Schroth Therapy for Scoliosis

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Scoliosis, which means “crooked” in Greek, is a 3-dimensional abnormality of the spine, and affects about 3% of people. In a “normal” spine when looking from the side has an “S” shaped curve from the head to the tailbone. When looking from the front to back view, the spine is straight.

With scoliosis, the curve from the front to back view now can become “C” or “S” shaped, and the side view becomes straight.  The spine also twists within the side-to-side curves.

Physical signs of scoliosis can include:

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  • Uneven shoulders
  • Uneven waist
  • Uneven hips/pelvis
  • One side of the ribs that stick out more than the other
  • One side of the lower back that sticks out farther than the other

The majority of those that have scoliosis are due to an unknown cause, called “idiopathic scoliosis.” Occasionally, however, scoliosis is caused by an illness, infection, injury, or birth defect. As scoliosis progresses, permanent deformation of the spine can occur, and the spine can become fixed.  Other symptoms such as pain, difficulty breathing, osteoarthritis, depression, anxiety, decreased self-esteem, and decreased quality of life become more apparent.

How is Scoliosis Treated?

A person cannot diagnose his/herself with scoliosis; a medical doctor must do that through X-ray imaging.

Depending on the severity of the curve, scoliosis can be treated through bracing, corrective surgery, or scoliosis specific physiotherapy exercises such as the Schroth Method.

    What is Schroth?

    Schroth 3D Scoliosis Therapy, founded in Germany in 1921, is an exercise-based method of treatment with the main goals of:

    • Deceleration or prevention of further spinal curve progression
    • Avoidance of surgery
    • Body symmetry and cosmetic improvements
    • Postural awareness and control
    • Increase chest/rib cage mobility and respiratory functions
    • Support for bracing if needed

    Scoliosis specific exercises like the Schroth Method have been shown to improve scoliosis outcomes when used by itself, as well as in a combination with bracing or surgery.  When scoliosis is detected early enough, Schroth can attempt and succeed at restoring a level of normal spinal alignment.

    Schroth 3D Scoliosis Therapy is a series of individually tailored postural variations and exercises combined with breathing techniques.  The expectation is these techniques will be applied through a home exercise program, as well as in everyday activities.  Motivation, commitment, and compliance of individuals who are receiving therapy is needed in order to see success and long-term postural changes.  Depending on the type of scoliosis, and age of the patient, therapy can be expected to be months, to years, to lifelong.

    Schroth Therapy at Elite Sport Injury St. James!

    Paula Sather

    Paula Sather MPT, BSc Kin, Certified in CSCS, ISST Schroth Therapist is one of few Physiotherapists is the province providing this type of therapy to those with scoliosis and Scheuermann’s kyphosis.  Individuals of any curve type, and any age can book in and benefit from this type of therapy.

    What to expect?

    Booking an assessment will also require booking in additional follow up appointments

    This is to ensure timely and appropriate management of one’s therapy.  Schroth therapy can be intensive initially, but is done to guarantee therapy is done as intended.

    What is included in an Initial Assessment?

    • A thorough review of x-rays and any relevant information
    • A physical assessment including postural photographs and spinal mobility
    • An understanding of the individual’s scoliosis
    • A virtual booklet including all information important to helping the individual make long lasting changes

    What is included in a follow up visit?

    • Individual therapy plan including individual exercises, positioning, breathing techniques, and postural corrections
    • Passive and active spinal mobilizations
    • Brace management
    • Follow up photographs to track progression

    What to bring for therapy?

    • If able, physical copies of your x-ray (either a picture on your phone/email, or disc given to you by x-ray centre – please talk to your x-ray clinic for acquiring these)
    • Females will need to wear an open back bra, sports bra, or bikini top (no straps covering the spine)
    • Shorts or leggings
    • If you have one, bring your brace

    To book your Scroth Therapy appointment with Paula at Elite Sports Injury St. James location, please call 204-926-2217 or click here to book online.

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    Recovery for all levels

    Elite specializes in injury recovery for all sports and levels of athlete. Our team facilitates rapid access to complete recovery. Frequently, we see patients within a day or two of their physician exam when return to full function is critical. We immediately address acute swelling, pain and compensatory issues and initiate a home program to maintain strength and motion.

    Your Part

    In order to ensure a successful treatment and speed recovery, you need to be fully committed to your treatment plan. Your time in the clinic is only part of the process. The exercises and perhaps changes in your own behavior are a crucial part of your plan. We know how your body works; we may identify an underlying weakness, poor posture, work habits, or other factors that contribute to the problem.