Halting the Curve of Scoliosis
Linda Podhajsky of Waverly is a very active person. After retiring in 2009 with over 40 years spent in education and teaching, she now enjoys international travel, gardening and being involved in numerous service groups and organizations.
Linda is no stranger to the benefits of physical therapy. She has dealt with rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years. She also has degenerative arthritis and scoliosis and the resulting pain recently brought her back to Taylor Physical Therapy at Waverly Health Center.
She typically has physical therapy about once a year for eight to ten sessions over five weeks for the scoliosis. “I can tell I need therapy when I can barely walk and cannot stand up correctly,” Linda stated.
Scoliosis is a condition that makes the spine (backbone) curve sideways, like the letter “S” or “C.” Often, the spine also twists so the back is not flat. If the spine twists, one side of the back sticks out more than the other.
Schroth Method and Scoliosis
“This is the first time I had Maranda as my therapist,” stated Linda. Maranda Chapin, DPT, ATC, Taylor Physical Therapy, was recently certified in the Schroth Method, a physical therapy approach to scoliosis treatment. It uses exercises tailored for each person to return the curved spine to a more natural position. The goal of Schroth exercises is to de-rotate, stretch and stabilize the spine through physical therapy that focuses on three areas:
Scoliosis causes breathing problems, so Maranda worked with Linda on breathing techniques, an important part of the Schroth Method. These techniques help rotate the spine to help reshape the rib cage and surrounding soft tissue.
- Restoring Muscular Balance and Alignment of Posture
Linda had traction and did exercises for her core and back. She was also assigned strengthening exercises to do at home to keep the scoliosis in check.
- Teaching Posture Awareness
Schroth exercises target the core and trunk. The positioning of the entire body is also taken into account to create a stable, corrected posture. Maranda worked with Linda on standing correctly. “She had me ‘march’ to help my posture,” Linda shared. “It was such a reminder of my high school marching band days that I had fun and it really helped me maintain proper posture. I’ve learned so much about the importance of posture and alignment.”
Enjoying Activities Again
“Maranda really listened and learned about my activities and would then come up with ideas to help me do them more effectively. She even had tips to help with proper positioning when I do tasks such as vacuuming,” Linda shared.
“I have extensive gardens and landscaping and enjoy ‘playing in the dirt.’ That’s my happy place in good weather. Maranda helped me to get back to the activities that I enjoy,” Linda shared.
“Maranda would physically demonstrate everything, including getting down on the floor and showing me how to do something, while explaining. She made therapy fun, if you can imagine! She’s a gem!”
“Linda was such a joy to work with. The best part of Linda’s rehab was seeing her progress each week and listening to her say she is now able to perform activities around her home and outdoors without having to think about every movement pattern,” stated Maranda. “As a therapist, there is nothing better than helping my patients meet their goals and achieve things they have been trying to accomplish.”
“We are lucky to have Taylor Physical Therapy. They know their stuff and are fun, caring people,” Linda concluded.