If your child has scoliosis, and you need a scoliosis specialist in Brooklyn, we can help. This post by Dr. Gilzon, physical therapist describes how he uses conservative care and a specialized type of treatment to address this abnormal curvature of the spine.
Dr. Gilzon and the specially trained therapists at Park Sports Physical Therapy use a method originally developed in Spain. It’s called the Schroth Method and it can address symptoms and prevent further progression of scoliosis
Scoliosis is a term used to describe an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. The spine has a natural curve if you were to look at it from the side, but when scoliosis occurs, the spine curves to the side either as a single curve to the left (shaped like the letter “C”), a single curve to the right (shaped like a backwards “C”) or it has two curves (shaped like the letter “S”).
Scoliosis can develop at any time, but it is most commonly seen between 10-18 years of age, when it’s typically detected by school screenings or a physician visit. Idiopathic scoliosis, meaning that it has no known cause, is the most common form overall and specifically in children. Patients with idiopathic scoliosis rarely experience pain and the curve is usually minor enough that treatment isn’t needed. But this can change with time.
After scoliosis is detected, some doctors recommend waiting and regularly monitoring the spine to see if the curve gets worse. While this many be appropriate in some situations, we usually recommend a specific set of exercises that follow a principle called the Schroth Method as the best possible approach for idiopathic scoliosis.
There are numerous Schroth Method exercises, and the combination of exercises our physical therapists prescribe is based on each patient’s unique scoliosis and the curves of their spine. Unlike most other exercises, which are completed on both sides of the body, scoliosis exercises are generally executed on one side only. This is in order to correct the imbalances of the spine by lengthening and strengthening the muscles in this area. On the whole, the exercises consist of a combination of stretching, strengthening and breathing techniques, which follow this three-step exercise process:
- First, make sure the pelvis is properly aligned
- Then, do exercises to lengthen the spine, followed by breathing techniques to move the spine and ribs into the best possible posture
- Finally, tense the muscles of the trunk, which will strengthen weak muscles and preserve the posture that has now been corrected
The benefits of the Schroth Method are highlighted in the findings of this recent study:
According to these results, Schroth PSSE (physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises) added to the standard of care were superior compared to standard of care alone for reducing the curve severity in patients with AIS (adolescent idiopathic scoliosis). Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198985/
So if you or your child is dealing with scoliosis, it seems that the Schroth Method is your best option to address symptoms and prevent the condition from progressing further. Contact us to find out how our physical therapists can help you next.