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Thread: Clear Institute vs. Schroth Method

  1. #1
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    Clear Institute vs. Schroth Method

    Hi Everyone, I'm new to this site, and I wanted to ask a question. Has anyone tried the Clear Institute methods or Schroth therapy (or both) for their scoliosis? After doing lots of research, these seem like the two main alternative treatments for scoliosis (aside from yoga, pilates, massage, etc.?). Just looking for feedback. I haven't tried either, but I'd like to try something new for my scoliosis (I have a 35 degree thoracolumbar curve; last xray was about a year and a half ago), and although I stretch, get massages, do PT, etc. I still feel like my back and shoulder pain are increasing over time. I'd be nervous about putting a good deal of money into something if it's not going to work at all. Let me know what you think, and also, let me know what else you have tried that has worked for you. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Don't you think if any alternative treatment was effective we would know it by now?

    I mean Schroth has been around for at least 90 years. If they were successful, don't you think the world would know it by now? Wouldn't Weiss have the Nobel in medicine already? Why do you suppose folks still need fusion surgery if these woo-woo techniques worked?

    Don't mind me.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 03-30-2009 at 01:20 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #3
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    From what I've read and heard, the Schroth method has some credibility as a pain-relieving method for pre-surgical-level (-45*) curves. The Clear Institute, not so much.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singer View Post
    From what I've read and heard, the Schroth method has some credibility as a pain-relieving method for pre-surgical-level (-45*) curves. The Clear Institute, not so much.
    Yes but their claims exceed pain relief. When folks say "alternative," they mean an alternative to surgery and medicine unless they specify pain as far as I can tell.

    Moreover, I didn't think the OP was asking about these treatments just for her pain but to possibly decrease her curves. If I'm wrong about that, I apologize.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #5
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    Yes, I mostly meant pain relief. I'm 26 right now, so I didn't figure I'd be able to really reduce my curves. I'm not a candidate for surgery since my curve isn't large enough and has also remained stable for a while. I was just asking a question about "alternatives" since I'm in the "alternative" section of the website. Wasn't really looking to hear that surgery is the only answer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    Wasn't really looking to hear that surgery is the only answer.
    Well then I think you are in luck. I doubt there is a surgeon out there who would fuse a stable 35 TL curve.

    Now if you have some condition that is actually causing your pain, they might operate for that reason. In other words, I don't think you can assume your pain is due to the curve.

    I guess it's possible these woo-woo treatments can be helpful for pain (if they have evidence for that). But you first have to hold your nose over their wild claims to decrease curves non-surgically.

    Good luck.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
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    Just curious, how old are your twin girls? Do they both have the same kind and degree of scoliosis? Have they had surgery?

    As for my pain, it's all scoliosis related. I'm sore on the right side of my back where the muscles are overstretched (convex), and I'm sore sometimes too on the left side of my back where the muscles are contracted (concave). And, even though I don't have a curve at the very top of my back, my left shoulder is pushed forward due to the rotation of my spine. So, my left shoulder always bothers me too (and cracks each time I roll/rotate my shoulder) since those muscles are also overstretched. I try to strengthen the convex side of my back and stretch out the concave side, but it's hard to find exercises that don't do both simultaneously. So, I end up doing a lot of core stuff to keep my back and abs strong. I also do scapular exercises for my shoulder to try to pull it back and down into place. I'm sure I'd feel a lot worse if I didn't do anything, but it's just disheartening to be so diligent about trying to understand the disease, workout the proper muscles, etc. and then still feel all tight and unbalanced. Plus, sometimes it's hard to even do stretches or exercises properly because what feels straight to me is obviously not straight since I have scoliosis (like if I'm doing a lion stretch on the ground and pulling back as straight as I can, it may not actually be straight; if I tell my boyfriend to pull my butt back so that it's straight and even, that feels totally different to me than what my sense of "straight" is...hope that makes sense!).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    Just curious, how old are your twin girls? Do they both have the same kind and degree of scoliosis? Have they had surgery?
    They are 14 and identical. They both have right thoracic curves but that's where the similarity ends.

    One had a very aggressive curve that moved quickly and twisted up early. There was no period in which it was stable. She never wore a brace and was fused seven months after diagnosis.

    The other had a slower moving curve that is presently between 36* - 40* and has almost no rotation to it. It has been stable for the last 6 months and has gone through periods where it was stable in the past and then moved.

    The fused one is done with scoliosis (i.e., not expected to have any back issues over and above the general population in her lifetime per her surgeon). The braced one is looking at dealing with this stuff for who knows how long. Ask me who got the rawer deal?

    As for my pain, it's all scoliosis related.
    Just curious... does your doctor think your pain is scoliosis-related?

    The reason I ask is because of something, actually two things, that our surgeon said.

    First, he said scoliosis per se does not cause pain. It is some other condition. We know this because some folks have large curves and zero pain and scoliosis is defined as the curve alone.

    Second, the reason kids in general have a far easier time with fusion than adults is because the adults almost always have more issues that need addressing besides just a curve. That suggests to me that simply having scoliosis, even if stabilized, for several years causes further damage and possibly pain.

    If this is true, there might be ramifications for non-fusion surgical techniques and even bracing. That is, these non-fusion techniques generally do not remove the scoliosis but try to stabilize it. Yet maybe most of these kids will need fusion as adults due to damage/pain secondary to the long-standing scoliosis.

    While these techniques are vital for the JIS crowd, if this is true, I think all kids will be fused at the earliest possible time unless they can show the non-fusion techniques avoid the issues down the road that most adults have.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #9
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    Hi! I'm a 56 yr. female with a 42 deg thoracic curve and a 47 deg lumbar curve along with rotation. I went to Scoliosis Rehab in January and had a very good experience working with their team. While I had previously read the Scroth Book, it was great to have someone explain what type of scoliosis I had (4-curve, reverse of the typical 4-curve) and the specific exercises for my scoliosis. They also showed me body mechanics for every day activities. It's been very helpful.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissEmmyF View Post
    Hi Everyone, I'm new to this site, and I wanted to ask a question. Has anyone tried the Clear Institute methods or Schroth therapy (or both) for their scoliosis? After doing lots of research, these seem like the two main alternative treatments for scoliosis (aside from yoga, pilates, massage, etc.?). Just looking for feedback. I haven't tried either, but I'd like to try something new for my scoliosis (I have a 35 degree thoracolumbar curve; last xray was about a year and a half ago), and although I stretch, get massages, do PT, etc. I still feel like my back and shoulder pain are increasing over time. I'd be nervous about putting a good deal of money into something if it's not going to work at all. Let me know what you think, and also, let me know what else you have tried that has worked for you. Thanks!
    Hi Miss Emmy

    There may be some folks around here that are knowledgeable about both Clear and Stroth (from personal experience) ... if you use the "search" feature at the top of the page, that may help you find some. You asked us to share what has worked for us - Spinecor for me. Good Luck with your search for remedy & welcome to NSF!
    Last edited by mamamax; 04-25-2009 at 08:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    Hi MissEmmy....

    If you want to try something alternative that won't cost an arm and a leg, you might want to look into Yoga for Scoliosis (http://www.yogaforscoliosis.com).

    Hope you find something that helps.

    Regards,
    Linda

  12. #12
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    17-year-old girl reduces curve with Schroth exercises


  13. #13
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    17 yo girl THINKS she reduced her curve (how much? permanently?) through Schroth but ponied up no proof of same.

    I'm not taking her word for it.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  14. #14
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    Hello Emmy,

    Are you seeing a PT regarding the exercises (maybe you mentioned and I didn't see it)? or how are you deciding which exercises to do? I think part of the appeal of the Scroth method and/or the yoga that Linda mentions is that they are aimed specifically at scoliosis. I don't know whether they "work". My daughter and I are new to this and trying to sort it out. She's seeing a PT but I feel similar to what you described in terms of how the muscles seem to be stretched or constricted or spasming and not being able to tell if the exercises are doing anything to help with that. I wonder if my daughter's PT knows enough about scoliosis to be recommending the best exercises.

    I hope you find a way to help relieve your pain.

    AT

  15. #15
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    Thanks for your replies everyone! I have actually done yoga for scoliosis a lot, and currently, this is what helps me the most (along with some PT and getting massages). I have looked into Schroth though because I like the fact that it's extremely specific to your particular curve pattern - even more so than PT or yoga for scoliosis. And, with Schroth, there is really no chance you could be making your curve(s) worse by doing the exercises...versus yoga which has some pretty weird and contrived poses which can be detrimental for scoliosis. Plus, you do everything in "3D" which means you're aiming to correct the lateral curve and the rotational element all in one exercise - versus a PT exercise which might just be to stretch to one side (1D instead of 3D).

    I actually went for an initial evaluation with Dr. Moramarco (certified Schroth practitioner) in MA this past weekend. I was very impressed with him and what I learned - I was there for 3 hours, and he examined me fully and explained everything very thoroughly! I also got to see a girl doing her Schroth exercises with him which was very interesting - the way she positioned herself doing the exercises made it look like she had no curve at all. The basic gist of these 3D correctional exercises is that after doing them repeatedly, you gain muscle memory and eventually your muscles will learn to support your spine in a more effortless manner.

    Since I'm not the kind of person to do nothing and I'm not a candidate for surgery since my degree isn't "bad" enough, it seems like the perfect option for me. I'm not saying it's a good fit for everyone, but it definitely can't hurt to look into it. At the very least, you'll gain an extremely good understanding of scoliosis.

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