July 11


The Schroth Method: A Promising Approach for Treating Pectus Excavatum

By m.firehammer

July 11, 2023

Pectus excavatum Explained:

Pectus excavatum, commonly known as sunken or funnel chest, is a congenital deformity of the chest wall that causes the breastbone to sink inward. It can lead to various physical and psychological challenges for affected individuals. While surgical intervention is often recommended for severe cases, conservative treatments like the Schroth method have shown promising results in managing mild to moderate cases of pectus excavatum. This article explores the usage of the Schroth method as a non-invasive approach to improve the symptoms and quality of life for those with this condition.

Understanding the Schroth Method:

The Schroth method, originally developed in the 1920s by Katharina Schroth, is a conservative treatment approach primarily used for scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. However, it has also been found to be beneficial for individuals with pectus excavatum. The method focuses on posture correction, spinal stabilization, and breathing exercises.

Posture Correction:

The Schroth method emphasizes correcting faulty posture associated with the sunken or funnel chest condition. Specific exercises and techniques are taught to individuals, promoting the elongation of the spine and opening of the chest. These exercises aim to address muscular imbalances, improve alignment, and gradually reduce the appearance of the sunken chest.

Spinal Stabilization:

The Schroth method utilizes exercises that help stabilize the spine and improve overall body symmetry. By targeting specific muscle groups, the method aims to strengthen the weaker muscles, reduce spinal curvature, and enhance postural control. Correcting spinal alignment is important in minimizing the visual impact of this condition and its associated functional limitations.

Breathing Exercises:

Proper breathing plays a crucial role in the Schroth method. Individuals are taught diaphragmatic breathing techniques to expand the chest cavity and improve lung capacity. These exercises help optimize respiratory function and enhance the mobility of the ribcage. By improving breathing mechanics, the Schroth method can help individuals with the sunken chest condition achieve better lung expansion and increased oxygenation.

Benefits and Efficacy:

Several studies have examined the effectiveness of the Schroth method in the management of pectus excavatum. While research specific to this condition is limited compared to scoliosis, the available evidence suggests potential benefits. The Schroth method has been shown to improve chest wall mobility, enhance lung function, correct postural abnormalities, and alleviate associated discomfort. Additionally, it can contribute to a positive body image and improved self-confidence in individuals with this condition.

Complementary Approach:

It's important to note that the Schroth method is typically used as a complementary treatment alongside other interventions for pectus excavatum, such as physical therapy or orthotic bracing. The severity of the condition and individual factors should be taken into consideration when determining the most suitable treatment plan.


The Schroth method offers a non-invasive and conservative approach for managing sunken funnel chest. By focusing on posture correction, spinal stabilization, and breathing exercises, this method aims to alleviate the physical and psychological burdens associated with this chest wall deformity. While further research is needed to establish its long-term efficacy, early findings indicate that the Schroth method can contribute to improved symptoms and overall quality of life for individuals with pectus excavatum. At Integrated Physical Therapy & Pilates, we are experienced in this method and can help determine its suitability and guide individuals in achieving the best possible outcomes.

Resource on treating Pectus Excavatum


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