The Postural Restoration Institute – Background and Application

I was recently in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) to go through their credentialing program. In order to sit for the exam, they require completion of certain courses and an application that includes case studies, articles reviews, and exercise application. In addition, the application reviewers provide feedback and follow up questions that must be completed. This process was an incredible learning experience and helped make me a better clinician.  Postural Restoration is a form of physical therapy treatment that encompasses the entire body. The focus of the treatment is to find and correct common postural patterns found in the human body. PRI defines posture as ‘a reflection of the “position” of many systems that are regulated, determined and created through limited functional patterns. The human body is not symmetrical and this influences the way we stand, sit, walk, rest, rotate and breathe.  This asymmetry exists throughout the neurological, respiratory, circulatory, muscular, and vision systems. This is an amazing design and is balanced through reciprocal movement and system imbalances. When these normal imbalances are not regulated, strong patterns can emerge. Focusing on the underlying patterns can help to effectively treat the patient and prevent further injury. Some visible signs of these imbalances can include walking with little or no arm swing on the right, elevated anterior ribs on the left, asymmetry of the head and face, a favorable standing position on their right leg while rotating their upper body to the left, or one or both legs turning out while standing or lying. PRI has their own objective tests to determine the underlying patterns of patients and has exercises to restore right and left system balances and pain free reciprocal and alternating movement. During new patient evaluations, tests will determine these underlying patterns and based on the findings, certain manual and non-manual techniques will be performed. Due to the asymmetry of the body, many exercises will only be performed on one side. Kasha Stevenson, PT, DPT, PRC, CSCS  Progress Physical Therapy – University City