Schroth Method


Is your child complaining of back pain, rib pain, or an inability to stand up straight? Have you noticed a slight curve to their spine, or that one of their hips or shoulders seems higher than the other? If so, your child may have developed scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a fairly common condition in children, typically around the age they begin puberty, that results in a curvature of the spine. In severe cases, you may notice your child’s ribs to stick out on one side or they may experience difficulty with breathing, as the ribs press against the lungs.

Fortunately, at the Richmond Physical Therapy, we implement a conservative alternative treatment for children with scoliosis: the Schroth method. If your child has developed scoliosis, or you think your child may be displaying symptoms of scoliosis, contact our office today. We’ll discuss how the Schroth method will benefit your child so he or she can get back to living life comfortably!

What is the Schroth method?

The Schroth method is a specific type of therapeutic exercise that targets scoliosis and works to improve the condition before it worsens. As children grow, their spines are still flexible, making it easier to treat the abnormal curves that scoliosis brings to their spines.

At the Richmond Physical Therapy, we treat children with scoliosis by using the Schroth method, as a way to prevent further curve progression and relieve tension in the back and ribs by gradually straightening out the spine.

The Schroth Method is not a “one size fits all” treatment; rather, it is personalized for each individual patient. Our treatments take into account your child’s age, medical history, and the severity of his or her scoliosis. From there, the necessary exercises are designed to treat your child’s specific needs.

There are two phases of the Schroth method. The first focuses on positioning the body while the second focuses on activation:

Phase 1

In the first phase, one of our experienced physical therapists will work with you and your child to explain exactly how his or her postural alignment should look. This involves proper foot alignment, weight-bearing angles of the body, kinetic chain alignment, and more. 

Your child’s physical therapist will provide education on techniques and tips for strengthening the affected area(s) of the body, and may bring in additional equipment to assist with this phase, such as a ladder wall or rice bags. The goal of this phase is to help in positioning the torso in the correct ways, so your child can understand what proper alignment feels like.

Phase 2

The second phase works to activate the techniques learned in the first phase. This helps build up muscle endurance so the affected area(s) of the body can strengthen and improve. Your child’s physical therapist will focus on active elongation of the spine by prescribing targeted exercises and stretches, and by conducting manual methods, such as traction. This will all work toward stretching the body upward to lengthen the areas around the spine in need of improvement. 

If your child’s ribs are affected by scoliosis, treatments will also focus on active rotations, in order to decrease pressure on the rib cage and help it lie flat. Active diaphragmatic breathing techniques are also important in this phase, as they can help to expand parts of the spine that have concaved and assist in de-rotation. This helps stabilize abdominal and trunk muscles and helps prevent areas from curving outward.

Get your child started on the Schroth method today!

According to the Schroth method website, the benefits of this treatment are three-fold:

  1. It reduces pain.
  2. It halts the curve progression of the spine.
  3. It increases your child’s lung capacity.


Our highly experienced and dedicated physical therapists at the Richmond Physical Therapy can retrain your child’s body to function properly without alignment issues. With the Schroth method, your child will be able to participate in the activities he or she loves, without worrying about back pain, rib discomfort, or breathing difficulty.

Don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule a consultation or learn more about our treatment plants. Get your child started on the Schroth method today, so you can both say goodbye to scoliosis!