S Elsaesser, AR Butler
Journal Issue: 
Volume 44: Issue 3: 2014


Scoliosis is the abnormal lateral curvature and rotation of the spine. In the past this deformity has been linked with moral depravity, as in the case of Richard III. Treatment for scoliosis began with Hippocrates’s use of boards and axial distortion. Today, bracing and surgery are used either to correct the deformity or to prevent further progression. In the past, however, exercise regimens have been used in the belief that strengthening back muscles would reduce curvature progression. This approach was pioneered by Per Henrik Ling in the early nineteenth century and was continued by his followers Mathius Roth and Franz Berwald and, most notably, by Gustav Zander. Even today a few clinics, particularly in Eastern Europe, still use exercise in the treatment of scoliosis. Whether it is effective remains debatable, but even if progression is not prevented the patient’s general health will benefit from an exercise regimen.