Every case is somewhat different so exercises must be chosen to address specific needs. There are more than 100 exercises depicted and described in the book, but a typical patient would be practicing only perhaps half a dozen of them, selected for her individual case. What's appropriate for the common 3-curve, right thoracic scoliosis, for example, would not work for the 4-curve variety. A thorough physical examination in addition to X-rays helps determine the postural aspects to focus on in therapy. From there, the Schroth book guides you through which exercises are appropriate for different scoliotic configurations.
The author’s website
has a list of Schroth therapists all over the world.
has a list of Schroth therapists in the U.S.
maintains a list of Schroth therapists in the U.S., Australia, and Malaysia.
If there are none in your area, call a couple anyway and see what they recommend. Most are accustomed to treating out-of-town patients and short treatment periods of a weekend or so at a time have proven successful in many cases.
The following clinics offer Schroth certification programs. Most require a current PT, OT or MD license:
Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School
Katharina Schroth Klinik
Other facilities are not officially authorized to train Schroth therapists.
Almost nobody ever "needs" surgery for scoliosis because you don't die of abnormal spinal curves, nor is scoliosis completely disabling. Spinal fusion entails considerable risk, forever stiffens the patient's spine, and will not correct the real problem -- muscular imbalances. The imbalances are exactly what the Schroth method focuses on. Many orthopedists now recommend that patients try Schroth first. See why Schroth Exercises are a safer alternative to spinal fusion surgery
Fortunately scoliosis-related pain can usually be reduced or eliminated soon in a good Schroth therapy program. It's generally easier to fix than the underlying spinal rotation. The pain cure will probably be permanent as long as the patient understands and continues to do regular exercises and maintains her good posture. See how the Schroth Method eliminates pain
Yoga may offer some sort of relief, but is not specifically designed for scoliosis as Schroth is. It has not been shown (in clinical studies) to correct the typical problems, and may even make things worse. Christa Lehnert-Schroth wrote an article on this site that cautions scoliosis patients against many poses that are taught in yoga-for-scoliosis programs. See which yoga poses to avoid
The body becomes less flexible and posture less correctable the older we get, but nobody is too old for Schroth. Pain is common in adult cases, and this element usually responds well to Schroth treatment at any age.
These are the most common cases. The Schroth method with, or sometimes without, a brace (the Cheneau or TLSO type or variant) will usually stop progression and often reverse the abnormal curvatures, given a good therapist and faithful patient compliance with the program.
There are recent success cases of dramatic reversals of severe scoliosis in children as young as three years. Younger children (infants to 2.5 or 3 years) with infantile scoliosis may not be ready to perform prescribed exercises and the treatment would therefore be different. Of course intense parental involvement is crucial.
Programs vary from clinic to clinic and for needs of the individual patient. Factors that affect cost include:
• Hourly rate of the clinic
• Group or individual instruction
• Location and/or Country
• National or individual insurance program coverage
• Length of the program, which depends on severity of the case, age of patient, and other factors
A few thousand dollars for a program in the USA may be a tentative rule of thumb. Number of hours for individual treatment is usually not less than 15 or 20, often more in special cases.
It’s recommended to consult more than one clinic and compare. Ask your therapist about insurance coverage, but choose a program based on probability of success, not cost. In any case, it is always FAR less expensive than spinal fusion surgery, which can easily run $100,000 or more.
It depends on the individual case. A brace is usually prescribed for a growing child or teen, but some Schroth therapists have success treating growing patients without a brace, so ask your therapist. Adults will rarely need a brace, since curve progression is slow or nil and pain is soon fixed with therapy.
However, Schroth therapy is not incompatible with a brace. In fact, it will probably improve the results, because the brace's purpose is not to reverse abnormal curves, but only to help passively to prevent their progression. If using a brace, the recommended type for scoliosis is the TLSO or Cheneau brace or a variant which will hold the body in a corrected position. Avoid soft or flexible braces that provide minimal support and may compress the spine via shoulder straps.
Yes. Scheuermann's disease or hyperkyphosis may even respond more easily to Schroth treatment than scoliosis itself.
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