We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are all about helping our patients to manage their scoliosis independently. When you attend one of our treatment courses, our therapists will teach you a range of corrective and strengthening exercises to combat your spinal curvature; you will then need to continue performing these exercises at home in order to keep your scoliosis under control.
Many of the exercises we recommend require particular pieces of equipment. These are, for the most part, relatively common, and may even be things that you already own. Read on to find out what you’ll need to keep up your scoliosis exercises once you’ve left the clinic.
Please note: all exercise equipment can be purchased from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic directly. Please don’t stop or avoid doing your scoliosis exercises if you can’t find the equipment you need in shops.
Poles and Chin-Up Bars
One of the main ways we are able to control our patients’ elongation during treatment is by using poles and wall bars. They help to straighten the spine while giving the patient something to hold on to for guidance and stability. We recommend that our patients use a chin-up bar in place of wall bars and, because many chin-up bars are portable and relatively inexpensive, this can be a great investment for patients who are going on holiday.
Wooden Blocks and Plastic Tubes
You will become very familiar with these plastic pipes and wooden blocks by the end of your ScolioGold course. Our physiotherapists use the blocks to correctly position you during exercises, and they use the pipes to help you stretch and elongate when prone.
Having these pieces of equipment at home will help you achieve the same results, although you may need to ask a friend or partner for some assistance.
Strap and Belt
These are definitely among the more unusual pieces of equipment that we use in our scoliosis exercise routines. The strap and belt are secured to the wall bars, and they help our physiotherapists to stabilise the patient’s pelvis during different exercises.
This is a great piece of equipment for you to purchase if pelvis alignment is one of your key treatment goals.
Wedges, Beanbags and Resistance Bands
Besides being nice and comfortable, these beanbags and wedges help to de-align and rotate your spine. They will also come in very handy while you complete other exercises that require different parts of your body to be supported while you exercise.
We also recommend that you purchase a variety of resistance bands. These will help you to build up the strength of your muscles during FITS, PNF and stabilisation techniques.
Exercise Mats and Stability Balls
Suitable for most forms of floor-based exercise, an exercise mat can cushion you against hard and cold floor surfaces. If you plan to exercise on wood flooring (or even outside on the patio), investing in an exercise mat is a great idea!
The stability ball is a piece of equipment that we incorporate into many of our scoliosis exercises. It’s an incredibly versatile apparatus that can help you to build strength and improve your balance. If you don’t already have one at home, we recommend purchasing one – they’re great fun and very useful!
Plastic Stools and Trigger Point Balls
Lightweight plastic stools are perfect for positioning yourself during exercises. We’re sure you already have something like this at home, but if not, now might be the time to purchase some.
The colourful, spikey balls you see above are trigger point balls. They provide proprioceptive feedback and muscle stimulation.
Foam Rollers and Stability Disks
Foam rollers (like the blue one pictured above) are specifically for hyperkyphosis patients. They help patients to work the deep tissue around the spine, and can also be used to relieve muscular aches and pains.
Stability disks are used by patients who have completed more advanced exercises during their treatment. By balancing on the stability disk while holding corrective poses, patients are able to improve their balance and strength.
Remember that you can purchase all of this scoliosis exercise equipment directly from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, so don’t worry if you’re struggling to find something that you’ve enjoyed using during your treatment.
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Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we’ve been successfully treating scoliosis patients for well over a decade. Our comprehensive ScolioGold treatment programme combines a variety of well-known therapeutic techniques, and the exercises that we teach our patients allow them to manage their symptoms and prevent progression from the comfort of their own home.
One of the techniques we use to treat our patients is the Schroth method, in which our therapists our expertly trained.
What is the Schroth method?
The Schroth method is an exercise-based physiotherapy programme that is used to treat scoliosis without surgical intervention. This world-renowned treatment method has helped countless people to improve their posture and overcome the symptoms of scoliosis.
The Schroth method is named after Katharina Schroth, the German physiotherapist who devised it. Schroth herself had a curved spine, and after making great progress with her own condition, she decided to open up a clinic to treat other people with scoliosis.
Katharina Schroth passed away in 1985, but her daughter Christa Lehnert-Schroth continued her work and the Schroth method is now used as physical therapy for scoliosis patients all over the world.
How does the Schroth method help people with scoliosis?
The Schroth method uses stretches and exercises to develop the inner muscles of the rib cage in order to correct spinal abnormalities in all three planes of the body. This treatment method also places emphasis on the conscious correction of posture during day-to-day life.
The Schroth-based exercises that we use here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are customised to each patient’s unique spinal curvature, as well as their age and physical ability. Our use of the Schroth method has allowed 88% of our patients to avoid the need for spinal fusion surgery. We also:
If you seek these improvements for yourself or someone you love, consider receiving Schroth physical therapy as treatment for scoliosis.
- Use a specific rotational breathing technique to correct spinal rotation and increase the patient’s lung capacity
- Rebalance the patient’s spinal position using pelvic corrections and isometric contractions
- Make patients more aware of their posture on a daily basis, ensuring they have the correct equipment at home and at school/work to maintain their corrected position
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Examples of Schroth method exercises
Here are just a few of the stretches and exercises that make up the Schroth method:
1. Prone on stool
One of the core Schroth exercises, performed in a prone position facing towards the floor. Depending on the patient’s classification, condition, previous medical history and symptoms, this exercise has the potential to correct:
With a different setup, it can also be used to help thoracolumbar curves.
- A thoracic curve using shoulder traction, shoulder counter-traction and the de-rotation breathing technique
- A lumbar curve via activation of the iliopsoas muscle
This exercise requires quite a few pieces of equipment including tubes, stools, belts, straps, beanbags and wedges. Watch our patient Isobel perform this exercise during a check-up appointment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic:
This primary Schroth exercise uses gravity to stretch out the spine and relieve pressure on vertebral joints. At the same time, the patient will be applying the rotational breathing technique to flatten the prominent areas of their back, activating their muscles on exhalation to train their body to remember the corrected position when they stop exercising.
This is often used as a preparation exercise at the beginning of a treatment session. A set of wall bars (or equivalent) is necessary to perform this exercise effectively.
Watch our patient Nicole, who travelled from Ghana to the UK for scoliosis treatment, practise this exercise with her therapist:
3. Iliopsoas on a ball
This is a very patient-specific Schroth exercise that is only suitable for someone with a lumbar or thoracolumbar curve. It works by utilising the activation of the iliopsoas muscle to help de-rotate the affected portion of the patient’s spine. This is one of the simpler Schroth method exercises, requiring only a gym ball and wall bars (or equivalent).
Here at the clinic, patients often receive assistance from the therapists using myofascial release techniques to ‘mobilise’ the spine and help the patient to achieve a straight posture in standing.
Watch our patient Molly from Suffolk perform this exercise:
The Schroth component of our ScolioGold therapy course places huge emphasis on conscious correction of posture throughout daily life, not just during exercise therapy. Education is paramount – throughout your 4-week course, our therapists will help you to learn about scoliosis and your body to ensure that you can recognise an abnormal posture and correct it accordingly.
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What is the Rigo-Schroth method?
The Rigo-Schroth method is a modification of the Schroth method. Devised in the 1980s by a Spanish practitioner named Dr Manuel Rigo, it is based on much the same regime of stretches as the Schroth method itself; however, the Rigo-Schroth method is structured differently, with significantly more emphasis on the role of the therapist.
Combining Schroth method exercises with other treatment techniques
Back when we first opened our clinic, our treatment courses were entirely based on the Schroth method. As years passed, however, we noticed that some aspects of scoliosis were not addressed by Schroth scoliosis treatment alone. So, to ensure that all aspects of each patient’s condition are fully treated, we’ve combined the Schroth and Rigo-Schroth methods with a number of other exercise-based / non-surgical treatment to help provide our patients with a fully comprehensive treatment package.
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This approach has yielded superb results: our treatment courses have proved capable of preventing progression, improving posture and cosmetic appearance, reducing pain, improving quality of life, and reducing the patient’s Cobb angle by up to 20 degrees.
To enrol on one of our Schroth-based scoliosis treatment courses, contact us online or give us a call on 0207 488 4428.