The PRI Vision Story

What is PRI Vision? Here’s Our Story

Ron Hruska, MPA, PT, has spent many years developing the science of Postural Restoration. Ron dedicated himself to studying the causes of chronic pain and discomfort that can occur in any part of the human body. What he found was that their seems to be several common dysfunctional ways that humans use their muscles and joints and that over time these become ingrained into our nervous system and become permanent adaptations. These are evident in the way a person stands, walks, sits, plays a sport or an instrument, uses a computer, or in many other daily activities. Over years of testing many theories, it was discovered that specific movement problems were seen over and over in his patients and these movement problems were predictable. Also discovered was the fact that the mind and body would adapt to these movement problems. Ron was able to study these adaptations very closely and discover ways to eliminate them consistently with results that exceeded traditional physical therapy. Today, Ron’s theories and Postural Restoration science are becoming more recognized throughout the world of physical therapy. Ron and his associates teach the Postural Restoration approach to physical therapists and other clinicians such as occupational therapists, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, sports medicine doctors, and many others throughout the United States and internationally through the Postural Restoration Institute ® (PRI). What is PRI Vision? Keep Reading.

Even with all the success the Postural Restoration Institute® trained therapists have had in treating the toughest cases, there were still some patients that just couldn’t become and/or remain symptom-free. They would continue to demonstrate the same dysfunctional patterns of movement, as if they were “stuck” there. Ron was getting more and more referrals from across the country from other therapists that needed something else. The question was….what?

Dr. Heidi Wise, FCOVD has been working in the area of vision rehabilitation, neuro-optometry and vision training for the past 9 years. Ron approached Dr. Heidi because of her background working with motor skills of the visual system, how the brain processes visual information, and vision rehabilitation. The two began to work side-by-side testing how eyeglass prescription changes affect the body’s joints, muscles and movement patterns, and why these affects seem to be so dramatic. From there they began to discover what conditions can be helped with this knowledge. The Dynamic Integrated Vision Assessment or DIVA (funny right?) was developed and has become the staple diagnostic tool used at PRI Vision. What they have been finding ever since is that people can achieve unbelievable results and improvements across a wide range of physical problems when they applied this science in very specific ways. Long story short…..in 2011 PRI Vision was born!

PRI Vision is a powerful health care model that is a result of the integration or ‘fusion’ of the professions of physical therapy and behavioral/neuro-optometry. The PRI Vision process works because of a couple of overlying scientific concepts. First, approximately 70% of the human brain is wired to the vision system and a significant portion of that wiring has nothing to do with how clearly we see. The parts of the brain and nervous system affected by vision are many and include areas of human behavior, control of muscles of the neck and spine that are responsible for posture, and many others that are not fully understood yet. These functions are completely automatic and outside of our conscious control. Second, it has been noted by previous research within behavioral and neuro-optometry that there is a direct relationship between vision, body posture and human movement, and this relationship gives us an opportunity to help people in ways never imagined before.

Through years of theorizing, collaborating on patients, and trial and error, Dr. Heidi and Ron have found that this relationship between the eyes and the body can be predictably controlled and manipulated by the use of prescription eyeglass lenses. In addition, they have discovered that when they use a very specific and specialized eyeglass prescription along with a patient-specific program of PRI exercises, the brain and nervous system seem to re-wire themselves and this new nervous function can become permanent for long term results. The simplest way to explain how PRI Vision works is to say that we can purposely turn off muscles that are over-active and tight (called too much extension tone), and turn on muscles that are under performing and weak. This is true for muscles from your head all the way down to your feet. This rewiring allows the patient to override their dysfunctional way of moving and doing things. Although some activities may encourage them to go back to the old pattern, the change in the way the brain communicates with the muscles allows them to not get “stuck” there. The actual neurology is much more complicated than that, but we know that by decreasing muscular tension and musculoskeletal imbalance, PRI Vision treatments are decreasing pain and improving physical performance in a wide range of patients, from world class athletes to the elderly and children without drugs or surgery. Furthermore, we believe that future musculoskeletal problems may be avoided by helping the patient function more efficiently and with less stress on the nervous system and body in general. We have already been successful at treating a myriad of conditions such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, foot and ankle pain, dizziness and balance problems, poor sleep patterns, fibromyalgia-type symptoms, jaw and facial pain, and even chronic fatigue. We are excited to help you do the things you love without limitations and decreased enjoyment. If you’d like to learn more contact us.