Scoliosis Physical Therapy
Based on the Schroth Method
The Schroth Method is a 3 – dimensional treatment approach for scoliosis patients that includes manual and auto correction of curves, and emphasizes decompression of the concavities. The focus is on chest wall expansion with targeted breathing and neuromuscular stabilization of the corrected posture. Ultimately integration of the “corrected” posture into daily life activities is the goal.
The initial evaluation includes assessment of full spine X-rays to determine curve classification based on the Rigo Classification System. The physical assessment includes spirometry, musculoskeletal testing and scoliometer measurements. Postural digital photographs will be taken for documenting progress and an overall determination of progression risk will be made.
Commitment to the program is imperative for success. Sessions last 1-1.5 hours and are scheduled 2 x per week initially. While up to 20 sessions may be recommended for adolescents, body awareness and the ability to integrate self corrections will ultimately determine the number of sessions required. For out of town patients, a 2 week intensive is recommended. Adults with scoliosis, especially painful scoliosis need to exercise caution with respect to duration and frequency to avoid exacerbation of symptoms. Recommendations are made based on the initial evaluation.
For a physical therapy Scoliosis Evaluation and information about cost and scheduling contact Lise.
Position Statement of the Scoliosis Research Society 2014:
Physiotherapy Scoliosis Specific Exercises (PSSE) have been proposed as a supplemental treatment to orthotic management of scoliosis to prevent progressive deformity in children and adolescents. PSSE have also been applied for adult patients with pain associated with scoliosis deformities.
The common principles of PSSE involve auto correction, elongation, and chest wall expansion with integration of the “corrected” posture into daily life activities. Several programs have been proposed for scoliosis treatment throughout Europe. One of the initial proponents was Katharina Schroth of Germany who established a clinic for treatment of scoliosis based on a spa-like concept. The Schroth technique evolved into an intensive initial evaluation and treatment regimen to include a residential program of several weeks duration with group and individual therapy sessions followed by daily home exercises and periodic physical therapy sessions.
Other “schools” of scoliosis physiotherapy have evolved from the Schroth concept including the Schroth-Barcelona School (BSPTS), where the exercises are learned in an outpatient regimen. Different approaches also developed in Europe like SEAS in Italy, Dobomed and FITS of Poland, and “side shift” of England to name a few. A therapist may incorporate principles from several of these “schools” in their treatment of the individual patient with scoliosis while working with a rehabilitation team formed by physiotherapists, orthotists and medical doctors.
Research (Random Controlled Trials):
Dr. Feldman from the Paley Institute discusses scoliosis and the Schroth Method:
This New York Times Article describes an adolescent’s experience with the Schroth Method:
Please contact Lise Stolze, MPT, DSc to determine if the Schroth Method would benefit you.