Juvenile idiopathic (unknown origin) scoliosis is scoliosis that occurs in children between the ages of three and nine (Vitale, 2019). Although it accounts for less than one quarter of scoliosis’s that are idiopathic, seventy percent of children with scoliosis will have curve angles that will increase sufficiently to need treatment (Vitale, 2019).
Research showed that Schroth therapy or Schroth therapy in combination with bracing kept scoliosis curves from increasing and often decreased the Cobb angles of adolescent children with scoliosis (Park, J., Jeon & Park, H. W. 2017; Schreiber et al. 2016). Many of these studies used subjects whose Cobb angels were 20 degrees or more (Park et al, Schreiber et al.). A new study by Zapata, Scata, and Jo (2019) gave preliminary evidence that Schroth exercises alone were effective in curve stabilization of scoliosis patients with Cobb angles from 12 degrees to 20 degrees.
So far no reliable studies have examined the effect of Schroth therapy on juvenile scoliosis. However, the positive outcomes of adolescents with scoliosis and the high risk of curve progression in juveniles with scoliosis justify Schroth therapy or Schroth therapy in combination with bracing for juveniles with scoliosis curves of 10-12 degrees or greater.
Park, J., Jeon, H., & Park, H. W. (2017). Effects of the Schroth Exercise on idiopathic scoliosis: A meta-analysis. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. doi:10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04461-6
Schreiber, S., Parent, E. C., Khodayari Moez, E., Hedden, D. M., Hill, D. L., Moreau, M., . . . Southon, S. C. (2016). Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises added to the standard of care lead to better Cobb angle outcomes in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis – an assessor and statistician blinded randomized controlled trial. PloS One, 11(12), e0168746. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168746 [doi]
Vitale, M. (2019). Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis. Retrieved from http://pediatricscoliosissurgery.com/spine-conditions-treatments/conditions-treatments/juvenile-idiopathic-scoliosis
Zapata, K.A., Sucato, D.J, Jo, CH (2019). Physical therapy scoliosis-specific exercises may reduce curve progression in mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis curve. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 31(3), 280-285. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000621.