The Schroth Method is a conservative, non-surgical, curve specific exercise and manual treatment for scoliosis. It was developed in 1921 by Katharina Schroth who herself had scoliosis. Dr. Apple is one of few United States physical therapists trained in the Schroth method.
She obtained her certification to treat scoliosis through an intense program at Spinal Dynamics in Wisconsin through Barcelona Scoliosis School of Physical Therapy. The certification program involves analysis of scoliosis curve patterns through X-ray, Cobb angles, rotation, and individual in-clinic postural presentation, as well as hands on work with patients to implement curve specific exercises and breathing techniques. The hands-on evaluation and postural analysis of the individual is crucial to the success of the three-dimensional treatment program.
The Schroth method assesses and classifies the patient’s specific curve pattern. Exercises and manual therapy interventions are tailored to correct imbalances that keep the scoliotic spine pulled and twisted by shortened musculature. Correct posture must be learned through strengthening exercises and breathing into the concavities created by the rotation and lateral curvature that characterizes scoliosis. This assists the patient to create balance in the spinal musculature, de-flex and de-rotate the spine as well as create an appropriate sagittal profile.
This method does require time and commitment on the part of the patient and family. It helps to:
- Improved body mechanics
- Improved understanding and acceptance of scoliosis
- Prevention of curve progression
- Improved breathing
- Improved tolerance and endurance to activities
- Improve posture and enhanced cosmetic appearance
- Prevention (or delay) surgery
- Reduce pain
- Decrease risk of progression
- Improved bracing compliance
- Increase sense of community and connection to others with scoliosis
Patients are encouraged to make these exercises part of their daily routine as well as seek out orthotic treatment. The Rigo Cheneau brace is made to work well with this three dimensional Schroth method. Please contact Revitalize Movement Physical Therapy and an evaluation can be set up for you or your child. See below for a study and testimonial of a patient that has worked with Dr. Apple.
A great new article on scoliosis in the New York Times
Exercises reduce the progression rate of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: results of a comprehensive systematic review of the literature Negrini S,Fusco C, Minozzi S, Atanasio S, Zaina F, Romano M. Disabil Rehabil.2008;30(10):772-85
“I worked with Lisa Apple for two years. When I started physical therapy with her, I was just coming out of a back brace for scoliosis that I had worn for the past two and a half years. My core was terribly weak. Under Lisa’s guidance, I was able to quickly regain core strength. Using the Schroth Method, we worked together in training my muscles to resist my spinal curve. Lisa helped me be mindful of my posture in my every day life. The Schroth Method allows me be strong and active. Lisa is outstanding at demonstrating exercises, and she is a positive and encouraging person. I highly recommend her as a therapist.”