Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects two to three percent of the population, or an estimated 7 million people in the United States.
Most are diagnosed with scoliosis between the ages of 10 and 15, but the condition also affects infants and adults.
It is a condition that affects people of all races, classes and both genders. Girls are eight times more likely than boys to have a curve that will progress to a magnitude that requires treatment. Scoliosis is common in children with a variety of congenital and neuromuscular diseases, but it is most prevalent in seemingly healthy children, with no known cause (idiopathic).
Scoliosis, when left untreated, can get worse and may cause chronic back pain, impact heart and lung function and take a toll on self-esteem.
Screening for the condition is non-invasive and takes about 30 seconds. With early detection and proper treatment, people diagnosed with scoliosis can lead healthy, active lives.
Brittany Hunt, BSPTS C1/C2
Brittany Hunt is originally from Watertown, NY and moved to Charlotte, NC in 2006. She graduated from SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Athletic Training in 2002. She went on to obtain her Master of Physical Therapy degree from Clarkson University in 2005. She has worked in outpatient orthopedics her whole career and in 2018 became a Certified Schroth Therapist focusing her treatment on adolescents and adults with scoliosis. She is also certified to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations and develop Work Conditioning programs for injured workers. She connects with her patients and explains why each exercise is provided in order to earn her patients trust for the best possible outcome.
Schroth Based Scoliosis Treatment
What is Scoliosis?
For reasons unknown, the vertebra of the spine begins to bend sideways and rotate causing a “C” or “S” shape. Muscle imbalance occurs resulting in areas of increased stress and sometimes pain which can cause difficulty breathing. Early detection and treatment are key.
What is the Schroth Method?
The Schroth Method is a non-invasive Physical Therapy treatment that focuses on elongating and derotating the scoliotic or kyphotic spine, in an effort to stop/slow curve progression and prevent further spinal deformity.
Using a combination of hands-on treatment, passive corrections of spinal positioning in all three planes (frontal, sagittal and transverse), and active breathing techniques, the Schroth-certified Physical Therapist will aim to improve patients’ posture, eliminate pain, and enhance lung capacity.
Managing scoliosis with the Schroth Method and bracing may be an option for patients who want to avoid surgery. However, a long-term commitment to the Schroth guidelines is necessary to make this treatment successful. the progression of your curve before it’s too late.
How does the Schroth method work?
The Schroth method uses specific exercises based on an individual’s scoliosis curve pattern. This method is based on self-awareness principals. This means that patients have to develop a self-awareness of where their body is in space, how they hold their bodies now, and how they should actually be holding their bodies; physical therapy and the Schroth Method can help patients to learn this self-awareness.
What can the patient expect?
The patient will receive education on their first visit about their curve type and their current posture/pattern that is affecting their activities of everyday living. The abnormal posture of the patient needs to be corrected from an imbalanced position.
The patient will learn their corrected posture by supervised practice moving their body through space and holding this reformed position. The physical therapist works with the patient to help develop this self-awareness in three dimensions, along with a new breathing pattern to further expand concave or collapsed areas.
With these exercises, we are correcting as much of the postural collapse as possible, in order to decrease the forces that may be contributing to the progression of the curve, pain, and limited lung function.
Did your pediatrician tell you to wait and see?
Instead of waiting and seeing if your curve progresses, try Schroth based scoliosis treatment to help stop the progression of your curve before it’s too late.
The Schroth Method Helps
- Stop Curve Progression
- Eliminate Pain
- Improve posture and appearance
- Increase lung capacity
The Schroth Method Difference
The Schroth Method focuses on spinal corrections in all three planes of motion, to derotate the spine in the same planes of motion as the deformity, as opposed to traditional treatment which focuses on only one plane of motion at a time. This more effectively addresses the deformity in an attempt to halt or slow progression. The Schroth Method is primarily intended for use in 1:1 individual physical therapy treatment of patients diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS).
What Patients Should Know Before Treatment
- Patients should bring a copy of the most recent X-ray or have them sent over prior to initial evaluation.
- Wear clothes that can easily display the spine ie. bathing suit, non-racerback sports bar, cami.
- Patients should bring their brace, if applicable.
Does your curve have to be a specific degree before you can begin treatment?
To allow for structural changes to be corrected, the exercises are usually initiated at a 10 degree Cobb angle and based on chance of progression. If there are any pain or issues present as a coexistent problem, therapy can begin on a case by case basis.
Reese started having shoulder pain in April 2018. As her mom, who has been an occupational therapist/certified hand therapist for almost 20 years, I was sure it was due to her playing tennis many hours a day for many years.
Effectiveness of Schroth exercises during bracing in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: results from a preliminary study—SOSORT Award 2017 Winner…Read More
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