Monday, June 18, 2012

Swimming For Scoliosis

Note: All opinions are entirely based on personal opinion and experience.

Back when I was 12 years old, in 1991, the doctors in UH (now known as PPUM) told me I should go swimming for my scoliosis. There was no Internet; no google, no facebook, no support group. You take what your doctors tell you as literally Godsend and do as you are told.

Mum had sent me for swimming classes since I was little. But she continued to send me for swimming classes in Bangsar until I was fifteen. A few of my close friends from school came along and we'd have fun in the water for a few hours every week. Nobody else I knew had Scoliosis, so we didn't do anything back-specific. We just swam.

About three weeks ago I had a trial class for Aqua Aerobics at The Club, Bukit Utama (near Bandar Utama). It was nothing short of amazing! The movements really "working" your upper and lower back. And don't get me started on how amazing it felt on the core. It is important to have a strong core. I intend to start regular Aqua Aerobics classes this July. The review and update on this will be for another entry.

For now, lets talk about swimming.

Going for the Aqualogix class (this is what the classes are called) reminded me of how comfortable and relaxed water has always made me feel. So I decided to incorporate swimming into my health ritual. And so my weekly health ritual would be something like this:

- Gym; cardio and strengthening exercises (including weights), three times a week (1.5 to 2.5 hours each time).
- Physiotherapy at Spinal Inc.; twice a week (two hours each time).
- Swimming; twice a week (one to two hours each time).

It has been a few weeks now and swimming has done wonders to the good ol' spine. It has helped me manage my pain better (most days are pain-free now, praise Allah!), and it has helped me strengthen my lung capacity as well. I do cardio a lot at the gym, so I was amazed at how out of breath I got after my first swimming session in years. The breathing technique we use as we swim really helps build up overall stamina, especially where lung capacity is concern.

And the buoyancy of the water! It makes a person with pain feel weightless, free and oh-so-relaxed and graceful :)

So what do you guys think? All scolis should try the water, swim or not! Walking in the water is an exercise too and oh my, what effort it takes! Have you tried walking for significant distances in the water..? The first time I tried it in the Aqualogix class (and that's why Aqua aerobics is suitable even for non-swimmers).. I couldn't believe how out of shape I felt. 

Do you guys have any water-related tips to share? :) 

With my water babies.


DrAsad said...

Dear Nina
I heve been clicking all your enrties
i have a daughter , her name is Nina too..
recently diagnosed with double curve scoliosis
waiting for her brace
to buy some time before her surgery due tu her upsr
she ha>50 degree curves
i found your blog so informative
thank you so much

Luqman Amri said...

I'm 18 and have just been diagnosed with double curve scoliosis.
alhamdulillah it's just 30 degree and i'm already 18, so the doctors said that the possibilities of mine to get worse is low and not much to be worried about.

I am a first year medical student, really freak out of my conditions as I thought it would effect my MARA SPC loan.

Used to be interested in neurology sometime ago, now considering of becoming an orthopedic(is my spelling right?)

thanks for da info..

Gadis Misteri said...

My name is Amna. I'm also having scoliosis. Just found ur blog lately, and it helps me a lots. Thanks...

Gaithri Sivan said...

Hi Nina,
I am a scoliosis patient too. I have undergone my operation 16 years ago and all this year’s i have no problem and pains but now i am 32 and quiet worried about my future and plus planning to have babies down the road. i have never done any exercise or swimming but now planning to do something and was searching the web when saw ur blog. i am really mesmerized by your word and would like to salute to your courage and determination. Meanwhile following your blog i notice you mentioned about Spinal mont kiara and your recent post was about swimming and aqua exercise. I am curious to know which works better. And are you still continuing with Spinal Inc. ? Awaiting for your reply.

Nina said...

hi DrAsad, how's your daughter doing with her braces now? all is going as smoothly as possible.

Luqman, Alhamdulillah your curves do not seem severe. to be an orthopedic specialist is indeed a good option :) apatah lagi if you specialise in spine and help youngsters with scoliosis. the young ppl with scoliosis need all the help they can get, from understanding doctors who sympathise with what they go through.

gadis misteri @ amna, salam :) i'm glad to be of any help at all. do join the group on fb if ure looking for those who go though what u go through. ramai orang muda di situ :) hehehe.. i ni kira dah agak berusia dlm group tu.

Gaithri, hi there, i'm so glad u found the blog and that u found it helpful :) i'll be messaging you personally in fb, hope we can chat more there. take care gaithri!

saralee said...


i tought after all this years after surgery, it was me who cant feel any
sensation on my back. not even a pinch. i tot its only me feeling so much pain. every day. goshh.... i am not alone. thank you nina =)

Miseliny said...

hello, Nina. Need to ask your opinion about the National Experience of Aqua Aerobics preventing Scoliosis?