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Thread: Give Schroth a try

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    24

    Give Schroth a try

    I started Schroth physical therapy a few weeks ago and it's been like a miracle for me. I am fused from T3 - sacrum after 2 surgeries but started developing a further upper thoracic curve and an additional neck curve. I kept telling my last surgeon that I felt like I was curving more. My right shoulder was getting higher and higher and i was walking more bent over to my left than ever. I went to 3 NY surgeons (Lenke, Lonner, Cunningham) and Dr Cunningham suggested to give Schroth a try. I was so skeptical, and was mentally preparing myself for my 3rd surgery. But I figured it was worth a try. So after a few weeks of PT, my shoulders are pretty much straight and my neck curve seems better. The best part is that I walk straighter and I usually do not have pain anymore. When i look in the mirror I am shocked to see my shoulders straight. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it basically strengthens and lengthens your inner rib cage muscles by breathing into them. Believe me it sounds hokey, but I can feel how much longer and stronger those inner muscles are now when i do the exercises. So picture your rib cage collapsing because it no longer moves with your spine. Mine was getting all crunched up and shorter if that makes sense. It's all subtle but amazing. I don't know if many people get a curve to reverse but I do believe it can help for those of us post surgery who are continuing to have problems. I'll post before after pictures when I get them in a few weeks from my PT.
    Fused T3 to L4 – 1978 with Harrington rod
    Surgery Oct 21, 2011 fused L3-S1 posterior
    Dr Antonacci, Princeton, NJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    17

    Benefits of Exercise/Posture

    Hi OrganicNancy,

    I agree with your thesis that you can reduce back pain and significantly improve the quality of your life by working with a qualified person to learn appropriate exercises and correct posture. In 1973, I was fused from T4-L3 [with Harrington rod instrumentation] and did pretty well until I hit my late 50’s. Then I developed quite a bit of pain and could not sit for any significant amount of time. I talked to some very good spine surgeons about a possible revision surgery. Ultimately, I decided that I would try to avoid more surgery and would learn as much as I could about strengthening the muscles in my “core” [both the big muscles AND the little muscles] and try to retrain my body to maintain good posture. Currently, I have my pain under control. I still use some pain “meds’ but I use much less than I had been using in 2015 or 2016. I did not use narcotic to try to control my pain during this time period.

    I watched the SRS patient webinar on adult scoliosis that Linda Racine pointed out on this forum. It aired on April 11th and is still available to watch on the SRS website [https://www.srs.org/patients-and-fam...ient-webinars]. It has generally been my impression that while physicians may mention exercise programs, that they are not really convinced of their value or they think that few patients have the necessary discipline to really benefit from these programs. However it was my impression that Dr. Burger [who was the last to speak on the SRS webinar] really appreciated the necessity of correct posture for parameters related to both pain and function. It is clear that [now] most spine surgeons appreciate the need to correctly align the head/shoulders/spine/and pelvis AND maintain the appropriate curves in the spine as it goes from the head to the pelvis. This is because without these parameters being in place, the muscles cannot [by themselves] keep the spine upright.

    Like you, I was skeptical that an exercise program could have much benefit but have seen an improvement in my pain level by learning correct posture and strengthening the muscles that support my spine. It takes someone with a good eye to constantly correct your posture and strengthen the muscles that support your spine. My situation was complicated by a spinal tumor and it is hard to know how much of my pain was due to this tumor. However one reason that I think that a lot of my pain relief is due to an improvement in posture is that I can now sit for extended periods of time without pain but if I am sloppy in how I sit, I quickly get uncomfortable.

    Posture and exercise is obviously not the answer for everybody with spine issues. Clearly, sometimes it is only surgery that is going to stabilize a spine. I think I would be in a wheelchair today if my spine wasn’t fused in 1973 and I have always felt I was pretty lucky to have the surgeon I had who fused my spine so many years ago. However, I am going to do whatever I can to avoid surgery in the future. Terry
    1973 Diagnosed with scoliosis [left thoracic curve 75* and right lumbar curve of 72*]
    Spinal fusion surgery with Harrington Rod instrumentation
    Left thoracic curve corrected to 55* and right lumbar curve corrected to 45*
    2013 Significant pain down right, upper leg
    2015 MRI of lumbar spine detects "multilevel degenerative disc disease with disc bulges and facet hypertrophy" AND
    the presence of a "possible nerve sheath tumor" at L2-L3

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,762
    Hi Terry, here is the You Tube link on that webinar....What would we do without You-Tube?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he-Wiyc0mT8

    SRS You-Tube page.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Scolios...view=0&sort=dd

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 59, the new 55...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    17

    Great SRS/Utube Link on scoliosis presentations

    Thanks, Ed: that is a very useful link! Terry
    1973 Diagnosed with scoliosis [left thoracic curve 75* and right lumbar curve of 72*]
    Spinal fusion surgery with Harrington Rod instrumentation
    Left thoracic curve corrected to 55* and right lumbar curve corrected to 45*
    2013 Significant pain down right, upper leg
    2015 MRI of lumbar spine detects "multilevel degenerative disc disease with disc bulges and facet hypertrophy" AND
    the presence of a "possible nerve sheath tumor" at L2-L3

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