Our own, Jean Massé, PT, DPT, PRC, OCS, ATC is an adjunct professor at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She teaches physical therapy students about chronic pain, scoliosis and diagnosis. Over the years of her teaching at UNC Chapel Hill, she has had many students approach her with their own chronic pain problems. Student reports range from prior accidents and trauma, poor positioning while studying, to nagging injuries from high school sports and collegiate extracurricular athletic activities.
We decided to host a student day at our clinic to help these students better manage their posture related chronic pain and dysfunction. Twelve eager UNC Physical Therapy students came to Advance Physical Therapy on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in June and attended a lecture about the philosophies of managing posture and pain from the Postural Restoration Institute® (PRI). They each allowed us to assess them with Postural Restoration assessment measures to help us identify problematic postural patterns at their pelvis, rib cage and head. We continually see problems at these central areas of the body routinely associated with reactive problems at the jaw, neck, arms, legs and feet. After the lecture and individual testing, we divided the larger group up according to similar postural patterns for demonstration of concepts and performance of some unique Postural Restoration exercises.
We received enthusiastic and helpful feedback from the students. We hope to have sparked an interest in them to want to learn more about considering the whole body when treating chronic pain and dysfunction. The students weren’t the only ones who benefited though. They allowed us to take turns assessing their patterns with our specific tests and measures. We then compared each clinician’s results for discussion and to better hone our clinical measurement skills. It was a tremendously valuable experience for all involved and reminds us to never stop learning, improving and sharing knowledge to help both patients and therapists alike.