The Schroth Method: A Specialized Treatment for Scoliosis

What is the Schroth Method for scoliosis?

The Schroth Method is a scoliosis-specific exercise approach. It focuses primarily on the three-dimensional correction of the curve pattern. It is achieved through combinations of stretching, strengthening, and breathing in reverse directions, based on each patient’s unique spinal deformation. The physical therapist will instruct the patient in specific exercises to elongate, centralize and de-rotate the spine with corrective breathing techniques.

What are the Schroth Method exercise goals?

The key goals for Schroth Method exercises are to halt the progression of scoliosis curves, improve each patient's mobility, and reduce any pain associated with their condition. The complete list of goals includes:

  • stabilization of the curve/s
  • mobilization of ribcage
  • improving postural alignment
  • teaching activities of daily living
  • promoting postural correction
  • enhancing neuromuscular control
  • increasing muscle strength and endurance
  • pain reduction
  • improving respiratory function

Who would benefit from the Schroth Method?

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 in those who have had scoliosis surgery.

What are the Schroth Method 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 Method 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 my back be straight after using 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 Method program will be based on your individual evaluation. Treatment sessions are typically 40 to 45 minutes long and can range from four to eight sessions for adults and up to 20 sessions for adolescents. 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 three to four 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 for women in order for them 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.

Find a scoliosis doctor at HSS or contact HSS Rehabilitation 75th Street at 646.714.6850 to see if the Schroth Method could be of benefit to you.

Authors

Related articles

Success Stories

 

In-person and virtual
physician appointments

Related Content

Departments and Services