Scoliosis Image


;Scoliosis Image


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 letter “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, genetics, 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. Scoliosis may be considered mild, moderate, or severe, and all can benefit from treatment. Severe scoliosis can cause breathing and heart problems, but all forms may cause pain and require intervention. The Schroth Method is a physical therapy approach to scoliosis treatment focused on correcting posture and Taylor Physical Therapy has 1 of 3 PTs in Iowa who are 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 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


Scoliosis FAQ:

  1. Do I need x-rays before my visit?
    1. X-rays prior to your first visit are preferred but are not mandatory if you haven’t had them recently. The therapist would like you to bring your x-rays with you, the actual image not just the report/impression from the doctor, in order to evaluate your curve through the use of a radiologic study. The therapist will use this x-ray to determine severity, educate you further on what type of curve you have, and track progress during and after physical therapy services. 
    2. You can gain access to your x-rays by calling your doctor’s office who ordered the x-rays and ask for a release to Waverly Health Center, a CD, or send them via fax to Taylor Physical Therapy - Attn: Maranda Stohr, at 319-483-4004.
  2. Do I need a referral?
    • A referral is encouraged to ensure you are covered but is it not required by private insurance companies.  This may, however, depend on your plan and network, so it is best to get a referral from your doctor who gave you the scoliosis diagnosis or by your family physician.
  3. Do you only see teenagers/children?
    • No, Maranda can treat any age with any form of scoliosis. Whether you have had scoliosis since you were a child and are now an older adult or whether you were just diagnosed, you can be seen by our therapist for your scoliosis. 
  4. Can this help my pain?
    • Yes, the BSPTS method (formally known as the Schroth method) can help reduce your pain at any age. Many individuals who have scoliosis may suffer from back pain at some point in their life which can be easily managed or resolved with the use of scoliosis-centered physical therapy. 
  5. How long are treatment sessions?
    • A typical treatment session is 40 minutes long, however, if you travel from a great distance, we would be happy to accommodate you and limit the number of visits you have each week and/or lengthen the treatment session to 80 minutes if needed to best make use of your time.
  6. Can I do this on my own?
    • An initial evaluation is required to determine the best treatment approach for you. After 2-3 sessions, a home exercise program will be given to you in order to continue making progress between treatment sessions. The BSPTS method is very extensive and includes many different treatment options/approaches which can take time to understand and grasp. With help from our therapist, you will better understand your body and how to move to perform your home exercise program appropriately. 


Thank you for your interest in Taylor Physical Therapy.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals!


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