Living with Scoliosis - Testimonials
The following patient 'stories' briefly detail their life experiences living with scoliosis and their engagement with the Schroth Method of 3D Scoliosis Therapy.
In terms of health related quality of life (QOL), the Schroth Method of scoliosis exercise can be effective in the rehabilitation of patients irrespective of their age:
- Juvenile & Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis before puberty and skeletal maturity
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis after puberty and skeletal maturity
- Adult idiopathic scoliosis from the age of 18
- Adult idiopathic scoliosis >30 years of age
- and "De Novo" new adult scoliosis, a degenerative scoliosis
Shilpa, Singapore - 1 September 2023
Hi, I am 44 years old and have a severe S curve scoliosis with a 50 degrees curve in my left lumbar spine and a 40 degrees curve in my right thoracic spine. I only discovered my scoliosis a few years ago. In my adult years, both curves continued to progress to the level they are today. My scoliosis had never really troubled me majorly, so I did nothing about it, though that was until recently. In the past year, my lower back pain has been excruciating to an almost unmanageable degree, where at times, I could not even walk or sit.
For me, random physiotherapy sessions and popping painkillers had become the norm. My pain became chronic and debilitating and my quality of life poor. I realized I needed to change the situation, so I signed up on all the available scoliosis user group pages I could find and tried to gather as much information as possible. I came across a post by Robin Chee regarding a Certified ISST Schroth Therapist in Australia, Malcolm Boulter who trained at the Asklepios-Katharina Schroth Klinik in Bad Sobernheim, Germany. He has been practicing in the Schroth Method of 3D exercise therapy since 2008.
I quickly did some reference calls to scoliosis patients here in Singapore whom he had treated. They all had only positive things to say about their treatment. In a brief zoom with me and husband, Malcolm helped us understand, in depth, what was going on with my spine and how an intensive Schroth 3D exercise therapy program could help me change my posture for the better.
What impressed me most about my Schroth 3D exercise therapy program was Malcolm was always patient, empathetic and encouraging in teaching me. My program was conducted one on one and customized to my pattern of idiopathic scoliosis - I had his undivided attention. In every therapy exercise he monitored my corrective breathing and my postural correction.
I also felt empowered being able to compile my own Home Exercise Program manual with helpful information about Schroth 3D exercise therapy, my pattern of idiopathic scoliosis, and a comprehensive set of exercise notes and photos. Family involvement was encouraged and my daughter, who attended with me for her hyper-kyphosis, took videos and photos of me performing my prescribed exercises.
By the end of my program, I felt physically and mentally great - I was pain free, and I still am. My experience at the Scoliosis Therapy Centre was a very positive one, the complete opposite to stop start, one off weekly or monthly treatment offered in Singapore, where you often forget what you have learned the previous week or month.
I personally feel, anything and everything to do with the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis in Singapore is biased towards spinal fusion surgery. I continue to ask myself why? I have come to the conclusion that what is completely missing is Education! Education for appropriate and corrective 3D bracing and Schroth 3D exercise therapy programs, like the one I recently attended.
So, in case you are looking for a solution out of this madness, and you can afford an airfare to Australia and a stay on the Gold Coast, I would highly recommend Malcolm’s Scoliosis Therapy Centre.
Irene, Sydney, NSW - 25 February 2023
I am 63 years of age and was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis when I was 32. I have a 28° left lumbar curve, 27° right thoracic curve, and a prominent and elevated right hip.
Over decades I have tried various things to improve my scoliosis and ease the pain. Initially, I saw several practitioners who were not able to help. Back then, I was in chronic pain taking pain killers to enable me to get through each day. Not happy with my doctor’s conclusion that I would have to live with chronic pain, I embarked on my own self-help journey.
I started seeing a chiropractor, took up swim lessons, had the occasional massage and started wearing orthotics. Although, I still had pain and stiffness in my back, I believed that there was nothing more I could do for my back, till………
Last year I accidentally came across mention of the Schroth method in a book I was reading about breathing. Not really knowing what to expect I booked into the 6 day Schroth Scoliosis Rehabilitation Program at the Scoliosis Therapy Centre,Sanctuary Cove, QLD. I have not looked back since then! At the end of the program I had a detailed understanding of the nature of my scoliosis and returned home with a customized exercise program.
It is now 4 months since I attended the Scoliosis Therapy Centre and I continue to feel really good! I no longer need to see a chiropractor nor wear orthotics. I cannot get over the fact that I can now wear strappy sandals instead of bulky shoes required to fit orthotics.
I can’t remember the last time I have had to take a tablet for scoliosis pain relief; I no longer wake up with lower back pain and stiffness! I still have massages, swim and regularly walk - increased distances now - without pain. Friends have commented on how my upright posture has improved and I’m sure I’ve regained a few centimetres of my height. I didn’t realize how much I slouched.
I don't miss a day of my Schroth Home Exercise Program. It has improved my quality of life and continues to motivate me. The Schroth method has empowered me….my scoliosis is no longer a negative and painful daily life experience.
Carolyn & Andrew, Adelaide, SA - 2nd May 2020
It was not until 2019 when Andrew turned 15 years old that we realized, after he had developed a sore shoulder, that he had a significant scoliosis. While we had been aware a few years earlier that he did have a mild scoliosis (like his dad), we had been reassured his scoliosis was not an issue since he was asymptomatic.
Andrew has grown tall and strong, and is active as a percussionist and lacrosse player. So, when I saw how curved his back was, I was shocked. Andrew's scoliosis had progressed into a double major. Cobb Angle measurements taken from his x-rays showed both his thoracic and lumbar curvatures were approximately 55°.
We were referred to an Orthopaedic Surgeon who informed us that our only option was spinal fusion surgery. Without surgery, we were told, Andrew’s scoliosis would continue to progress at the rate of 0.5 to 1° per month.
I was not prepared to accept that fusing Andrew’s spine was the only option (and if it was the only option then we did not have enough information to understand how it would impact his life). I started researching both spinal fusion surgery and other possible treatments online. The more I read about how limited Andrew’s movement could be after surgery, and the likelihood that he would no longer be able to participate in the activities (or try new activities) which he enjoyed, the more focused I became on finding an alternative.
I found a reference to the Schroth Method in a journal article regarding the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. This led me to the Scolisis Therapy Centre's website. Soon after, Andrew and I attended a two week intensive Schroth Method Therapy Program in January 2020. It was such a relief to have Andrew's scoliosis thoroughly explained.
Prior to attending the Scoliosis Therapy Centre there had been no information given to us regarding the 'mechanics' of flexion and rotation of Andrew's spine. Once I had a clear explanation of his scoliosis, I felt confident that a treatment based on physical therapy and exercises to counter the flexion and rotation would be effective.
Since we returned from the intensive program 4 months ago, Andrew has been following a Schroth Method home exercise program prescribed and customized specifically for his pattern of scoliosis. We both feel that the Schroth Method is helping him to better manage his scoliosis. He remains pain free and continues to participate in the physical activities and sports he enjoys.