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Abstract: Poster 147 improvement in balance with structural integration (rolfing): A controlled case series in persons with myofascial pain

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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Sep;85(9):E34. Thomas W. Findley, MD, PhD (VA Med Ctr, East Orange, NJ); Karen Quigley, PhD; Miriam Maney, MA; Hans Chaudhry, PhD; Ismailu Agbaje, MD, PhD, e-mail: findletw@njneuromed.org. [No authors listed] DISCLOSURE: T.W. Findley, None; K. Quigley, None; M. Maney, None; H. Chaudhry, None; I. Agbaje, None.

SETTING: Private practice. Patient: Structural integration developed by Ida Rolf is a 10-wk organized approach of manual therapy to analyze and adjust tension in the body's fascial layers, directed at changing the structural alignment of the body in the upright position to allow it to function better and adapt to outside forces, particularly gravity, environment, and psychologic stresses. The components of the body must be in proper distribution and balance for economical movement with minimal stress. As a result of physical trauma or emotional stress, muscles and other tissues become displaced with compensatory adaptations of other muscles and fascial connections, often at distant points in the body. Through shortening and thickening of connective tissue and habitual patterns of movement, these muscular changes become chronic and involuntary. This study quantifies a subjective sense of increased stability reported after structural integration.

Case Description: 12 persons with myofascial pain seeking structural integration were tested with NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test (SOT) initially and after 10 weekly sessions; 12 healthy controls and 15 persons with chronic fatigue syndrome were tested at least 8wk apart with no intervention.

Assessment/Results: The normative average +/- SD was 80+/-5. 10/12 patients had initial balance scores below 70; of those who completed the intervention, 6 with abnormal balance scores improved an average of 17 points and 2 with normal balance scores did not change; overall, balance SOT score improved by 12+/-10 points. The 5 control subjects with initial balance scores below 70 improved by 6+/-10 points; overall, the 27 controls improved 2.9+/-7 points. Discussion: Patient improvement was 2.5 times greater than test-retest improvements in the 2 control groups.

Conclusions: Structural integration for persons with below normal balance is accompanied by demonstrable improvement in standing balance. PMID: 15376046 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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