Scoliosis Exercises – Could These Be The Missing Key To Your Scoliosis Treatment?

At my Physical Therapy Clinic in Lehi, Utah, we have been seeing clients for scoliosis-specific exercise for the past 8 years and during that time, we have been trying to change the perception that nothing can be done for scoliosis.

Sure, scoliosis has been “treated” for a long time in the United States.

But proactively treating it using scoliosis exercises is fairly new – It wasn’t till around 2005 that we even really had practitioners in the Schroth Method in this country.

Prior to that, and sadly even today, the “wait and see” approach is the most common method of treating scoliosis.

The Typical “Wait And See” Approach To Scoliosis Treatment

This is how that treatment approach works.

A child comes into the doctor’s office for a well check. During the well check, the child is told to bend forward and a slight difference is noticed in the rib height on one side.

This triggers the doctor to order an x-ray which then reveals the child has scoliosis.

At this point, the doctor usually says, “Well, let’s do another x-ray in 6 months and see if it has gotten worse.”

Thus, the wait and see approach begins!

When 6 months go by, another x-ray is taken.

If the curve has gotten worse, the conversation then goes something like this, “Well, it looks like the curve got worse. Let’s do another x-ray in 6 months and see if it gets more worse. If it does, then we may need to start bracing.”

A continuation of the same approach.

As another example (one I see all the time) is a man in his 60’s who goes to his appointment with a spine surgeon.

The surgeon takes an x-ray, finds scoliosis, and suggests, “Well, when it is bad enough where you are ready for surgery, give me a call.”

(A variation on the “wait and see” approach, but basically the same).

The main problem with this approach?

It is a TOTAL lack of treatment unless it progresses to needing a brace or surgery.

Why are we still treating scoliosis in this way, especially when there is a significantly BETTER option than just waiting?

Why You Should Consider Scoliosis Exercises Which Are Proven To Work

Exercises for scoliosis are fairly new to the US, but it has been done for many decades… well, almost a century in Europe.

There are 5 methods of treating scoliosis in Europe and even some being developed in China and other countries.

You may be wondering if these are hokey pokey treatments that are “alternative” treatments like snake oil.

This is far from the truth!

For example, look at the Schroth Method.

This method has been around for 100 years, and a quick PubMed search returns 96 articles.

Sure, all of these are not of the highest quality, but there are many that are randomized controlled trials supporting the use of this method.

The SEAS Approach from Italy has also been studied, with 19 results on PubMed.

(Going more in-depth on the research behind these approaches to scoliosis treatment is beyond the scope of this blog post, but I would refer you to our Scoliosis Research page to see a breakdown of some of these articles.)

Why You’ve Not Been Recommended Scoliosis Exercises

In my visits with scoliosis surgeons, pediatricians, orthotists, and many others, I hear the concern of not having enough “supporting research” to show it is effective.

Many healthcare professionals are still on the fence about whether or not exercises for scoliosis are actually effective and worthwhile for their patients.

For the most part, this comes from a position of protecting their patients from treatments that are not effective and could delay more mainstream intervention.

The Difference Between Physical Therapy Exercises And Specialist Scoliosis-Specific Exercises 

Recent studies have shown exercise, and even general Physical Therapy, has NO EFFECT on reducing curve progression.

This much is very clear and may be looked at as proof we can’t affect the curve with exercise.


That is not considering scoliosis-specific exercise from someone trained in one of the schools of scoliosis treatment – such as the members of our expert team.

When that is taken into consideration, the research absolutely supports the use of SCOLIOSIS SPECIFIC EXERCISE to halt or reduce the progression of the curve.

Let me reiterate…

Exercise and general Physical Therapy DOES NOT affect the curve, BUT, Scoliosis Specific Exercise DOES!

That is a very important distinction.

Why We Get Results With Scoliosis Patients Who Feel Like They’ve Tried Everything

I feel like many medical providers in the US feel like all Physical Therapy is the same.

The Physical Therapy clinic down the street can treat scoliosis the same as anyone else, and since that doesn’t seem to work, then all Physical Therapy doesn’t work for it.

This is definitely a flawed way of thinking.

That is like saying all MD’s treat heart problems equally well.

If you have a heart attack, you don’t need to see a cardiologist, because your general practice doctor treats it the same.

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I have a heart attack, I would be going to the specialist…the cardiologist.


Because you will get more specific and better treatment. That is what they do and they are good at it!

The same goes for specialists in Physical Therapy.

Most Physical Therapists get 15 minutes of instruction during school on what scoliosis is and how to treat it.

On the other hand, the team at our clinic has training in scoliosis-specific treatment and hours upon hours of training, much more experience, and a track record of treating scoliosis for thousands of patients over the years.

Really, the bottom line is, YES scoliosis can be treated effectively using exercise!

But, it has to be the right kind of exercise and delivered by the right type of therapist (which is why you may have found little relief from other “general” physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors in the past).

Over the past 8 years that I have been treating scoliosis, I have seen some amazing results.

I have seen patients avoid surgery, reduce pain, and even reduce the size of their curve.

I have seen kids and adults learn how to take control of their scoliosis and not just be at the mercy of it.

Of course, this depends on a lot of factors, and we don’t see the same results with everyone, but why not do SOMETHING instead of NOTHING?

If you do nothing, then the scoliosis will do what it will.

That might be the progression of the curve to bracing or surgery, or who knows… maybe it wouldn’t have progressed anyway.


If you do something about it, like scoliosis-specific exercise, then you are more likely to stop it from getting worse and improving your future.

Besides, there is no real downside to treating scoliosis conservatively with exercises.

Sure, you might be stronger, have better body awareness, and have better posture. But who really wants that?!

It really is time we change the way we treat scoliosis in this country.

The old way of “wait and see” is not the best for our patients, and it shouldn’t be the standard of care.

There is a better way, and it is much more accessible than it once was.

Take the reins and start controlling YOUR scoliosis instead of waiting to see if it controls you.

I can’t guarantee you will see amazing results, but if you never try, I can guarantee you WON’T get amazing results.

Discover 5 Key Ways To Improve Adult Scoliosis

To help you learn more about the power of non-surgical treatments such as scoliosis exercises and the other treatment options that have allowed us to transform the lives of hundreds of adults with severe scoliosis, you can start by downloading our Free Expert Report – 5 Key Ways To Improve Adult Scoliosis.

Simply Click Here To Download Your Free Scoliosis Report

Learn About Safe, Proven Treatment Options By Speaking To Our Scoliosis Experts

You probably have a lot of unanswered questions about your scoliosis and are desperate to find out how you can treat it safely and quickly so the back pain stops, and you can avoid surgery in the future.

To help, you can arrange a Free Telephone Consultation with one of our scoliosis experts.

Unlike other doctors you’ve seen in the past, you get the chance to share your story, you’ll feel heard, and we’ll give you personalized advice and guidance on how to treat your scoliosis without braces, surgery, or masking the pain with pills.

Call us on (801) 980-0860 or click HERE to arrange your Free Telephone Consultation

More Expert Help To Ease Your Scoliosis Symptoms Quickly

Read our blog – Addressing Scoliosis Directly and Taking Control of Your Recovery

Listen to our podcast, The Scoliosis Experience Podcast, where you can learn more about all things scoliosis including surgery, bracing, support, treatment and much more.

Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram, and YouTube

Who We Help At Align Therapy

At Align Therapy, we understand that every single person’s problem is unique, which is why our first step is to get a deep understanding of what is happening to your body, and how it is effecting your life so we can create a plan that focuses on YOU and your goals.
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David Butler PT DPT

David Butler

Align Therapy

"We help people with scoliosis and spine problems avoid surgery, reduce pain, and improve posture even if you have been told to wait and see if it gets worse."
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