Scoliosis Causing Pain? PT Can Help

Child with head and body tilt

How Physical Therapy Helps Scoliosis & Back Pain


If you’re dealing with scoliosis-related back pain, physical therapy might offer the relief you need. Physical therapists use their experience to design personalized treatment plans to help you manage pain and improve mobility.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into how physical therapy can reduce scoliosis-related back pain and improve your quality of life. Learn more about how it can benefit you today.

What to Expect at Physical Therapy for Scoliosis Back Pain

When seeking physical therapy for scoliosis-induced back pain, your therapist will begin by evaluating your condition and devising a treatment plan tailored to your needs. The objective is to mitigate pain while improving flexibility and range of motion. Among the various modalities applied by your physical therapist will typically be massage therapy – muscle-relaxation and spasm-reduction; manual therapy – the gentle manipulation and stretching of the spine; and low-impact exercises – muscle-building and posture-refinement. In addition, your therapist will empower you with knowledge and guidance to better manage your condition.

What Types of Exercises Might I Do in Physical Therapy for Scoliosis?

Here are some exercises that physical therapists might recommend to target muscles around the spine weakened by scoliosis:

  • Core strengthening exercises (such as planks or bridges) – Get on all fours and align your body in a straight line from head to heels. Lower yourself to your forearms and engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards the spine. Try to hold this position for as long as you can.
  • Back extensions – Lie on your stomach with your palms flat on the floor next to your shoulders. Slowly raise your head and chest off the floor while keeping your shoulders down. Hold for a few seconds before lowering your upper body back down.
  • Side stretches – Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, raise one arm over your head, and gently bend your torso towards the opposite side. Hold for a few seconds before repeating on the other side.
  • Tailored yoga postures – Search for specific yoga poses online based on your body’s needs. Ensure to follow instructions and perform the correct techniques.
  • Balance and posture improvement exercises – Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and shoulders rolled back. Slowly lift one foot off the ground and balance on the other. Hold for a few seconds before putting your foot back down.
  • Low-impact aerobic activities (such as swimming or walking) – Simple activities like walking or swimming can help improve your cardiovascular fitness. Take a brisk walk for 30 mins or swim for 20-30 mins to improve overall heart health.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery from scoliosis back pain largely depends on the severity of your symptoms and how much effort you put into following your physical therapy plan. Generally, most people begin to experience relief after a few weeks or months of physical therapy, although some may need more extensive treatment over a longer period of time. It’s important to follow your physical therapist’s instructions carefully and continue with any home exercises they recommend in order to see the best results.


Physical therapy effectively manages scoliosis-induced back pain. Target weakened muscles surrounding your spine and engage in low-impact aerobic activities through specialized exercises, guided by a physical therapist. Over time, you may reduce pain and improve your posture.