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History of the Schroth-based Method and Its Acceptance in the USA


Dr Manuel Rigo at Scoliosis Rehab, Inc instructing Physical Therapists Katharina Schroth (1894-1985) developed the Schroth Method, based on her personal experience with scoliosis as a teen. She dedicated countless hours attempting different corrections of her curve and discovered certain positions, movements and breathing techniques which made her own torso deformity less obvious.

Trained as a teacher, Ms. Schroth started sharing her techniques with patients in the 1920's and eventually established her own clinic in Germany. Her daughter, Christa Lehnert-Schroth P.T. (www.schroth-skoliosebehandlung.de and schrothmethod.com) helped her further develop the theory underlying the Schroth Method. Katharina’s grandson, Dr. Hans-Rudolph Weiss, MD has continued the tradition by developing his own unique program called Scolio-Logic in Germany. The Schroth family has authored books, produced numerous articles, and educated others on these non-surgical techniques. Although no longer owned by the Schroth family today, over one thousand patients are treated annually at Asklepios Katharina-Schroth Klinic in Germany and there is frequently a several month long waiting list.

Conservative treatment for spinal deformities is well accepted in Europe with large centers in Germany (Schroth), Spain (BSPTS), Italy (ISICO utilizing SEAS), and Poland (FITS). There is also a Schroth-based BSPTS center in Israel and practitioners throughout the Middle East. Peer-reviewed research supports the effectiveness of this non-surgical scoliosis treatment (see Resources section).

After reading the book, Scoliosis and the Human Spine, by Martha Hawes, PhD. in 2003 (available through the nsf.org), Beth Janssen PT became convinced that more must be done with conservative intervention for scoliosis in the US. At that time, her son was 16 and had been in a Boston Brace for almost 2 years. His posture remained unbalanced and his vital capacity decreased during those two years. Understanding the positive impact which physical therapy can have on retraining muscles and alleviating pain, Beth wondered why the US standard of care didn't include a physical therapy component. Further, Beth had seen the long rehabilitation required for post-surgical back patients. After much consideration, Beth traveled to the Elena Salva Clinic in Barcelona, Spain with her son in October, 2003 to begin scoliosis treatment.

As her son learned the exercises, Beth studied with Dr. Manuel Rigo MD, an internationally known professor who has dedicated his career to helping those with spinal deformities. Manuel Rigo, MD and Gloria Salva, DO direct the clinic (Elena Salva Institute for the Rehabilitation of Spinal Deformitie) started by Gloria's mother, a student of Christa Lehnert-Schroth. Dr Rigo is developer of the Rigo Cheneau Brace. Beth became one of the first certified Schroth Therapists in the US. Since her graduation from the Mayo School of Health Related Sciences in 1986, Beth has been a practicing Physical Therapist in Wisconsin, and brings with her a wide variety of manual therapy skills to complement the Schroth-based Techniques. In 2007, Beth became the first person in the US to be certified in the F.I.T.S. method, specialized Polish physical therapy for scoliosis and other spinal problems. In 2005, Beth Janssen and Rhonda Campo began to formulate a vision to introduce the Schroth-based BSPTS Method as a viable non-surgical treatment for scoliosis and kyphosis in the US. They believe that a more complete understanding of conservative management of spinal deformities is necessary in this country. Beth and the SRI staff are committed to training other dedicated physical therapists, educating physicians and nurses, and performing empirically based research to test efficacy of the Schroth-based method.

Information in this website should not be used for diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition. If you think that you or a family member has scoliosis, contact your local health care provider. © Copyright 2017 Scoliosis Rehab Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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