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Scoliosis - Waverly Clinic

Scoliosis is a three-dimensional condition of the spine (backbone). The 3D deformity presents with a sideways curve, a twist, and a bend. These deformities cause the back to appear curved, like the letters "S or C", and twisted or arched. Scoliosis is most likely to occur when the spine is growing, in childhood or during the teenage years. A birth defect, disease, or injury can cause scoliosis, but in many cases, doctors do not know the cause. When a cause is unknown, it is termed "Idiopathic Scoliosis" 

Treatment is different for each person. Mild scoliosis often does not need to be treated. But severe scoliosis can cause breathing and hear problems which require intervention. The Schroth Method is a physical therapy approach to scoliosis treatment focused on correcting posture and Taylor Physical Therapy has 1 of 2 PT's in Iowa that is certified in this method. It uses exercises customized for each patient to reduce the risk of curve progression and position the spine in a more corrected alignment. The goal of Schroth exercises is to de-rotate, elongate, and stabilize the spine in a three-dimensional plane. This is achieved through physical therapy that focuses on:

  • Restoring muscle symmetry and alignment of posture
  • Corrective breathing to de-rotate the spine
  • Creating internal muscle forces using specialized equipment to maintain a neutral posture
  • Re-wiring your brain (nervous system) to understand and keep "corrected" posture

Most patients will see visible improvement in the curvature of their spine as well as an enhanced physical appearance in proper posture after completing a Schroth program. The length of the program may vary, but typically includes between 5 and 20 sessions. The length and frequency of treatment largely depend on the patient's tolerance and the extent of the scoliosis. A majority of the method is to be completed regularly at home, 15 to 30 minutes a day to help retrain the brain to understand "proper posture". Besides the visible corrections of the curve, outcomes of the Schroth program may include:

  • Improved posture
  • Improved core stability and strength
  • Easier breathing
  • Less pain
  • Improved overall movement patterns and function
  • Improved self-management and understanding of the spine
  • Better pelvic alignment
  • Improved quality of life

 


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