Best Sports For Kids With Scoliosis to Play

January 7, 2019

If your child has scoliosis, it’s natural for you to worry about which sports are safe for your child to play and which ones they should avoid.

A common myth about scoliosis is that it is too risky for a child with this condition to play any sports, but this is fortunately not true! Here are five sports that will not harm your child and could actually help them:




Swimming is one of the best sports for a child with scoliosis (or for anyone with a chronic condition) because it allows the spine to be strengthened while immersed in a nearly weightless environment. High-impact sports, like football, can put unnecessary strain on the spine and lead to injury, but there is almost no risk of spinal injury while your child is in the pool. Yet, those with thoracic scoliosis should avoid competitive swimming, as swimming many laps in a short period of time can cause the thoracic spine to get flattened over time.




Another great cardiovascular activity that your child can safely participate in is cycling. This type of exercise is safe for kids with scoliosis because it works nearly every muscle in the body while minimizing the risk of injury to the spine. However, your child should be cycling on a stationary bike or relatively smooth bike paths because cycling in a bumpy area could injure their spine.


Cross Country Skiing


While downhill skiing certainly presents a danger to those with scoliosis (and otherwise healthy individuals), cross-country skiing provides the same kind of fun with much fewer risks. Cross-country skiing is particularly beneficial to those with scoliosis because it works both sides of the body, therefore increasing muscle strength evenly on each side of the spine…


Strength Training


It is a common misconception that kids and adults with scoliosis should not lift weights or do any strength training because the risk of injury is too great. However, this is quite inaccurate, as it is very important for people with spinal problems to do strength training because stronger muscles are better able to support the spine. If you do let your child do strength training, be sure to start them off with lower weights and very slowly work their way up to heavier ones.




Increasing your child’s flexibility can do wonders for their scoliosis symptoms. Yoga can relieve tension, improve range of motion, and event counteract the curvature of the spine. Most yoga poses can be safely performed by your child, but they should not hold poses that involve hyperextension or severe rotation of the spine. For those poses, look up a modification that is friendly for those with scoliosis and other back problems.