Suggested Sports for child

sport bambini

Are there “good” and “bad” sports for you?

Let’s debunk some myths!

We often hear this: “ my son has scoliosis and the doctors say he should practice swimming as it’s the only sport that is good for the spine! “, or: tennis causes scoliosis! “ and so on and so forth. These are myths, without any scientific grounds.

In 1996 the “ Research group on Scoliosis and Vertebral Diseases “ chaired by the late Professor Paolo Sibilla completed an interesting study in which it analysed positive and negative features ( as regards the muscle-skeleton apparatus ) of the main sports young people practice in the growing age.

Let us now see the good and bad thing about the most common sports:


It provides good cardiovascular training

There is risk of physical trauma during matches

It has no particular effects on the muscular and skeletal balance of the vertebral column


There is no risk of physical trauma because of collisions during game play (that is why many young women choose it)

It is not recommended for boys with tendency to hyperkyphosis since, especially if practiced at professional level, can increase the backbone kyphosis


It provides excellent cardiovascular training

It seems that the continuous leaps have a positive effect on growth

It is highly traumatic for knees and ankles


At school level, if the athlete tries all specialties ( jumping, throwing, sprints, middle and long distance running) athletics greatly helps development of the muscular and skeletal system and increases strength and resistance to all of the body

It has no particular contraindications, but it is very demanding and little entertaining


If practiced at the basic training level represents the ideal sport for physical level as it help develop an excellent neuro-muscolar control

All the main muscular districts are equally trained

Some exercises ( bridge, scissors) heavily exert the spinal column and therefore are not recommended for subjects with strong lumbar hyperlordosis


Several studies confirm importance of ballet dance in physical development of young females throughout the whole age of development

It grants an excellent awareness and control over posture because of the use of the mirror during training

It is an excellent correction gymnastic for people suffering from scoliotic paramorphism

It is recommended for girls lumbar hyperlordosis as the dancer’s stance flattens the curves


It provide excellent cardiovascular training

Develops lower limbs particular

The cyclist’s running stance may increase kyphosis ( if practiced for a long time at professional level)


Highly recommended for development of lower limbs in particular ; it is practiced outdoor, in mountain areas, and therefore it is particularly beneficial for the respiratory apparatus

Helps developing an excellent neuromuscular control

If new generation equipment ( helmet, skis and boots) is used, the number of traumas is reduced with respect to the past years


All these sports train and develop neuro – muscular control

help increasing articulations’ flexibility and extension

Helps develop a good control over the body both in static and dynamic situations


It is almost a correction gymnastics for young people with dorsal hyperkyphosis

Increases concentration

Does not provide training for the cardio-respiratory apparatus


For years it has been discommended to boys with scoliosis (even slight scoliosis) as it was thought that, being an asymmetric sport it could worsen scoliosis; instead, studies on professional tennis players have proven that tennis does not cause scoliosis but develops the “main” upper limb more than the other one

Improves eye-hand coordination

It provides good training for the cardio-respiratory apparatus


For year it has been (and still is) the “ No. recommended sport” because it has several real positive features:

It provides excellent training for the cardio-respiratory apparatus

Reinforced all the main muscular districts ( especially dorsal muscles)

Helps increasing articulations’ flexibility

There is no risk of trauma.

it is NOT a cure for scoliosis!

Researchers Vercautereen and Geyer state that for cases of thoracic scoliosis with hump exceeding 10 mm swimming is not only not useful but can even be detrimental as it may trigger development of a self-deformation mechanism caused by forced breathing and water pressure, and in addition to that while swimming it is not possible to notice and correct posture.

However for children with only a slight scoliosis or other paramorphisms (dorsal hyperkyphosis, lumbar hyperlordosis ) swimming is still an excellent sport. Its results may be made even better if combined with correction gymnastic.

Damiano Francesconi