Physical Therapy for Scoliosis

Physical Therapy for Scoliosis

(757) 668-7529 (PLAY)
At CHKD, we take a collaborative team approach to the treatment of scoliosis. After your appointment with your physician, you may be scheduled to be seen by one of our sports medicine physical therapists.

What to Expect

Our physical therapists follow a protocol specifically for the treatment of scoliosis developed by orthopedic surgeon, H. Sheldon St. Clair, MD, and sports medicine physical therapist, April Kirkner, DPT, ATC.

The protocol includes posture awareness, body mechanics, stabilization and strengthening of the trunk, core, hip and scapular musculature, and stretching of the muscles that have been affected by the scoliosis.

An exercise program specific to the patient's scoliosis and physical capabilities is provided. This program is performed at home for an average of 30-45 minutes most days of the week.

It is important for patients to perform the exercises at home even after completing sessions with their physical therapist. Parents, physical therapists and physicians will support patients and help them stay motivated in performing exercise programs.

At times, pain can be associated with scoliosis. A physical therapist will address pain by use of modalities and/or manual therapy techniques in conjunction with exercises.

The Schroth Method

In addition to standard physical therapy care, several of our physical therapists are certified in the Schroth method for treatment of scoliosis.

What is the Schroth Method?

The Schroth method is a conservative treatment approach using tactile stimulus, muscle activation, and breathing techniques to support improved posture and reinforce proper alignment.

Goals of this treatment include:

  • Establishing an awareness of postural positioning
  • Activation of muscles in the direction of correction and elongation of the spine
  • Breath support of proper alignment

An individual plan of care is developed to meet the curve pattern, fitness status and level of function of each patient.

Schroth-certified physical therapists are currently available at the following CHKD sports medicine locations:

Scoliosis Can Increase

As a patient continues to grow throughout adolescence, it is important for our orthopedic physician or neurosurgeon to watch for any changes to a patient's scoliosis. If the scoliosis progresses, our physicians may prescribe a custom-fit brace. Patients should wear the brace as instructed by the physician, but the brace should be removed when performing exercise programs.

If scoliosis progresses to a stage requiring surgery, our orthopedic physician or neurosurgeon will have the patient see one of our sports medicine physical therapists before surgery. The physical therapist will follow a pre-operative protocol that will address activity restrictions, transfer techniques after surgery, and exercises to be performed before and after surgery.

A visit with our physical therapist should be scheduled four weeks after surgery for a revised post-operative exercise program used to help patients return to prior activities.

Our Locations
(757) 668-7529 (PLAY)

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