The Schroth method is one of the most recognized and effective evidence based forms of physical therapy treatment for spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, kyphosis and Scheuerman's disease.

 

It is named after its founder Katarina Schroth, who suffered from scoliosis herself and in the early 1920s developed this unique method of “orthopaedic breathing exercises”.

In 1961 Katharina and her daughter, Christa, moved from near Dresden in Germany to Bad Sobernheim and continued their work on scoliosis patients. In 1983 they established the Katharina Schroth Klinik, now known as Asklepios Katharina Schroth Klinik as not only a place for intensive treatment but also as an internationally accredited teaching program facility. The success of the method lies in its methodical approach and the intensity of treatment. The clinic offers three to five week long inpatient treatments for children, teens and adult scoliosis patients, - most of it paid for by German health insurance plans. Patients typically spend four to six hours a day in training. Programs are now available in both German and English so as to be able to serve not only German patients but also international private patients.

 

Goals of the Schroth Method:

 

  1. Learn how to auto correct your spinal deviation

  2. Decelerate or halt the progression of your curve

  3. Increase your respiratory function and chest mobility

  4. Improve your posture and asymmetric appearance                                                                                                       

  5. Avoid surgery

Basic Principles of the Schroth Method:

 

  1. A better understanding of how your scoliosis with its unique curve pattern affects your posture. Enabling you to develop proactive coping mechanism to reduce your asymmetry. The body is divided into four segments and the exercises address the pelvis first, actively or passively correcting it to provide a strong foundation for the rest of the spine.

  2. Trained and experienced therapists teach you specific postural strengthening and stretching exercises as well as specific breathing exercises. Elongation of the trunk to lengthen the spine followed by de-rotation of the ribcage and spine.  Breathing is directed into the concave or sunken in parts of the spine to try and fill these with air, pushing those areas out. Rib-humps lower and flatten out, thus turning them back towards their normal natural position.

  3. A standardized treatment process, which includes your story,some objective measurements, and an evaluation help to formulate a classification for your curve. This will all be documented in a therapy diagram. This therapy diagram is unique to the Schroth method. It serves as a way of communication and allows any Schroth therapist, anywhere in the world, as well as you, the patient, understand where your curves are and where supports specific to these curves need to be placed when exercising. An individual treatment plan for your specific curve pattern will be set with a home exercise program to follow. Your compliance and discipline with the program including your home exercises determine the successful outcome of the treatment. 

 

The method continues to evolve as biomechanical science and research progress. Today 3D braces play an important role early on in treatment, especially in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. 3D bracing combined with the Schroth method has clinically proven to reduce or potentially eliminate scoliosis.

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