Scoliosis Therapy: Schroth and Functional Manual Therapy™


Here are some quick facts about scoliosis: Joanne Picture for BG News 1 Scoliosis Therapy: Schroth and Functional Manual Therapy™

  • Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine 
  • Girls are more likely than boys to have scoliosis 
  • Scoliosis can run in families 
  • People of all ages can have scoliosis 

Scoliosis often surfaces when children are just entering puberty. This is a stressful enough time without also having to deal with a physical limitation. The cause of scoliosis is not always known, although rarer forms can be connected to injury, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Regardless of the cause, a range of available treatments, including physical therapy, mean scoliosis does not have to be disabling — or even noticeable.  Some stereotypes surrounding scoliosis include, “the only way to fix it is surgery where they put rods in your back” or “you have to wear a brace for the rest of your life.” We want to break those stereotypes at Body Gears by introducing our scoliosis specialists,  Joanne Macza PT, OCS, CERT. MDT, CKPT, Women’s Health Specialist &  Dr. Kane Thompson PT, DPT, ATC 

What are warning signs of scoliosis? 

In general, misalignment in the upper body may indicate that a child has scoliosis. Specifically, if one hip and/or one shoulder looks higher than the other, or one shoulder blade seems to be more easily discernible than the other.  In more advanced cases, signs and symptoms can include back pain, a pronounced S-curve in the spine, and ribs that stick out noticeably on one side. Difficulty breathing may also occur if the ribs are pressing against one or both lungs. 

The fusion of the Schroth Method and Functional Manual Therapy™ 

Scoliosis involves a true spinal curvature resulting in asymmetrical muscle groups in the back and elsewhere. By combining Schroth with Functional Manual Therapy™ Training, Joanne, and Kane offer a unique and comprehensive approach for treating individuals with scoliosis.  Kane Picture for BG News 1 Scoliosis Therapy: Schroth and Functional Manual Therapy™

Our physical therapist‘s skill sets and how the Schroth Method can benefit patients: 

Q: Why did you become Schroth trained?

A: “I want to help people with scoliosis in ways they didn’t think possible.” -Kane

Q: Why is the Schroth Method so special? What is it, exactly?

A“The purpose of Schroth is to improve the posture by addressing body awareness. The technique corrects the posture and can limit the scoliosis progression in growing adults and for older adults, it can stop the future curve. The technique expands beyond the clinic and applies to the patient’s everyday life.” -Joanne 

The Schroth Method targets posture and body awareness to limit the overall progression of scoliosis while Functional Manual Therapy™ techniques target specific tissue restrictions and re-train functional movement. Your physical therapy and exercise regimen will be tailored to you and your goals while also halting or even reversing the progression of your scoliosis. This combined treatment method can even benefit the pulmonary system. By addressing postural corrections, the rib cage will be able to better expand, allowing for improved lung capacity.   It’s never too late to begin scoliosis physical therapy.

Request Free Consult or Contact Us Today at Chicago, Oak Brook, Winnetka & Wheaton, IL Centers for more information or to get your therapy started.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1523543356141{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1523630079905{background-color: #f3713b !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1524235812794{background-color: #f3713b !important;}”]

What Patients Are Saying About Scoliosis Therapy at Body Gears

“My daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis last year, and her curvature was progressed enough that doctors gave us little option besides “wait and see” with the possibility of a spinal fusion in her future. In doing my own research about what I could do to help my daughter, I came across something called the Schroth method, which seemed to have promising potential, yet it isn’t something widely practiced by therapists or doctors. When I mentioned it to my daughter’s spine doctor, he said he had heard of it, admittedly didn’t know much about it, but he encouraged us to look into it. And he referred us to Body Gears.

Since then, we have been working with Joanne, and I am so thankful she is educated in this method of therapy. I can’t tell you the relief I feel as a parent to know we have a plan of action to do SOMETHING about this scoliosis besides wait, hope, and resign to surgery. It isn’t a cure, and it won’t undo all the damage that has already been done, but it has helped my daughter learn how to train her body to compensate for her curve, to be strong in spite of it, and hopefully to stop it in its tracks. We have seen a difference in how she holds herself. She even said to me the other day, with tears in her eyes, that for the first time since being diagnosed, she looked in the mirror and didn’t immediately see the curve.

Our hope is that with the continued commitment to her Schroth exercises, my daughter can keep herself in a manageable state that she will not need to have the spinal fusion. We are so lucky that Joanne and Body Gears offer this Schroth therapy, something that I was initially afraid we would have to travel to another city to find. If you or your child has scoliosis, I highly recommend coming in to talk with Joanne to see what she can do for you.”


-Body Gears Patient, Kelly S.

Early this year I was going to Body Gears in Oak Park for physical therapy after ankle surgery. One of my therapists, Kane, was gone for continuing education and upon his return, I asked what was the area of training. He said it was on physical therapy treatment for scoliosis. I told him I had concerns with my 14-year old son’s back. A few weeks later my son received a diagnosis of Scheuermann’s kyphosis. Unlike scoliosis where the curve is side to side, with kyphosis the curve is outward giving the appearance of an overly rounded upper back. His x-rays also showed that his growth plates were still open so he was still growing. This was lucky for us because there is more that can be done for initial treatment while the child is still growing. At 14 he is likely down to only one more year to grow, so we needed to move quickly for the most effective treatment.

I called Body Gears to schedule his appointment and I can’t say enough about how wonderful they have treated us. Knowing our level of concern and tight timeframe for treatment, they made sure we were scheduled with Kane within days. Sam, the Clinic Manager, has children being treated for scoliosis and he has treated us like family with his wealth of information on moving forward with our son’s treatment. We know we are in the perfect place for his physical therapy. We feel so lucky to have found Body Gears and are so thankful that they offer unique treatments in areas including the Schroth method for kyphosis. Our son is only a few days into treatment and he says he can already feel the difference in his back. I highly recommend you consider Body Gears for concerns with common issues like my ankle rehabilitation to cutting-edge treatments like those being used on my son’s spine.

-Body Gears Patient, Peggy R.