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Push-Ups & Scoliosis: 6 Answers You Should Know

Scoliosis can be a painful condition to live with.

While it can be managed to some extent with medication, physiotherapy, and other interventions, even to the point where symptoms become very mild, unfortunately, there’s no “cure” or permanent “fix” for the condition.

With that in mind, it is important to know the types of exercise that can impact scoliosis both positively and negatively.

And that’s where this article comes in. In it, we discuss the relationship between scoliosis and push-ups.

We look at whether push-ups could help scoliosis or make it worse, whether you can do push-ups if you have scoliosis, as well as looking at time frames after scoliosis surgery when push-ups could be possible for you to do again.

woman with scoliosis

Can You Do Push-Ups With Scoliosis?

There’s quite a bit of conflicting information out there about whether you can do push-ups with scoliosis or not.

Usually, you can do exercises that keep your spine flat and straight as this position doesn’t usually add to the stress or pressure of a curved spine.

As push-ups keep your back flat and straight (when done properly), they could be seen as an exercise that can be done with scoliosis.

However, there’s also guidance about scoliosis that says any exercise that can unnaturally arch or strain your back might not be the best choice if you have scoliosis.

Push-ups can certainly strain your back.

(Particularly if you do a lot of them.)

And, if your technique isn’t completely correct, arching of your back can happen too.

To make sure push-ups won’t make your scoliosis any worse, it’s always a good idea to check with a medical professional and follow their advice.

They’ll know what’s going on with you in much more detail than anyone else, so they should be able to offer you the best advice and guidance as to whether push-ups can be done or not.

Do Push-Ups Help Scoliosis?

Strengthening your core muscles can help manage your scoliosis. However, not all core exercises will be suitable to do if you have it.

While push-ups can do a great job of strengthening your core (and other muscles too), there’s a risk that your back (spine) will be placed under excessive stress or pressure while doing them which can actually make your scoliosis worse.

In principle, push-ups could help scoliosis as they can help strengthen the muscles that offer support to your spine.

However, in reality, there could be a bigger chance of push-ups making your condition worse rather than better.

Are Push-Ups Bad For Scoliosis?

Push-ups can be bad for scoliosis, but only your doctor will be able to tell you definitively if this is the case for you.

For some people with scoliosis, push-ups may have some benefits that could actually help you feel more comfortable and manage your symptoms. While, for others, push-ups could be quite bad when it comes to managing your condition.

The main thing to keep in mind is that your medical team will know best and it’s usually a good idea to follow their advice and guidance on what types of exercise you should or shouldn’t do while living with scoliosis.

How To Do Push-Ups With Scoliosis

The key to doing push-ups with scoliosis is to only do them if your doctor has said it’s fine to do so. And even then, do them extremely carefully, with the correct technique, and build up the intensity gradually.

You may find that certain push-up variations will be better suited to you if you have scoliosis so this is something that you might want to discuss with a professional before adding the exercise into your training program.

As a general rule, you’ll want your back to be flat and straight throughout the movement with as little strain placed on it as possible.

You should also be very careful not to arch your back as this can lead to your scoliosis being made worse.

Can You Do Push-Ups After Scoliosis Surgery?

Normally, push-ups probably won’t be an exercise you can do after scoliosis surgery.

While this might not be the case for everyone, commonly, after scoliosis surgery, exercises that put quite a bit of stress on your back or your abs (like push-ups) are best avoided as much as possible.

That being said, your doctor may say that you can gradually build up to doing push-ups again.

Ultimately, it’ll come down to following their advice which will be based on experience, knowledge, and how well the surgery went (and your subsequent recovery).

How Long After Scoliosis Surgery Can You Do Push-Ups?

Again, your medical team will be in the best position to advise you on this, but a common timeframe for scoliosis surgery recovery is around 6 to 9 months.

After this time, providing you have recovered well, you may be able to do slightly more intense exercise like push-ups.

However, this will be dependent on many factors and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.


In summary:

  • Before doing any exercise with scoliosis, you should always consult with your medical doctor who will advise whether or not the exercise is suitable for your specific condition.
  • If you decide to do push-ups with scoliosis, do them slowly and with perfect technique to reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

That’s all for this article, but how many pushups should you be able to do at 17? Or perhaps you want to learn more about doing pushups on carpet?

Hope this helped!