Schroth Method scoliosis exercises when performed consistently, improve posture, mobility and balance, and facilitate more efficient movement patterns; exercises are specific to the type of scoliosis, and therefore to an individual within that type. The essence of the Schroth Method involves making pelvic (basic) corrections; lengthening the spine; performing Schroth Corrective Breathing, as explained below; and tensing the trunk muscles to maintain corrected posture.
Before continuing on with this page to Schroth Corrective Breathing, perhaps first check out our Home Page which explains There Is Something You Can Do About Scoliosis. Our three core values are clearly stated, they are in essence, the beliefs we hold, and the practices we engage in daily, in providing Schroth Method therapy to our patients.
Schroth Corrective Breathing
In all Schroth Method scoliosis exercises, patients first assume a position/posture in which the curvatures in the lumbar spine, pelvis, thoracic spine, and distorted rib cage, and shoulders are held in a corrected postural position. The spine is lengthened from the pelvis upwards. The positioning of the arms is important to corrections of the cervico-thoracic, and thoracic spine.
Whilst holding the “corrected” posture, which mirrors (is opposite to) the scoliosis curves, patients begin Schroth corrective breathing. This technique directs breathing into the scoliosis affected areas – the collapsed areas on the rib cage and is accompanied by a conscious depression of the diaphragm. Breathing in this manner assists in decreasing the rotation in both the rib cage and spine, and also improves lung capacity and rib mobilisation. Stabilization of the corrected posture then takes place in the form of isometric and isotonic muscle tensioning during the exhalation phase.
In the studio image above the patient is performing a Schroth Method scoliosis exercise for Thoracic Spine Correction. The patient shown in this image has a scoliosis curve to the right in her thoracic (upper) spine, a prominent left hip, and a flat back on her left weak side.
As a conservative form of treatment for idiopathic scoliosis, Schroth Method exercise therapy programs are based on:
- Auto postural correction three dimensionally (3D)
- Training in activities in daily living (ADL)
- Stabilizing corrected posture
- Patient education
The effectiveness of Schroth Method scoliosis exercise therapy is largely dependent on the ability and commitment of patients, and in the case of juveniles and adolescents, their parents as caregivers, to carry out the prescribed exercise program. It is also of paramount importance that specific exercise programs for individuals, and their scoliosis curve pattern, are designed by therapists trained in the Schroth Method.
Further information about the Schroth Method and how it can help idiopathic scoliosis is available here:
- Effectiveness of Schroth exercise therapy
- Preventing Scoliosis Curve Progression
- Treatment of Idiopathic Scoliosis during Growth
- Adult Scoliosis with Quality of Life
A sample of Schroth Method exercises performed by patients attending our Scoliosis Therapy Centre is displayed in the following gallery. The patients featured have idiopathic scoliosis, ranging from moderate, moderate to severe, to severe. The caption below each image includes a number, either (1), (2), or (3) which relate to a specific pattern of scoliosis, as explained below. There are, of course, other patterns.
Go to an image in the gallery that is of interest to you, click on the image to enlarge your view. Click again on the icon in the top right corner of the image to further expand your screen view. Click on the icon on the bottom left of image to commence your 15 image slide show.
(1) Scoliosis curve to the right in the thoracic spine, prominent left hip, and flat back on the left (concave) thoracic weak side.
(2) Double major scoliosis to the right in the thoracic spine, left in the lumbar spine, a prominent right hip, and an elevated left shoulder.
(3) Scoliosis to the right in her lumbar spine and to the left in her thoracic spine, and a prominent left hip. In the majority of idiopathic scoliosis cases, curves in the thoracic spine are on the right, and in the lumbar spine on the left.
Our Schroth Method Therapy Classes and Residential Programs offer a conservative exercise therapy approach for the treatment of juvenile, adolescent and adult idiopathic scoliosis.