Y, a local, eleven year-old boy, recently participated in our adolescent scoliosis program. He just had follow-up x-rays (taken independently). In early December, Y had a 20º thoracolumbar curve. After our program and a couple of follow-up visits for focus and motivation, Y reduced his curve by 35% to 13º.
Y’s parents are very happy they took the proactive route and his dad sent me Y’s Schroth scoliosis story to share with other parents faced with the confusion that arises when a child is first diagnosed.
What I don’t understand is what happens when families with great results like this return to the doctor who initially informs them “nothing can be done for scoliosis except watch and wait, wear a brace, or, [for kids at high risk] potentially expect surgery.” When a parent reports a follow-up visit like Y just had and the parent says to me, “and the doctor said…,” I automatically think, ‘Here we go again…’
Y’s doctor was surprised that he had achieved such an improvement in his spinal curvature. His response, “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep doing it.”
I was thinking about this recently and decided to write about it. Before I could even post, the next day I heard from E’s mom. Her hard-working daughter had decreased 4º without even completing the full program. Same thing. Her mom wrote, “Her curve has improved from 30º to 26º, we are very happy her scoliosis is moving in the right direction. The Dr. refused to comment on her Schroth exercises, but asked that she continues to do what she’s been doing over the past 6 months.”
Other doctors have said, “it’s spontaneous curvature reduction.” What a terrible insult to a family and child who sacrifice their time, energy and resources to try and improve a kid’s chances in the fight against scoliosis progression. These kids and parents put daily effort into controlling scoliosis. To have success downplayed or passed over lightly upsets me.
Every curve that stops progressing, every pain that disappears, every cm of growth added, every breath that is easier, and every a curve that decreases should be celebrated!
The broader problem: why are treating physicians not anxious to learn about a conservative method for scoliosis where patients are halting progression and even reducing spinal curvature during periods of active growth? When this course of action is ignored, patients who don’t need to are progressing.
Managing scoliosis by way of an exercise/breathing routine done at home, without the need for sophisticated, expensive equipment must just seem too good to be true after years of offering only watch and wait, bracing and surgery.
To this I say: because something isn’t mainstream, yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Schroth isn’t simple. It requires a depth of understanding and focus that takes time to master. After taking the time to learn about it though, it makes complete sense. There are many it can help.
It’s time many in traditional medicine stop turning the other cheek about the Schroth Method.