Trampoline Use and Scoliosis: Navigating Safety Risks

You should use caution with trampoline use and scoliosis. With lumbar scoliosis, trampoline jumping could compress the spine.

There is currently no direct evidence linking trampolining to the worsening of scoliosis. Nevertheless, various medical organizations advise against it.

Trampolines are an enjoyable and effective way to exercise for both adults and children.

Rebounding exercise is considered a low-impact workout that requires minimal equipment and puts less strain on the body.

However, if you have a back problem, such as scoliosis, you may wonder whether it’s still a suitable exercise for you.

Before discussing the exercises that are good for scoliosis, it’s important to understand what scoliosis is.

Some people believe that trampoline use and scoliosis should never mix.

So, why is this the case?

And if trampolining is not recommended, what other exercises can help with scoliosis?

Green trampoline on the lawn in garden close-up empty as an example of trampoline use and scoliosis.

Related Reading: Do Nets Make Trampolines Safe?

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can cause symptoms.

  • Visible abnormal curvature
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Leaning to one side
  • The ribs sticking out to one side
  • Clothes not fitting

In about eight out of ten cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown, which is called idiopathic scoliosis in the medical field. It cannot be prevented and is not believed to be related to exercise or diet.

It may be caused by congenital factors, underlying nerve or muscle conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or natural degeneration with age.

Most of the time, scoliosis is not painful and does not require any treatment or surgery.

People with scoliosis are generally not advised to avoid exercise unless specifically directed to do so by their doctors.

However, individuals with moderate to severe scoliosis may experience back pain and fatigue, which can make exercising more challenging.

Related Reading: Mayo Clinic-Scoliosis

Trampoline Use and Scoliosis

If someone has severe scoliosis, is trampolining a recommended exercise?

It’s not good news for those with scoliosis who enjoy trampolining.

Many different organizations, such as the National Scoliosis Foundation and the London Orthotic Consultancy, have advised against it.

According to the latter, trampolining is one of the few sports they don’t recommend for people with scoliosis.

Individuals with lumbar-type scoliosis should refrain from using trampolines due to spinal compression concerns.

The person’s weight when jumping will contribute to compressing the spine.

It is best to talk with a medical professional specializing in scoliosis to see what exercises or sports you can participate in without undue stress on your spine.

You should take this into consideration when thinking about trampoline use and scoliosis.

Related Reading: Best Exercises for Scoliosis

Beneficial Exercises For Scoliosis

If someone with scoliosis wants to exercise, trampolining may not be the best option.

Instead, the London Orthotic Consultancy suggests weight-bearing exercises that apply mild pressure on the spine, which can gradually improve its strength.

Standing exercises are also recommended for the same reason, and these may include:

  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Rock Climbing.

These exercises increase the strength of the extensors, which are the muscles that keep us bipedal against the force of gravity.

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Swimming

These exercises increase a person’s core strength and flexibility, which is also very beneficial for those with scoliosis.

For individuals with mild scoliosis, certain exercises are recommended.

However, if the level of scoliosis is more severe, some exercises may cause discomfort.

In such cases, certain exercises that focus on strengthening core muscles, improving posture, and reducing pain and fatigue can be highly beneficial.

These exercises typically include yoga, gymnastics, and Pilates, and may include specific exercises such as:

  • Pelvic tilts
  • Sitting Rotation Stretches
  • Cat/Cow Yoga Stretches
  • Bird/Dog Yoga Stretches
  • Planking

If you have scoliosis and are unsure which exercises are safe, consider researching physiotherapy and seeking advice from your doctor.

Physiotherapy typically involves customized exercise programs that cater to the individual’s specific requirements, including postural compensations and flexibility levels.

Factors such as age, current pain levels, and exercise tolerance are also taken into account.

A proficient physiotherapist can create and supervise an exercise program that is tailored to the person’s condition, ultimately helping them to recover.

Related Reading: Will Jumping on a Trampoline Build Bone Density?

Which Sports Are Bad For Scoliosis?

There are many different sports that are bad for those with scoliosis in many different ways, so those with scoliosis need to be careful about what they do, despite the fact that exercise is recommended.

Unfortunately, trampolining may be one of the worst exercises to do for those with scoliosis. The reasons for this are that trampolining increases the force of gravity on the spine and can compress an abnormally curved spine even further, aggravating the condition and making it worse.

Most other exercises are not as bad – being recommended in small doses, or not recommended for lack of benefits rather than overall avoidance, but some of these include:

  • Off-Road Cycling – This involves a lot of high-impact bouncing.
  • Weightlifting – It compresses the spine. Deadlifting is the worst version of weightlifting for scoliosis.
  • Squats – These can put surprising pressure on a person’s spine and are best avoided.
  • Torso Extensions – The repeated extending of the torso, be it ballet, dancing, high jumps, or backbends, is naturally at risk of aggravating scoliosis and should be avoided.
  • Extreme Yoga – this one should be particularly noted as whilst certain yoga poses can be extremely beneficial for those with scoliosis, such as Cat/Cow, it is important to note that extreme poses do the opposite and may aggravate the condition. When doing yoga, someone with the condition should be extremely careful.
  • Contact sports – this involves American football, martial arts, and boxing. Any contact sport can lead to significant stress on the spine, whether that be through hits to the head or being tackled, and that can aggravate scoliosis and make it much worse – especially if the person has had surgery.

Related Reading: The Most Common Trampoline Injuries & How to Avoid Them

Final Thoughts

Doctors suggest gentle exercises to strengthen cores and improve postures for scoliosis patients, but they should avoid certain exercises.

Unfortunately, trampolining is not recommended for people with scoliosis due to the amount of compression it causes on the spine.

Instead, doctors suggest doing standing, flexibility, or core-strengthening exercises.

Please be careful with trampoline use and scoliosis. Besides the alternative exercises and sports mentioned, always consult your doctor to be sure.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!

Continue Reading: Are Inground Trampolines Safer? & Buyer’s Guide for Trampolines With Basketball Hoops