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Schroth Method Physical Therapy
Scoliosis is a serious medical condition that impacts millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, most people suffering from the disorder don’t need major treatment or intervention. However, for some, leaving this spinal disorder untreated can result in major physical challenges.
The Schroth Method can be an extremely effective treatment. When implemented properly, Schroth exercises can help a person learn a customized rehabilitation program that can reduce the curve of one’s spine, ultimately allowing them to reduce their pain and increase their functionality. In addition, the Schroth Method is often taught by physical therapists with direct experience and training in this area.
At Boston Sports Medicine, we offer various services that provide world-class scoliosis treatment. The Schroth Method can be an excellent component of scoliosis treatment. Combined with other services – like bracing or other forms of physical therapy – it can help a person obtain the desperately needed rehabilitation.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a disorder that results in a person growing with a curve in their spine. According to Johns Hopkins, a person with scoliosis has a spinal curve of at least 20 degrees.
There are three types of scoliosis:
- Neuromuscular scoliosis: Scoliosis that is secondary to another, more severe condition, such as muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, or cerebral palsy.
- Congenital scoliosis: Scoliosis that occurs due to malformed vertebrae.
- Idiopathic scoliosis: Idiopathic scoliosis is scoliosis of an otherwise undiagnosed nature that typically appears by the time a child is ten.
A variety of symptoms can be apparent with scoliosis, which usually result directly from the curve of a patient’s spine. Most of these symptoms result in some sort of asymmetry, including uneven hips or shoulders or a head that fails to align with the center of a patient’s body. Indeed, individuals with scoliosis will often look “off center” in some way.
What is the Schroth Method?
The Schroth Method is a popular form of scoliosis treatment that uses physical therapy and breathing to help patients recover from their scoliosis. Like other forms of physical therapy, the Schroth Method is non-invasive. However, it requires regular practice and the guidance of a trained physical therapist.
The history behind the Schroth Method is fascinating, particularly in terms of just how old this therapy is. The Schroth Method originated from Katharina Schroth, a German woman born in 1894. Schroth had moderate scoliosis and was wearing a brace. Finding the brace uncomfortable, Schroth worked with her mother to develop the Schroth method, a series of physical and breathing exercises designed to correct her scoliosis. The successful method was transformed into a more formal scoliosis treatment plan.
There are three primary components of the Schroth Method:
- Reducing muscular asymmetry
- Rotational angular breathing – or forms of breathing exercises – can help a patient restore the natural symmetry of their body.
- Awareness of posture
As you would imagine, a patient who experiences the Schroth Method undergoes specific, customized exercises in all three overlapping areas. In doing so, patients learn how to adjust their bodies, strengthen back muscles, and decrease back pain. In addition, a physical therapist must undergo training in the Schroth Method. Fortunately, at Boston Sports Medicine, we have trained staff that is experts in this area.
How Can A Physical Therapist Teach the Schroth Method?
First, a physical therapist will have an initial intake meeting with a patient. They will examine the patient’s medical records, perform certain tests, and take a physical inventory of the specific spinal deformities of the patient. From there, they will design a series of customized exercises that teach breathing and postural awareness. These exercises straighten and elongate the spine. They also improve posture, bodily symmetry, and muscle strength. A therapist will regularly examine the patient and adjust exercises as treatment continues.
The length of these sessions will vary from patient to patient, but patients may have up to twenty sessions. Physical therapists will encourage patients to undergo physical therapy exercises at home, which are a virtual requirement for the Schroth Method to succeed. A physical therapist may encourage a patient to continue these exercises, even upon the conclusion of the therapy.
A successful Schroth treatment will not necessarily mean that the spine straightens, although in some cases, the spine curve may reduce. Instead, successful treatment often means that the curve stops worsening, allowing natural growth, bracing, and other physical therapy methods to take hold.
What Other Treatments Can Help With the Schroth Method?
Studies have shown that the Schroth Method can make someone improve and help restore a patient’s health and well-being. However, it is not the only rehabilitation method that a person can use to reduce the curve of their spine and rehabilitate from scoliosis. Indeed, good physical therapy is never just one modality of healing. A patient should work with their physical therapist to find a method of rehabilitation that fits their needs. A good physical therapist – like those at Boston Sports Medicine – will help find the right form of physical therapy for a patient.
Bracing is a common form of treatment for scoliosis. Bracing can help straighten the spine by ensuring that young bodies – like children or teenagers – grow correctly. Braces are made with the patient in mind and are most effective when worn for extended periods during the day. Fortunately, evidence is clear that a good brace can reduce the spine’s curve.
Other forms of physical therapy – including customized exercises, massages, manipulation, or stretching – can help a patient recover from scoliosis. When done right, patients who have physical therapy will use that therapy to strengthen their muscles, gain flexibility, and improve their posture. All of this can serve as ideal scoliosis treatment.
In extreme cases, someone with scoliosis may need surgery to straighten the spine and ensure patients are not massively disabled by their scoliosis. Surgery is typically only used when the spine curve is greater than 50 degrees and when it appears that the surgery is necessary to stop the spine from growing curbed. Spinal fusion – when two or more vertebrae are fused – is the most commonly used form of surgery.
Also Read: Physical Therapist South End
Where Can I Get Schroth Method Treatment?
The Scrhroth Method can be an excellent tool for treating adolescent and adult scoliosis. With the right guidance provided by trained physical therapists, patients who get the Schroth Method can often find rehabilitation, reduce the curve of their spine, and move past any type of scoliosis.
At Boston Medical Center, we provide a comprehensive array of rehabilitation services that can give a patient the opportunity they need to recover. If you would like more information on finding a physical therapist or scoliosis therapist that can provide these services, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you on your path to rehabilitation.