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 diagnosed at >10o
  • The most common presentation involves the right upper ribs protruding back
  • We know the mechanism but not the cause of scoliosis, which is likely multifactorial
  • Olympic gymnast Alexandra Marinescu and runner Usain Bolt both have scoliosis

Scoliosis typically emerges during periods of rapid growth, i.e., children who are just entering puberty. Navigating middle school and high school is a stressful enough time without also having to deal with a physical limitation. While scoliosis can be the result of conditions such as muscular dystrophy, Chiari malformation, or cerebral palsy, typical idiopathic adolescent scoliosis seems to just come out of the blue. Luckily, a range of available treatments that include physical therapy means scoliosis doesn’t have to be disabling—or even noticeable. Many people will never need surgery or ever have to wear a brace, but everyone (scoliosis or not) would benefit from learning better posture.

Serving Chicago and the greater Chiagoland area, Body Gears Physical Therapy is proud to offer scoliosis-specific therapy by our Schroth Method-certified therapist Dr. Julia Melanson PT, DPT, Women’s Health Therapist.

What are warning signs of scoliosis?

In general, asymmetry in the upper body may indicate that a child has scoliosis, specifically if one hip and/or one shoulder looks higher or seems to stick out more than the other. Sometimes one shoulder blade seems to be more easily discernible than the other, and there might be more skin creases on one side of the waist when sitting. In more advanced cases, signs and symptoms can include back/neck pain, a pronounced S-curve in the spine when bending forward, and ribs that stick out noticeably.

The Fusion of the Schroth Method and Functional Manual Therapy™

Scoliosis is a true spinal curvature that causes asymmetry in the muscle groups of the back and sometimes elsewhere in the body. In a nutshell, the Schroth Method aims to improve your ability to achieve and maintain better alignment. Functional Manual TherapyTM involves joint and soft tissue mobilization techniques, activation and strengthening exercises, and core training strategies to improve functional mobility. Through the fusion of these two therapeutic strategies, Julia has become an excellent care provider for all individuals with scoliosis.

Kane Picture for BG News 1 Scoliosis Therapy: Schroth and Functional Manual 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.

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.

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 so she will not need to have the spinal fusion. If you or your child has scoliosis, I highly recommend coming in.”


“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 within days. 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 cutting-edge treatments like those being used on my son’s spine.”


Remember, it’s never too late to get treatment for scoliosis. Whether you’re living with current symptoms, hoping to prevent future complications, or simply want to reach your body’s full potential, it never hurts to learn more about your options. Contact Us Today at Chicago Lincoln Park, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Wheaton & Winnetka, IL Centers.