Can Children with Scoliosis Play Sports?

Exercise is highly beneficial for individuals with scoliosis but can they participate in sports? Naturally, this is the common question we often get asked at our facility both online and offline. So with the input of a scoliosis specialist in the UK Mr Jwalant S Mehta, we answer the question here.

Even better we will give a list of right sports and not-so-right sports for Scoliosis Patients Today.

So if you are wondering if you are child can play basketball with scoliosis, then read on to know the answer:

Can children with scoliosis play sports?

Yes, sports are not only ideal but essential for children undergoing treatment for mild scoliosis. It is common for the parents to assume that the continuous rough movements of sports may worsen the curve progression – which is partly true. But by choosing the right sports, children can prevent the stiffness and weakness caused by scoliosis and strengthen the muscles that surround the spine.

“Exercise also plays a critical role in the successful treatment of scoliosis. Young athletes with scoliosis are found to have better core and back strength that reduces the progression of the curve”, says scoliosis specialist and spinal surgeon in UK Mr Jwalant S Mehta.

Good Sports for Scoliosis

If you are a parent who would like to have your child benefit from the physical activity of sports then following the right sports for kids with scoliosis:



Swimming is an excellent low-impact and low-risk sport that improve both strength and cardiovascular fitness without negatively impacting scoliosis. However, kids are suggested to avoid high-diving swimming.



Cycling like swimming is a low-impact and low-risk activity that improves cardiovascular activity. Patients are suggested to avoid off-road cycling due to the stress it may put on the spine.


Cross-country Skiing


Cross-country skiing involve both the right and left sides of the body in the activity thus strengthening both sides. It also puts minimum stress on the spine making it an ideal outdoor sport. One can also use a skiing machine in the gym in case they cannot access the suitable outdoors for skiing.

Running or Jogging


Simple, yet effective running and jogging put the minimal impact on the spine and back while giving a full-body workout. One should always remember that the world’s fastest runner Usain Bolt is a scoliosis patient and it did not stop him from cranking up unbelievable speeds. The right exercise regimen that strengthens the muscles and keeps the body nimble is the key here.




If collisions are avoidedSoccer can be an excellent choice of sport for patients with Scoliosis. It is a great core workout that strengthens the back, builds body awareness improves overall fitness and balance to help the patient improve



Sports to avoid with Scoliosis

In the same vein, there are few sports, games and activities that place undue stress on the spine and are advised to avoid for faster correction.

Gymnastics, ballet, dance, high-impact sports like rugby, uneven sports like tennis, javelin throw, collision sports like basketball and hockey carry a greater risk of aggravating the spinal muscles and hence must be avoided by scoliosis patients.

So as for the common question – Can a scoliosis patient play basketball? No, scoliosis patients are advised to avoid collision sports like basketball to reduce the risk of injury. However, scoliosis patients pursue any of the sorts listed above.

If you are scoliosis patient finding it difficult to enjoy our favourite sports (in the positive list) remember that  scoliosis today is a manageable condition and with the right scoliosis treatment in the UK one can lead normal lives, continue their recreational sports and pursue their goals. If you are looking for scoliosis treatment in UK, we advise you to consult Children and Adult Spinal Surgeon Mr Jwalant S Mehta .