Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Schroth Best Practice in the treatment of Scoliosis
It was in 1921 that Katharina Schroth opened her first clinic introducing her new method of treatment for scoliosis which involved specific postural correction, corrective breathing exercises and rehabilitation exercises. Katherina suffered from moderate scoliosis herself and after undergoing treatment with a steel brace which she found heavy and cumbersome, she set about developing her own more functional approach.
Katherina’s grandson, Dr Rudolf Weiss, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, has carried on and expanded on her work developing the Schroth best practice programme and the Cheneau-Gensingen brace. This is an effective, evidence based conservative treatment for scoliosis.
Dr Weiss will host a virtual conference on 19th and 20th March - The 100th Anniversary of Schroth Treatment – Learning from History. LOC has been working with Dr Weiss since 2017 and our team of Scoliosis specialists are all certified Schroth practitioners. One of the speakers at the conference, Dr Josette Bettany-Saltikov, is Debs Turnbull’s supervisor. Debs is our specialist Schroth physiotherapist and she is gathering evidence for a PhD in the efficacy of our non-surgical treatment.
To mark the anniversary LOC would like to share several case histories demonstrating how this non-surgical treatment can reduce Cobb angles in juveniles and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis and reduce pain and improve posture in adults as well.
First, here's an introduction to scoliosis from our own Debs Turnbull:
1.Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
This young lady developed scoliosis during an adolescent growth spurt. Her mother noticed changes to her posture and following her research into the condition came across the scoliosis clinic at LOC. Her curve had progressed rapidly, and her progression factor was indicative of the need for bracing. She began a treatment regime that included Schroth therapy and a Cheneau-Gensingen brace. She managed very well with this regime and due to the nature of her curve she was able to reduce to part time bracing soon into her brace wear. Following 9 months of part time bracing and consistent Schroth therapy, her Cobb angle has reduced by 50%. Her curve is now minimal, she will be monitored out of brace for 3 months just to check there is no regression. She also had a leg left discrepancy which impacted her curve so this has been treated with foot orthotics which she will continue to wear. A great result and she is thrilled to have made such rapid progress.
2. Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis
One of our three-year-old patients with infantile idiopathic scoliosis. He first came to us with a single thoracic curve with a Cobb angle of 30°. He was fitted with a bespoke orthotic brace. After five months of full-time wear and Schroth physiotherapy, his Cobb angle had gone down to 22°. After seven months of part-time wear his Cobb angle decreased again to 17°. He has responded to bracing treatment incredibly well. He is now 7 years of age, wears his brace for night-time only and has a Cobb angle of 10° which will be monitored as he grows.
3.Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis
When this female juvenile scoliosis patient came to LOC at the age of six, she had a single thoracic curve with a 30° Cobb angle. She had a bespoke Cheneau- Gensingen brace fitted and after two months of full-time wear and a further four months of 18-hour-per-day wear along with a Schroth physiotherapy programme, her out of brace X-Ray showed that her Cobb angle had reduced to just 5°. She is now out of the brace but continuing with Schroth physiotherapy; her most recent review revealed that her curve was stable and had not regressed.
4. Adult Scoliosis
Sinead is one of our successful adult scoliosis patients who has experienced scoliosis-related back pain since her twenties. Since starting a course of Schroth based physiotherapy and wearing a bespoke Cheneau-Gensingen spinal brace, her rib cage has deteriorated from 16 to 8°, progression has been halted and she reports her pain is reduced.
Here’s another of our adult patients, Lady Venetia, describing her experience of treatment at LOC:
5. Male adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
Whilst adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is less common in males, at LOC we do see a number of young adolescent males with scoliosis. This young man was 13 when he first attended LOC. He had a double major curve and his father had noticed asymmetry to his pelvis and shoulder blades. They were keen to act and he began wearing a Cheneau-Gensingen brace immediately. 18 months after wearing a brace, he now uses a brace for overnight wear only and has seen a significant reduction in his curve.
Above: The patient's X-rays before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)
6. End of treatment for one of our first scoliosis patients
Ricarda was one of the first patients we treated with Schroth and Cheneau-GensIngen bracing. She had a thoracic curve of 31°. Her parents wanted to avoid surgery and had searched for alternative options. She was incredibly motivated and really embraced her treatment plan. As she is now fully matured, she has been discharged from wearing her brace and no longer has to follow her Schroth exercise programme. Her Cobb angle at the end of treatment was just 11° and her posture is symmetrical and stable. A great result!
Above: Ricarda: before treatment (left) and after treatment (right)
Do you have questions about scoliosis?
Watch our scoliosis video FAQs to get quick answers to the most common questions
Contact LOC for more info and to set up an initial consultation