Scoliosis affects 2-3% of the American population. The most common form being idiopathic scoliosis which affects children ranging from ages 10-15 years old. Idiopathic means the causes are unknown. It is typically detected by school screenings or a physician visit. 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. If your child has scoliosis our certified Schroth therapists can help treat and teach your child how to counteract the imbalances caused from the abnormal curvature of the spine.
In this article, Park Sports founder and physical therapist Boris Gilzon, PT DPT, OCS, CHT describes how our therapists utilize conservative methods such as breathing techniques, exercise, and body awareness to address Scoliosis and Kyphosis.
Originally developed in Germany by Katharina Schroth in the early 1920’s, the Schroth method has become one of the most effective and safest approaches to treating Scoliosis.
The Schroth method focuses heavily on rotational breathing, stabilizing and balancing the spine, chest expansion, derotation and reduction of the spine’s irregular curvature, elongation of the spine, hands-on treatment to correct the body’s posture, and educating the patient on exercises and techniques they could use for life.
There are numerous Schroth Method exercise. The combination of exercises our physical therapists prescribe is based on each patient’s body 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 are dealing with scoliosis, the Schroth Method may be your best option to address its symptoms and prevent the condition from progressing further.
Do you or your child suffer from scoliosis or kyphosis? We can help. Schedule your evaluation today.