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Schroth Method Therapy Residential Program

Overview

Malcolm Boulter

Malcolm Boulter, Schroth Method Therapist

Scoliosis curvature progression can sometimes be reduced or halted using Schroth Method therapy. The approach is non-invasive and gentle and can improve quality of life.

Scoliosis can be managed. Our Schroth Method Therapy program involves an assessment of the patient’s curvature and posture, and then teaching the patient a customised set of therapeutic exercises they can perform at home to help improve their posture and body alignment. Patient are encouraged to become conscious of postural correction in daily life and activities. The therapy approach can be used independently or in conjunction with bracing, with exercise therapy being an excellent early stage therapy to try and minimise curvature progression.

Our 3 day and 6 day residential schedules offer a conservative approach for the treatment of juvenile, adolescent and adult idiopathic scoliosis. The programs are designed for individuals seeking an alternative treatment option. Patients and family members can reside close to our Centre while participating in a program of scoliosis exercise therapy.

Program Objectives

Lumbar Spine Exercise

The Schroth Method is an exercise based treatment which aims to improve posture, balance and movement. The overall objective of the Schroth Method Therapy Residential Programs is to help slow down or stop the progression of scoliosis in order to avoid the necessity of surgery.

Other residential program is available in a 3 day or a 6 day format, and the objectives include:

  • slowing curve progression
  • pain relief
  • restoring normal posture
  • improving lung capacity and rib mobilisation through corrective breathing.

Residential Program Components

Our 3 day and 6 day Schroth Method Therapy Residential Programs comprise the following components:

  • Part 1: Initial Assessment Consultation
  • Part 2: Customised Scoliosis Exercise Therapy Sessions
  • Part 3: Schroth Method Home Program Manual
  • Part 4: Schroth Method Home Exercises
  • Part 5: Education in Activities in Daily Living

Part 1: Initial Assessment Consultation

The initial assessment consultation is an integral part of the program and includes 4 steps:

  • X-Ray Review: Before commencing Schroth Method scoliosis exercise therapy with a patient, existing x-rays and reports are reviewed. It is essential that the patient presents at our Centre with a current set of x-rays, radiologist and orthopaedic specialist reports, as well as any other relevant medical history. X-rays need to have been taken in weight bearing (Erect) position, showing a Posterior-Anterior (PA) view of the full spine, and a Lateral (sagittal) view. X-rays highlight the radiological characteristics of the scoliosis curve pattern, any associated spinal degeneration and enable the degree of curvature to be measured by the Cobb Angle method.
  • Photography Review: A Therapist in our Centre photographs the patient while standing from 4 positions, front and back, and both sides. The photographs provide evidence of the clinical characteristics (what we see), establishing the three dimensional clinical characteristics of the patient’s scoliosis curve pattern, and trunk distortion. The radiological and clinical characteristics should concur with one another to correctly diagnose the patient’s scoliosis curve pattern.
  • Measurements: In addition to measuring the scoliosis curvature by the Cobb Angle method, the Angle of Trunk Rotation (ATR) is verified by the Therapist using a Scoliometer. The patient’s vital capacity is measured using a Spirometer. The patient’s height is recorded on initial presentation, and any loss of function noted due to scoliosis progression.
  • Awareness: In preparing patients for their program of Schroth Method scoliosis exercise therapy, patients are taught how to: describe their pattern of scoliotic posture in Schroth terminology; the need for postural awareness; and how to make pelvic corrections relevant to their curve pattern.

Part 2: Customised Scoliosis Exercise Therapy Sessions

Scoliosis Therapy Centre Basic Corrections Sitting

Basic Corrections Sitting

A customised program of Schroth Method scoliosis exercise therapy is designed and implemented for patients immediately following their Initial Assessment Consultation, and before they begin the first therapy session.

Patients perform their therapeutic exercises during the twice daily two hour sessions with the assistance of mirrors, and tactile cueing and feedback from the Schroth Therapist. Once patients have achieved optimal corrected posture for a specific therapeutic exercise, the Therapist takes a photograph of the patient performing the exercise.

Photographs taken are included in Schroth Method Home Exercise notes, specifying the therapeutic goals of each exercise, and how to perform them.

The need for patients to be focused on positive corrective changes in postural alignment, made possible by each specific Schroth Method therapeutic exercise, is reinforced throughout daily sessions. Exercise therapy sessions are the precursor to consciously adopting a long term symmetrical physiological posture in ordinary activities in daily living (ADL). The benefit of adopting a symmetrical physiological posture is that it can help reduce curve progression.

Part 3: Schroth Method Home Program Manual

The Schroth Method Home Program Manual given to each patient comprises:

  • Patient’s Pattern of Scoliosis
  • Schroth Terminology
  • Pelvic Corrections
  • Schroth Corrective Breathing
  • Postural Awareness
  • Home Program Weekly Schedule
  • Schroth Method Home Exercises

Part 4: Schroth Method Home Exercise Notes

The notes for each Schroth Method home exercise are set out in the following manner and include a photograph of the patient performing each exercise in an optimal corrected posture.

  • Exercise Name – Helps facilitate the Schroth Method teaching process.
  • Main Focus – Therapeutic goals of each specific exercise: postural alignment; muscle rebalance; endurance.
  • Positioning – Basic 3D corrections for the whole body from the pelvis (including lower limbs) upwards. Positioning is different for each scoliosis pattern.
  • Elongation – Active elongation of the spine upwards from the pelvis after achieving basic 3D corrections. Hold the corrections and exhale.
  • Exercise – The ‘main part’ during which specific muscle tension and Schroth corrective breathing facilitate postural correction and 3D stabilization. After the initial exhale, continue Schroth corrective breathing cycles throughout each exercise.
  • Sets and Repetitions – Exercises are repeated a number of times (sets). Each set includes a number of Schroth corrective breathing cycles (repetitions)
  • Variations – In some instances, it’s possible to perform a specific Schroth Method exercise with the same main focus, but with different positioning: standing, sitting or kneeling.

Part 5: Education in Activities in Daily Living

Thoracic Spine Correction

Introducing Schroth Method therapeutic elements into ordinary activities in daily life (ADL) helps a patient reduce the asymmetric loading on the main scoliosis curve and lessens the risk of further progression.

Gaining awareness of the differences in postural alignment, by engaging in Schroth therapeutic scoliosis exercises, a patient develops a consciousness about postural correction, which with practice, becomes intuitive.

Patients develop a consciousness about postural correction in ADL through their participation in a program of Schroth customised scoliosis exercise therapy sessions. Training in ADL begins from the outset, during the rest interval between sets of Schroth therapeutic scoliosis exercises.

How patients: stand; sit; lay down on their front, back or side; walk; shower or dress; and engage in dynamic recreational activities such as sport or dancing, requires a conscious postural correction… an intuitive correction!

Intuitive means having the ability to understand or know something without any direct evidence or reasoning process. https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/intuitive

ADL is an intuitive element of the Schroth Method of Scoliosis exercise therapy.

Articles and Further Reading

Further information about the Schroth Method and how it helps scoliosis:

Program Structure

3 Day Program

  • 12 hour program scheduled over 3 days
  • Day 1: 2 hour assessment consultation, plus a 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy session
  • Day 2: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Day 3: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Cost:$1,100 AUD
  • Includes Home Exercise Program and training in Activities in Daily Living (ADL)
  • Excludes travel and accommodation.

6 Day Program

  • 22 hour program scheduled over 6 days
  • Day 1: 2 hour assessment consultation
  • Day 2: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Day 3: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Day 4: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Day 5: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Day 6: 2 x 2 hour scoliosis exercise therapy sessions
  • Cost:$1,900 AUD
  • Includes Home Exercise Program and training in Activities in Daily Living (ADL)
  • Excludes travel and accommodation.

Home Exercise Program

After attending a Schroth Method Therapy Residential Program, patients are encouraged to perform their home exercise program on an ongoing basis to help maintain their improved posture in activities of daily living. Home exercise programs are usually structured around 20-25 minute sessions, 4 days per week.

Travel & Accommodation

The Scoliosis Therapy Centre is located south west of Melbourne, Australia, at 35 Oakden Road, Drysdale, Victoria 3222.

  • Melbourne to Drysdale: 98 km (approx 90 mins by car).
  • Geelong to Drysdale: 24km (approx 20 mins by car)

Train services operate daily between Melbourne and Geelong, and connecting bus services operate daily between Geelong rail station and Drysdale.

Flights

For interstate clients,  Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia operate flights from all major interstate capitals to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport and Geelong’s Avalon Airport.

For international clients, many operators fly from Asia to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.

Accommodation

The Bellarine Peninsula is a popular tourist destination for Australian and international visitors. Accommodation options are available very close to the studio, and there are also popular seaside towns that are a short drive away.

Local Accommodation (5 minutes by car)

Nearby Seaside Accommodation (10 to 20 minutes by car)

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