Introduction: The promising results of Schroth scoliosis-specific exercises for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis found in low-quality studies will be strengthened by confirmation in a randomised controlled trial. Research questions: 1. Are Schroth exercises combined with standard care for 6 months more effective than standard care alone in improving radiographic and clinical outcomes for adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis? 2. Will the outcomes of the control group (who will be offered Schroth therapy delayed by 6 months) improve after 6 months of Schroth therapy? 3. Are the effects maintained 6 months after discontinuing the supervised intervention? Design: This is an assessor-blinded and statistician-blinded randomised controlled trial with transfer of the controls to the exercise group after 6 months. Participants and setting: Two hundred and fifty-eight consecutive adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis, aged 10 to 16 years, treated with or without a brace, with curves between 10 and 45 deg Cobb and Risser sign ≤ 3 will be recruited from three scoliosis clinics. Intervention: Combined with standard care, the Schroth group will receive five individual training sessions, followed by weekly group classes and daily home exercises for 6 months. Control: Controls will only receive standard care consisting of observation or bracing, and will be offered Schroth therapy 6 months later. Measurements: Curve severity (Cobb angle) and vertebral rotation will be assessed from radiographs at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Secondary clinical outcomes (back muscle endurance, surface topography measures of posture, and self-reported perceived spinal appearance and quality of life) will be assessed at baseline, and every 3 months until 1-year follow-up. Analysis: Data will be analysed using intention-to-treat linear mixed models. Discussion: The results will demonstrate whether Schroth exercises combined with standard of care can improve outcomes in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. This study has potential to influence clinical practice worldwide, where exercises are not routinely prescribed for adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis.
Schreiber, S., Parent, E. C., Hedden, D. M., Moreau, M., Hill, D., & Lou, E. (2014, December 1). Effect of Schroth exercises on curve characteristics and clinical outcomes in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Journal of Physiotherapy. Australian Physiotherapy Association. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2014.08.005