Prevent Injuries and Move Efficiently – Myokinematic Restoration – by CJ Conway

October 16th, 2017

I recently attended, along with other members of our physical therapy staff, a Postural Restoration Institute Myokinematic Restoration course that was held at our facility in Cherry Hill .  I know, I know, it sounds a bit confusing when put together like that but in all actuality the concepts taught to me over the weekend were simple and informative.  This article will give you some insight into what Myokinematic Restoration is and how everyone, whether you’re an athlete or someone looking to better their health and wellness, can benefit from these methods.

What is PRI and Myokinematic Restoration?

PRI is short for the Postural Restoration Institute. It is a system or group of systems that were developed by Physical Therapist Ron Hruska to help return the body to a “neutral” state.  The course I took, Myokinematic Restoration, was just one of many they offer as part of their PRI system.  Myokinematics is the study of motion, or lack of motion, produced by specific muscle force.  In short, it’s the study of muscle as it relates to movement. This course specifically talked about the pelvic region and how it’s orientation affects the muscles and joints above and below the pelvis.  This orientation of the pelvis, into what is deemed a left or right “stance” causes movement compensations that can potentially be harmful or detrimental to future athletic or health related success.  These movement compensations contribute to what is known as muscular asymmetries.

What to take away from PRI?

We as humans are very good at completing the tasks we set out to do.  Now whether we complete these tasks the right way is where the issue comes in.  We find a way to complete a task even if it means compensating with improper form or compensation by use of an external instrument.  The human body is made of compensations that allow us to continue our daily lives the way we deem fit.  These compensatory movements lead to asymmetrical muscle lengths and asymmetrical strength between agonist and antagonist muscles (muscles that create motion/ muscles that oppose that same motion) that affect our movement.  It is this asymmetrical muscle strength that leads to injuries and sets us back either athletically or daily.

A natural tendency of our body is the orientation of the lumbo-pelvic-femoral area to either the left or right from the moment we take our first breath.  This orientation causes a number of movement compensations throughout our body that are related to the onset of various injuries that we see amongst our athletic and general population.  If we can take this natural left or right orientation and return this lumbo-pelvic-femoral region to a “neutral” state, we can limit the amount of injuries encountered down the road.

What is the Goal of Myokinematic Restoration?

The goal of Myokinematic Restoration is to create symmetrical muscle strength, length, and flexibility by using specific muscle activation and inhibition techniques.  The techniques used are based on what type of asymmetries, or pelvic orientation the athlete or person has.  The idea is to not permanently change the orientation of the lumbo-pelvic-femoral area of a person but to give someone the ability to transition into either side of their body by using the proper muscles.

How can this method can help you?

Everyone develops asymmetries through life due to repeated movements throughout our daily lives.  Eventually these asymmetries if not corrected can lead to issues and injuries that will set us back.  This process gives us tests to determine what type of pattern chained person you are and what asymmetries you have developed over the years.  The test results then tell us what direction your training needs to go in order to restore those asymmetries or compensatory movement patterns.  You may not have any prior injuries or even any current injuries, but there is no harm in taking the extra step to prevent any down the road.  PRI Myokinematic Restoration is something that can help you restore symmetrical muscle strength, length, and flexibility to your body in order to help pre-existing injuries and prevent them.

Special thanks to John Herting, who has taken many if not all of the courses offered by PRI, for organizing the course and serving as a teaching assistant.  Thanks also to Matt Hinsey, one of our physical therapists from our Haddonfield clinic, and Ryan Wolff, a physical therapist from our Cherry Hill clinic for completing the course as well.  It’s inspiring to be immersed in a culture where everyone is constantly striving to make themselves better at their craft and ultimately help our patients and members be the best they can be.

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