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Physical Therapy for Scoliosis

Physical therapy scoliosis specific exercise (PSSE), based on the Schroth Method, is a conservative treatment for scoliosis. It uses exercises customized for your child to reduce the symptoms of scoliosis. This nonsurgical approach can involve both bracing and physical therapy. If a Gillette orthopedic spine specialist recommends a brace for your child, an orthotist who specializes in the spine will evaluate and fit your child for a custom spinal brace.

As part of your treatment, a Gillette physical therapist trained in the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School (BSPTS) Schroth Based Method will evaluate your child and develop an individualized plan using scoliosis-specific exercises.

Physical therapy goals for children who have scoliosis include the following:

  • Improve muscle strength.
  • Decrease trunk imbalance and improve posture.
  • Decrease pain (if present) and learn self-management techniques for pain.
  • Provide education and techniques to decrease forces that may contribute to progression of the curve.

The overall goal of physical therapy exercises is to help your child independently control their posture. The exercises are not meant to replace bracing, but to compliment the benefits that your child receives from a brace.  

Who Benefits from Physical Therapy for Scoliosis?

At Gillette, physical therapy using scoliosis-specific exercises can help patients who are 10 years of age and older, have adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, and have a curve approximately 20 degrees or greater.

What to Expect During Physical Therapy for Scoliosis

First, a Gillette orthopedic spine specialist will refer your child for Schroth Method-based treatment for scoliosis. Next, your child will undergo a physical therapy exam where a physical therapist will review your child’s medical history and X-ray images.

During the evaluation, we’ll look at your child’s:

  • Range of motion.
  • Strength.
  • Functional mobility.
  • Posture.
  • Lung function.
  • Pain.

Finally, the therapist will create a customized treatment plan based on your child’s curve, the physical exam and your child’s goals.

Physical therapy sessions are typically scheduled for 60 minutes two times per week for one month, then one time per week for three months. The sessions will focus on stretching, strengthening, posture corrections, breathing techniques and education specific to your child’s curve.  The therapist will also create a customized plan for doing exercises at home.

Integrated Care

Your child deserves a lifetime of excellent health care—from birth through adulthood. The integrated, family-centered environment at Gillette is designed to help your child achieve the highest possible levels of health, independence and happiness.

You’ll get help navigating the services you need to treat your child. The specialties and services most often involved in the Schroth Method-based treatment for scoliosis include:

Contact Us to Learn More

Contact us to learn more about physical therapy using the Schroth Method-based treatment for scoliosis at Gillette.