General info

Data about the condition

Scoliosis  is a three-dimensional abnormality that occurs when the spine becomes rotated and curved sideways. The spine’s normal curves occur at the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions in the so-called “sagittal” plane. These natural curves position the head over the pelvis and work as shock absorbers to distribute mechanical stress during movement.

Scoliosis is often defined as spinal curvature in the “coronal” (frontal) plane. While the degree of curvature is measured on the coronal plane, scoliosis is actually a more complex, three-dimensional problem which involves the following planes:

  • Coronal plane
  • Sagittal plane
  • Axial plane


  • Changes with walking. When the spine abnormally twists and bends sideways enough, it can cause the hips to be out of alignment, which changes a person’s gait or how they walk. The extra compensating that a person does to maintain balance for the uneven hips and legs can cause the muscles to tire sooner. A person might also notice that one hand brushes against a hip while walking but the other does not.
  • Reduced range of motion. The deformity from spinal twisting can increase rigidity, which reduces the spine’s flexibility for bending.
  • Trouble breathing. If the spine rotates enough, the rib cage can twist and tighten the space available for the lungs. Bone might push against the lungs and make breathing more difficult.
  • Cardiovascular problems. Similarly, if the rib cage twists enough, reduced spacing for the heart can hamper its ability to pump blood.
  • Pain. If curvature becomes severe enough, back muscles could become more prone to painful spasms. Local inflammation may develop around the strained muscles, which can also lead to pain. It is possible for the intervertebral discs and facet joints to start to degenerate due to higher loads.


Specialists claim that in 90% of cases, the factors that determine the appearance of scoliosis are not known exactly (such as the situation of ideopathic scoliosis) or there are a number of possible factors that contributed to the onset of the disease, they are:

  • genetics (the disease was inherited from one of the parents);
  • congenital (the bones in the spine developed abnormally during the process of fetal development);
  • hormonal.

The rest of the cases can be influenced by the following conditions:

  • inappropriate posture;
  • muscular dystrophies, as a result of neuromuscular disorders;
  • Marfan’s disease;
  • neurofibromatosis;
  • cerebral palsy.

The objectives of the Recovery Program

  • Relaxation of shortened muscles.
  • Stimulation of elongated muscles.
  • Balancing postural muscles.

The content of the Recovery Program

The Schroth Method is a nonsurgical option for scoliosis treatment.

It uses exercises customized for each patient to return the curved spine to a more natural position. 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 muscular symmetry and alignment of posture
  • Breathing into the concave side of the body
  • Teaching you to be aware of your posture

The purpose of these exercises is to derotate, deflex and to correct the spine in the sagittal plane while elongating the spine.

  • Spine forward stretching: The patient sits on the floor with a straight back and the legs stretched. The patient has to bring the trunk forwards. Goal: Stretching the posterior muscle chain and mobilizing the vertebral spine
  • Upper rolling: The patient lies supine with the arms besides the body. The patient has to raise both legs till the toes touches the floor. Then, unroll spine slowly (vertebra by vertebra) Goal: stretching the posterior chain, mobilizing the spine and strengthen the abdomen.
  • Child position: The patient sits in a four support position and has to stretch the spine, arms and push the hands against the floor. Then lower the spine. Goal: Stretching the thoracic paravertebral, lumbar and gluteal regions and mobilizing the vertebral spine
  • Forward leg pull: The patient sits in a four support position. Then raises the right arm and leg while the spine stays aligned. Than the same exercise but change arm and leg. Goal: Stretching the concavity of the vertebral spine.

Methodical Indications

With the help of physical exercises between scoliosis, it is easier to correct the functional ones. Physical exercise corrects minor idiopathic scoliosis. It is treated first with the evolutionary physical exercises, preparing for the orthopedic treatment, associating with the physical exercises.

Did you know?

  • About 3% of the population is estimated to have idiopathic scoliosis.
  • Scoliosis affects 2-3 percent of the population, or an estimated six to nine million people in the United States.
  • Scoliosis can develop in infancy or early childhood.
  • The primary age of onset for scoliosis is 10-15 years old, occurring equally among both genders.
  • Females are eight times more likely to progress to a curve magnitude that requires treatment.

You can also read about Treatment of Piriform Syndrome, individual exercises

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