Effectiveness of Schroth Exercise Therapy

The results of a study (March 2016) undertaken at a hospital in South Korea reported Schroth exercise therapy as being significantly effective as a conservative form of treatment for idiopathic scoliosis.

The study was conducted with 5 female patients over a 12 week period which involved 3 x 60 minute Schroth exercise therapy sessions per week. The patients participating in the study each had idiopathic scoliosis with a thoracic curve of 40° and were at risk of progression, and possibly surgery. Excluded from the study were patients whose scoliosis: was of a neurological diagnosis; had recently undergone surgery; wore a brace; or periodically were taking medicine.

The results of the study specifically report a decrease in both the thoracic trunk rotation angle, Cobb angle, and an increase in vital capacity  for each female patient. The authors of the report state that the results of the study are statistically significant.  However, they also acknowledged a limitation with the study was that it only included a small number of patients with a scoliosis of 40° or greater.

The authors recommend that in future a study be undertaken comparing outcomes with a group in which the Schroth exercise therapy is combined with brace treatment. And, that “universal exercise approach methods and preventive training for the treatment of scoliosis should be developed further.”

Detailed below is the article citation and external link to the referred study:

Kim K-D, Hwangbo P-N. Effects of the Schroth exercise on the Cobb’s angle and vital capacity of patients with idiopathic scoliosis that is an operative indication. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016;28(3):923-926. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.923.