Pilates Adaptations for People with Scoliosis

Supporting the Teachings of the Schroth Method

Discover ways to work with Scoliosis clients safely and effectively with Schroth-Barcelona Certified Therapists Lise Stolze and Hagit Berdishevsky.

[COURSE EXCERPT] Hagit Berdishevsky describes how to address the scoliosis lumbar transitional zone in Pilates exercise.

May 3-5 in New York

Why should you take this course?

You will learn efficient techniques to work with clients with Scoliosis as well as a background on the topic.

By the end of this 3 day course, you will:

Understand pathogenesis/pathomechanism theories of Idiopathic Scoliosis (IS), Adult degenerative scoliosis and thoracic hyperkyphosis

Understand basic history, theory and research behind PSSE and the Schroth Method, a practice limited in scope of practice to physical therapists

 Understand basic curve types

Have the skills to provide an overall assessment of the Pilates client with scoliosis to determine best exercise selection 

Improve breathing strategies for the client with scoliosis and thoracic hyper-kyphosis

Have the skills to modify Pilates Mat exercises for the client with scoliosis and thoracic hyper-kyphosis to support safe spinal alignment 

Understand how Mat modifications can transfer to Pilates apparatus exercises 

Understand scope of practice and how the PSSE/Schroth trained physical therapist and Pilates instructor can collaborate for the benefit of the client with scoliosis and thoracic hyper-kyphosis

Idiopathic scoliosis (IS) is a spine deformity resulting in abnormal spine mechanics during movement and exercise. This 3 day course provides guidelines for selecting safe fitness exercises for people with IS, adult degenerative scoliosis and hyper-kyphosis. Theory and evidence supporting Physiotherapy Scoliosis Specific Exercise (PSSE) including the Schroth Method is presented to inform Pilates Mat exercise recommendations. Dynamic skills labs focus on assessment of the Pilates client. While this course is not a Schroth Method training, it provides the Pilates/Fitness instructor the education and information necessary to collaborate with Schroth therapists and other scoliosis health care professionals for the benefit of the client with scoliosis and hyperkyphosis. Mat Pilates exercises are the focus of this course but prior Pilates experience is not necessary. An apparatus demonstration on day 3 will help the student understand how Mat adaptations can be transferred to Pilates apparatus. 

Format: 1:1 Lecture /Lab

Disclaimer: This course does not provide training in the Schroth Method and consequently does not authorize students to promote themselves as having training in the Schroth Method. 


"Hagit’s expertise in many areas including Schroth is unique and is rare."

–Tania, Scoliosis client

"Great course with amazing instructors, fantastic hosts!"

–Marcee M., Participant and Physical Therapist

Dr. Berishevsky and Dr. Stolze

Hagit Berdishevsky, PT, DPT, Cert. McKenzie (MDT), Schroth-BSPTS Educator, is Director of Clinical Academic Research with Columbia Orthopedics at Columbia University Medical Center, Chair of the Education Committee of the International Society on Scoliosis Orthopoedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) and owner of the Scoliosis and Spine Physical Therapy Clinic in New York City. She specializes in scoliosis and spine rehabilitation for non-operative, pre-operative and post-operative patients of all ages. Dr. Berdishevsky graduated in 1998 from the Wingate Institute’s Physical Education and Sports Science Program in Israel with a specialty in Postural Defects Cultivation. She received her Master’s degree in physical therapy from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, in 2005, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from St. Augustine University (Florida) in 2013, specializing in sports rehabilitation. She worked for 10 years at the Hospital for Special Surgery as an Advanced Clinician. In 2009 Dr. Berdishevsky became certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (MDT) by the McKenzie institute. She was certified as a Schroth scoliosis therapist by the Asklepios Katherina-Schroth Clinic in Germany in 2009 and by the Barcelona Scoliosis Physical Therapy School (BSPTS) in Spain in 2011. Hagit became a teacher trainer for BSPTS in 2013. She regularly presents to therapists, surgeons and physiatrists on the Schroth Method, osteoporosis and core stabilization. In addition to the basic and advanced courses she offers to train physical therapists in the Schroth Method, she has co-developed and co-teaches Pilates Adaptation for People with Scoliosis and Integrated Wisdom: Yoga Adaptation for People with Scoliosis. She regularly lectures on the topics of scoliosis, spine care, osteoporosis and core stability at conferences and to community groups. Based in New York City, Dr. Berdishevsky teaches and lectures throughout the United States and Internationally.

Dr. Lise Stolze earned her master’s degree in physical therapy (MPT) in 1993 and her doctor of science degree (DSc) in orthopedics in 2011. Her research on low back pain and Pilates has been published in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy.

She has extensive post graduate education in manual therapies including joint mobilization, manipulation, soft tissue mobilization and Trigger Point Dry Needling (TPDN). She is a certified scoliosis therapist through the Schroth Barcelona Institute and the SEAS method.  

Lise is a principal educator for Polestar Pilates Education and is certified through The Pilates Method Alliance. She holds a certification in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She is owner of Stolze Therapies in Denver Colorado.

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