Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. There may be one curve (“C” curve) present or two curves (“S” curve). Scoliosis is technically defined as a lateral curve of the spine that is greater than 10 degrees. Approximately 2-3 million people have scoliosis, and there is no cure for the problem. In most cases (~80%), scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning there is no apparent cause. It affects all age groups. Symptoms may include pain and fatigue, and in severe cases, difficulty with breathing, digestion, and walking. Treatment of scoliosis typically consists of bracing for moderate curves and surgery for severe curves. However, a prescribed physical therapy exercise program can decrease pain, stretch tight muscles, and strengthen the core muscles.

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. There may be one curve (“C” curve) present or two curves (“S” curve). Scoliosis is technically defined as a lateral curve of the spine that is greater than 10 degrees. Approximately 2-3 million people have scoliosis, and there is no cure for the problem. In most cases (~80%), scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning there is no apparent cause. It affects all age groups. Symptoms may include pain and fatigue, and in severe cases, difficulty with breathing, digestion, and walking. Treatment of scoliosis typically consists of bracing for moderate curves and surgery for severe curves. However, a prescribed physical therapy exercise program can decrease pain, stretch tight muscles, and strengthen the core muscles.

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Treatment of scoliosis with the Schroth method

Our therapists are certified in the Schroth method through the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School, a proven treatment for scoliosis patients of all ages. The conservative method takes a three-dimensional approach to elongate the trunk and correct imbalances in the spine. Using corrective breathing techniques, our certified physical therapists provide specific exercises to straighten, centralize, and de-rotate the spine. The goal is to develop the patient’s inner muscles of the ribcage to change the shape of the upper trunk and correct spinal abnormalities. Using our advanced training, we help patients understand when to breathe and elongate to create muscle activation in the proper curve. Patients condition and train their bodies to maintain an improved posture in daily functions and activities. This treatment can be utilized at any stage of progression, including after surgery. Although, reducing the spinal curve depends on the length of time the patient has had scoliosis. The goal of the Schroth method is to halt the curve progression while also reducing the overall curve. Patients create awareness of their new posture and alignment through positioning, repetitions, and breathing. The Schroth method can be applied to patients with kyphosis or other spinal disorders, as well.

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What to Expect from a Schroth Therapy Appointment 

Specific treatment plans are based on an individual evaluation with one of our expert physical therapists. One of the first tasks is to ensure that patients know in detail the precise presentation of scoliosis or kyphosis in their bodies. Our Schroth therapists spend time teaching patients where their curve is located and explaining which structures are involved and how. Treatment sessions are typically 55 minutes long and can range from 5-20 sessions. We will provide exercises based on the curve patterns and severity and overall function and mobility. Those exercises are designed to reduce flat back and rib prominence and restore the alignment of the pelvis. We are also trained to incorporate safe Pilates rehabilitation into treatment, adapting each exercise to those living with scoliosis, based on their specific corrections. Crucial to progression is the continuation of learning home exercise programs and compliance with brace treatment to maintain the postural correction. We work closely with doctors and Orthotists as a team. The Schroth Method is a lifetime commitment and may include re-evaluations every few weeks or months after being discharged from regular treatment. 

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