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What is Schroth Scoliosis Exercises?

What is “Schroth Scoliosis Specific Exercises” all about?


The Schroth Method, named after German physiotherapist Katharina Schroth, is a three-dimensional exercise approach in the conservative management to scoliosis. This scoliosis specific exercise program is designed to develop the muscular system in order to create a natural state for correcting postural abnormalities.


The goal of Schroth scoliosis specific exercises is to de-rotate, elongate and stabilize the spine in a three-dimensional plane by restoring muscular symmetry, breathing into the concavity of the curve, and enhancing postural awareness.


This method focuses on individualized exercises tailored to the child’s specific curve and uses isometric muscle contractions combined with angular breathing exercises to bring about a three-dimensional change in the spinal alignment. Repetition, breathing, and various exercise positions create help increase awareness of new posture and alignment both at a conscious and subconscious level.


Why hasn’t my child’s orthopedic surgeon recommended Schroth?


Unfortunately, most orthopedic surgeons in the United States are still under the impression that exercises do not help scoliosis. Although the Schroth method has been utilized in Europe since the 1800s for the non-surgical approach to managing scoliosis, there had been a lack of evidence-based research validating the benefits of this approach.


Recently, however, thanks to the efforts of SOSORT (the International Scientific Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation) numerous high-quality research studies have proven this method to be very effective in the treatment of scoliosis. In fact, studies show that the earlier the methods are used, such as in mild curves, the greater the curve reduction and the less likely the need for surgical intervention.


We recommend patients talk to their orthopedic surgeons about prescribing this method as soon as a curve is detected.

Dr. Niki Varveris, PT, DPT, MSPT, MBA, CKTP

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