The Schroth Method: A Specialized Treatment for Scoliosis

Rehabilitation Department

Hospital for Special Surgery


What is the Schroth Method for Scoliosis?

The Schroth Method for scoliosis is a conservative exercise in a three dimensional approach to elongate the trunk and correct imbalances of the spine. The goal is to develop the inner muscles of the rib cage in order to change the shape of the upper trunk and to correct any spinal abnormalities. The physical therapist will instruct the patient in specific exercises to straighten, centralize and de-rotate the spine with corrective breathing techniques.

The Exercise Goals:

  • Stabilization of the curve/s
  • Mobilization of stiff body parts
  • Improve postural alignment
  • Teach activities of daily living
  • Promotes corrections
  • Enhance neuromuscular control
  • Increase muscle strength and endurance
  • Pain reduction
  • Improve Cardio-pulmonary function

Who would benefit from Schroth?

The treatment approach can use used to treat scoliosis patients of ALL AGES and can be utilized to treat in all stages of scoliosis, including after surgery.

What are the exercises like?

Specific exercises are provided based on the curve patterns and severity, as well as the patients function and mobility. The goal is create awareness of the new posture and alignment through position, repetitions and breathing. Exercises are designed to reduce the flat back and rib prominence and restore alignment of the pelvis. Exercise positions may be modified in order to create the optimal position for the patient.

The Schroth therapist guides the patient with tactile stimulus so the patient has an understanding of where they need to breath and elongate to create muscle activation in to correct the curve.

Will I be straight after the Schroth Method?

Reducing the spinal curve depends on length of time you have had scoliosis. The goal is certainly to reduce the curve but overall to halt the curve progression.

How long will I be in therapy for?

Your Schroth program will be based on your individual evaluation. Treatment sessions are typically 45-55 min long and can range from 5 sessions up to 20 sessions. Continuation of your home exercise program is a lifetime commitment and is vital in order to maintain your postural correction. We do recommend re-evaluations every 2-3 months after you have been discharged from the program. Please speak to your therapist about when you should return.

What do I wear to physical therapy?

Exercise sports attire is the recommended attire. A sports bra is required by ladies in order for the patient to visualize their curve and breathing techniques during the session. A privacy screen is available in order to maintain your privacy during the session.

What type of brace should I wear?

Please speak with your doctor or physical therapist regarding the best brace for your individual curve.

Contact the HSS Rehabilitation Departmentís Spine Therapy Center at 646.714.6850 to see if the Schroth Method could be of benefit to you.

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