University of Utah Idependent Study

In the fall of 2017, Jen was contacted by Jessica Tidswell, PT, ATC, SCS, PRT, assistant professor for the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training programs at the University of Utah. We have requests for information, providers, course questions and many other inquires on a daily basis, but the request Jess had was different. She has the pleasure of working closely with the graduate athletic training students, and instructs several graduate courses while remaining clinically active through the University. She typically offers an Independent study as part of this course work and had a strong desire to somehow include PRI concepts as part of her 2017 fall semester. Jess has taken several PRI courses including all three primary courses as home studies, and after her conversation with Jen it was determined that our home study would be the perfect fit. Jess decided to focus the entire semester’s independent study on Pelvis Restoration. We were thrilled to have our course be the focus of a graduate level review and after a few more conversations with Jess, we had them up and running. Not only was this the first time the Home Study was used in this way, but she later decided to follow-up the fall semester this spring with the Myokinematic Restoration course for another semester long independent study. Jess is a pioneer in more ways than one. Receiving a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2002, Jess was clinically active for several years before deciding something was missing. Her background and passion in Exercise Science and Athletic Training led her to return to school, as a student, seeking her second Bachelor’s degree in Athletic training. Jess recently completed her PRT credentialing and is the first DPT, ATC to be credentialed in our  Postural Restoration Trained™ (PRT) credentialing program. Highlights from several of the students who were a part of this Independent study can be read below, and an interview of PRT Jessica Tidswell can be read HERE.

Thank you to Jess, and the students from the University of Utah, who continue to seek a better understanding of our science, and make these semester reviews a success. If any educators are interested in setting up similar Independent Study courses, please feel free to contact me!

Student Reviews:

Upon signing up for this semester-long independent study Pelvis Restoration home study course, how much knowledge of Postural Restoration® did you have if any? If this was your first exposure to the science, what stood out the most to you about this novel way of looking at human asymmetry?

“This was my first exposure to Postural Restoration, and being able to look at postural muscles in a different way and how they affect the innominate bones changed the way I treat my athletes and improved my outcomes.” - Bryan Erspamer, ATC

“Prior to signing up for the independent study, I had previously taken the in-person postural respiration course. I was first exposed to PRI from an athletic trainer and mentor during my first job after graduating from undergrad. It immediately peaked my interests due to its holistic view of the human body. The concepts described by the institute on how our inherent asymmetries relate to dysfunction were initially hard to grasp as a young clinician. However, the more I asked questions and critically applied the science, the more that I knew this was going to be an essential part of my career. Initially, much of my treatment focus was on the location of the injury itself. The Postural Restoration Institute provided the big picture and not only altered how I care for my patients, but also totally revamped the way I view human anatomy.” - Chris Michaels, LAT, ATC

“The semester-long independent study of Pelvis Restoration was the first time I had been introduced to PRI. I appreciated how the PRI approach has a strong focus on the kinetic chain bilaterally. PRI showed a unique perspective to optimize total body function by addressing the inhibition and facilitation needs on each side of the body individually.” - Julia Villani, ATC

As you got closer to the end of the semester did the course material challenge your thinking, or way of looking at certain injuries or dysfunction, that you encounter as an Athletic Trainer? What are some of the ways that you plan on implementing this material, or how do you see this material being utilized in your setting in the future.

“PRI changed the way I treated my athletes, I went from using a lot of muscle energy techniques for short term relief, to putting athletes on PRI programs to actually resolve the underlying issues. Working with hockey players, I see a lot of chronic hip and low back pain. Due to the mechanics of skating hockey players are prone to being in a PEC pattern, so I see myself using PRI on a broader scale in the future, implementing these techniques team wide.” - Bryan Erspamer, ATC

“The course material throughout the semester was both challenging and eye opening. Learning about the intricacies of pelvic motion, how pelvic position relates to asymmetry and dysfunction, and how I can use the Postural Restoration® science to make a long term impact on my patients was career altering. I work with college softball players and often times they complain of shoulder pain, but after taking a more extensive history, I learn that they also suffer from chronic low back and/or knee pain. While doing exercises on the lower extremity as part of an upper extremity rehabilitation program can often seem strange to my athletes, after taking the pelvis course, I know that this approach is essential for long term, total body health. In the future, I hope to implement PRI as a part of my pre-participation physical examinations to screen my athletes and get them started on a Postural Restoration® program prior to competition.” - Chris Michaels, LAT, ATC

“Absolutely, my view of overuse injuries and dysfunctional movement has changed. Now, I not only address the chief compliant but I take a much more detailed look at the pelvis and how it may be influencing the issue. I plan on incorporating PRI techniques in most of, if not all of my overuse injuries and dysfunctional movements. I have yet to find an athlete that would not benefit from some level of PRI exercise.” - Julia Villani, ATC

Overall would you recommend an independent study PRI home study course to other graduate students? How did your view of the science of Postural Restoration® change from the beginning of the semester, once you had completed the course? (Any additional feedback or comments are welcomed below)

“I would absolutely recommend a directed independent study focused on PRI to any graduate level AT. I feel that this was the best way to be introduced to PRI as we had Jess directing us and always willing to answer any questions we might have had. The environment also allowed us to work together as graduate students and better understand the language, the science, and the implementation of PRI. As the semester progressed and I got more of a grasp on the concepts and science behind PRI, I was able to start implementing PRI programs in the clinic. In the independent study set up, I was always able to address any questions or problems I might have had with Dr. Tidswell.” - Bryan Erspamer, ATC

I would strongly recommend the independent study PRI home study course to other graduate students. Taking this course alongside my classmates has created a collaborative learning experience that extends beyond the classroom. Throughout the semester, my classmates and I would meet in the clinic to either talk through questions we had from the course, or practice the special tests and exercises we learned during class time. I think the best part of taking this course as an independent study was that even once the class ended, a sort of PRI culture was created amongst the students who took the class. We all still make a point to check in with one another to discuss how we are applying the material and how we might be able to improve the way we utilize the concepts with our patients. We also have an online group where we share research, videos, and other useful material related to PRI. The independent study PRI home study course has fostered an environment of continuous learning and has changed the way we treat our patients.” - Chris Michaels, LAT, ATC

“I have no hesitation recommending a home study course to other graduate students. In my experience, newly certified athletic trainers have a limited number of tools in their toolbox to address overuse injuries and dysfunctional movement. This course not only helped me deepen my knowledge of pelvic anatomy, but also how imbalances in the core and pelvis reflect through the kinetic chain.” - Julia Villani, ATC


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