Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSEs) are an increasingly popular non-surgical method for treating scoliosis. PSSEs – so named to differentiate them from non-specific physiotherapy programmes – aim to provide a more functional approach to scoliosis management and improve the patient’s quality of life.
The Schroth method
The Schroth method is a particularly well-known type of non-surgical scoliosis treatment. Devised by a German woman named Katharina Schroth, it uses tailored exercises for each individual to help their curved spine return to a straighter, more natural position.
Schroth realised that 3D postural correction could only be achieved through a series of corrective exercises designed to support a corrected posture and alter the postural perception of the individual suffering from scoliosis. Focusing on a number of objectives – including de-rotating, elongating and stabilising the spine on a three-dimensional plane – Schroth exercises focus on restoring muscular symmetry and alignment of posture whilst teaching patients to be more aware of their posture on a day-to-day basis.
Learn more about the Schroth method >>
Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises
Scoliosis is, of course, a very complex condition. From the rear, it looks like a sideways curve in either a ‘C’ or an ‘S’ shape. However, what you can’t see are the ways in which the vertebrae in the spine rotate as that curve develops. Spaces between the vertebrae may also become stretched in some areas and compressed in others. For this reason, scoliosis-specific physiotherapy requires a 3D approach to address the curve from all angles and directions.
The extent of the rotation in the spine differs widely from one case to the next; therefore, when treating scoliosis with PSSEs, the exercises need to be tailored to the unique condition of the patient’s spine. Exercises can be performed whilst sitting, laying down or standing up, with several props being used to assist such as gym balls and wall bars. Take a look at our video below to see some simple versions of these exercises in action!
These exercises help to promote:
- Muscular symmetry – The muscles in your back are affected by changes in the curvature of your spine. One side may see muscles weaken, whereas on the other side muscles may be overworked. Therapeutic exercises should seek to address both problems and achieve symmetry between the two sides.
- Rotational breathing – The Schroth method utilises a unique breathing technique known as ‘rotational breathing’, where the idea is to use breathing to assist in the de-rotation of the spine, thereby reshaping the rib cage and the surrounding soft tissue.
- Postural awareness – Being aware of the position of your spine is the first step towards correcting it. Postural awareness is particularly important when it comes to performing day-to-day activities.
Treating scoliosis with PSSEs
The Schroth method forms the foundation of the scoliosis treatment courses we provide here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. However, we understand that there are elements of postural correction that Schroth is unable to address on its own. Therefore, all of our treatment plans are enhanced and complemented by an assortment of other well-established physiotherapeutic techniques from all around the world, ensuring that all aspects of each patient’s condition can be addressed effectively.
The result is our internationally-renowned ScolioGold treatment method. Use the links below to view before/after photos or book your initial consultation with Scoliosis SOS.
Photos: Before & After Treatment > Book an Initial Consultation >