The Schroth Method is a non-surgical principle of scoliosis treatment using scoliosis-specific exercise based on curve-pattern.
The scoliosis exercises do not resemble traditional exercises and the Schroth method includes a proprietary corrective breathing technique known as rotational breathing also known as rotational angular breathing (RAB). Each patient with scoliosis has a unique curve pattern and the goal of the Schroth method is to de-flex and de-rotate the trunk allowing a return to a more ‘normal’ physiological position.
The term scoliosis exercise leads people to think it’s easy to manage scoliosis via exercise – well it can be, once mastered. It is important that training is conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable expert in Schroth methodology. With focused instruction in the newest evolution of the Schroth method, it is possible for the patient to learn the skills needed for lifetime management, to incorporate those into daily life.
Schroth Method Goals
Patients incorporating the Schroth Method into their lives can expect a few, many, or all of the following:
- Spinal stabilization and better balance via improved body mechanics
- Halt scoliosis curve progression – in adolescents we strive for reduction
- Improve lung capacity via corrective breathing and active rib mobilization
- Relieve or reduce pain as a result of scoliosis
- Improve strength and flexibility
- Prevent or avoid surgery
- Improve postural appearance
- Learn to maintain spinal corrections during daily activities
- Empowerment given the knowledge and tools to manage one’s own unique scoliosis
- For post-surgical scoliosis patients, the Schroth Method helps to improve posture and create stability above and below the fused spinal segments
The scoliosis treatment programs are comprehensive outpatient Schroth Method programs for those with mild, moderate or severe scoliosis:
- Adolescent scoliosis
- Adult scoliosis
- Post-surgical scoliosis
- Scheuermann’s Kyphosis
Why Schroth rotational breathing for scoliosis?
“During physiological respiratory movement, all regions of the trunk, thorax and abdomen expand, with the purpose of increasing the volume and the air intake to the lungs. The thoracic cage and inhalation muscles on one side and the lung mass on the other, form two elastic systems in opposite directions, joined by two sheets of pleural space. The scoliosis deformation process causes morphological changes to the trunk. some areas of the trunk protrude or become convex, and others sink in or become concave. Breathing mechanics do not function normally. The deformity causes an imbalance in all muscles of the trunk.”
– from “Best Practice in Conservative Scoliosis Care”, by Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss
Corrective rotational breathing is the proprietary feature of the Schroth Method and Schroth Best Practice® scoliosis exercise protocols.
During Schroth instruction, the patient learns how to change their breathing pattern in order to decrease the risk of scoliotic curve progression. The focus is on expansion of the collapsed concave areas during inspiration. This enhances mobility and promotes a more balanced posture.
According to the conclusions of various research studies, the physiotherapy program as developed by Schroth can be regarded as highly effective for the prevention or treatment of secondary functional impairment, particularly with respect to the restrictive ventilatory disorder. It has also already been shown to have a beneficial effect on scoliosis related pain.
Schroth Method Exercise Examples
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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