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Thread: Response to a specific question about Schroth

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    Response to a specific question about Schroth

    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax
    Skevimc ... you have no idea how many times I have thought of your quote from, Ascher was it? I would like to know more about your experience at the Clinic. What were your goals in going - and what were your parting conclusions? Any humor in between would also be interesting.

    Which quote from Asher is that?

    I'm answering this question on a new thread because the other one moved to character assassination and accusation instead of poking a bit of fun at an eccentric guy.

    At any rate, we went to see the Schroth clinic because Weiss was by far the most prolific conservative management author. The in-patient clinic was also the most aggressive and progressive treatment option. We saw the obvious holes in his papers and knew that an in-patient clinic would likely not be possible in the states. But still, the idea of the numbers of patients he saw combined with the reported success made us very interested in seeing first hand what it was all about. Dr. Asher, being an alpha dog in the scoliosis research world, just needed to find a time to go over there and the IRSSD conference in Belgium put us on the right side of the ocean for it. So a phone call later and we're booked to go and observe.

    We didn't really have any specific goals other than just to see the set-up. We had no hope or real desire to collaborate. One main reason was that our project and interest was finding an alternative to bracing and the Schroth method is still heavily backed with bracing. So, not really an alternative. Also, we didn't really have anything that Weiss was interested in. His basic statement of "30 minutes a day of exercise could not exert enough force to control a curve", was basically what he thought of our project. He's correct to an extent, but also misses a big principle in muscle physiology, i.e. hypertrophic strengthening.

    Their head therapist, Axel Hennes, was and still is involved in the method and is helping to bring the training here to the US. I found him to be extrememly smart and a really great therapist. I spent most of my time with him. We discussed several things/concerns with Schroth as well as our rotational study, mainly a lack of demonstrated physiology for what any of this is actually doing from a muscle point of view. I explained to him that my future goals would be to look more at the basic physiology and activation of the muscles during rotation as well as something more specific like Schroth. We both agreed this was needed very badly.

    My biggest concern with Schroth overall in the US was the modesty portion of it. In Europe, or at least Germany, they don't have the puritanical background/guilt associated with certain things. At Schroth, therapy sessions are ~45-60 minutes long in a room with 10-30 patients. Most are adolescents and most are female. All rooms were set up with mirrors and lots of various equipment and the first thing they do is remove their shirts, sit in front of the mirror and start doing their exercises. All females had some type of bra top on. But I saw this as being a potential deal breaker in the US. And I asked Axel about this. He said what I said above, that in Germany they aren't as caught up on these things as the US. And it was clear that the girls didn't care one bit. He said that some of the American girls that would come over to the clinic would be a bit shy at first, but then after 2-3 days it was no big deal. It just wasn't an issue. This was also very obvious while in clinic with Weiss. The patients, no matter the age or sex had any modesty issues. Parents were always present and if anyone appeared uncomfortable it would have been me. Asher didn't care, Weiss didn't care, the patients and families didn't care.

    My one major critique of the whole practice was that bracing seemed to be over-prescribed. I think there were a couple of reasons for that.

    So I'm not sure if that answers your questions or if you have others.

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    root of the problem

    His basic statement of "30 minutes a day of exercise could not exert enough force to control a curve", was basically what he thought of our project. He's correct to an extent, but also misses a big principle in muscle physiology, i.e. hypertrophic strengthening.
    I'd like to add that scientists don't know why the spine curves in children with Scoliosis.

    If the problem is rooted in the vertebrae I believe Dr. Weiss will be proven correct. 30 minutes of exercise probably doesn't pack enough punch to change the course of a bone disease.

    However if the problem is rooted in the muscles that guide the vertebrae it's possible that just a few minutes of strength training each week could be enough to correct or control Scoliosis.

    Somebody might want to look into this.
    Torso Rotation Strength Training for Scoliosis

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    Quote Originally Posted by skevimc View Post

    I'm answering this question on a new thread because the other one moved to character assassination and accusation instead of poking a bit of fun at an eccentric guy.

    I agree completely. Ick...and I'm not talking about the good doc's videos.

    It's amazing that not one person gave Dr. Weiss the benefit of the doubt. This is Europe...Germany in fact. Where they have apparently used sexuality as a means to keep the warring tribes from slaughtering each other since WWII. A much, much different culture from the United States and I'm sure these videos were very tame compared to the surrounding culture.

    By the way, I don't think that girls in their bras would be a dealbreaker here in the US. They could easily be asked to wear sportsbras or swimsuit tops and there wouldn't even be an issue. By the way, I'm not endorsing Schroth by saying this. My belief is that someone could just as easily enroll in daily ballet lessons to get a good benefit...or any of the other scoliosis exercise programs being developed in Europe and the US. It would certainly be nice to see studies showing effectiveness of the different exercise-based programs at some point.

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    Thank you Skevimc :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by skevimc View Post
    Which quote from Asher is that?
    The one about it not being a good idea to study scoliosis too deeply - because it would drive one nuts :-)

    I'm answering this question on a new thread because the other one moved to character assassination and accusation instead of poking a bit of fun at an eccentric guy.
    The other thread was a bad show - and not the first or last one. I wonder if he is more of an engaging and colorful personality than eccentric, which congers images of Howard Hughes in his later years? Good to move away from that thread which was just wrong on so many levels. Thanks.

    I had wondered if your visit was a spur of the moment tour, or a pre-planned collaboration. A collaboration would have been awesome, and very unique. Wouldn't it be interesting to know his opinions if he should find the time to read Dingo's thread? I can see where he would not have had the time and opportunity to fully explore what you were doing while conducting an educational tour. Wow - who knows, the torso rotation machine - modified for the scoliotic patient, along with Schroth, maybe could replace bracing during the growth spurt. That would be sweet.

    Bracing does seem to be a big part of the Schroth method - and more recently using a very specialized brace that is not common in this country. I'm currently corresponding with a young adult in her 20's who not only attended the Clinic but is now bracing with someone trained by Dr. Weiss - she has shown me her before and after pictures - they are amazing. Again, this is with a unique type of bracing I do not know much about - and I wonder if it is better suited to holding curves during the grown spurt, but I do not know for certain. And, as I understand it, for adults bracing is not required with Schroth - but it is looking like maybe it has the possibility of enhancing, or accelerating the rehabilitation process.

    Yes, the Europeans are not as hung up on the human body as we are here in the West. Which is funny in a way - I mean look at our entertainment, one wouldn't think we are so puritanical in nature, yet we are. Man, those roots are deep. We'll be ok in a few hundred years. I guess the Clinic in Wisconsin http://www.scoliosisrehab.com/Default.aspx is more Westernized, and the girls wear tops and bottoms. The thing is, this does cover areas in need of observation by the therapist - specifically, concavities in the back which require up to four different breathing methods to correct, and the anal cleft and gluteal folds must also be observed. To do this right, I suppose I would have to sport a thong (in public, at my age??), and I must say this could tend to scare me in the mirror. Anyway there is a lot of information here: http://www.schroth-skoliosebehandlung.de/the_author.php Kevin, there are two PDF files there (1) Treatment Concept and (2) Creating the counter image. If you have time I would be very interested in your thoughts on the information presented there. It is fascinating that so much work is done with the rib cage.

    In conclusion, the more I learn about this method, from reading and corresponding with adult patients who have used it, and others - the more I feel a method has been both withheld and made inaccessible to those like myself who would very much like to embrace taking control of our conditions with tools that have been around for many years in another country far, far away. I would like to see that change. Now that Dr. Weiss is in private practice and has developed a streamlined method which requires only 3-7 days training of the PT, and 2 weeks of patient orientation - I can see no excuse for it not to be introduced into our Physical Therapy departments nationwide. I hope I see that within my lifetime.

    As for Scoliosis Girls: it is a delightful video which was created to be both humorous and fun for those young girls in the German Clinic. A tool used in the psychological support of all that is required of the braced patient. A known and document need. It should be updated periodically. You know that little tune has been playing in my head for a few days now - and it makes me feel happy - I'll bet it helped a lot of youngsters.

    The face of scoliosis is changing and I think the change is good. The Clinic in Germany does not yet have an English web page (that I can find): http://www.asklepios.com/klinik/defa...Bad_Sobernheim I downloaded the brochure, which is in German. Within it there was a patient picture. It says a thousand words - attached.
    Last edited by mamamax; 07-27-2010 at 07:39 PM.
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Hi Mamamax,

    The girls at Scoliosis Rehab, from my experience (been several times) always wear bathing suit tops or exercise bra-type tops with shorts or leggings. I have never seen a girl fully covered on top. As you noted, it is so the PT's can see the concavities etc. as best as possible. I imagine, for their site, they covered the girl shown. I also know that they would respect a girl's wish to be covered if she chose to be modest. Even so, with the type tank top on, the PT's would be able to see her back rather well.

    Brooke

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    Thanks for this thread. It's answering a lot of questions for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    [COLOR="Navy"]Now that Dr. Weiss is in private practice and has developed a streamlined method which requires only 3-7 days training of the PT, and 2 weeks of patient orientation - I can see no excuse for it not to be introduced into our Physical Therapy departments nationwide. I hope I see that within my lifetime.
    Just correcting myself here. I've been informed off forum, by a reliable source - the patient orientation is 5 days, not two weeks.

    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by bas2101 View Post
    Hi Mamamax,

    The girls at Scoliosis Rehab, from my experience (been several times) always wear bathing suit tops or exercise bra-type tops with shorts or leggings. I have never seen a girl fully covered on top. As you noted, it is so the PT's can see the concavities etc. as best as possible. I imagine, for their site, they covered the girl shown. I also know that they would respect a girl's wish to be covered if she chose to be modest. Even so, with the type tank top on, the PT's would be able to see her back rather well.

    Brooke
    Hi Brooke! Good to see you posting. Do you see the new, or Power Schroth, as something that could be implemented in Physical Therapy departments? Would be very interested in your take on that. Are there any barriers from your perspective?
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballet Mom View Post
    My belief is that someone could just as easily enroll in daily ballet lessons to get a good benefit...or any of the other scoliosis exercise programs being developed in Europe and the US. It would certainly be nice to see studies showing effectiveness of the different exercise-based programs at some point.
    I can see where ballet may be good from the standpoint that it is good exercise, and generally speaking, exercise is good. I don't know that it could be "as good" as Schroth, which is a Physical Therapy specific to scoliosis. Given the many different curvature pattens that exist, it could be that ballet would be counter productive to some - and yet of benefit to others. Given the choice, I would want to participate in a therapy designed specifically for scoliosis which would cover all the possible curvature patterns. A true pity Schroth is largely inaccessible to most in this country.
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by aterry View Post
    Thanks for this thread. It's answering a lot of questions for me.
    aterry - you are always so supportive to those of us looking for ways to improve the quality of our lives & I always look forward to your informative posts!
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Hi Mamamax,

    I don't know what Power Schroth is compared to regular Schroth. Were you able to read about it somewhere online ?

    Brooke

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    I can see where ballet may be good from the standpoint that it is good exercise, and generally speaking, exercise is good. I don't know that it could be "as good" as Schroth, which is a Physical Therapy specific to scoliosis. Given the many different curvature pattens that exist, it could be that ballet would be counter productive to some - and yet of benefit to others. Given the choice, I would want to participate in a therapy designed specifically for scoliosis which would cover all the possible curvature patterns. A true pity Schroth is largely inaccessible to most in this country.
    I think ballet should probably only be considered for those with curves around thirty degrees or less for those who are new to the ballet world. It would be too difficult for a lot of scoli kids to actually be able to deal with the turns, and might feel a little awkward if they were dealing with physical changes around a bunch of new kids. (I don't see a curvature pattern to be an issue if it's less than thirty degrees).

    I do, however, see great benefit for a kid to be in a room with a bunch of other kids with scoli whatever the exercise program!

    The good thing about ballet while bracing, is the stretching...which follows along with Dr. Kiester's belief that scoliosis is caused by tight ligaments at the back of the spine. I can easily believe with my daughter's results that the daily stretching in her ballet routine has immensely helped her bracing results during her growth. And the focus on posture is also greatly helpful...but different strokes for different folks.

    In fact, another ballet mom of a daughter with scoliosis on another site stated that "one of my daughter's orthos liked to tell her (at every appointment) about his colleague who works with NYCB (New York City Ballet) dancers. According to him, the biggest benefit of ballet for scoliosis patients is developing the flexibility between the individual vertebrae of the spine. He told us this, together with a decent amount of natural "space" between my DD's vertebrae, is the reason why my DD's bracing has been effective. Children with "tight" and/or close vertebrae don't always experience as much success with bracing."

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    Ballet & Scoliosis

    Ballet Mom - These are some interesting observations and it would also be interesting to know if ballet moms around the world are noticing the same things with their scoliosis girls (and boys). I would think that the discipline involved in ballet helps also to make one very aware of their bodies and posture - the right bracing would seem a bonus. I have forgotten which type brace your daughter is using - remind me? Not everyone has access to ballet (such a beautiful art form). I'm curious to know now if Schroth is similar, from the standpoint that it may develop flexibility between individual vertebrae - or if that is even a goal in scoliosis rehab. I wonder also if Dr. Weiss may have patients who are ballet dancers and what their results may be along with his bracing. Good thoughts yours!
    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by bas2101 View Post
    Hi Mamamax,

    I don't know what Power Schroth is compared to regular Schroth. Were you able to read about it somewhere online ?

    Brooke
    To the best of my knowledge, the only thing available on line at the moment is an article titled: Scoliosis Rehabilitation
    by Dr. Weiss and Deborah Goodall. See Latest Developments within the article. I think there may be more information on this also in the Best Practice book written by Dr. Weiss, but I do not know if it is available in English.

    There is a study on the first sample going out for review in a few days - I don't know how long that process takes (maybe 2 months), but publication is pending - I'll post the link as soon as I have it. Meanwhile, the above makes for good introductory reading.

    Idiopathic, from the Latin meaning: we're idiots 'cause we can't figure out what's causing it (TV Dr. House, MD)

    I'm not weird ... I'm simply - multifactorial

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamamax View Post
    In conclusion, the more I learn about this method, from reading and corresponding with adult patients who have used it, and others - the more I feel a method has been both withheld and made inaccessible to those like myself who would very much like to embrace taking control of our conditions with tools that have been around for many years in another country far, far away. I would like to see that change. Now that Dr. Weiss is in private practice and has developed a streamlined method which requires only 3-7 days training of the PT, and 2 weeks of patient orientation - I can see no excuse for it not to be introduced into our Physical Therapy departments nationwide. I hope I see that within my lifetime.
    If this method is as good as you say, you should be more than willing to spend your own money to go and test it out. Please let us know the results!
    Nothing has been withheld, people are free to go and see the Schroth people here in the states anytime they wish to.

    There are many people who have had very positive results utilizing many different methods. Even Martha Hawes was successful and yet did not use this method. Many ballet dancers have been successful with ballet and with Pilates utilizing a person knowledgeable in scoliosis. There are people who have had success with SEAS and with Torso Rotation...there are lots of ways to benefit and I think it's up to the individual to go out and find the method that they like to do on a regular basis and do it! You're not going to change the US medical system overnight, and it's more likely the European countries will start eliminating expensive items such as Schroth due to their unfortunate financial situtations.

    What would be nice would be if enough was known about the different exercise and stretching methods that a video could be provided to those diagnosed with scoliosis with helpful exercises or therapy programs they could become involved with that have shown to be helpful for scoliosis patients, especially what kids could do to be successful in their bracing journey.

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