I’ve been diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis. I have a 6.25 curvature in my spine. Is weightlifting dangerous for me?

It depends on the lifts.

While a ‘’6.25′’ is relatively mild as these things go, there is undoubtedly potential to aggravate an existing condition, particularly if you don’t strategize and approach the job from the right angle.

The problem is simply this: most of the truly heavy ‘’functional’’ multi-joint lifts like squats, deads, and military presses exert pretty massive compressive forces on the spine in the sagittal plane. They’re great core work activities but can be murder on individuals with spinal issues like scoliosis, herniated vertebrae, slipped disks and so on.

However, to bypass the incredible value that resistance training can offer you for fear of the relatively minor risks involved (as long as you do your homework and proceed cautiously) would be folly.

If you’re not already a bit of a fitness geek, you might consider becoming one. Try to think of it as an engineering problem. Educate yourself in force dynamics. It’s a mistake to see things either too rosily or to catastrophize them. Attempt to see things realistically, so you can try to impose your will on and control them.

Should you find these technical issues just too dull & boring, at least get some experienced & professional advice. Doing this allows you to approach the physical problems at hand not only with your heart but also with your head as well.

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