Can the Schroth Method be used for all types of scoliosis, and is it appropriate for all ages?
The Schroth Method is especially created for idiopathic scoliosis. Children from about age 8 can understand it and use it for correction. It is however possible to use some elements of the Schroth Method with younger children as well. Working with other types of scoliosis (e.g. congenital scoliosis or neuromuscular scoliosis), an evaluation of a patient’s ability to selectively innervate certain muscles is necessary.
How many visits to the physiotherapist or individual sessions are necessary to learn scoliosis correction according to the Schroth Method?
If an individual physiotherapy session is 45-60 min., then usually 10 sessions suffice to learn the corrections and train them. After that, the patient continues to exercise at home and/or continues to come for regular check-ups. Some physiotherapists offer regular scoliosis-specific group exercise sessions.
How long will a child need to perform corrective exercises regularly?
During the growing spurt, the child will need to exercise about 20-30 min. daily. After that, usually 2-3 times a week is sufficient to stabilize the corrections. The adult patient may elect to perform corrective exercises whenever asymmetrical loading has created some discomfort. Corrective exercise reduces strain on the back when an increase in physical or mental activity may have led to a problem with pain.
If a child wears a brace, corrective exercises should be performed daily. (The brace is taken off during corrective exercise!) During the brace-weaning period, corrective exercises are also performed daily in order to stabilize the corrections achieved by the brace.
Can a child who has scoliosis participate in sports activities?
Research studies with larger groups of schoolchildren come to the conclusion that the normal school or extra-curricular sports activities (2-3 times a week) do not lead to scoliosis progression. On the contrary, sports activities improve the physical endurance of the child with scoliosis and help to create a more positive body image. (Brace-wearing children also participated in one of these studies.) If the child wishes to participate in more intensive or extreme activities or aggressive contact sports, this should be discussed with the therapist.
Does an adolescent who is scheduled for surgery need to perform corrective exercise?
Yes. You should attempt to keep the spine as mobile as possible in order to achieve the best possible surgical correction. The less vertebrae that will have to be fused, the less loss of function to be expected.
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