Feature Article: Scolosis and the Scroth Method for Treatment - Chetna Kukreja

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is defined as “a structural, lateral rotated curvature of the spine that arises in otherwise healthy children around puberty.” Scoliosis is a three dimensional torsional deformity of the spine and trunk - causing a lateral curvature in the frontal plane, an axial rotation in the horizontal one, and a disturbance of the sagittal plane normal curvatures, kyphosis and lordosis. The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) defines the diagnosis of scoliosis as an asymmetry on the forward bending test and the presence of a Cobb angle of ≥10° on a radiograph. SRS defines the Cobb angle as an “angle between lines drawn on endplates of the end vertebrae”.

Various treatment approaches have been proposed for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, including, exercise, surgery, traction, bracing, casting, biofeedback, and simple observations to correct, prevent, or stop the progression of the deformity. Several scoliosis-specific exercise approaches have been described in the literature including: Schroth, Integrated Scoliosis Rehabilitation (ISR), Dobomed, Side-shift, Lyon, Functional Individual Therapy of Scoliosis and the Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis (SEAS)

In our article we discuss the Schroth method for scoliosis. The Schroth method was developed by Katharina Schroth who suffered from a moderate scoliosis herself, who then developed a more functional approach to treatment of scoliosis. Inspired by a balloon, she corrected the deformities of her own trunk by inflating the concavities of her body selectively in front of a mirror – simply by breathing! She also tried to mirror the deformity, by overcorrecting with the help of certain pattern of specific corrective movements. She recognized that postural control can only be achieved by changing postural perception. 

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