bali, Indonesia? ? Thank you very much for your time and care. Sincerely, Cynthia

    Reply
    • Hi Cynthia,

      Sleep with the concave side down.

      Aim to flatten the apex of the concavity onto the bed.

      (just make sure she is comfortable and gets good sleep :) )

      Mark

      Ps. Thank you very much for your donation. That was very kind of you.

      Reply
      • As a person w with scolisois i advise against this.. i have been using Sinamin at techniques that you suggest… but sleeping on the FLOOR on your back with a neck pillow and knees pillow will work wonders! It hurts the first few days but after that you wake up without spasm..

        Also to help your undertsanding i have an backward s curve … rotating my torso right and then shifting it left makes me straight .. maybe you can help to share this information.. pri(postural Restoration Institute) has giving me my life back… there is a teeth and foot component that is dire to correct before any stretching Wil be effective …

  51. i have heard that there is no point in practising excercises for scoliosis when you stop growing. What is the point of these ones?

    Reply
    • Hi Monika,

      If you have mild scoliosis that is not structural, then there is a good chance you can influence the position of your spine.

      At very least, it will help prevent the scoliosis from getting worse with time.

      Mark

      Reply
  52. Hi Mark,

    I’m getting myself in a muddle about which exercises are best for me, and more importantly which side I should be doing them on. I had a spine x-ray which confirmed scoliosis in the lumbar spine and some curvature in the thoracic spine but less than in the lumbar. My confusion is because my x-ray results say that there is curvature of upper lumbar spine with convexity towards the right side and lower lumbar spine with convexity towards the left side. I think my pelvis also rotates to the left. When I run I get tightness in my left ITB and knee and tightness/injury in my right calf (and sometime higher up in the right glute). My right leg feels a little shorter than the left as a result. Where would you recommend I start?

    Reply
    • Hi there, this seems like such good advice but it also seems a bit overwhelming- I’m beginning to understand that my bad posture has basically
      Created the conditions for this functional scoliosis and that I need to correct both, problem is I don’t really know how to program this, any suggestions? I’d like to start strength training too as I have very low muscle mass.

      Reply
      • Hey Andrew,

        You can start your strength training, but I would still prioritize these exercises for your scoliosis.

        I wouldn’t go heavy. Try to maintain a neutral spine as much as possible. (without making other areas of your posture going out)

        Mark

  53. Hi Mark. I apologize for the second question. My son has just started with a biomechanical trainer. He evaluated my son and designed a program to correct the imbalances and scoliosis. It is very specific with stretches and then strengthening. He has been doing the stretches every day and feels looser but the pain below the tight back rib seems to be more painful. Is it possible to experience more pain as your body moves towards alignment. Thanks again for making your wisdom and experience available to everyone. Pam

    Reply
    • Hello Pamela,

      It is possible to have a bit more pain/discomfort as muscles that aren’t used to being recruited, are suddenly being used.

      But at the same time, just need to be careful that your son is not compensating with the area that is now hurting through the exercises the trainer gave him.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Thank you for such a quick response Mark. That does sound like what could be happening but, what would be your suggestion for preventing this from happening. Pam

  54. Hi Mark. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. My son is 22 and hurt himself in a deadlift almost 2 years ago. He has had tons of bad treatment. He has a functional scoliosis and forward head posture. Can you recommend someone in the Miami or Orlando area. My son I bbn in the most pain sitting making classes very difficult for him. Thanks, Pam

    Reply
  55. Hi Mark, I have 20-degree thoracolumbar scoliosis with the concavity on the right side. I’ve always swum and I don’t feel pain unless I’m doing something with my back tilted forward (like moping the floor) or if I’m carrying weights in front of me (like a big box).

    I’ve also always stretched before swimming, but I don’t do any particular stretches for scoliosis or with a preference for one side. Should I add the (Leg drop/Arm reach) and (Side Tilt) to my stretch routine just to one side or is there a problem if I do both sides?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Hey Artur,

      You can do both sides as they are probably both have a degree of tightness.

      I would suggest to spend just a little bit more time on your tighter side.

      Mark

      Reply
    • 23rd . Would like to get greater help with my issue. A complete mess in my opinion. Hoping to see if you can work with me and solving my problem that been having for 2+ years. Only 24. I am willing to travel. Please let me know thanks.

      Reply
  56. hey mark ,
    Thank you so much for these detailed explanation for scoliosis
    I am having my presentation next week and this will definitely save me.
    I also want your help if you help me giving some excerise protocol for my case
    she is 9 year old with spina bifida and scoliosis.
    she has very much weakness in lower limb.
    plz help me with this.

    Reply
  57. Hi Mark, I have all right-sided pain primarily in si and low back (QL) area but often extending all the way up to right shoulder. X Ray shows top of pelvis is higher on my left side by 14 mm, yet my right leg appears shorter. Hip height is 10 mm higher on left. Also I have a right shoulder drop. Does a left hip hike coupled with what appears as a shorter right leg lead you to suspect a structural component to this discrepancy? The practioner I’m currently seeing sold me orthotics with a lift for right leg and not only are they uncomfotable, they seem like a bandaid that’s only going to make my posture worse. Many thanks for your work and website !

    Reply
    • Hi Matt,

      Sounds like you are leaning more towards your left side? (ie. your pelvis sits more towards the left of your feet)

      This may explain your presentation.

      Mark

      Reply
  58. hi mark
    Thanks a lot for all the information you posted here. no physiotherapist educated me like this.
    i have multiple problem which are sciatica, rotated pelvic, lateral pelvic tilt and scoliosis.
    i want to get better soon but as you said it depends on my body.
    do you thing its better to start with pelvic tilt and rotated pelvic first

    Reply
    • Hi Najah!

      If you have Sciatica, I would probably do specific exercises for that first.

      Once your nerve is less irritable, you can start to address your lateral pelvic tilt if you feel that it is contributing to your issues.

      Mark

      Reply
  59. Hi mark, hats off for these detailed,informative posts about posture corrections.
    I have a query though I seem to have pelvic tilt, posterior pelvic tilt, uneven shoulders flat feet, the head tilt.
    I’m not sure which problem do I address initially
    and also successively
    Could you help me out?

    Reply
    • Hi Adolf,

      This is where things can a little bit tricky.

      Having multiple areas to address can be overwhelming.

      The only wrong way to start is to not start at all. Pick one area and see how far you can take it.

      With your combination of postural deviations, you can start off with a lateral pelvic tilt as this may be the key area that is causing your scoliosis, uneven shoulders and head tilt.

      Mark

      Reply
  60. Hey Mark
    Another awesome post your work here is one of a kind I only wish we could clone you and other therapists were half as knowledgeable as you
    Just a quick one on the leg length
    If it’s functional what amount of difference would u suggest before adding a lift ? Mine is around a 1cm when doing the measurements you suggested it’s only on the same side as my lateral tilt

    Cheers
    Romana

    Reply
    • Hi Romana,

      If your leg is Functionally short, then there should be no need for a heel lift. This is because once you balance out your muscles, there should be no difference in your leg length.

      If your legs are structurally unequal, then you might need a heel lift. I usually suggest to see how far the exercises will take you before considering a heel lift.

      Anything more than 20mm is quite a lot and may require it.

      Mark

      PS. thank you for being the FIRST to comment on this page. I appreciate it :)

      Reply

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