Idiopathic Scoliosis and the Schroth Method
Schroth Method scoliosis exercises when performed consistently, improve posture, mobility and balance, and facilitate more efficient movement patterns. The Schroth Method is not just another ‘exercise fad’, in vogue for a short period of time only, promising much, but delivering little.
Katharina Schroth, who suffered a moderate scoliosis and wore a steel brace at 16 years of age, developed the Schroth Method in Meissen, Germany in 1921. In the late 1930s her daughter Christa, a physiotherapist, assisted her mother with specific scoliosis exercise therapy for her patients. In 1961 Katharina and Christa relocated to Bad Sobernheim.
From a top floor apartment, over 3 decades, they established a major expansive scoliosis centre (institute) for in-patients attending their intensive scoliosis rehabilitation program.
In 1969, the German government awarded Katharina the ‘Federal Cross of Merit’ for her conservative treatment approach for scoliosis.
While gym, and sports type exercises are seen to improve overall fitness, strength, stamina and general wellbeing, Schroth Method scoliosis-specific exercises work on spinal muscles to improve posture, balance and movement. Individuals who engage with the Schroth Method, initially in a program of supervised scoliosis exercise therapy sessions, and then in an on-going home program, learn how to transfer postural corrections achieved during exercises into all aspects of active day living.
At this point in time there is no cure for idiopathic scoliosis but it can be managed in active daily life to maintain good (symmetrical) posture and optimal health. Schroth Method scoliosis exercise therapy can be helpful in:
- slowing down and preventing the risk of curve progression
- improving core strength, balance, and movement
- decreasing trunk asymmetry
- improving breathing
- relieving pain
Individuals with idiopathic scoliosis, be they adolescents or adults, can benefit from the Schroth Method scoliosis-specific exercise therapy:
- Helps curb curve progression in adolescence at the most critical time, during the rapid growth spurt
- Complements adolescent bracing by strengthening and balancing the postural muscles of the trunk
- Improves posture, balance and movement that can lead to pain relief in adulthood