Last week, from Monday 12 to Friday 17, I hosted in Barcelona, for the first time, an International BSPTS Rigo Concept PSSE Level I. It was not the first International Level I in the world but in Barcelona, so the first I had the chance to conduct after everything was closed due to the COVID 19.
Six participants attended the course, three from the Russian Federation, one from Slovenia, one from Israel and one from Colombia (living and working in the USA).
This was a very special moment for all of us. My last course in Barcelona was in September 2019, and it was a C1 still from the old Educational Plan. This Level I, considered to be the second step in the current way to get a Final Rigo Concept PSSE Certification, is a six day course with the main objective of introducing the concept and technique using unloading starting positions and integration in loading positions. All the attendants were aware about the complexity and difficulties in treating patients with scoliosis, in this first step mostly Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. The concept is theoretically very logical if you understand about the 3D nature of Idiopathic Scoliosis, but the technique and the way to teach the children with scoliosis to get the best possible 3D postural correction and stability with the maximum economy, preventing compensations and imbalance, is really a difficult task. The physiotherapist will need a relatively long learning curve, which has to be supervised throughout the coming Levels II and III and in between. This suppose a big difference with the old program, where physiotherapists got a BSPTS certification after a simple 10 day course, the C1. We know this new program will reduce significantly the number of participants coming into the BSPTS. The way to get the certification is longer and relevantly more exigent. But the main objective is Education, in other words, quality rather than quantity. We do not need really many physiotherapist working in this field but highly educated physiotherapist ready to work forming part of Interdisciplinary Scoliosis Working Teams.
The participants in this first Level I in Barcelona registered and participated in this course with a high understanding of this purpose and a big motivation to become physiotherapists with higher level of knowledge and skills in treating children and adults with scoliosis. They were highly satisfied and I personally was fully satisfied too with their attitude during the course. After so many years conducting courses I felt for the first time that ALL the participants came with a clear and clean objective of getting education, not just with the intention to get a piece of paper to fix on their walls to use a ‘name’ with many different purposes.
This is BSPTS Rigo Concept PSSE. This is not ‘Schroth’. We are leaving back the name ‘Schroth’. We are giving education to use specific physiotherapy, in other words, PSSE. And we want, once more, to remain everybody, patients, families and colleagues, that using a simple ‘name’ for treatment guaranty nothing. The human factor is essential and in the treatment of scoliosis, following the SOSORT philosophy, related to the ‘Interdisciplinary working team’, is much more important that any specific ‘Name’. This is our claim: ‘Patients, families’, do not look for specific treatment ‘Names’ but look for good ‘Interdisciplinary Teams’; colleagues, do not prescribe ‘Names’ but derivate patients and families to good ‘Interdisciplinary Teams’ or in case you want really to participate in this complex filed of non-surgical treatment of scoliosis, take part of, or start an Interdisciplinary Team, be patient, make your learning curve and remember always that ‘Treating a confirmed scoliosis with real potential for progression becomes a constant and unpleasant lesson of humility’.
Physiotherapy, as a part of a comprehensive scoliosis care model, can produce benefits when it is used properly and with correct indications, but it has clear limitations. During the last decade I have noted that the breach between the limited but important benefits offered by physiotherapy and the expectations of the patients, families and also colleagues, has been growing in a dangerous way, the way to frustration. Who creates such an expectation?, this is a question we have all to ask ourselves and try to answer with honesty, if we do not want physiotherapy to go back to the dark days, exactly like it happened in the past, not just once but several times.
Dr. Manuel Rigo MD PhD
BSPTS Founder and Chair