Scoliosis: What Causes It and 3 Ways to Improve Your Posture

An incorrect posture can lead to scoliosis.
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By Hu Nai Wen

Edited by Mu Jian

Having an incorrect posture while lying down, sitting, or standing can cause scoliosis over a long period of time. For instance, using your mobile phone while lying down can lead to injuring your spine.

Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person has a S-curved spine instead of a naturally straight spine. Scoliosis may also manifest in the cervical spine, also known as the neck bones.

Four causes of Scoliosis

· Incorrect sitting posture

Most people like to put up their legs in a raised position while sitting. While this posture may feel comfortable, it can cause scoliosis over a long period of time.

· Lying down while using a mobile phone

It is advisable not to lie on your back while reading or using a mobile phone. It’s common for office workers to lie down and watch TV for long hours after a tiring day at work, but this posture can damage spinal structures after a long period of posture stiffness, leading to scoliosis and kyphosis.

· Prolonged standing posture

Some occupations require people to stand for prolonged periods of time, which can lead to people shifting their weight to one side. Such an asymmetrical standing posture can add strain to the spine and damage it when done over a long period of time.

· Incorrect walking posture

Some people may walk with a limp due to foot or knee pain. Incorrect walking postures can cause spinal deformities to occur. Likewise, carrying a heavy backpack on one shoulder loads the back in an asymmetrical way, and this can also negatively affect the spine.

3 ways to improve scoliosis

· Walking backwards

Practising walking backwards can benefit people with scoliosis. When walking backward, the spine naturally straightens, and this can be used to improve poor posture.

· Walking in a swimming pool

Immerse yourself in a swimming pool, keeping your shoulders just below the water. Walking in a swimming pool reduces pressure and pain in spinal joints, and helps to correct posture. But be sure to pay attention to safety and have someone to supervise you in the pool.

· Lie flat and twist

Mild spinal deformities can be corrected through the spinal twist exercise. Start by laying flat on your back, then turn your head to one side and your body towards the opposite side, doing a gentle twist. Repeat for the other side. Do this a few times to help correct posture.

· Adjusting your leg length

Discrepancies in leg lengths can lead to scoliosis. This is commonly caused by having a muscle imbalance on one side of the body. The solution is to do stretching exercises. Start by leaning against a wall or lying down, then use one hand to pull up the shorter leg, then inhale and slowly exhale. As you slowly exhale, push and extend the leg you are holding.

· Spinal scoliosis can cause menstruation and fertility problems.

There are a total of 31 pairs of spinal nerves in the human spine. Because the lumbar vertebrae affects the reproductive system, girls with scoliosis are prone to menstruation disorders, and boys may have prostate problems.

In traditional Chinese medicine, there is a phrase known as, “the waist is the kidney’s house”, and “the back is the capital of the chest”. If the waist has a problem, it affects the kidney. If the back has a problem, it affects the chest cavity, lungs, and heart. Therefore, if you have scoliosis, pay special attention to your posture. The ancient Chinese had a saying, “there is always a proper posture for sitting and standing”.  Good posture will help you to achieve a healthy physique.

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