Scoliosis is a medical condition that affects the curvature of the spine. It can cause pain, discomfort, and mobility issues.
Traditional treatment methods for scoliosis include bracing and surgery, but these methods can be invasive and come with a risk of complications. Fortunately, there are alternative methods for treating scoliosis, one of which is the Schroth method.
What is the Schroth Method
The Schroth method is a non-surgical approach to treating scoliosis that Katharina Schroth developed in the early 1900s. The technique involves a series of breathing exercises, corrective exercises, and postural corrections that aim to improve spinal alignment and reduce the curvature of the spine.
The Schroth method is based on the principles of three-dimensional correction, which means that it considers the three-dimensional shape of the spine and the individual needs of each patient.
There are three main components of the Schroth method
1. Breathing Exercises:
The breathing exercises in the Schroth method are designed to improve lung function and spinal mobility. The exercises focus on expanding the ribcage and increasing the movement of the spine. The breathing exercises can be performed in various positions, including lying down, sitting, and standing.
The specific breathing techniques used in the Schroth method include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing: This type of breathing involves expanding the diaphragm and the lower ribs while inhaling. The exhale is a slow and controlled release of air. Diaphragmatic breathing can help to improve lung capacity and increase spinal mobility.
- Thoracic breathing: Thoracic breathing involves expanding the upper ribs while inhaling, and allowing the ribs to relax while exhaling. This type of breathing helps to improve the mobility of the upper thoracic spine, which is often affected in scoliosis.
- Segmental breathing: Segmental breathing involves targeting specific areas of the spine while breathing. This technique can be used to improve spinal mobility and reduce spinal curvature in specific areas.
2. Corrective Exercises:
The corrective exercises in the Schroth method target specific areas of the spine and work to improve strength and flexibility.
Corrective exercises are tailored to each patient’s individual needs based on the degree and location of their scoliosis. The exercises can be performed with or without equipment, such as a physio ball or resistance bands.
Some of the common corrective exercises used in the Schroth method include:
- Pelvic correction exercises: These exercises focus on correcting pelvic asymmetry and improving pelvis alignment. This can help to reduce spinal curvature and improve overall posture.
- Thoracic extension exercises: These exercises involve extending the thoracic spine to improve spinal mobility and reduce spinal curvature in the upper back.
- Shoulder girdle stabilization exercises: These exercises target the muscles around the shoulder blades to improve stability and reduce shoulder blade winging, which is common in scoliosis.
- Core stabilization exercises: These exercises target the deep muscles of the abdomen and back to improve spinal stability and reduce spinal curvature.
The Schroth method also utilizes equipment such as ladder stalls, whole-body vibration, resistance bands, physio-balls, and foam rollers to facilitate the corrective exercises and improve muscle activation.
3. Postural Corrections:
The postural corrections in the Schroth method involve learning how to sit, stand, and move in ways that promote proper spinal alignment and reduce curvature.
The method emphasizes the use of the three-dimensional correction principle, which considers the spine’s three-dimensional shape. Postural corrections can be practiced throughout the day and are designed to become automatic over time.
The Schroth method is often used in conjunction with other treatment methods, such as scoliosis bracing or Chiropractic BioPhysics. The method can be used to treat scoliosis at any stage, from mild to severe, and can be used on both adults and children.
Some of the key postural corrections used in the Schroth method include:
- Proper sitting posture: This involves sitting with the pelvis in a neutral position, the back straight, and the shoulders relaxed. Patients may be instructed to sit with their back against a wall or to use a lumbar support to maintain proper posture.
- Proper standing posture: This involves standing with the feet hip-width apart, the pelvis in a neutral position, and the shoulders relaxed. Patients may be instructed to imagine a string pulling them up from the top of their head to maintain proper posture.
- Movement corrections: This involves learning how to move in ways that promote spinal alignment and reduce curvature. For example, patients may be instructed to bend at the hips rather than the waist when picking up objects, or to step forward with the opposite foot when climbing stairs to promote spinal rotation.
The postural corrections in the Schroth method are typically practiced throughout the day and are designed to become automatic over time. Patients are encouraged to be mindful of their posture and alignment and to make adjustments as needed to maintain proper spinal alignment.
What Research Says About Schroth Method
Research has shown that the Schroth method can effectively reduce the curvature of the spine and improve the quality of life for those with scoliosis.
A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that the Schroth method effectively improved spinal curvature, lung function, and quality of life in patients with scoliosis.
One of the best benefits of the Schroth method is that it is non-invasive and does not require surgery. This makes it an excellent option for those not candidates for surgery or looking for a more natural approach to scoliosis treatment. The method also focuses on improving posture and spinal alignment, which can have long-term benefits for overall health and well-being.
In conclusion, the Schroth method is a safe, non-surgical approach to treating scoliosis that can effectively reduce spinal curvature and improve quality of life.
How to find a Schroth Method near me
If you or a loved one has scoliosis, the Schroth method may be a great option to consider as a non-invasive and natural approach to treatment.
If you live around the Columbus, OH, area. Be sure to schedule with our Schroth Method doctors using our online new patient appointment scheduler.