This blog post was prompted one day when we noticed that someone had performed a Google search, does the Schroth method guarantee results? The short answer is, obviously, no. Here at Scoliosis 3DC we never guarantee results, nor should anyone else, especially when it comes to scoliosis.
After years of team involvement with Schroth, as providers, instructors, lecturers, bracinginstructors, and co-authors of Schroth Therapy, we have a few additional thoughts on this topic. Our response to this, and similar questions is that there are no guarantees when it comes to scoliosis. There are no guarantees with ‘watch and wait,’ there are no guarantees with bracing (of any type, although corrective bracing in conjunction with Schroth exercise can improve the odds of improving scoliosis), and, because of the risks involved, there are no guarantees with surgery.
In the inquiry, the Googler who asks does the Schroth method guarantee results doesn’t specifically stipulate which type of result they are asking about (curve improvement, pain relief etc.). We can tell you that the Schroth method certainly offers patients hope for improvement of various problems associated with scoliosis. Is a person assured that their spine will improve on every front after learning Schroth? No one can’t predict exactly who will improve and who won’t. Each case is unique to the individual. A better way of asking the question may have been: What’s a realistic expectation when learning the Schroth method? Overall, goals for Schroth treatment are to:
- Stop scoliosis progression. In growing adolescents, strive for curve reduction.
- Stop scoliosis progression in adults
- Improve lung capacity, chest expansion, rotation, postural appearance, self-image
- Reduce or alleviate pain, if present
Something that few people understand is that the Schroth practitioner matters. We say this because we have seen patients from all over who have been to other Schroth practitioners that were confused or disappointed. Sadly, one patient came to us after three instructional sessions based on her curve going left, rather than to right. (The practitioner forgot to flip the x-ray). We tell you this, not to scare you, but to make sure you take care when choosing a Schroth practitioner, program, or any type of scoliosis practitioner for that matter!
It is understandable that people want a sure thing. Spending good money on something you are unsure of can be nerve-wracking. When first hearing about the Schroth method many people probably think, if it’s so great, why haven’t I heard of it before? Why hasn’t my doctor mentioned it? Schroth is relatively new to the US (we began using it in 2002 personally, and officially in 2007). The truth is that there are variations among practitioners due to the fragmentation that has occurred in Schroth – it’s taught differently according to the school of Schroth. How a practitioner executes treatment will depend on who/where they learned Schroth. Most surgeons usually aren’t in favor of any sort of exercise treatment for scoliosis. That said, they are experts in surgery, not necessarily the nuances of curve-pattern specific scoliosis exercise treatment. It understandable that people are confused.
While we don’t make guarantees, we do give our all to every patient who walks through our doors.
- Will you learn all about scoliosis? Yes.
- Will you understand your curve in three-dimensions? Yes.
- Will you understand which movements/activities will help counteract the curve and which should be avoided? Yes.
- Will you understand why you are doing what you are doing? Yes.
- Will your exercises be according to your curve pattern? Yes.
- Will scoliosis exercises you learn help alleviate your pain? Very possibly –no guarantees.
- Will you be confident in what you need to do when you are at home? Yes. We provide a detailed manual and a custom-created video of your program and put it on a flash drive to practice with to avoid confusion.
- What if you have a question? We are an email or phone call away.
The sad truth, as we all know, is that there are no guarantees in life. Having realistic expectations about your Schroth method experience is important. You need to be aware that it requires commitment. If a person doesn’t apply what they learn in the intensive sessions, then how can a practitioner be expected to guarantee success? Like anything in life, hard work may be rewarded, but not always. Scoliosis can be a tough opponent.
That said, we invite you to check out some of our patients’ Schroth method results. What we can tell you is that when a patient without extenuating health circumstances completes our program and incorporates what they’ve learned into daily life, nearly all experience improvement on some level. This will vary by patient. The objective of the Schroth method is to provide patients with the skills needed to live well with scoliosis.
Updated March 11, 2019: