[Skip to Content]
Find care at Nemours Children's HealthDoctorsLocations

The Schroth Method of Physical Therapy

Reviewed by: Karen Turner-Bare, MPT
  • Listen
      mp3

What Is the Schroth Method?

The Schroth Method is a type of physical therapy. Its exercises help people with scoliosis or kyphosis have better posture. 

How Does the Schroth Method Help?

Scoliosis is when a person’s spine has curves and twists. Kyphosis is when the spine is curved forward more than usual. Both can lead to back pain and sometimes trouble breathing if the curve affects the position of the ribs.

In physical therapy using the Schroth Method, a person with scoliosis or kyphosis does personalized exercises while breathing in a special way. This helps retrain their muscles for better posture. Kids with scoliosis who do Schroth therapy also wear a spine brace to help prevent the condition from getting worse.

How Does the Schroth Method Differ From Traditional Physical Therapy?

In scoliosis, the spine:

  • curves from side to side
  • curves from back to front
  • twists

Traditional physical therapy works on the side-to-side curves but not the back-to-front curve or the twisting of the spine. Schroth physical therapy focuses on all three problems.

Both traditional physical therapy and Schroth Method therapy use stretching and strengthening of muscle groups, core strengthening, and the therapist guiding the patient’s body through movements.

What Are the Goals of Schroth Therapy?

Schroth therapy helps people with scoliosis and kyphosis to:

  • improve their posture
  • improve their breathing
  • decrease pain
  • limit the curve from getting worse (sometimes the curve can get a little better)

How Does Schroth Therapy Work?

Schroth therapy combines breathing, strength training, and posture awareness. A Schroth therapist teaches a person with scoliosis or kyphosis to tighten certain muscles and breathe in a specific pattern. This helps them hold their body straighter and in better balance.

The exercises used are based on a person’s specific curve. Exercises are done in front of mirrors so the person sees how their body is positioned and moving. The exercises and the breathing help retrain and strengthen muscles. This helps the muscles hold the body in a better position and in balance during everyday activities, not just during the exercises.

Who Can Use Schroth Therapy?

Anyone with scoliosis or kyphosis can benefit from the Schroth method. Some people with scoliosis use it with the goal of avoiding surgery. But even if they need scoliosis surgery, doing the Schroth method before and after the procedure can help. People can get the most benefit by practicing their specific exercise routine every day.

If your child has scoliosis, ask your care team if Schroth therapy could help.

How Long Does Someone Need Schroth Therapy?

How long someone goes to physical therapy varies. Most people should continue doing their Schroth practice exercises at home after sessions with the therapist end.

How Can Parents Help?

If your child goes to a Schroth physical therapy specialist, be sure to:

  • Develop a routine at home so the exercises become a habit that continue for a lifetime.
  • Encourage your child to keep up with the exercises. 
  • Offer praise, and tell your child they’re doing a great job.

What Else Should I Know?

Some parents find that it helps to record a video of their child doing the exercises with the therapist. At home, this can be a refresher for how to do the exercises, if needed.

To learn more about Schroth Method physical therapy and find a Schroth trained therapist near you, visit:

Date reviewed: May 2020