The Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) was established to explore and explain the science of postural adaptations, asymmetrical patterns and the influence of polyarticular chains of muscles. Our mission is based on the development of an innovative treatment that addresses the primary contributions of postural kinematic movement dysfunction.
We are committed to the ongoing search for improved pathways of physical medicine. PRI creates resources, educational opportunities, patient-care programs and research to assist those who wish to maximize their knowledge and skill in respiration, myokinematics, neuromuscular applications and postural imbalances.
The human body is not symmetrical. The neurological, respiratory, circulatory, muscular and ocular systems differ on each side of the body with different responsibilities, functions, positions and demands. The asymmetry balances the body—for example—the torso is balanced with a liver on the right and a heart on the left.
PRI trained therapists recognize these imbalances and typical patterns associated with system disuse or weakness that develops because of dominant overuse. This dominant overuse of one side of the body can develop from other system unilateral overuse.
This asymmetry compliments the special functions of the two sides of the brain. Although the two hemispheres of the brain share responsibilities for some functions, each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. PRI trained therapists understand how the two hemispheres of the brain affect the balance of the body.
When these imbalances are not regulated by reciprocal function during walking, breathing or turning, a strong pattern emerges creating structural weaknesses, instabilities or musculo-skeletal pain syndromes. All PRI trained therapists incorporate reciprocal function to balance muscle activity around the sacrum (pelvis), the sternum (thorax) and the sphenoid (middle of the head).
Different factors can all influence asymmetrical tendencies and patterns. Other animals have their own tendencies. Toads use their right forepaw more than their left, chimpanzees hold a branch up with the left hand and pick the fruit with their right hand, and humans usually balance their center of gravity over their right leg. PRI trained therapists recognize the common, integrated patterns of human stance like extremity use, respiratory function, vestibular imbalance, mandibular orientation and foot dynamics and correct these patterns through exercise programs.
Posture is a reflection of the “position” of many systems that are regulated, determined and created through limited functional patterns. These patterns reflect our ability and inability to breathe, rotate, and rest, symmetrically with the left and right hemispheres of our axial structure.
“Limited functional patterns” refers to movement that is restricted in directions, planes or normal boundaries of functional range, as a result of improper joint, muscle, and mediastinum rest position. Function is therefore limited because soft tissue and osseous restrictions prevent one from using muscles and joints in their normal range. Adaptation and compensation for these limitations require neuromotor encoding and hyperactivity of muscle that is placed in improper positions that exceed normal physiological length, or in positions that make them a mover or counter-mover in planes and directions that are not observed when one is in a neutral or more symmetrical state of rest. This compensatory activity and hyperactivity usually becomes dysynchronous in the accessory muscles of respiration and at the appendicular flexors and axial extensors, thus limiting functional rotation at the trunk and through the lumbo-pelvic-femoral and cranial-mandibular-cervical complex. - Ron Hruska Jr., MPA, PT