Schroth Method for Treating Scoliosis
What is the Schroth Method?
The Schroth Method is a research-based approach of conservatively treating patients with scoliosis, kyphosis or other spinal deformities. The goal of this method is to slow or stop the progression of the curve and improve posture by increasing muscle strength and endurance.
The Schroth method differs from traditional physical therapy, as it addresses posture in all 3 planes of motion that the spine moves. Traditional physical therapy can typically treat 1-2 planes at the same time. With scoliosis, the bones in the spinal column rotate on one another and cause the bones to move laterally from the midline, causing the cobb angle that can be seen on x-ray.
How Does the Schroth Method Work?
The Schroth method works to de-rotate the spine. Treatments are tailored to each patient’s specific curvature using their most recent x-ray, as no two patient’s curves are exactly the same. We use equipment such as wall bars, pull-up bars, a therapy ball, and traction belts to aid in the alignment of the spine while focusing on breathing and muscle activation.
Does the Schroth Method Work?
Schroth exercises are a proven adjunct to bracing, If a brace is deemed appropriate and it can also benefit patients when bracing is not prescribed. Most, scoliosis-specific exercises are recommended to be performed 5-7 times/week for 20-30 minutes a day. These exercises will be performed until spinal maturity has been reached and will benefit patients into adulthood for spine and postural health.
What to Expect for Appointments
Schroth physical therapy appointments are 45-60 minutes in length and are conducted either at the South Austin PT location or at our Westlake PT location with Sarah Luin-Beaulieu, PT, DPT.
Sarah is our physical therapist who is certified in the Schroth Method. Patients are typically seen once per week until they have a thorough understanding of their posture, the ability to correct their posture and a good foundation for a home exercise program.
From there, appointments are decreased to twice a month, then 4-6 weeks to progress their program and continue to monitor their spine until they are finished growing or their spine is stable. Please keep in mind that each patient is different with this timeline and Sarah will assist you with decision making on frequency and duration of appointments.
Each session is one on one with Sarah and she encourages parents and family members to participate in the session to help patients perform their exercises at home. It is recommended that patients wear form-fitting athletic clothing and have the ability to expose their back so that proper observation and treatment can occur.
Meet Sarah & Watch our Schroth Method Video
Is Schroth Method Right for Your Child?
The Schroth method is not necessarily the right choice for every patient diagnosed with scoliosis. Our team of physicians and therapists are here to help each patient and their family in deciding which treatment option is best for them.
Sarah works closely with our four spinal surgeons to ensure proper alignment with Schroth corrective exercises. If your child is wearing a brace, she also communicates with the brace makers, or orthotists, to collaborate on proper fit of the brace as needed. Our spinal team takes a holistic approach towards patients with scoliosis as we monitor your child’s spine until they reach spinal maturity.
At CTPO we understand that a diagnosis of scoliosis, the required hours of brace wear time and scoliosis-specific exercises can feel overwhelming at first. We are here to educate you and ease your concerns along the way with the goal of preventing surgery.
Our patients like to say they are bent, not broken, and we here at CTPO have your back!