Scoliosis Specific Physical Therapy 

How is this different than traditional physical therapy?

Scoliosis-specific PT is a unique 3D treatment approach that helps to elongate, de-rotate and strengthen the scoliotic spine.

It goes beyond classic core exercises as it is not a ‘one size fits all’ routine. 

*This method is not ideal for neuromuscular scoliosis due to cerebral palsy, brain trauma or other neurological origin* 

Joy Smith, PT is the first and most experienced physical therapist in the Florida Panhandle to treat scoliosis with the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy or Schroth method and is a C2 Certified Physical Therapist.

Schedule your complimentary Scoliosis Screening

Adams Forward Bend Scoliosis Test

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a “complex 3 dimensional curvature of the spine and trunk, which appears in apparently healthy children, and can progress in relation to multiple factors during any rapid period of growth or later in life.” – Dr. Manuel Rigo.

Historically, physical therapy has played a minor role in the management of scoliosis in the United States.  Patients are often advised the “wait and see” approach when diagnosed, and given few options for intervention.

Today patients and families want to take a more proactive approach in preventing curves from progressing.

Our scoliosis program offers the resources needed to comprehensively and conservatively manage scoliosis in kids, teens and adults.

Click here to read Melissa’s Scoliosis Story: “I Won’t Wait and See Anymore”

Specific scoliosis exercises are customized for YOU

This method teaches you how to:

  • Correct spinal rotation and increase lung capacity with a rotational breathing technique.
  • Help restore normal spinal position on a stable posture with breathing techniques, and stabilizing isometric contractions.
  • Improve your posture while you live your life, not just during therapy.
Scoliosis patients in treatment sessions
Three scoliosis patients at treatment session.

The Schroth method was developed in Germany in the 1920’s by Katharina Schroth who herself had moderate scoliosis and wanted a way to treat her condition. Therefore she created exercises and breathing techniques to help stop or decrease the curve of the spine. BSPTS is the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School founded by Dr. Manueo Rigo.

Schroth-Barcelona Institute Logo

The Schroth Barcelona Institute (SBI) has been teaching physical therapists the original Schroth principles and advanced concepts in scoliosis.

Conservative management with the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy method includes:

  • Improved understanding of scoliosis prevention and curve progression
  • Improved posture
  • Reduced pain
  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Improved body mechanics
  • Improved breathing
  • Improved endurance and tolerance to activities
  • Enhanced cosmetic appearance
  • Prevention (or delay) of surgery
  • Empowerment and enhanced psychological outlook
  • Improved bracing compliance/results
  • Connection to others with scoliosis

Scoliosis Success Stories

Bet you didn’t know that the gorgeous actress, Sarah Michelle Geller and the amazing Olympian athlete, Usain Bolt both have scoliosis! Looks like it didn’t stop them whatsoever from reaching for their goals.


What is Scheuermann’s  Hyperkyphosis?

It is a “structural kyphosis that typically develops during adolescence, causing the kyphotic spine to become rigid, and sometimes progresses into adulthood.” — Scoliosis Research Society.

A condition that is often referred to as the ’rounded back’ or hyperkyphosis.

This specific method will help BOTH scoliosis and Scheuermann’s by elongating and de-rotating the spine.

What to expect:

We encourage you to  schedule a complimentary in-person or Telehealth consultation, even if you’re not sure the program is right for you.  You can see the clinic, meet Joy,  and we will get to know you and answer your questions.

Whether your scoliosis is a newly diagnosed condition or one that you’ve known about for a long time, this therapy can benefit you! We sincerely look forward to being a resource of education and motivation for you.

All patients and families will be treated with compassion and respect.

The Initial Evaluation includes:

  • Past medical history review
  • Musculoskeletal evaluation
  • X-ray evaluation for classifying and understanding spinal curvature
  • Posture photos and walking video
  • Explanation of evaluation findings
  • Discussion of your goals and treatment options

Individual sessions:

before and after measurement of patient's height and improved posture
Before and After: Note the gain in height and improved posture
  • Orientation to “what is scoliosis” and rationale for exercise
  • Plan on 30-60 minute sessions
  • Treatment is recommended throughout a teen’s ‘growth spurt’ and/or 10-20 sessions
  • Education about “do’s and don’ts” of every day life – school, sports, work, etc.
  • Exercises to encourage 3-D movement control and posture correction
  • Hands-on and virtual care
  • Incrementally challenging exercises to build endurance and counteract the curve
  • Training in breathing mechanics to help the spine and improve vital capacity
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • One or more Telehealth sessions to help you use what you have in your home

Got a question about bracing? Not sure which brace you need ?

Click here to read about different types of scoliosis braces for you.

Child shown in scoliosis WCR brace

We will work with your health care practitioners to coordinate your overall care. 

If your current physician does not know about scoliosis-specific physical therapy, we are more than happy to provide information about our services. We can help you find a physician.

We can also recommend an orthotist, psychologist and/or massage therapist. We’re available to meet with professionals and offer in-services and demonstrations in an effort to increase the medical community’s awareness of conservative scoliosis management.

Call today to find out more and schedule an appointment by phone (850) 765-0213 or  online at your convenience

Have a joyful day!