Patients Performing Schroth Exercises
A sample of Schroth Method exercises performed by patients attending our Scoliosis Therapy Centre is displayed in the gallery below. All patients featured have idiopathic scoliosis, ranging from moderate, moderate to severe, to severe. The caption below each image includes a number, either (1), (2), (3), or (4) which relate to a specific pattern of scoliosis, as explained below. There are, of course, other patterns.
(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 the lumbar spine and to the left in the 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.
(4) Double major scoliosis, to the right in the thoracic spine, left in the lumbar spine, flat thoracic weak (left) side, elevated left hip.
Click once on an image to expand to full view; click on arrow head symbol top right corner to commence gallery slide show; or manually move from one image to another by clicking arrows on left and right of image.
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 corrective 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 of the rib cage. Breathing in this manner assists in decreasing rotation in both the rib cage and spine, and improves lung capacity and rib mobilization. Stabilization of the corrected posture then takes place in the form of isometric and isotonic muscle tensioning during the exhalation phase.
Effectiveness of Schroth Method Exercises
The Schroth Method is a conservative treatment approach which can improve health related quality of life (QOL): by preventing curve progression; improving function; alleviating and eradicating pain; and avoiding spinal fusion surgery.
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; and tensing the trunk muscles to maintain corrected posture.
The effectiveness of Schroth Method scoliosis-specific 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 Schroth scolisosis-specific exercise programs are designed and customised by therapists trained in the Schroth Method.
As a conservative form of treatment for idiopathic scoliosis, Schroth Method exercise therapy programs adhere to Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) 2016 Guidelines:
- Auto postural correction three dimensionally (3D)
- Training in activities in daily living (ADL)
- Stabilizing corrected posture
- Patient education
A study focused on evaluating the effectiveness of Schroth scoliosis-specific exercises performed by idiopathic scoliosis patients with high-risk curves, whilst receiving brace treatment concluded:
Schroth exercises during bracing can further improve the Cobb angle compared with bracing alone. Click here for further details.