Scheuermann's AND Scoliosis - what should I do?
I bought Mark's book a couple weeks ago and I'm definitely ready to get healthy. I'm 19 years old, body weight is 185 lbs and I'm 6'1 tall. Last time I measured, my bf was 25%. As a goal for myself, I'd like to accomplish an athletic physique and a bf around 10%, so fat loss is most important for me. My plan was to do lots of compound exercises (SS) and eat Primal/Paleo, but a routine check-up at a local orthopedist revealed that I have slight scoliosis (14 degrees) and a little hunchback due to Scheuermann's, which is barely visible.
My doc prescribed me a little pillow thingy to put in my right shoe in order to correct leg length. He also advised against squats. I didn't ask him about deadlifts, but I'm considering seeing another specialist to make sure.
My questions are: If it turns out I can neither squat nor DL, should I even bother working out? What other sports can I do instead of going to the gym?
I've also heard that my messed up back is all the more reason to start squatting and deadlifting, and that I'll be fine as long as I wear the pillow thing in my shoe. Is that true?
I hope I made my situation clear enough so you can help me. With that being said, thanks for your answers!
Two things. WTF is a routine checkup at an orthopedist? I mean if you said chiropractor then I could of understood cause thats at least a conservative method for spinal care, but an ortho only knows when to do surgery. So yeah, surround yourself with CONSERVATIVE CARE experts to help you manage this, not surgeons . Your 19 so its likely the curvature will not progress any further. But with Scheuermann's you should have some follow up x-rays done say.... in 6 months to a year... if you decide to go into a heavy lift program. Strengthening your posture and working on your spinal alignment are going to be very important for you, and strength/weight training will be a solid part of such a program.
If you don't/have some doubts about top loading the spine with back squats you definitely can still build strength with things like leg press and the other "less than ideal" machines. Doing nothing would be far worse than using machines and body weight. Don't fall into an all or nothing mentality when it comes to training! Thats not gonna work for you. In the end nobody here has seen your x-rays, there are degrees of severity in presentation for the things you mention so its hard to make any solid recommendations.
I have slight scoliosis as well. Have never been prescribed shoe inserts, that's ... Odd, for minor scoliosis. I also squat, and deadlift, and do KB swings and other stuff. My instances if lower back aches that were almost inevitable have all but disappeared. You do need to strengthen your core, not avoid using it. Obviously, take care, technique and posture are crucial, and small steps.
Depending on how bad it is, you might be able to build strength and muscles which will straighten your back out. There are a lot of options- a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a postural expert such as someone trained in the Alexander Method, etc.
I'm betting that you can still do weight lifting, but you may need to progress a little more slowly in order to ensure that your back problem is not getting worse as you go. Extra care should be taken to ensure that you try to straighten yourself out as much as you can.
The shoe insert could be because one leg is shorter than the other, which does happen. It could be that one leg only appears shorter because your spine is twisting your pelvis inappropriately.
Go find a chiro or Alexander method instructor, someone who can teach you how to stand and walk and sit and move. They will give you exercises and strategies that will hopefully straighten you out as best as can be done.