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Treatment For Scoliosis: The Rigo Method

Part 2: Can Physical Therapy Help Your Scoliosis?






About me: My name is Hope Van Dyke. I am a physical therapist who specializes in treating patients with scoliosis. I have a 28 degree lumbar scoliotic curve and a 10 degree thoracic curve. About 7 years ago I started having discomfort and progression in my scoliosis curve. Additionally I found I was having neural symptoms from my scoliosis that was limiting my dreams in running competitively. I went to quite a few physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors. However, I was not feeling any improvement. I then was introduced to a PT who specializes in the Schroth method. She decreased the rotation in my spine from 22 degrees to 6 degrees and helped my symptoms become more manageable.



History of the Schroth method:


Katharina Schroth, born February 22nd 1894 in Dresden Germany, was suffering from a moderate scoliosis. She was placed in a steel brace at the age of 16. Shortly after she decided to develop a more functional approach for herself.


Inspired by a balloon, she tried to correct her asymmetries by breathing away the deformities of her own trunk. She would do this by inflating the concavities of her body selectively in front of a mirror. She also tried to “mirror” the deformity, by overcorrecting with the help of certain pattern specific corrective movements. She recognized that postural control can only be achieved by changing postural perception.


Eventually, after finding success in herself, she created a clinic and had up to 150 patients stay for 6 weeks doing inpatient work.

The technique was labeled the “Schroth” technique as her daughter, Christa Schroth, continued to help with the clinic.


During this time Dr. Rigo started helping out with the Schroth technique in Germany. Since then he has split and has developed his own technique called the BSPTS Rigo Concept in Spain. This uses many of the original concepts from Katharina schroth, but also applies the latest research and presents it in a teachable format. This is the concept that I am trained in.

BSPTS concept key points:

  1. Scoliosis is a 3 dimensional deformity so it cannot be treated one curve at a time or in a 2 dimensional way.

  2. Treatment is very specific to the curve type.

  3. During the treatment you are placed in various positions and given tactile cues from objects to assist with corrective breathing and positioning.

  4. Main cues given: expansion, tension, pressure - in very specific areas of the body based on the curves.

  5. When someone appears to have kyphosis (a bent forward spine) it may actually be a lordotic (bend backward) spine when you look at specific vertebrae. This is due to the way the overgrowth and weight bearing happens as the scoliosis progresses.

  6. Each person’s scoliosis is different and takes a different course. There is no guarantee that the BSPTS concept will improve scoliosis.

If you want to learn more or schedule an appointment please email me at hopevandyke@fuelphysicaltherapy.com or call/text (616) 757-0932


References:

Dr. Rigo. BSPTS Rigo Concept. Lecture: Scoliosis Rehab Inc; April 19-24; Stevens Point WI

Weiss H-R. The method of Katharina Schroth - History, principles and current development. Scoliosis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180431/. Published August 30, 2011. Accessed June 29, 2022.