Breathing Better: The Respiratory Benefits of Standing for People with SCI

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Course Description:

People with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D) are commonly subject to various levels of pulmonary dysfunction depending on the neurological level of their injury. It has been documented that these individuals can improve their pulmonary function with Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT). It has also been shown that being upright is beneficial for people with SCI/D, these benefits include strengthening of their secondary respiratory muscles, improved postural alignment, reduced muscle spasticity, reduced joint contractures and muscle shortening, improved gastrointestinal and renal function. This course will explore the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system, the effects of SCI on the respiratory system and the types of clinical assessment and interventions that are necessary to prepare for assuming standing and what activities are most effective for maximizing respiratory function for people with SCI/D.

Presenter(s) Information:

Lawrence Harding PT, MSPT, is the Director of Fitness at The Axis Project, based in New York City. Axis is a post rehabilitation multidisciplinary center that helps to empower people with long-term physical disabilities, living independently in their communities, and gives them effective tools to pursue and maintain healthy and active lifestyles.

He is the President of Spinal Mobility and the developer of the Spinal Mobility technique, a novel manual therapeutic intervention designed to address trunk weakness due to neurological conditions, including Spinal Cord Injury. Since 2014, he has introduced the technique and provided hands-on clinical workshops to many rehabilitative and academic institutions and rehabilitation conferences in the New York Tri-State area and throughout the country.

He teaches at Hunter College, CUNY and regularly lectures at PT schools in New York. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP).Most recently, he is the winner of the 2021 Academy of Neurological Physical Therapy Award for Excellence in SCI Care or Service. Since 1993, he has been a member of Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, a post-modern dance company based in Brooklyn, NYC.

Maryann M. Girardi, PT, DPT, ATP
Clinical Education@Altimate Medical

Maryann Girardi received her Bachelor of Science in physical therapy degree from the University of Lowell, Lowell, MA, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA. She is also a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP). For over 30 years she has worked with adults and pediatrics with complex neurological conditions in home, school, in-patient and outpatient acute rehab settings. She has used DME to augment her treatment, enabling patients to have the support and positioning they need for participation in meaningful activities and improve/maintain musculoskeletal function.

She has presented at the local, national, and international level, on a variety of topics including service delivery, seating prescription, development of patient specific seating systems and therapeutic interventions for children with CHARGE Syndrome.

Course Credit information:

1 Contact Hour course

Must complete post-course survey/quiz to receive CEU certificate

The University of Pittsburgh, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology Continuing Education (RSTCE) is certifying the educational contact hours of this program and by doing so is in no way endorsing any specific content, company, or product. The information presented in this program may represent only a sample of appropriate interventions). Each person should claim only those hours of credit that they actually spent in the educational activity.
.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be awarded to individuals for attending 1 hours of instruction.