The Tyranny of Evidence…
Beverly Cusick, PT, MS, NDT, COF/BOC pushes back on the current culture of dependence on single-focus, short-term clinical studies that ignore the complex morbidities of cerebral palsy – and the sciences that address them.
The Cusick Center for Learning (CCL) has opened its doors!
The first program in the series The Golden Rule of Managing Pediatric Orthopedic and Motor Development is now available for your professional development – at your convenience, in a pre-recorded webinar!
In this hour-long webinar, Beverly (Billi) Cusick reviews key biomechanical and sensory-motor aspects of early postural control acquisition – the essential foundation for building competent limb use and movement skills. She then demonstrates her “golden rule” concept with two clinical cases, and provides a detailed Q&A segment based on the discussions from the original live webinar.
In conclusion, Ms. Cusick traces the timeline, mentors, and influences that led her to the development of the Golden Rule – a valuable review that ‘connects the dots’ between the contributions of numerous well-known pioneers in physical rehabilitation.
Kudos for Program 1:
I took a course from Billi over 20 years ago (Biomechanics) and it transformed my practice. Love how she integrated all the approaches (NDT, Sahrmann, Tschnarter etc..). Excellent information with clear application, and the science behind the art of postural control facilitation. It was concise, easy to follow, and packed full of golden nuggets. I actually bought Kathleen Porters book and will be sharing it with coworkers at the clinic including office staff!
Enjoyed the historical approach with references to the scientific basis behind the techniques. Good reminder of finding the balance between stability and mobility in order to enhance function.
In Program 2, Ms. Cusick discusses the biomechanical and somatosensory aspects of the developing infant’s progress after stabilizing the body center of mass in prone and supine positions. In this next phase of early movement acquisition, lying leads to rolling and body weight is displaced in the frontal plane and elevated off the surface into quadruped position. The instructor’s golden rule is applied in suggested biomechanical and somatosensory strategies for remediating deficits.
Attendees gave Program 2 a ‘thumbs up’:
It’s very difficult to get clear, concise information regarding infant motor development and I really appreciate the quality of information as well as the convenience of the presentation type.
Billi is a wealth of knowledge which she shares in a clear, concise and clinically applicable way… The webinar allows learning in 1 hours chunks of time, with the opportunity to watch again for the week that follows. The handout follows the slides exactly and can be downloaded ahead of time to maximize learning.
An Open Letter to Caretakers and Therapists for Children with Diplegic CP
Progressive GaitWays president and founder Beverly (Billi) Cusick writes:
“I’ve seen hundreds of families of children with diplegia, in consultation sessions in which I routinely undertake an orthopedic assessment and evaluate postural control, movement strategies, and existing orthoses. Common denominators have emerged that appear to operate to contribute to common problems of contracture development and recurrence, and to diminishing movement skills so often seen with advancing age in children with diplegia.
“I’ve composed the attached letter for caretakers and therapists of children with diplegia to bring them together in their understanding of the sources of many common musculoskeletal problems, and of the fundamental skills and strategies that are needed for effective remediation.”
Clinicians are welcome to download and share this letter with their colleagues, clients, and prescribing physicians.
¡Ahora disponible en español! (Translated by Ursula Ivancic, Kinesióloga Fisiatra Neurorehabilitación Pediátrica Buenos Aires, Argentina
Calendar of Events
Labs feature closely-supervised trials of several ankle and foot assessment procedures, with findings applied to orthotic posting and design. Attendees will work in groups of three with rotating assignments – practice subject, practitioner, and prompter.
Materials will be provided for 2.5 days of training in fabrication of two types of below-knee casts, and for undertaking posting trials to preview effects of proposed orthotic modifications.
Part 1: New Paradigms in Pediatric Foot & Ankle Deformity Management – A 2.5-Day Program
Part 2: LABS: Foot & Ankle Assessments, Posting Trials – A 2.5-Day Program
Target audience: This course is designed for the practitioner who has experience in working with children with CNS neuromotor dysfunction, including physical therapists, orthotists, pediatric orthopedists, and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. We believe that team education fosters more effective teamwork.
Level: Intermediate – Pre-course readings and review materials are assigned – Enrollees are expected to arrive prepared.
The content covered in this program includes the following topics:
- The emerging sciences of postural control acquisition and maintenance, including the role of the somatosensory system as it is currently understood in relation to load-bearing alignment of the torso, lower limbs, and feet.
- Foot and ankle functional anatomy, biomechanics, development, and pathomechanics in relation to body weight orientation over the base of support and to designing orthotic modifications to optimize foot development and function.
- Body weight distribution on the foot and through load-bearing joints as a causative factor in contracture formation, early onset of pain, and degenerative joint disease.
- Muscle physiology and pathophysiology in the presence of chronic use of compensatory postural control mechanisms while distinguishing spasticity from connective–tissue contractility and muscle transformation.
- Skeletal modeling mechanisms underlying the process of use-related ankle and foot development.
- Characteristics of and factors contributing to healthy foot development.
- Elements of gait development that relate to and support foot development.
- The kinesiology and pathokinesiology related to – and in support of – the safe and effective use of below-knee casts and orthotic interventions designed to improve postural alignment and control and to reduce developmental, flexible foot and ankle deformities that commonly develop in the presence of central nervous system dysfunction, hypotonia, and ligament laxity in childhood. Discussion of orthotic options includes Elaine Owen’s Tuned AFO/Footwear Combinations, heel lifting and weight-line training, orthotic posting and foot packaging principles and strategies.
- Hypoextensibility management is distinguished from the alteration of movement strategies, and includes discussions of interventions such as positioning, resting splints, manual stretching, neurolytics, and serial casting.
- Labs feature closely-supervised trials of several ankle and foot assessment procedures, with findings applied to orthotic posting and design. Assessment tools and materials will be provided for undertaking posting trials to preview effects of proposed orthotic modifications.
- Common developmental foot deformities are identified and described in terms of plane-based anatomical components. Musculoskeletal assessment procedures are reviewed as the findings lead the clinician to a systematic clinical decision-making process regarding orthotic design in terms of desired load-bearing foot and limb joint alignment, magnitude of segment enclosure, degrees of freedom provided or restrained, and posting options. Soft-tissue extensibility findings are also used in the documentation of the effects of assorted orthotic intervention strategies.
Participants completing the seminar portion of this course are expected to be able to:
- Describe, in plane-based terminology, the motions of the joints and various bones of the foot in the open and closed kinetic/kinematic chains.
- Discuss the relationship between joint alignment and related muscle function in terms of joint axis inclination, muscle and loading force vectors, lever arms, and resultant moments.
- Describe the role of the foot and ankle sensory receptors and weight distribution on the foot in the achievement and maintenance of postural control in standing and gait.
- Explain the clinical rationale for using specific assessment techniques to identify features of soft tissue extensibility, joint mobility, and structural alignment in the ankle and foot.
- Discuss the reported reliability and validity of common clinical tests for spasticity.
- Distinguish between spasticity, connective-tissue contractility, and soft-tissue transformation, and discuss management implications.
- Discuss the physiology and functional significance of R1 (first-catch) end range of motion.
- Explain the physiologic and structural changes that are known to occur in chronically over-recruited muscle and surrounding tissues following a history of recruitment for maintenance of verticality.
- Distinguish between dominance and strength within a muscle force couple.
- Upon discovering a dominant muscle, name 3 related areas of concern.
- Describe orthotic posting in sagittal and frontal planes, and discuss posting objectives.
- Discuss the purposes of weight line training in foot and ankle deformity management re proprioception and muscle recruitment strategies used for postural control.
- Name 5 features that identify a sound developing foot.
- Identify the deformities of the foot and ankle that occur most commonly in children or adults with CNS upper neuromotor dysfunction, and describe the components of illustrated deformities at each joint in plane-based terms.
- Determine whether a deformity meets the criteria for intervention with heel-posting in ankle plantarflexion, serial casting, an R-wrap© orthosis, stretch splinting, and/or positioning.
- Explain the rationale for instituting strengthening and range-maintenance measures after restoring soft tissue extensibility.
- Discuss the limitations of stretching exercise as a deformity management tool.
Participants completing the lab sessions of this course are expected to be able to:
- Demonstrate novice skill level in musculoskeletal assessment procedures of the ankle and foot in the open and closed chains.
- Bring the principles of orthotic posting to the findings obtained in assessment lab, and formulate an orthotic design plan.
- Demonstrate novice skill in undertaking an informed, targeted, temporary and exploratory posting trial.
- Participate in a workshop designed to generate ideas for promoting optimum body COM distribution over the feet in standing and walking.
New Course from Beverly Cusick PT, MS, C/NDT, COF & Susan Hastings PT, DPT, PCS!
In children born premature and those with diplegic cerebral palsy (CP), findings obtained with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have brought significant challenges to the common definition of CP as “a motor disorder caused by a static lesion to the upper motor neurons resulting in spasticity”.
Beverly Cusick, PT, MS, NDT, COF, discusses findings by researchers that question the definition and challenge the common notion that spasticity is present and that it causes contracture formation and gait pathology in children with diplegia. She discusses the confusion over the difference between increased tone and hyperreflexia and introduces some new thinking regarding EMG activity in tissues under stretch. She concludes by proposing an alternative to “spasticity reducing” interventions by addressing postural control deficits and remediation.
Susan Hastings, PT, DPT, PCS, discusses requirements for motor learning to occur, and introduces functional electrical stimulation (FES) and whole body vibration (WBV) as treatment-augmenting interventions along with supporting research.
This one-day course is a pre-requisite for either of the two follow-up lab sessions:
- Functional Electrical Stimulation for the Child with Cerebral Palsy (Hastings)
- Bringing Orthopedic Assessment Findings to Management Planning (Cusick).
Functional E-Stim Lab by Susan Hastings, PT, DPT, PCS
With the goal of simplifying electrical stimulation as a treatment modality and helping participants to gain confidence in its use, participants will use the Empi Continuum unit (provided) in teams of two. They will learn to set the unit parameters at different therapeutic levels and apply stimulation to their partner. Each participant will see and feel the differences between different settings, and between letting the unit cycle on and off (NMES) and using a hand switch to augment functional movement (FES).
Registration is limited to 20 participants who have taken the Sparking Change pre-requisite course.