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Schroth Exercises for Scoliosis

by
author image Crystal Welch
Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.
Schroth Exercises for Scoliosis
Three women on yoga mats stretching their backs. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Schroth scoliosis exercises can help all age levels with varying degrees of scoliosis ranging from mild to severe. The Schroth method is known as the “three-dimensional” therapy since exercises work on all three planes of the spine, side to side, front to back and longitudinally. The goal of the exercises is to move the body in an opposite direction of the spine curvature and retrain the brain to accept the proper body alignment. Exercises can be performed individually or with a physical therapist, depending upon your individual situation. Check with your doctor first.

Facts

Scoliosis involves a curvature of the spinal column that can result in body misalignment, pain and potential injury. Schroth scoliosis exercises were originally developed by physical therapist Katherine Schroth (1894-1985), the founder of the Schroth Method, according to Schroth.org. After correcting her own scoliosis in 1921, Katherine started sharing information with other scoliosis patients, resulting in a 50-year career helping more than 10,000 patients.

Pelvis Movement

Schroth scoliosis exercises consider a properly aligned pelvis the keystone to treatment, according to Schroth.org. A misaligned, or tilted and rotated, pelvis results in an unnatural spine position that encourages spinal deterioration. Pulling the pelvis back in line can be a beneficial Schroth scoliosis exercise. Place a horizontal wall bar against a wall, at door-top height. A wall bar is similar to an upright ladder that is securely fastened to a wall. Stand with your left side against the bar and lift your left arm overhead to hold onto the bar. Keep your right hand free. While breathing deeply, gently rotate your spinal column and pelvis in the opposite direction of your curvature. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly release your grip from the bar and return to the standing position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise five times.

Breathing

Breathing properly plays an essential role in Schroth scoliois exercises. Many times, scoliosis causes collapsed ribs and hinders breathing. Lengthening and widening the rib area can help improve lung capacity, fill the concave side, firm surrounding muscles, return twisted vertebrae to proper position, reverse improper pelvic positioning and elongate the spine, according to Schroth.org. Stand facing a wall bar. Lift both hands overhead and grab the top of the bar. Breathe in deeply and hold three seconds. Slowly exhale while returning to the original position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise three times.

Bench Tilt

Improve your scoliosis by doing a Schroth scoliosis exercise that lengthens your neck and spine, according to spineharmony.com. Stand with your left side perpendicular to a bench, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold onto the bench with your left hand. Slowly tilt your body to the left, gently bending your elbow as you distribute weight between left arm and leg. Place your right arm against your right side. Lift your right foot from the floor and point your toe up. Slowly lift your right arm out to the side to shoulder level. Rotate your arm so your palm faces upward. Place weight onto your left arm, gently straightening your elbow while raising your left shoulder. Gently tilt your neck to left, which lengthens it. Remember to breathe deeply throughout this exercise. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly return to the standing position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise five times.

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