Naperville Physical Therapy

Schroth-Based Scoliosis Treatment

What is the Schroth Method?

A CONSERVATIVE physical therapy treatment approach consisting of mental and physical training that brings together proper breathing techniques with self-perception  to prevent or minimize spinal curve progression.

Goals of the Schroth Method:

  • Minimize symptoms through self-management
  • Increase control/stability of the spine
  • Slow spinal curve progression
  • Improve self-appearance, general health, quality of life
  • Avoid invasive treatments including bracing and surgery

Focus of Treatment and Interventions:

  • Posture and body awareness education
  • Corrective breathing
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Exercises for the spinal musculature focusing on stabilization and straightening of the spinal curvature

The Schroth Method offers you a “4th option” in managing your spinal curvature:

Scoliosis current model of care: (The three “O’s”)

  1. Observation
  2. Orthosis
  3. Operation

 4. Schroth Method

Schroth Method Chart

Additional Information:

The Schroth Method is a therapy plan that entails cognitive, sensory-motor, and kinesthetic training to teach the patient to improve her/his scoliosis posture. The program is an intense routine of auto-elongation exercises and stretches, rotational breathing, muscle facilitation, stabilization education and postural awareness techniques. The goals of this non-surgical treatment are to stop/limit curve progressions, improve cosmesis, improve general health, to help the patient cope with the deformity and the treatments, and most importantly diminish functional limitations. A study by Zaborowska-Sapeta, et al, showed that the combination of bracing and the Schroth Method helped to improve scoliosis curves.

The treatment approach has been practiced successfully in Germany and Spain for several decades now, and, with a growing body of practitioners in the United States, we are seeing similar results. Bill Block, DPT received his C1 certified training through the Barcelona Scoliosis Physiotherapy School in March of 2011 and has been using the Schroth Method of treating idiopathic scoliosis since that time with positive patient feedback. In October 2013 he earned his C2 certification through the Barcelona Scoliosis Physiotherapy School, further enhancing his knowledge of treatment for clients of all ages.

Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions:

 Am I a candidate for physical therapy?

  • The focus of the Schroth Method is to stop progression of the spinal curve prior to needing more intense treatment options such as surgery. The target population is adolescents between the ages of 10-18. Younger children and/or adults without a history of spinal/back surgery may also benefit.

How long does physical therapy last?

  • Treatment lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour based on the custom Plan of Care created for each individual. Typically a patient will be seen for 8 weeks (1-2 visits per week). After treatment ends, patients will receive a home exercise program to continue treatment independently.

How do I go about starting the program?

  • You may contact us with any questions in regards to the Schroth Method of Physical Therapy. You may also talk with your pediatrician or physician who will refer you to physical therapy.