Having scoliosis is not easy. From being diagnosed, to getting conflicting information, to feeling ignored by healthcare providers that just don’t “get it”, we feel you. We’ve been there too.
Strength and Spine was developed to be the one-stop shop for scoliosis and spinal fusion exercise programs. Founded by a Schroth physical therapist, we know that the exercise program for your scoliosis have to be as individual as your curve itself! General physical therapy and fitness program just don’t cover the needs of someone with scoliosis or spinal fusion.
We work with clients all along the spectrum of scoliosis. Whether you were diagnosed as a teen or adult, whether you’re just starting exercising or you’re an athlete, we can build a program that gets you to your goals while taking into consideration your individual curve or surgery.
If you’re ready to take control of your curve, we’re ready to help you get to that next level!
Dr. Beth Terranova, PT
I was diagnosed with scoliosis just before starting high school, but I didn't really understand what it meant for me. My back had a 30 degree thoracic and 22 degree lumbar curve, and I didn't even remember seeing the X-ray of my back.
Despite my scoliosis, I started weightlifting and even became a national competitor. I always felt off-balance and wondered why my ribs stuck out, but no coach, trainer, or physical therapist could explain it to me. One coach even referred to me as "the hunchback" due to my rib prominence.
While studying to become a physical therapist, I discovered the Schroth method for scoliosis, which finally made sense of my experiences.
I started Strength and Spine in 2020 to help people with scoliosis and spinal fusion from all over the world work out in the gym, combining my knowledge of Schroth and strength training. My clients were getting stronger and feeling empowered, just like I did when I learned about my own scoliosis.
I became the coach I needed when I was growing up, and I see my scoliosis as a gift that allows me to help and inspire others to feel strong and empowered in their own lives.
Coach Christy Panzarella Dunbar
At age 16, I was diagnosed with scoliosis by a chiropractor after a car accident, but never received any treatment.
I went on to serve in the military and law enforcement without realizing I had scoliosis. In 2015, a massage therapist asked if I had ever learned to work out with my scoliosis, which was the second time someone had mentioned my curve in 15 years.
I tried many therapies but felt more broken than ever, until a physical therapist challenged the narrative and encouraged me to lift heavy weights. This changed the trajectory of my life and I became a trainer to help others with chronic illness and scoliosis.
Working with Strength & Spine allows me to have a greater international reach and create home programs that motivate and focus on what clients can do. I'm passionate about teaching proper form and challenging beliefs about what people with scoliosis are capable of doing.
Coach Dawn Ingram
My driving force is to promote physical and mental health benefits by encouraging people to move.
As someone who has dealt with back problems and scoliosis, I found yoga to be of great benefit and completed a 200-hour Yoga teacher training, including Yoga for pre and post-natal pregnancy. I also trained in Level 2 Gym-Based Exercise, Level 3 Personal Training, as a Kettlercise® instructor, and completed additional courses such as Yoga Reloaded, Yin Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga, and Pilates.
Additionally, I am a trained clinical hypnotherapist and incorporate elements of it in my classes.
I initially came to Strength and Spine as a client to work on my own curve self-care. I have improved my alignment, strength, and reduced pain.
I’m excited to help others do the same!
Coach Tiffani Arnold
I am a former gymnast with scoliosis who found relief through Pilates and became interested in fitness.
I pursued a degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences, worked as a CrossFit Coach, and had internships with athletic strength and conditioning programs. I have been a Personal Trainer and Small Group Trainer for 8 years, focusing on core strength, stability, mobility, functional training, strength and conditioning, injury prevention, and joint-specific rehabilitation.
I am passionate about helping my clients improve their quality of life through fitness and provide overwhelming support and encouragement. I have taught fundamentals and nutrition workshops, promoted and planned competitions and events, and developed other trainers.
I believe my strength lies in building relationships with my clients and being their biggest support system throughout the emotional, mental, and physical journey of fitness.
Coach Nicole Wallace, PTA
! was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was about 13 years old. I was prescribed a back brace and was told that this was the only way I could prevent my curve from progressing. My back had a 50 degree thoracic primary curve. I was scared and was unsure what to do. My parents took me to numerous specialists with a few doctors recommending surgery. My family and I decided to seek out different treatment and we felt lost.
After ignoring my scoliosis for a few years, I decided to take up CrossFit. I found a passion in fitness and nutrition which led me to seeking out a career as a physical therapist assistant.
I am now a physical therapy assistant, personal trainer, and working towards my nutritionist and corrective exercise certifications to allow me to help others feel empowered and discover a strength they didn't know they had. Strength and Spine allows me to channel that inner passion of mine and allow me to be the coach that I needed when I was lost.
In Memory of Fusion Lifestyle Coach Nancy
Nancy passed away in June 2023, but we honor her memory and legacy by continuing to work with clients with spinal fusions and inspire them to get active as she did.
In 1984, my PE teacher noticed my uneven shoulders and I was advised to wear a 'Milwaukee brace' for 7 years. However, my mom and I sought out a specialist in Chicago who introduced me to spinal fusion. I had my first fusion in 1985 at the age of 15, gaining 2 inches in height.
Over the years, I had multiple surgeries and fusions due to issues with old hardware. Despite these challenges, I continued to be active and even had three children. After menopause, I discovered my back had curved again, along with kyphosis, a spinal fracture, and a broken rod. I'm now 53 and preparing for my 9th and hopefully final surgery in June 2023. Throughout my journey, I've pursued education, taught swimming, and traveled internationally. My son has also undergone fusion surgeries, and we work out together.
I want to show that having a spinal fusion shouldn't limit you. That's why I'm part of Strength & Spine, dedicated to supporting and inspiring others who have had or need fusion. Together, we can break barriers and embrace life's challenges.
Start today on an exercise program that helps you become empowered, strong, and confident in your scoliosis curve.
129 W 29th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
(By Appointment Only)