Schroth Method Physical Therapy as a Treatment for Scoliosis patients, adults & children alike

Scoliosis is described as an improper curve of the spine.

There are 3 major types of scoliosis— neuromuscular, functional, and idiopathic. The kind of scoliosis, in addition to how serious it is and its possibility for getting worse with time, will be an indicator of what type of treatment course you must follow.

The unusual curve of the spine is caused by a state called scoliosis. The spine can bend either to the right or left and might have an effect on any part of the back. Most individuals with scoliosis experience abnormal curves in the chest or lower section of the back.

In several cases, kids are more affected by this condition because scoliosis is likely to arise when their bodies are growing and forming. If this condition is treated early, the injury can be controlled, however left unhealed can cause more damage and health issues to the heart, lungs, and pelvic region.

Different types of scoliosis treatment available

As scoliosis is an extremely critical condition which can initiate severe back pain problems all through the patient’s life, there are no short-term treatments. In many cases, bracing can decrease and let the spine to grow correctly and become realigned:

Bracing

Generally, the first form of treatment for scoliosis which is observed in kids is braces for the spine. Even though most kids do not like the braces, they can be beneficial to correct the spine curve during the growth process.

For braces, the success relies on how often the brace is put on. Most back pain specialists will recommend kids with scoliosis to put on the brace continually, night and day. The brace will be put on till the bones stop expanding. Doctors will check the kid’s growth patterns and keep an eye on their height. The brace does not have to be put on any longer once the bones have stopped growing. However, patients are realizing that Scoliosis progresses even into adulthood.

Schroth Method 

Schroth Therapy is customized to the individual’s specific curvature and focuses on stopping curve progression, reducing pain, increasing strength and lung function. The physical therapy includes stretching, strengthening and breathing techniques that oppose the rotation of spinal curves. Some exercises are prescribed to be performed by the patient at home during their normal daily routine.

Doctors are also turning to the Schroth Method of physical therapy for Scoliosis sufferers of all ages – even children currently being treated using a brace.

Dr. M. Timothy Hresko
Dr. M. Timothy Hresko

The chairman of the “Scoliosis Research Society” is recognizing the benefits of the Schroth Method. Dr. M. Timothy Hresko, chairman of the research society’s nonoperative committee and associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard stated:
“We’re primarily using Schroth on people who are being braced — I think it will make bracing more successful.”

Surgery

Surgery is only opted in very acute cases or if the brace is not preventing the condition from worsening. Surgery for scoliosis patients will include spinal union procedures, where the spine are combined together to avoid them from moving on your own. The surgery may even include inserting either bone or bone-like material in between the spine plus metal screws and rods to hold the vertebrae straight whereas the bones combine together.   Many scoliosis sufferers feel that surgery is not only invasive, but has long term negative results and are looking for alternatives.

Many adult Scoliosis sufferers are finding that contrary to what they were told by their doctors, their condition is continuing to progress into adulthood — refusing the invasive option of surgery and finding that other traditional physical therapy prescribed for Scoliosis is not effective, they are looking for alternatives.

Evidence of benefits of the Schroth Method for Scoliosis

As recognized in the New York Times article, “Hope for an S-Shaped Back” by Rachel Rabkin Peachman, more and more doctors & patients of Scoliosis are finding that the Schroth Method is the “alternative treatment” that they are looking for. One study found that untreated scoliosis patients had nearly 3 times the rate of scoliosis progression compare to those who underwent scoliosis specific exercises like the Schroth Method.

Masha Katz, MPT
Masha Katz, MPT

Masha Katz, MPT said “With most people, adults and kids alike, the first thing that I notice is a sense of hope. Most of them have been told over and over again that ‘nothing can be done ‘ except bracing ( only for kids), and surgery.  If not, ‘live with it’. For many many people that means living with pain and decreased abilities for sports and exercise, even walking. “

Beyond “a sense of hope”, Masha mentioned several real benefits of using the Schroth Method including,

  • Reduction or/and elimination of pain
  • Greater ease of mobility
  • Balance and coordination
  • Body symmetry & image
  • Self confidence

Early detection & action is key

There are a number of symptoms of scoliosis for adults to be familiar with. Early detection is best and can bring successful rehabilitation outcomes and a return to a regular bone and spine growth.

Masha Katz, MPT and Schroth specialist, said about the Schroth Method: “For many children, there are great reductions of the actual Cobb angle degrees (smaller curvatures), or at least the progression of the scoliosis curve is halted .”

Also, good news to patients of Scoliosis, many insurers are now covering the costs of Schroth Physical Therapy treatments. If you experience lower back pain and have issues working or even sleeping, then find out how to get pain relief and have an improved backbone.

In Valley Village / North Hollywood, CA & Woodland Hills, CA, contact BrightSTAR PT, certified in Schroth Treatment at 818-343-3900 to learn more about the Schroth Method of Physical Therapy.  We are conveniently located near the 101 & 170 freeways, respectively, and have patients visit from all over the valley — not just Woodland Hills & Valley Village — including North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Studio City, Encino, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Canoga Park & Calabasas.

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