Schroth Method

The SCHROTH Method of scoliosis treatment uses very specific isometric and posture specific exercises to strengthen or lengthen asymmetrical muscles in a scoliotic body. Its goals are to halt progression of abnormal spinal curvature, and in the best case to reverse the curves. This unique system of exercises for scoliosis was developed in Germany in the 1920s by Katharina Schroth (1894-1985), and further developed by her daughter Christa Lehnert-Schroth.

All scoliosis cases involve asymmetrical muscles. A scoliotic spine twists abnormally due to strength and bulk imbalances among the muscle groups in the back and elsewhere that are supposed to be equal. For unknown reason, some muscles on one side of the back grow stronger than the opposing group on the other side and pull harder. The weaker ones cannot maintain a balance, so the scoliosis cycle begins and gradually worsens under the asymmetrical loads.

How the spine initially began to twist is less important than recognizing the imbalances. By identifying these imbalances, you can treat the problem. An effective regimen of specific exercises for scoliosis must follow careful diagnosis of which muscle groups in a patient’s body are too weak, and which are overdeveloped and tight. Then the SCHROTH specialist designs a program to restore normal balance. Each person’s scoliosis deformity is somewhat unique, so a SCHROTH specialist tailors the scoliosis exercises individually. Some exercises which greatly benefit one patient may be counterproductive and harmful for another who has a different abnormal spinal configuration, and some are bad for all scoliotics.

The regimen of muscle-strengthening and stretching exercises aims to derotate and elongate the spine back into its normal position. The patient must do the scolosis exercises for about ½ hour daily. Patient compliance is extremely important, and it is hard work. However, consider the benefits. The SCHROTH Method gives a patient the knowledge and tools to control his or her own postural health, lifelong.

The SCHROTH Method places great emphasis on conscious correction of posture during routine daily living, not only during strenuous exercise periods. Each patient learns about his or her own body and what he/she has to do in order to reverse and control abnormal posture so that improved posture becomes a habit. By correcting her posture, she not only improves her appearance, becoming somewhat straighter and taller, but also increases her lung capacity and reduces the tendency for posture-related pain to develop.

It is very important to note that the SCHROTH Method is unlike any type of yoga. Many common yoga poses are counterproductive and harmful to the scoliotic spine. Yoga was conceived with a normal spine in mind. Unfortunately, some well-meaning yoga instructors even recommend these harmful yoga exercises as scoliosis exercises.

The complex musculoskeletal configuration of every case of scoliosis make it necessary to consider and observe carefully by a trained eye, all the potential ramifications of each exercise, so that each exercise would both achieve its intended effect and create no unwanted secondary problems.

In general, individuals with scoliosis should avoid bending backwards, twisting the torso, and bending sideways. The only exception to this rule is in our scoliosis center where we will warm up the spine and the soft tissues before making a correction in the spine using the CLEAR Method.