The Schroth Method was established in Germany in 1921, by Katharina Schroth. Katharina suffered from scoliosis and was told that she would require surgery. Refusing the procedure and through her intuition she developed a technique that addressed her scoliosis. Her work was refined by her daughter, Christa Lehnert-Schroth who was a physiotherapist. Currently the technique has evolved, advanced and been scientifically validated my Katharina’s grandson Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss, an orthopedic physician, Schroth Best Practices Instructor and academic author.
“If the patients let themselves go and do not attempt to correct their condition, their body will only do what they tell it to do.” ~ Katharina Schroth
An award winning randomized controlled study on the effect of Schroth Scoliosis Exercises was published from the University of Alberta. PhD student Sanja Schreiber finds Schroth exercises substantially improve spinal deformity, self-image and muscle endurance while reducing pain in patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Read the full article here.
I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 30, after I’d began to experience regular pain in my lower back, which was caused by arthritic spurs. Regular exercise did help me with my pain, but I got in touch with Dr. Mendes because I wanted to do more to ensure that things wouldn’t get worse. I participated in a 5-day intensive Schroth treatment in January, 2016. I consider my experience with Dr. Mendes a huge success. Not only did I see a significant reduction in my curve (6 degrees in 5 days!), but for the first time since my diagnosis, I felt I really understood my scoliosis. The program goes far beyond learning a few exercises. The chiropractic, massage and traction treatments were actually quite enjoyable, but what I appreciated the most was the opportunity to ask questions (which I did, constantly) and really learn what exactly it is that I am dealing with, and how to approach it in daily life. Since my treatment, I have continued the exercises at home and have made a few adjustments to my everyday life (from how I stand, to what arm I carry my purse on, to how I lounge on the couch after a long day). I rarely have any pain and am looking forward to returning to see Dr. Mendes to see how much progress I have made on my own. Overall, the most important result for me was the confidence I now have in terms of understanding my particular scoliosis, and the optimism that comes with knowing that you have the ability to actually improve your condition.
Having lived with scoliosis since my early 20’s (I am now 56), I enrolled for Dr. Mendes’ Schroth exercise program 3 months ago. As my scoliosis slowly became worse over 30+ years, so too have I increased my efforts to overcome it, evolving into a fairly-intense regimen of stretching and weight-training. But if I stopped, pain, stiffness and fatigue were just around the corner. And in spite of my best efforts, my curvature was increasing, injuries were becoming more frequent; vertebrae were fusing, arthritis setting-in, bone-spurs multiplying. Unable to exercise 1.5 to 2 hours a day (or at most two days) I was resorting to pain-killers more and more often. In private moments, I found myself falling into despair and hopelessness: facing old-age as a cripple. A spine Specialist recommended Schroth.
How does Schroth compare to other forms of exercise? I’ve practiced Yoga to re-align my back since I was diagnosed, and although it has helped, nothing compares to the results achieved in only one week (and since maintained). I have tried all kinds of treatments, including hiring Trainers to design an exercise program for scoliosis, but the Schroth exercises, although simple, relatively quick and easy to do, were different than anything I had seen. They isolate, stretch and strengthen exactly where it is needed: in the deep-core postural muscles, tendons and ligaments. If you want to be flexible, take a Yoga class. If you want to get fit, go the gym. I still do those, but if you want to fix your back – learn the Schroth exercise program.
Since my 5 days of intensive therapy and exercise-training, it’s like I have never had a back problem – simple as that. The pain is gone. I can barely remember what it felt like. Gone are the discomfort and tiredness, even if I miss the exercises for a few days, which was impossible before. I feel like a new man: I sleep better, work better, move better, and have more energy left at the end of the day. The result for me is more than I could have hope for and just short of miraculous.