what is the Schroth method and how does it help Scoliosis?

August 11, 2015

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The Schroth Method has a long and established tradition, being founded in 1921 by Katharina Schroth in the eastern part of Germany. In 1961 Katharina and her daughter Christa moved to Bad Sobernheim near Frankfurt and established the “Katharina Schroth Klinik” in 1983.

Katharina suffered from Scoliosis herself and created the three-dimensional treatment of spinal deformities and scoliosis, which developed into the most recognised conservative exercise based approach for scoliosis treatment in Germany. She died in 1985, so Christa continued the work of her mother and refined the orthopaedic breathing treatment.

Schroth Exercises are customized for unique spinal deformation. The method teaches you how to;

    • Correct spinal rotation and increase lung capacity with a rotational breathing technique.
    • Help restore normal spinal position with pelvic corrections, breathing technique and stabilizing isometric contractions.
    • Improve your posture during routine daily life, not just during therapy.
    • The term Scoliosis was first described by ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: σκολίωσις skoliosis meaning “bending”‪. It is a medical condition in which a person’s spinal axis has a three-dimensional deviation. Although it is a complex three-dimensional condition, when viewed on an X-ray of a sufferers rear profile, the spine of the individual can resemble an “S” or a “C”, rather than a straight line.‪

What is scoliosis?

UntitledThe term Scoliosis was first described by ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: σκολίωσις skoliosis meaning “bending”‪. It is a medical condition in which a person’s spinal axis has a three-dimensional deviation. Although it is a complex three-dimensional condition, when viewed on an X-ray of a sufferers rear profile, the spine of the individual can resemble an “S” or a “C”, rather than a straight line.‪

According to SRS (Scoliosis Research Society) the most common type of Scoliosis is idiopathic which affects 80% to 90% of all scoliosis patients.

The other 10% to 20% are Scoliosis with known aetiology such as congenital, neuropathic or neuro-muscular origin. The classification idiopathic Scoliosis literally means that there is an unknown aetiology for the disease – it is perhaps genetic.

The group of idiopathic scoliosis is further divided into 3 sub-groups, which are determined by the first features detected:

  • Infantile idiopathic Scoliosis (IIS) age 0-3
  • Juvenile idiopathic Scoliosis (JIS) age 4-9
  • Adolescence idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) age >9

There is also a rarer variant, so-called degenerative Scoliosis, which starts in the postmenopausal period.

Generally speaking it is observed that Scoliosis ‘itself’ does not cause pain in children or teens. When back pain is present with scoliosis, it may be because the curve of the spine is causing stress and pressure on the spinal discs, nerves, muscles, ligaments or facet joints of the spine itself and this imbalance can then radiate to the surrounding tissues and compromise correct muscular alignment.

Like many things in life, our body is more forgiving in our youth, but it is as we age and more specifically, if we age without compensating for weaknesses in our bodies that the said imbalances can begin to introduce pain into our daily life.

 

Do you give everyone the same exercises?

No, the exercises I use with my patients are specifically personalized to their condition. There are many different exercises and all can be adapted to suit the patients’ needs and stage of Scoliosis.

 

How long does the therapy take?

Every program is based on what the patient needs. I encourage my patients to continue the exercises at home, so that they are constantly reinforcing their treatment regime, even if they only have time to visit me once a week.

It will also very much depend on the individual and how disciplined they are with their homework. An essential time to focus is during puberty, as hormones have an impact on the progression of the Scoliosis. As a consequence, some of the children that come are with me for many years.

A way of thinking about Scoliosis is a little bit like a permanent suit of clothes. You will wear the condition for the rest of your life and accordingly the treatment will become a part of your life, helping you to adjust and to compensate as much as possible.

 

It’s all about Teamwork

I cannot emphasize enough that the treatment of the Scoliosis is a team-based approach. Sometimes the patient is aware that they have the condition, sometimes it is diagnosed by a visit to an Orthopedic doctor or a Physiotherapist. In any situation, it is imperative that a full and regular communication and continuous assessment is maintained between the patient and their practitioners to ensure the best possible outcome is achievable.

 

A big thank you

We would like to extend our thanks to the Dubai community that continuously supports us in raising awareness about Scoliosis. And we want to take this opportunity to especially thank Dr. Michael Voeher and Dr. Marc Sinclair at the Children’s Medical Center here in Dubai and Dr. Babak Ansari at Medwin Medical Center for trusting us with their scoliosis patients.

If you suffer from Scoliosis or want to know more about sessions with our Physiotherapist Nora, contact us today!

 

Nora Straeter

Physiotherapist and Certified Schroth Therapist

The Hundred Wellness Center