The Schroth method is a non-operative treatment applied in the correction of scoliosis and has a very long tradition. One may suggest that it is a conservative type of treatment that reminds of Hippocrates’ original method. Although it has been more than 2,000 years since Hippocrates’ era, the conservative type of scoliotic correction retained the same approach to the problem. How seriously this problem used to be approached two centuries ago shows the fact that three therapists used to work with one patient in order to prevent mistakes during the correction. Corrective treatment based on the principles of the Schroth method is nowadays applied worldwide, precisely because of its approach to the problem, primarily based on three-dimensional breathing, which has the most significant role in treatment of scoliosis.
Development of the Schroth method rests upon professional work of three generations. The first steps were recorded back in 1921, by Katharina Schroth, who suffered from scoliosis herself. Dissatisfaction, caused by the treatment she had received in particular institutions, made her to look for the solution to her problem by herself. She started to explore her body and apply a new type of treatment. She was a teacher, so she did not know anything about anatomy, physiology and biomechanics; however, her inspiring spirit contributed to the development of something completely new, something that gave amazing results in the following years. She came to the conclusion that it is possible to achieve postural control exclusively by changing of postural perception. She was trying to make the correction of the rib cage by performing deep inhalations on the concave side. She used to do that in front of a mirror in order to be able to control the movements of the rib cage. Her primary inspiration was a balloon. While observing the balloon being inflated, she concluded that there is a possibility to make a correction of the deformity by following the same principle. She started to develop the method in Meissen, Eastern Germany, where she had her first small institute. During the 1930s and 1940s, Katharina received support in work and development of the method from her daughter Christa, who was born in 1924. Katharina moved with her daughter Christa to Bad Sobernhein in 1961. This is the town where they founded their institute which gradually developed into a well-established clinic, officially opened in 1983 under the name “Katharina Schroth Klinik”. After Katharina’s death in 1985, her daughter Christa Lehnert-Schroth, therapist, continued with the development of the method. Later on, her son, Hans Rudolf Weiss, orthopedic surgeon, joined her. Dr. Weiss was the director of the clinic during the period from 1995 to 2008. The further development of the method was developed mainly by the head of the therapeutic department Udo Roevenich and Axel Hennes and scientifically proven by Dr. Weiss. Christa was retired since 1995 and died in March 2015.
In Germany the Schroth Method developed into the most recognized conservative exercise-based approach for scoliosis treatment. The Asklepios Katharina-Schroth-Klinik offers an intensive in-patient therapy program mainly covered by German insurances for 3-5 weeks for children, adolescents as well as for adult scoliosis patients.