Why Schroth rotational breathing for scoliosis?
“During physiological respiratory movement, all regions of the trunk, thorax and abdomen expand, with the purpose of increasing the volume and the air intake to the lungs. The thoracic cage and inhalation muscles on one side and the lung mass on the other, form two elastic systems in opposite directions, joined by two sheets of pleural space. The scoliosis deformation process causes morphological changes to the trunk. some areas of the trunk protrude or become convex, and others sink in or become concave. Breathing mechanics do not function normally. The deformity causes an imbalance in all muscles of the trunk.”
– from”Best Practice in Conservative Scoliosis Care, by Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss
Corrective rotational breathing is the proprietary feature of the Schroth Method and Schroth Best Practice® scoliosis exercise protocols.
During Schroth instruction, the patient learns how to change their breathing pattern in order to decrease the risk of scoliotic curve progression. The focus is on expansion of the collapsed concave areas during inspiration. This enhances mobility and promotes a more balanced posture.
The basis for the use of this technique can be found in a paper by Dr. Weiss published in Spine, Vol.16, No. 1, January, 1991, entitled “The Effect of an Exercise Program on Vital Capacity and Rib Mobility in Patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis,”
Scoliotic breathing pattern and its modifications, according to Schroth.
According to the conclusions of the above referenced paper, “the physiotherapy program as developed by Schroth can be regarded as highly effective for the prevention or treatment of secondary functional impairment, particularly with respect to the restrictive ventilatory disorder. It has also already been shown to have a beneficial effect on scoliosis related pain. (Weiss).”
Weiss’s newest developments – Schroth Best Practice® – continues to incorporate this methodology, however rotational breathing is incorporated into exercises that are simpler to use and easier to apply during everyday life.