View Full Version : Going To Schroth Clinic

16th September 2009, 09:35 PM
Okay, just want to confirm that I will be going to the Schroth clinic called Spinal Dynamics in Milwaukee week staring Oct 5th.

As you know from my earlier thread (with the typo "Scroth", sorry about that...), I was not sure whether to try it or not. Also, I did not know if I could take the time off work. I wont rehash the other thread but I just wanted to say that I will be trying it and will report back after the visit.

I just know I cannot go through another winter in pain. I am luckier than many because I do get some relief from pain in the summer but I am already starting to dread the first frost of the year. Also, I really don't go out much anymore these days because going to parties can be a nightmare for me (I can't stand too long in the same position, get spasms then get locked in a positions and have to limp out of the tangle....etc etc). Even sitting on a pal's sofa is nasty if they have a squishy soft sofa. I just tend to stay home and feel lonely. I HAVE to try and reclaim something of my life. I just hope this clinic helps me overcome a few obstacles and manage pain year round.

16th September 2009, 09:41 PM
Good luck, Lucy! I think this could definitely help you with your pain, lots of people report that it does :) Fingers crossed for you!

I'll move this to the Nonsurgical forum as it fits better there, hope that's OK.

16th September 2009, 09:47 PM
Yeah, no worries. I was going to put it there but I didn't want to get in the way of the bracing debate which I thought was more important than me prattling on! (Even I'm bored with me....:roll2:).

16th September 2009, 09:49 PM
Lucy, Lucy, Lucy, i really hope it can help one of my best friends on here with relief from the obvious pain you are suffering, please god help friend get some pain relief and help her live the life she so deserves

Lucy, your a special person

Your old buddy giving you much love from a wind swept corner of Northern England


16th September 2009, 09:55 PM
No no no! The Nonsurgical forum is for everyone, and it is really intended for the support of people who are interested in trying nonsurgical techniques. The bracing debate has its own thread and others certainly aren't going to get in the way of it :)

Anyway, you're not boring, don't be so silly Lucy! :p

16th September 2009, 10:34 PM
Thanks Mark and Toni. Hugs and thanks to you both :squeeze:

I'll be sure to stick all non surgical stuff in here. But seeing as even non members can view it I better make sure I behave myself a bit ;).

16th September 2009, 10:51 PM
Good luck Lucy, I really hope it helps you get on top of your pain :squeeze:

Amazed Jean
17th September 2009, 07:09 AM
Lucy, You are going to be great! Hopefully the oft talked and argued about will be at least half as good as they claim. Schroth program sounds interesting in terms of eliminating pain. You so deserve to be pain free. Hugs and all the best luck!,

17th September 2009, 10:29 AM
Lucy, I really really hope this works for you :squeeze:I think you are doing the right thing in giving it a go - you have nothing to lose really, and it may well end up transforming your life (fingers crossed...)

We will all be thinking of you - can't wait to hear how you get on xx

17th September 2009, 11:38 AM
Good luck to you too. I really hope it gives you your life back. I'd be really interested to hear how you get on. Your social life problems sound so much like mine - planning everything is exhausting so it's easier to stay in sometimes.

By the way how much does it cost?

17th September 2009, 12:40 PM
It's a bit ironic hearing about folks coming to the US from Europe for Schroth therapy when folks here in the US seem to want to go to Germany where this treatment was developed. I get the impression they end up going to Stevens Point, Wisconsin (didn't realize there was a clinic in Milwaukee) but it seems they would rather have gone to Germany if they could swing it.

I think PT has been shown to reduce pain in adults so that might work.

I lived in Milwaukee for several years. A great place by a great lake.

Good luck.

17th September 2009, 03:33 PM
Your social life problems sound so much like mine - planning everything is exhausting so it's easier to stay in sometimes.

Yep, I can relate to this too! Makes life a bit lonely though :(

Hopefully the treatment will give you a whole new lease of life Lucy!

17th September 2009, 05:15 PM
Lucy I really hope it goes well for you and you can start living the kind of life you want.

I can certainly relate to the staying in thing a lot, Me and hubby used to go to the cinema a lot but the thought of discomfort doesnt encourage me.
I stopped going out with my friend for a drink once a month because I couldnt stand the pain of sitting in a pub.

Lots of luck and I will forward to hearing how it all went. x

17th September 2009, 05:26 PM
Lucy's based in the US Sharon :)

We've heard from plenty of people that targetted physio can help their pain and help them improve their posture (ie the way they carry themselves, rather than correct their scoliosis) so hopefully this will help her a lot. Fingers crossed!

17th September 2009, 06:02 PM
Okay I just write a long reply and then realised I wasn't online. What a pillock! When I logged in I lost the text.

I am at work so my reply now will be brief.

First of all, Burdle the Clinic I am going to is called Spinal Dynamics in Milwaukee.

A week's Schroth (one to one PT) is $5000. Please feel free to PM me with any questions now of after my therapy. They also do group sessions.

Sharon, to be honest I felt torn between this clinic and the one in Stevens Point http://www.scoliosisrehab.com/.

Scoliosis rehab sounded wonderful and I did get to speak to many satisfied former clients (although I know that all the people who agreed to talk to me on the list of contacts were people that had given glowing reports). Anyway, I know that Beth at Stevens Point has a superb reputation.

One big factor for me in choosing which clinic was figuring out how to get there. To get to Stevens Point you have to change flights (and I have lost enough flights due to delays in the past to know that, if anything can go wrong connecting to another flight, it will). But I can get a fast direct flight to Milwaukee from Reagan National in DC which is great. Another logistical factor is that there is a hotel opposite the Milwaukee clinic so no need to get taxis there and back (there is even a free shuttle from the airport).

But what really made the decision for me was that, after speaking to both therapists for over an hour each (poor ladies, I bombarded them with questions) I felt slightly more comfortable going to Spinal Dynamics. The reason is that I have been very worried about any equipment I may need to follow the exercises at home. I am sure many of you have seen photos of kids doing Schroth exercises on bars that look like school gym bars. Well, here is the problem - I live in rented accommodation. I really cannot go and buy a ladder (as some former clients from Scoliosis Rehab had done as soon as they got home) and nail it into a wall or garage. That is the problem of not owning your home - you can't do that type of thing. So I was worried this would all be a huge waste of time. The folks at Stevens Point told me not to worry, that they were sure something could be worked out. Frankly that was not enough to put my fears at rest. But Amy at the Milwaukee clinic went into a great deal of detail on how certain exercises could be adapted with the same results. To me that was what sealed the deal. I completely understand that Scoliosis Rehab could not talk to me too much about exercises without seeing my back and I am sure they would also be able to adapt the exercises to meet my accommodation restrictions also, but I was very impressed with how Amy responded and her ideas.

Thank you all for your support. Means so much to me.xxxx

Little Ali
21st September 2009, 08:39 PM
Good luck Lucy!!! :luv::squeeze: You're lovely and you really deserve to get some relief x

21st September 2009, 08:49 PM
It sounds really positive Lucy, I really hope you get some relief. I'm looking forward to reading your reports of how it went.

22nd September 2009, 12:56 AM
Hey lucy

I really hope you get on well good luck massive hugs and lets us know more soon !

22nd September 2009, 03:18 AM
Thanks Ali, Claire and Simon. xx xx xx

Amazed Jean
22nd September 2009, 05:59 AM
Good Luck and don't forget to take notes to share with us!

30th September 2009, 06:47 PM
Hi All,

Thanks again for all your support and lovely PM's.

Anyway, as I may have mentioned over the summer, I was asked by the Schroth clinic to try and get a PT referral from my doctor. As my normal scoliosis specialist doctor is very hard to get to see at short notice, I went with another ortho that I have seen a few times. Not as good but at least I could get the script fast from him. He just emailed me my medical file. Below I have pasted a few bits of what it says.

Assessment: Scoliosis, stable in adulthood. Lumbar spondylosis, possible mid line HNP, cervical spondylosis and disc disease. Her head is compensated, she has mild thoracic kyphosis.
New standing films reveal a leg length discrepancy of more than ¼ inch left short. There are 6 non rib bearing lumbar vertebrae. The curvature is 30 from T5 to T10 and 31 degrees from T10 to L4 (actually 5 of 6) to the left with 1+ rotation at each curve. This represents about 2 degrees difference (less) which is within the error of measurement.

Plan: Recommendations: Continue comprehensive, conservative musculoskeletal care. Diet to reduce inflammation.

I am really very confused. I was told my s curve was 35/36 in 2006 and then this year I was told that it was down 2 degrees (which is naturally within the margin of error). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the 30/31 degrees but I am worried that may not be right. I was dead happy to read that this morning but how can that be? To me 35-2= 33 and 36-2=34. Hmmnn. Not sure about this. This clinic has made so many mistakes so I am worried. I told them to double check and they say that there is no error.

Well, at least I know that my pain level has nothing to do with the curve getting worse.

My other question is why has nobody ever mentioned kyphosis before to me?Is it so mild in my case that it doesn't warrant mentioning? It makes me annoyed because I like to be in the full picture. Also, what they hell does he mean by diet to reduce inflammation? I was NEVER told anything like that so I asked him today and he claims he gave me a sheet with advice to cut out dairy products, sugar and red meat. No he didn’t! I am hugely interested in diet and I actually already do try and limit dairy do I would have been happy for the input. Grrr. I hate it when you are not fully in the picture.

30th September 2009, 07:40 PM
Gosh, Lucy, did you already know about having six lumbar vertebrae instead of five? That's the thing that would most interest me!

I wonder if the kyphosis is postural rather than structural, ie you have a forward head position that has developed to try to help your body balance, and so they didn't see this as a problem?

The "midline HNP" refers to a Herniated Nucleus Pulposus, ie you possibly have a herniated disc. Ouch, no wonder you're getting pain! Spondylolosis is arthritis of the spine. Lots of us have these mild bony changes and disc wear, whether we've had surgery or not (they're common in the non-scoliotic population too).

I'm glad you know a bit more now, anyway :squeeze:

30th September 2009, 07:54 PM
Oh wow, thanks Toni for the translation. I had no idea what HNP was. Yes I have had two herniated disc in the past and one still hurts today, 5 years later. Six lumbar vertebrae...well I guess that makes me feel special! I wonder if that influences hip pain at all.

The last two days I have really been in a lot more pain than usual for this time fo year. Normally I feel like this in the bleak midwinter! But I am glad because at least the Schroth clinic will see me at my worst. I would have been frustrated if I went all the way to Milwaukee and felt okish. I want them to see what it is like when my spasms kick in and it hurts to sit and stand. Here I go.............

1st October 2009, 12:40 AM
...advice to cut out dairy products, sugar and red meat.

Is it dangerous to cut out dairy when osteopenia/osteoporosis is so common with scoliosis? Or do you take calcium supplements?

Amazed Jean
1st October 2009, 05:54 AM
Things like this make me wonder what else they write on any given patient's medical record. I KNOW mine has" HEAD CASE" on the top of all pages and on the bottom they write " and she is a bitchy crazy old woman." I wonder what other little wittcisms and fabrications are on any one's records.

1st October 2009, 04:30 PM
Angie, I have been cutting down on dairy products because I get very nasty migraines and I was told to cut down by my GP to see if that helped me. But yes, I am worried about calicuim etc so I do take calcium supplements and vitamin D. I also drink soya milk which comes with calcium.

Jean, I am sure mine say something like "troublemaker who asks a zillion questions".

3rd October 2009, 01:24 PM
Actually, if Mr Webb is to be believed, and it certainly seems reasonable, it's actually far more common especially in women to be missing one set of ribs. As they usually rely on counting up from the bottom, it sometimes gets marked as being 6 lumbar vertebrae. My notes variously describe my original fusion either as T10-L2, or T11-L3, depending on what the individual writing about me thought was more likely. As it goes, because I have a totally normal sacrum, and don't have an unusually long body (even fully straight it would not be unusually long) and no other noticeable vertebral anomalies, Mr Webb was very confident that I was short one set of ribs. Also, I could be wrong on this, but I believe in some people they have the correct number, but they start higher than normal, so again the appearance is of more lumbars / less ribs but it's actually just a different starting point.

Anyway, hope that Schroth can help you! :)

Mustang Sal
3rd October 2009, 07:54 PM
Interesting report there Lucy - shame nobody thought to keep you in the loop about much of it though >:|

That is interesting about the 6 lumbar verts though - I wonder how common or rare that is? I don't know how many i've got now - 3 or 4, I can't really make them out! Just out of curiosity, how big are vertebral bodies? An inch? 2 inches? I know i'm shorter than I should be because of the curves, but just wondered how much shorter having fewer verts than normal, not to mention a lack of discs (anyone know how big they are?) has made me.

Anyway, sorry Lucy for being a thread hijacker! I hope you get on well at the clinic - will have my fingers crossed for you :fingersx:

Poppy :) x
3rd October 2009, 10:45 PM
what is a schroth clinic? xx

3rd October 2009, 11:25 PM
That's interesting Titch especially about the different starting point. Given me much food for thought.

Sal, I know, I could drive myself dizzy with all the questions I now have!

Poppy, I'll be able to explain more the week after next!

OK, just want to say goodbye cos I fly out to Milwaukee on Sunday so I wont be back until its all over next week!

Bye for now,

4th October 2009, 12:13 AM
Hope all goes well Lucy :squeeze:

4th October 2009, 09:36 AM
Good luck Lucy! I hope you enjoy yourself and have great results :D

4th October 2009, 10:59 AM
good luck

i hope it works for you, i'll be thinking of you

Poppy :) x
4th October 2009, 03:57 PM
Good luck Lucy.

Hope it all goes well :)

4th October 2009, 04:10 PM
Disaster. I was up all night with a very nasty pain and vomiting and had to go to the ER at 2 am. It looks like I have an ovarian cyst! I don't think I can cancel my Schroth week now because it is too late. I have no idea what to do. The pain is better now but I am so scared of it getting worse again. urrggh. I can't belive this is happening. My air ticket is non refundable also. I think I will just go and see how I get on and if, it is too bad, I will have to fly home early.

This is so upsetting. I can't believe my bad luck.

Mustang Sal
4th October 2009, 04:30 PM
Oh Lucy, that is awful, you poor thing. Gosh, it really is one thing after another isn't it :squeeze:

Did they say would could be done about the cyst? Do you have to have it removed or drained or something? I hope you've at least got some strong painkillers.

I really really hope things calm down so you can go to Schroth and get the most out of it - it would be unbelievably bad luck for you to have to pull out now :(

Take care honey :gvibes:xx

4th October 2009, 08:28 PM
Oh no Lucy! I hope you'll be OK. I used to get terrible pain and vomiting and have to go to hospital when I was suffering from the effects of endometriosis, but once the initial pain had gone then I was alright for the rest of the month - hopefully you'll be OK too. Also, it's not abnormal for the odd ovarian cyst to pop up now and again and disappear again within weeks with no ill-effects. I was really worried once when I saw "ovarian cyst" on my notes following an ultrasound but this was explained to me as something that was probably just temporary and harmless.

Fingers crossed you're feeling better and will be fine to go ahead with your Schroth :squeeze:

Toni xx

4th October 2009, 11:14 PM
I'm so sorry I haven't posted in here Lucy! Oh you poor thing! That's horrible *majorly huggage* I seriously hope you're all better asap, not just so you can do the Schroth but just because pain sucks, lol! Take it easy and meanwhile get as much rest in as you can!

Thinking of you honey,


4th October 2009, 11:15 PM
Oh Lucy, what are we going to do with you, eh? I don't have any experience of ovarian cysts, but it would make sense that they might appear/get bigger around period time, so hopefully things might calm down in a day or two. I do hope you're OK and can still go for your sessions, you could really do without losing all that money :( Surely if you had a letter from your GP though, you could get refunds on the course and air fare?

5th October 2009, 03:04 PM
Hi All,

Found a pc here in the hotel. I am about to go for my first Schroth session.

The pain is better and I was able to sleep. I think if I get worse I will just have to fly back home and I am sure they will understand and only charge me half the cost. But I am able to manage the pain much better now. How annoying, I have to see my gyno as soon as I return home! Never mind. Here I go.....

5th October 2009, 03:16 PM
Good luck Lucy, hope it all goes well for you.:fingersx:

5th October 2009, 04:23 PM
Good luck Lucy, i'm thinking about you, i'm sure you are going to be able to get something from these sessions, i can't wait to read about your experiences

5th October 2009, 09:11 PM
I hope the pain is coming down a bit more now, I have had an ovarian cyst in the past which I had drained and I remember all too well how horrible the pain before hand was. If it helps I found that eating small meals and drinking plenty helped, and avoiding holding in my bladder as the extra pressure made the pain worse. I hope you can tolerate it for the schroth sessions and sort out the cyst on your return. If not, your comfort is the most important thing, after all you wouldn't be putting your all into the sessions when you are in pain, and then not getting the best out of them.
Love and hugs across the pond :hug:

Poppy :) x
5th October 2009, 09:26 PM
Can anybody tell me what a schroth clinic is..
I have no idea. :( x

5th October 2009, 09:51 PM
check this link


Amazed Jean
6th October 2009, 07:51 PM
I hope all is going well for Lucy. If anyone hears please post so we can all get an update.

8th October 2009, 01:49 AM
Doing OK now Jean and really getting a lot out of the experience. I'll write more when I get home. Thanks so much everyone for your concern and good wishes. You all mean a lot to me.

8th October 2009, 02:50 AM
Excellent Lucy, great to hear from you - hope it continues to go well! :) xx

9th October 2009, 12:52 AM
Pleased you're getting a lot out of it Lucy!! :squeeze:

9th October 2009, 10:53 AM
Great news Lucy, glad your having a good week.:)

Mustang Sal
9th October 2009, 06:01 PM
Yay Lucy, i'm pleased for you! Can't wait for the full run down :)

9th October 2009, 06:46 PM
Hi Lucy sorry i haven't posted, thanks for your post on my pre op thread, i just wanted to let you know that whilst i was in getting checked i was still thinking about you and schroth


9th October 2009, 08:12 PM
So pleased it seems to be helping Lucy, fingers crossed it continues to do so :fingersx:

9th October 2009, 09:55 PM
Looking forward to hearing all about it Lucy.:squeeze:

9th October 2009, 10:21 PM
I will write about my Schroth in a few days when I am settled home (I am on my way to the airport now) but I will say that it was really worth me coming here. I wanted to cry as I left the clinic just now

My PT (or coach as I see her!) was so caring and put so much effort into every position she taught me. I am leaving a lot more body aware and I already am in less pain as I usually tend to strain my back when I sit, walk, stand etc and now, without really thinking about it, I am doing things in a different way.

This has been wonderful. I cannot say enough about this clinic and the Schroth experience. Gotta go. Feeling a bit emotional now because I have a plan and I have never had that before.

9th October 2009, 10:24 PM
:squeeze: Ahh Lucy, that is so good to hear :D you totally deserve to have a lucky break at long last. Looking forward to hearing all about it once you get home :D

10th October 2009, 11:46 AM
Brilliant news Lucy

10th October 2009, 01:53 PM
Lucy, that's fantastic to hear, I am so pleased you have had a positive experience.

Poppy :) x
12th October 2009, 09:29 PM

Can anyone tell me what a Schroth Clinic is now?


12th October 2009, 09:33 PM
Schroth is a method of physiotherapy that is targetted especially for people with scoliosis, have a look at the link Mark posted Pops :)

Poppy :) x
12th October 2009, 10:01 PM
Thankyou Toni.

I did, but I dont think it made any sense to me.

Im going to have another look right now. :) xx

13th October 2009, 11:03 PM
Poppy, I don’t want to explain what Schroth is as a technique in too much detail because I may be erroneous in my description I don’t want to lead anyone down the wrong path of understanding. Spinal Dynamics have a really great pdf file that really explains it well. I think you will understand it far better than some of the general information out there on Schroth. Here it is:-

http://www.sdwpt.com/media/docs/Scoliosis%20Clinic%20at%20Spinal%20Dynamics%20of%2 0WI%20-%20Overivew%20-%20For%20Site-7-09%20Max.pdf
But in really simplistic terms it is a kind of physical therapy that gives curve specific exercises that attempt to improve posture.
The main goals of Schroth are the following;
Improve posture
Reduce pain (not always an issue with children, but speaking as a 39 year old woman I can certainly say this is my main goal).
Improve flexibility and strength
Improve breathing capacity

As you will see on their online brochure, Spinal Dynamics also mention that it can improve cosmetic appearance and prevent or delay the need for surgery. However, I don’t want to comment on those issues because
a) I’m a sissy when it comes to controversy!
b) I am not a candidate for surgery so it would be wrong for me to comment.
Instead I only want to comment on what my own experiences have been with the 1 week immersion course. Please note: I will not get too technical, which I hope won’t frustrate anyone but I don’t want to give anybody any false information.

13th October 2009, 11:04 PM
Day 1
I met my physical therapist Amy and she did an orthopedic examination, took photos of my posture, did several breathing assessments, and looked at my curve classification (which I actually found hard to understand too well –could be because I was still feeling ill from my ovarian cyst!). Amy and I then had a discussion concerning my own personal needs and I expressed to her my biggest issue – I don’t know which pains are due to poor posture and which are due to past injuries that simply have not healed properly due to my scoliosis. Amy immediately got to work looking at my problem areas – my painful right knee and hip (which have been there ever since I had an MCL tear), my painful left shoulder and arm (there ever since a very nasty herniated disc ages ago) and neck pain. I was so happy to hear that my arm and shoulder pain is largely due to bicep tendinitis which is totally treatable (!) and also my knee pain is due to very weak muscles rather than a ligament issue (again not too hard to treat). I was already excited at this news. Amy took me to a treatment room and got to work treating these issues. I had already told her about my severe pelvic pain due to my ovarian cyst and she also managed to get rid about 70% of that pain. I know this has little to do with Schroth but it showed me what an excellent physio she is and I immediately trusted her which I think is important in any physical therapy relationship.

Later on that first morning we looked at Schroth for the first time and Amy explained to me basic concepts and what to expect.

We began by doing an exercise which is called “Pelvic Corrections” where you learn how to stand in the best possible posture for you. I have to admit this felt really odd to me. I am used to standing with an exaggerated lordosis and my stomach sticking out like a pregnant woman (don’t judge me folks, I thought that was how I was supposed to stand!). Anyway, when I got into my Schroth standing position I felt as if I would tip over at any minute. Really, it was THAT odd to me Amy also showed me the best way to sit at a work station and I realized that all these years I had been sitting with my weight on my weak side. I cringe now when I realize how twisted and curved I have been sitting all my life….

After lunch we did some coordination exercises which I found very challenging, not just physically but also mentally. Amy also explained a new concept to me called understanding was way off the mark……Later I was introduced to a couple of bar exercises which I think many of you have seen photographed over the years. I used to worry about those exercises because I thought you literally had to hang from a gym bar and put all that pressure on your arms and shoulders. Not so. It really is a wonderful exercise that I found really emphasized my pelvic corrections and introduced me to the kind of breathing that would be so important for Schroth.
Before I left that night we ran through one more exercise quickly called the “supine”. It really scared the hell out of me at first because it involved a so much equipment and I couldn’t 100% understand what I was supposed to be gaining out of the movement.

Day 2
We began the day by Amy again treating my shoulder and knee.
My ovarian cyst issue was barely a problem by this stage, thank goodness.
Back to Schroth. We reviewed all the posture and coordination exercises from the previous day but this time Amy was a lot more precise in her instructions. Day one had really been about understanding the idea behind the exercises and getting in the right positions but by now I was really altering my posture and seeing my body change for the first time.
We also went back to rotational breathing which I soon discovered I had totally misunderstood before. There is no way I can describe rotational breathing properly but all I will say is imagine expanding your torso with breathing and pushing out areas that are almost collapsed due to twisting and curvature. That is kind of what it is like. The Schroth physical therapist is really like a coach and during the exercises will be calling out areas you need to expand more etc.
A typical instruction would be something like “open ventral flat zone and block dorsal prominence”. This may sound like Double Dutch but these terms are really well explained to you and, if even young kids can grasp it, I can testify that it does eventually become evident what is required.

Day 3
Again we looked at ortho issues and back straight into the exercises.
By now we had ran through all the exercises but I really needed to know them so well that it would become second nature to me. It really was tiring but Amy was great about letting me take rests here and there.
At one point I joined a group class of adults and Amy stayed next to me all the time to ensure I was doing everything right and to help me when needed (which was still quite a lot!).
I left that day feeling a lot more confident that I could do these exercises at home on my own.

Day 4
Today I ran though everything, the coordinating exercises, long hand, short hand, supine, side supine, standing, sitting etc. I was also given some exercises that were non Schroth that would help some of my ortho issues.
By now my body had really been through a lot changes in the way I breathed and positioned myself. I really felt very tired and my muscles started to shake in the positions. In each exercise you build up to holding it and performing the rotational breathing for longer and longer but I was unable to go for more than about 5 minutes in each one by day 4 . Luckily, Spinal Dynamics does anticipate this and I was given a lovely massage by their massage therapist just before lunch to help me relax and rest.
After lunch we ran though all the exercises again and his time Amy watched me and did not prompt me to make sure I knew what I was doing. I then joined a group class again, but this time the participants were much younger and the pace was a lot faster!

Day 5
All the tests that were done on the first day were repeated to re-evaluate and see my progress. Also more photos of me were taken. It was amazing because I could see my back was a lot wider, almost like a swimmers back. There was a noticeable improvement in my breathing ability (inhale but not so much in my exhale).
As far as pain, I can honestly say that my body felt like it had 20 years ago. NOTHING hurt. Yes, I did have a lot of aches and light pains still but nothing like the pain level I usually manage. No need for painkillers.
The rest of the final day is aimed at running through the entire program of exercises again whilst being videotaped. Although Amy had taken many photos of me performing the exercises, it is lovely to have a disc of myself so that I never forget the high intensity of each position.

I cannot recommend the Spinal Dynamics staff enough but especially Amy. She really puts so each effort into helping you get the very most out of every second of each exercise and it is evident how passionate she is about teaching Schroth. She really is a joy to meet and she has changed my life.
I have now been home 4 days and I have not been able to do my entire routine yet because I am waiting for some equipment that I ordered to be delivered first. However, I have done some of them every day and I still noticing a difference in pain. I am not as pain free as last week but, as I just stated, I have not got all the equipment yet so I cannot do as much as I want to yet. All I know is that I am a lot more body aware and I love the fact that for the first time in my life I feel that I can help myself. Several people have commented that I look much slimmer. I think that is because I am standing in a different way. Yes, I am making an effort not to slouch my usual way but I have to say that it is becoming more natural to me each day. Right now I am sitting in my Schroth position and I don’t feel the usual hip and lower back pain!!! I am so happy about that alone that I want to scream with joy. I am sure that chronic pain will always be a part of my life but not at the intensity that it has been before. For the first time in years I have real hope that I will have more good days than bad days! Who knows, maybe my curve will remain stable….?!!
I really do think that I will need to go back for a re-evaluation about a year’s time (6 months would be ideal but my life will not allow more time off!). I really wish I was local to Spinal Dynamics because it would be great to go to regular group classes. I think that is the ideal way to study Schroth, initial one-to one followed by a group class.

I will report back a few months later to see where I am with pain. I really hope I am able to perform these exercises with the right emphasis and intensity myself as it would be sad if I don’t improve in the year ahead.

Poppy :) x
13th October 2009, 11:05 PM
Looks like you have alot to say lucy :hehe:

I will read it all tomorrow.
I think I need to go count some sheep.
:( xx

13th October 2009, 11:05 PM
Sorry, wrote this on a Word file and it seems to have pasted really small. Apologies for the eye strain!

13th October 2009, 11:08 PM
This is a fantastic report Lucy! It's so good to read what it's like to go through Schroth physiotherapy, and will be very helpful to lots of people. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain everything so well. I think we should sticky it :)

I'm also really chuffed for you that it's helped you so well! Congrats :D

Toni xx

13th October 2009, 11:12 PM
Wow, thanks Toni. If anybody wants to PM me any questions, I am more than happy to help or at least try and help(!).

13th October 2009, 11:14 PM
Lucy, that is really, really interesting and I'm SO glad you were able to get such a lot out of it :D The fact that you now feel in control of the pain, rather than the other way round, is a fantastic achievement :D

13th October 2009, 11:19 PM
Wow Lucy, i am so pleased and proud of you, you seem to have become not just straighter, free of some of your pain, more confident and last but not least you appear to yourself to be slimmer (but i would not say that you over weight in the first place).

I'm so proud of you Lucy, we have been friends for sometime now and it really makes happy to see you being so positive. Here here for Scroth you are a living breathing example of how alternative treatments can help us live better lives

Your physio sounds like a right nice person who certainly knows her anatomy and physiology. Lucy you have really made a dank, dour and wet day seem so much brighter

Take care and keep up the good work and hopefully when we meet up we will both be straighter and more confident people

Mark does a jig woo hoo


13th October 2009, 11:21 PM
This is a fantastic report Lucy! It's so good to read what it's like to go through Schroth physiotherapy, and will be very helpful to lots of people. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain everything so well. I think we should sticky it :)

I'm also really chuffed for you that it's helped you so well! Congrats :D

Toni xx

Done :D:D

14th October 2009, 10:18 AM
Lucy that really is amazing, and really useful to read. I think you have done a great job documenting it, and I think its great to see an alternative to surgery. I can actually understand a bit now why someone might choose to try it as an alternative, and if I had known about this before surgery then I might have made a different choice.
Glad to see you got so much out of it, and I agree with mark, you seem more confident which is always a bonus.

14th October 2009, 10:42 AM
Hi Lucy, thank you so much for posting about your journey I really enjoyed reading it and it's something I might do in the future once I've looked up more info to see if it's available here in Ireland. I will e-mail you later as I'm going for a walk in a few mins.:-)

14th October 2009, 11:44 AM
Wow! Brilliant report, Lucy, I am so glad you have got so much out of the program and are feeling so good. Thanks for taking the time to write it all.:):)

Is there a 'proper' Scroth clinic in UK? Also how much did it all cost and the equipment. Do Scroth people expect you to take up with an 'ordinary' physio following the program or are you exepected to 'self manage'?

14th October 2009, 12:34 PM
There isn't an actual Schroth clinic in the UK, but there are individual physiotherapists who are Schroth certified. Beanstalk's daughter goes to see Joanna Slup who is based in London, and is very pleased with the results they have been getting.

Please remember that whilst we know alternative techniques can help with pain and posture, there is still no definitive evidence that they can help you permanently correct a curve. Hans Weiss, who is the grandson of Katherina Schroth and who used to run the German clinics, told me that for progressive adolescent scoliosis the Schroth exercises alone cannot prevent progression and you need a strongly corrective brace such as the Cheaneau too.

14th October 2009, 05:02 PM
Yes, I am so glad I tried this avenue.

Burdle, I don't know about Schroth in the Uk but I did hear about Beanstalk's daughter which is very encouraging.

My biggest worry with Schroth is that there seem to 4 excellent clinics where Schroth is taught, 2 in Wisconsin, one in Palo Alto CA and one in Maryland. But, as Schroth is becoming more popular (and the word is really spreading here in the US), the more "cowboys" there are out there. For example, I spoke to a few parents in Milwaukee that had seen adverts in New York for Chiropractors that also called themselves Schroth experts because they had some kind of online piece of paper!! Very scary. But I really wish there were more reputable Schroth instructors around. Several parents had to drive 2-3 hours one way just to take their children to group classes at my Milwaukee clinic.

I think the important thing is to find a very experienced physical therapist with at least 10 years exp (at the very min, I prefer 15-20 years!) that is also certified in Schroth.

Naturally, as an adult, bracing was not an option for me but most of the children I met on the program were also using bracing.

I really wish as a child I had used a combination of Schroth and brace...never mind. Research was difficult for parents in the days before the internet!

Mustang Sal
14th October 2009, 10:45 PM
Ooh Lucy, i'm so chuffed for you! It was very interesting to read all about your experiences, so thanks for sharing :)

I hope you continue to feel the benefits of this therapy - it's a shame it's not that accessible yet as it could help so many people. It doesn't surprise me that there are cowboys out there making out they're Schroth qualified though - it's a real shame as it's those people who give alternative therapies a bad name >:|

20th October 2009, 12:33 AM
It is great to read what you have written.

My 13 year old daughter has completed a four week schroth programme and has continued to reduce the rotation in her spine and has reduced her curve radically, from 54 to 29 degrees. She is very fortunate, as she has had no pain and the curves aren't visible to the uninformed. She continues to exercise 5/7 for 30m.

One of the most important aspects of schroth has been the education of the person with scoliosis. My daughter now understands exactly what is going on with her spine. It's amazing.

It's unfortunate that consultants don't give patients measurements for all curves, these numbers only relate to the upper curve of the typical double major that my kid has. In addition there is no explanation of the rotation and its affects.

best wishes with your continued treatment

20th October 2009, 03:07 PM
I think the sad thing is that, during an NHS consultation, consultants don't have the time to go into in-depth explanations about scoliosis and they don't give information out unless people ask for it. We all understand about Cobb angles here, but a lot of patients wouldn't - all they would want to know is that their surgeon recommended surgery. The NHS consultants are sadly constrained by the amount of time they can spend with each patient.

I noticed a massive difference in the treatment I had from my cardiologist when I saw him privately to when I saw him on the NHS. Privately, he spent a whole hour with me, talking about things, going through theories as to what could be wrong, explaining why my heart reacted in various ways and trying out short tests to see what happened. On the NHS, I saw him for a brief five minutes whilst he ticked some forms and said "right we'll try this test, I'll put you on a waiting list".

The same happened with Mr Tucker - at Stanmore, I was in and out within 5 minutes, if I was lucky enough to see him at all - but privately, we were able to have a good old chat about all sorts of things! It's NOT the consultants' fault, but the difference between private and NHS is striking.

It makes sense that if you pay for any private appointment, you are paying for the specialist's (or physio's) time and they will have time to give you information and explain things fully to you. The NHS is a great thing but it is free; if you have questions they will be answered, but the consultants simply don't have the luxury of time to spend with you.

20th October 2009, 04:35 PM
Oh Lucy I am just DELIGHTED to hear how well you've got on :D:D:D Thanks for your very detailed description too - its really good to hear exactly what they did with you.

I'm sure you know I'm a huge fan of the Alexander Technique, so I was interested to hear you have been told similar things about how to improve your posture - specifically how the position of your pelvis has such a big influence on how you stand and sit.

I think what most people don't realise is that you actually have quite a bit of control over your posture - even if you have 'always' stood the same way and it feels normal to you, you can learn to change your posture in a way that puts less strain on your spine. Of course if you have scoliosis, its never going to be perfect, but you can definitely learn to make the best of what you have!

So although it uses different methods, it sounds like Schroth has some things in common with the Alexander Technique. And its great to hear you sounding so upbeat! Thats something else I found with AT - it made me feel more in control of my life again, which helped my depression, which helped me deal with the pain better. Hopefully you will find the same thing :D

Make sure you keep us informed of how you get on - its certainly a very encouraging start. Take care sweetie xx

20th October 2009, 04:46 PM
It makes sense that if you pay for any private appointment, you are paying for the specialist's (or physio's) time and they will have time to give you information and explain things fully to you. The NHS is a great thing but it is free; if you have questions they will be answered, but the consultants simply don't have the luxury of time to spend with you.[/quote]

I do know what you mean... but the NHS is not free. It is paid for by our National Insurance and Tax contributions and as such it should provide value for money. It is not the consultant's fault but in the long run we would all benefit from them being able to spend more time explaining and assessing the best treatment for us. It would also probably save money. It is up to the consultants and medical practitioners to put pressure on the government so that the system allows patients the time they really need.

21st October 2009, 11:42 AM
thanks for that toni and burdle

Indeed, the NHS is not free and should provide value for money.

regarding the consultants role and restrictions on time it is possible to provide information or access to information without increasing time spent, through written information or internet sites. In addition restriction of time does not excuse discourtesy or misinformation. My understanding is that consultants have a responsibility of care which is not restricted to the theatre. Providing information is an important part of treatment and the Royal College of Surgeons advises that it is key to successful outcomes.

In addition the work done within the NHS provides consultants with a platform for private work.

21st October 2009, 01:13 PM
I think what toni was getting at when she said the nhs is free is it is free for all to access not matter what your financial situation is, i think if we did not have the nhs and we had a system that relied on health care for the wealthy only this country would be in a far worse state

The nhs suffers a lot of bad press, some of it rightfully deserved but i'm beting that 3/4s of the members of this site who have operations performed on the nhs would be in the position they are now

If you want my personal opinion, i think that private health care has strangled the life out of the nhs, all those surgeons out performing surgeries privately would have to earn their corn somewhere, which in turn would mean us (the vast majority) who can not afford private health care would get a bit longer with our surgeons, but i guess that is capitilism for you

21st October 2009, 11:10 PM
If you get a chance - you should try and see a Doctor in the USA who is using SCENAR. I know of lots in Chicago - which it the closest to where you are going. Just ask me if you want some contact details.

21st October 2009, 11:18 PM
Having checked out the website it appears to be advertising treatments for sports injuries, i do not know what this has to do with Schroth and the mmeber who posted the thread has already been to the schroth clinic

22nd October 2009, 11:49 AM
Hi Beanstalk,
Is your daughter also wearing a brace? Might be an option for my son, though not sure there are any clinics in Ireland - does anyone know if there is?

22nd October 2009, 02:34 PM
no my daughter is not wearing a brace, it was not offered as an option, apparently due to her age/skeletal maturity

her improvement continues through change of habit, self-awareness and continuing exercise

providing the reduction is maintained (or improved) over the next couple of years the risk of progression is vastly reduced. She will continue to exercise in a focused way too.

22nd October 2009, 02:42 PM
If you get a chance - you should try and see a Doctor in the USA who is using SCENAR. I know of lots in Chicago - which it the closest to where you are going. Just ask me if you want some contact details.

Scroth is exercised based - I have niot come across SCENAR before but at first glance it appears to be similar to TENS? It is not a specific program for Scoliosis.

22nd October 2009, 07:09 PM
I've just done some quick searching and it seems that the primary use of it is in treating pain, and you're right Burdle, it sounds a lot like TENS. I think it is fair to say that while it may be beneficial to some people in treating complications of their scoliosis, and where the curvature is exacerbated by muscles spasms may even effect some improvement by virtue of treating the spasm, it is NOT as such a treatment for the scoliosis itself.

7th November 2009, 09:43 PM
Toni: Im glad you mentioned bracing goes along with Schroth. This is the only profen way of its effect on the spine and its curves. usually a "treatment" is either surgery, brace or exersize. Mind you as stand alone options only or you see a brief combined treatment such was with me.

The best thing with Schroth is actually you can do this at home, it helps against pain, increases lung volume and can prevent curve progression even reduce if not fused. It also does massively improve your gesture and apparance which is for ladies a special treat.

Ive seen Scroth in action and will vouch for it any day. Nowadays when asked I always reccomend Schroth with Bracing. Surgery is for me a defintly no go and should be delayed when nothing and I mean nothing else works... Those who "know" me from way back now I used to say curve beyond 40? Surgery next! Now I say curve high? Go Schrothing and get a brace! No wonders its such a success here in German and expanding to fast in the USA. :)

Titch: There is no treatment for Scoliosis, its chronical. A treatment is to me what makes it go away permantly or keeps it away permantly like a vaccine. Then again no vaccine is that safe either. ;)
I say to deal with Scoliosis the best is to deal with its effect on your daily life, if you got that in control you are winning the fight...

8th November 2009, 01:09 AM
Is Shroth used on previously fused spines and if so, does it help? Thanks.

27th November 2009, 11:25 PM
Is Shroth used on previously fused spines and if so, does it help?

Hi Cassie - the answer is yes. I learned this from someone over at NSF. Here's the info as it was posted (I know for a fact that he wouldn't mind my sharing):

There is an extensive article on specialized physical therapy for post-operative patients at:


Click on the US/UK flags, then in the left margin click on "What can patients do? (following surgery....)"

There's an introduction and you can download a 10-page PDF written by the retired director of a German scoliosis clinic. Very often correcting your posture will reduce or eliminate the pain, unless of course it's due to factors unrelated to posture, directly or indirectly. See also my post at:


I'm not fused and am using of combination of Spinecor and Schroth - Spinecor is also being used on post-operative patients, I met one at my last check up (an older lady in her 60's who said she had the old harrington rod surgery in her youth), though I really don't know a whole lot about that. The lady I met reported favorable results - again, I don't know the specifics about her condition.

I've read the referenced article above - What can patients do? and keep meaning to try it myself, even though I am not fused. I don't really know why I should consider that - guess I'm just curious

27th November 2009, 11:50 PM
I know Sandman77 had a Harrington Rod fusion when he was very young (ie about 6 I think) for congenital scoli, and he's been finding Schroth beneficial for his pain. I'm sure he'll be happy to tell you more next time he pops by :)

1st December 2009, 10:22 PM
Hah, pops up! ;)

I can defintly say helps against pain, increases muscles and lung volume and posture (which of course does not reflect in Xray)

With me my posture and muscles were greatly increased, I never had much pain though and lung volume takes time...

8th December 2009, 12:48 AM
I just wanted to give a bit of an update as I will be really busy relocating soon and maybe won’t get a chance for ages.

Well, after my Schroth experience I was extremely happy with how much my pain had decreased. Especially my right hip and right lower back. I was also happy with my improved posture and I have to admit that people still come up to me and say I look much "straighter". One cousin of mine actually thought I had gone away to have surgery (!) Another aspect that I did not expect to see such an improvement with was my breathing. I am happy to report that my asthma specialist (who is very skeptical of Schroth) has to admit that my lung capacity shows improvement.

So am I still happy? Well, not really. I recently have been taking driving lessons and it has awoken that very nasty hip pain that used to make me wake up crying in the middle of the night. I was really hoping that my Schroth exercises would help me prevent that level of pain ever returning but it seems I was maybe expecting too much too soon. I suppose it was because I felt so amazing when I left Wisconsin and really felt almost bionic! Well, I am back to reality with a nasty smack. The pain is back and actually angrier than ever. I have already had two little weeps about it already today. I am actually sitting the way I was taught to but it is not helping me right now because not only am I having back spasm but I also feel like an angry nerve is burning all the way down to the back of my knee.

So, in summary, my posture is still vastly improved, my lungs capacity is much better but the really nasty pain which was my number one reason for going is back. It reminds me of a daft poster for Jaws 4 that read "This Time Its Personal". Yikes. I have been warned.....:(

Sorry this is not more positive but I did promise to follow up, good or bad.

8th December 2009, 09:28 PM
Oh Lucy, I'm so sorry to hear that your pain has returned :woe:

Perhaps once you get settled in Florida you will have the chance to revisit your exercises and get on top of things again? I do hope so :squeeze:

10th December 2009, 02:20 PM
Need help. I'm sorry to bother you but I'm new and trying to post a new thread. I can't figure out how to do it...can anyone tell me how to post a whole new subject.

10th December 2009, 05:32 PM
No probs :) See where it says "Non Surgical Room" above? Click on that, and you'll get taken to the index for the Non Surgical Room. Then there'll be a blue button up on the top left with "New Thread" on it.

10th December 2009, 06:42 PM
Hi Lucy,

I really appreciated both your original report and the follow-up. Do you mind if I ask a question about your experience with Scroth, just to clear it up in my mind a bit. It's one of the treatments we've considered for my son, so any information would be really helpful.

Do you feel as if you're having the same pain doing the same things? Or are you now having pain doing things that you weren't doing before?

I'm just trying to sort out if the net effect on pain was zero (same pain doing the same thing), or if there was some effect (less pain doing the same things and pain occurs now doing new things).


10th December 2009, 10:36 PM
I am seriously considering taking my son to the Schroth Clinic in Wisconsin. I am waiting on all the details so that I can make the best decision for my twelve year old son with a 21% curve at present. I would love to speak to anyone that has experience with the Schroth Therapy. When I read 5000 a week for Beth's therapy I about got sick to my stomach...but I will beg, borrow and steal to keep my son out of a 23 hour a day brace.

10th December 2009, 10:47 PM
Do bear in mind that the head of the Schroth clinics in Germany (and grandson of Katherina Schroth herself) feels that growing children with progressive curves should wear braces as well as doing their exercises. He says that the exercises alone cannot always prevent the curvature from worsening.

However, it could well be that if the exercises are done, the brace doesn't need to be worn for 23 hours a day. Make sure you ask lots of questions, whatever treatment you decide to go with (it's a good idea to get a notepad and write a list down as you think of things so you don't forget anything).

11th December 2009, 03:08 AM
Hi Lucy,

I really appreciated both your original report and the follow-up. Do you mind if I ask a question about your experience with Scroth, just to clear it up in my mind a bit. It's one of the treatments we've considered for my son, so any information would be really helpful.

Do you feel as if you're having the same pain doing the same things? Or are you now having pain doing things that you weren't doing before?

I'm just trying to sort out if the net effect on pain was zero (same pain doing the same thing), or if there was some effect (less pain doing the same things and pain occurs now doing new things).


Ask away! Also please feel free to PM me (just know that I am in the process to packing to relocate to I will not be on this site too much this month!)

Anyway, in answer to your question, the pain I am now feeling really started when I began driving. So, yes, the Schroth really did help me reduce my pain level initially but sadly I seem to have returned to misery simply because of a few driving lessons. I think my body is in shock! I can't tell you how frustrated I feel (and depressed).

On the plus side, my posture is really very much improved.

One thing that I am struggling with a little is the exercises themselves. I think it really is beneficial to join a Schroth group class (AFTER you have had initial one to one instruction) as the exercises are extremely complicated. Sadly, for most of us here in the USA there are very few places that offer Schroth so this is a difficult task – I now understand why I met parents that would drive their kids all the way from Chicago to Milwaukee for class once a week – it really helps. Even though I have photos and a DVD of myself doing the exercises, it is difficult to recreate the intensity needed at home. I cannot stress how hard some of these exercises can be to grasp. Follow up is very important. The exercises are not like yoga or Pilates so it is difficult to describe them. Also they are very much tailor made to your specific curvature so no two people will be doing the exercises the same way. As I mentioned in my initial report a few months ago, “Rotational Breathing” is a vital part of the exercises and that is what can be difficult to reproduce at home. Schroth without proper breathing is like a pub without alcohol…..pointless.

When I did my week long course we would run through all the exercises several times on each day so I really was pushing Schroth to the max! No wonder I felt bionic! I felt my body change. It was amazing. I have never felt so positive.

I have been managing to do the exercises to the best of my ability at home but I do have a very sore left shoulder that is really preventing me from doing one of the most important Schroth exercises for the required amount of time. Many of you that have researched Schroth may have seen pictures of kids hanging on what look like gymnasium bars. That particular exercise is naturally a lot more complicated than just hanging (so please do not try at home folks without proper instruction!). Sadly, my shoulder pain is bicep tendinitis which I hoped would be resolved after physiotherapy but is actually getting worse now. That means that I can only perform that exercise (and a couple of other key Schroth moves) for a quarter of the time recommended. Therefore I know that I am not getting the full benefit. Sadly, this is often a complaint of adults on the program. Many of us older ones (I am 39) have multiple injuries so exercises have to be adapted for our physical needs. Children, however, usually seem to be more flexibility and adaptable so can really feel the full benefit.

Again, please feel free to ask any more questions. I am always happy to help :).

11th December 2009, 03:11 AM
I am seriously considering taking my son to the Schroth Clinic in Wisconsin. I am waiting on all the details so that I can make the best decision for my twelve year old son with a 21% curve at present. I would love to speak to anyone that has experience with the Schroth Therapy. When I read 5000 a week for Beth's therapy I about got sick to my stomach...but I will beg, borrow and steal to keep my son out of a 23 hour a day brace.

Like I said above, feel free to PM me.:)

I went to the other WI clinic in Milwaukee but I am pretty sure that, if your insurance does not cover the cost, Beth can reduce the rate (I was quoted lower).

Good luck

12th December 2009, 01:21 AM
I am considering spinal dynamics for my 12 year old son to avoid bracing. He is currently at 21%. Please let me know how it went and how it's going? Thanks so much!

13th December 2009, 05:16 PM
Hi Lovingmother,

I just replied to your PM. My initial report on Spinal Dynamics was quite detailed and I am not too sure what to add now after my update. But I really want to help you as much as I can so feel free to PM me with specific questions.:)

For anybody considering Schroth, I would really recommend having a free phone consultation before making the decision. Amy at Spinal Dynamics was very helpful and was able to answer all my questions with considerable detail which is what impressed me the most.

23rd December 2009, 11:21 PM
Hip pain? Sound familiar... It wasnt that though with me it was the spinal disc(s) in my spine! Diclofenac helped alot there, last time a direct injection did it for me...

So take a look at that Lucy...

16th March 2010, 01:09 PM
I just thought I'd share my consultant, Mr Grevitt's, point of view on the Schroth method... He said that they can't back-up their claims with figures and statistics which he finds suspicious, he also thinks it's immoral to take such large amounts of money from people with large curves as the only way you'd obtain any real correction is to have surgery.

I was definately going to go to the Schroth clinic before my surgery so that the op wouldn't be as big a deal, but now I'm not sure what to do!?

16th March 2010, 01:47 PM
I just thought I'd share my consultant, Mr Grevitt's, point of view on the Schroth method... He said that they can't back-up their claims with figures and statistics which he finds suspicious, he also thinks it's immoral to take such large amounts of money from people with large curves as the only way you'd obtain any real correction is to have surgery.

I was definately going to go to the Schroth clinic before my surgery so that the op wouldn't be as big a deal, but now I'm not sure what to do!?

Spot on

16th March 2010, 03:08 PM
This is something that concerns me with all the major non-surgical methods. They all work for *some* people, the issue is whether that success is as common as they make out. I feel strongly that were I the person to develop a non-surgical system of treatment that really worked, I'd feel a moral imperative to do whatever it took to *prove* that it was as widely applicable as I said. However, I do also know it is not always quite as simple as that in that proper research costs a fair amount of money to perform, and even when you do everything right, if your subject of study is not in line with the current orthodoxy, it can be very difficult to get published.

So there definitely are two sides to it. Even so, if Schroth in particular was the kind of miracle that some people claim it to be, you'd expect there to be strong evidence of that available from the last 90 years of treatment. That said, I have no doubt about several things:
* It can help with pain and discomfort
* It can help with other aspects such as being able to breath more comfortably despite restriction
* It can effect a _small_ reduction in many curvatures
* It can help with the cosmetic effects of scoliosis

It may or may not do any or all of those things for a given individual. Some people will have particularly good success with it. Something which is known is that you can have a postural aspect to your curvature - I suspect that this is what the non-surgical therapies are able to deal with when they effect a reduction in a curvature. In fact, something I'd love to see would be a study done to correlate pre-treatment curve flexibility (as determined with pre-op style bending xrays, which a surgeon uses to determine how easily your curve will correct) with curve reduction achieved through non-surgical therapy, and see if there really is a link. It would be fantastic if people with "moderate" curvatures which are only just into surgical territory (~40 degrees in adolescence, maybe as much as ~60 degrees in skeletally mature people who have not experienced post-adolescent progression) could have a way of knowing before embarking how likely a therapy was to succeed for them. Another thing I suspect, although it would require a very long range study to work out if there was any truth to it, is that people who have done a good non-surgical physical therapy and who have moderate curves for which they could have surgery if they chose, may be less likely to suffer progression.

Basically, as you're planning to have the surgery anyway, then if you have the money to do it, why not? It's not as if you'll be expecting an amazing reduction in curvature and disappointed if it doesn't happen. However, in the sense that I expect you'll be unable to do most of the exercises any more after the fusion (I know Schroth *do* work with people who have had fusion, but it will inevitably be with modified exercises), you'd probably get more benefit from being active, maybe joining a gym, and then if you want to do Schroth, do it *after* you've recovered sufficiently from the surgery, and can just learn to do the exercises the way you need to then, rather than having to re-learn and adjust your program.

Hope that vast ramble makes some kind of sense!

16th March 2010, 04:12 PM
I am not sure if I would have tried it if I had a large curve. I am fortunate enough not to have a large curve (if "fortunate " is ever a word that can be used with scoliosis....) and have an S curve both in the mid 30's. I really wanted to try something to stop the progression and relieve the pain. My specialist told me that Pilates was the best thing to try but I wanted to try something tailor made for scoliosis. Schroth seemed a great answer.

I was just about to write an update but I have just looked back at my December post on this thread and basically I am still at the same place!

I do my exercises 5 times a week and take about 25 minutes to do them . As I said at the very beginning of this thread (so I wont repeat) Schroth exercises are nothing like normal physiotherapy exercises. You are not actually moving or straining so in theory you should be able to do them even if you have some kind of injury. Well that is the idea anyway. Sadly, my left shoulder is still very painful and I actually find that it feels much worse after some Schroth positions so I have had to cut down on my routine (as I said in Dec). So basically, I am performing a small portion of the exercises that I have been taught.

Am I still pain free? No, not at all. Actually my pain levels are back to where they were before treatment which is very depressing. However, my breathing, which improved after I did the course, has contunued to improve and even my asthma is better. So I am very pleased with that. Also, my posture remains pretty good. I have no idea if my curve has progressed. Some days I could swear its getting worse but I don't know how much of that is my fertile imagination.

In the long term, I think you would find that Schroth certainly improves your posture and may help you with breathing issues. Could you do the exercises after surgery? Yes, I have met people that have done so, no problem, provided you don't have as many old injuries as I do (!). Will it help your pain ? Maybe - but I personally am back to square one and therefore am a poor advertisement.

Having said all that, a good Schroth teacher will tailor make the exercises for where you spine is right now. If you are given a routine and then have surgery, I don't think it would be applicable for you anymore. You would have to go back and shell out more cash. For me, that is the biggest issue here.

16th March 2010, 04:21 PM
Thanks for that Lucy! While I ended up expressing it as thinking that you would be unable to do the same exercises after surgery, what you explained - that they should be tailored to you, thus your needs will be different after surgery, is what I was really trying to get at :)

16th March 2010, 04:32 PM
Titch I tried to quote you to agree but the quotation came out as continuous prose so I edited it out (I didn't want to use your words unless I could quote you properly....going back to my thesis days!!)

I just wanted to add that many Schroth clinics have "refresher" courses where they alter your exercise routine etc to meet your changing needs. However, a pre and post surgery spine would be so very different that I believe (I may be wrong) that it truly would be like starting again.

19th March 2010, 01:06 PM
Hhhmmmm...As there's nobody on the forum that has experienced hugely positive results from Schroth then I'm more than a little suspicious myself. Surely if what their website claims were true they'd all be on here telling us all to go for it and singing it's praises?

I was hoping the Schroth method would help me avoid surgery. I've not got much money and pain reduction rather than curvature reduction is my main aim. Sounds like I'd be better off sticking with Mr Grevitt.

19th March 2010, 03:09 PM
It's possible that in the same way that people who have very successful surgeries tend to go on and just live their lives without continuing to post on forums, and that people who have had surgery in the pre-internet days often just don't ever feel the need to look up forums, similarly people who have had successful treatment with non-surgical exercise based methods may well not ever turn up here.

It's also entirely possible that because the members of this site are predominantly from the UK, Ireland and the US, none of which have the long history of non-surgical treatment that Germany does, again we may be missing a lot of potentially positive postings because of that.

However, I do also think it is fair to say that people who have definitively surgical curvatures which are large enough to have a very high likelihood of progression, let alone those who have documented progression, are significantly less likely to find long term success with these methods. There may be some for whom it will work, but I don't think we know enough to know who that subset of people will be. So I would never discourage anyone who can comfortably afford it from trying it, but if it is going to be very difficult to afford, and you have a curve that is beyond the borderline area, then unfortunately cost really does have to be considered.

Certainly in terms of surgery, Mr Grevitt is a very skilled surgeon, so you'll be in safe hands with him :)

19th March 2010, 07:40 PM
Hello Collette,
Beanstalk's daughter Kitty managed to actually reduce her curvature after her Schroth programme with Joanna Slup but I can't tell you by how much, I remember it was definately by at least 10 degrees.
To expect avoidance of surgery from any form of excercises is very hard as it just all depends on your age, spine flexibility, rotation and obviously a degree.