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8th MDG hosts physical therapy class for South Korean AF pilots

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Ramirez, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight chief, teaches pilots from Republic of Korea Air Force’s 111th Fighter Squadron how to adjust their posture during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often suffer from neck and back pain from flying for prolonged hours wearing their equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Ramirez, right, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight chief, teaches two South Korean air force pilots how to adjust their posture during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often suffer from neck and back pain from flying for prolonged hours wearing their equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Bridgette Griffiths, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight commander, shows pilots from Republic of Korea Air Force’s 111th Fighter Squadron how sitting with poor posture can affect their spine during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots sitting in the cockpit of fighter jets can develop back pain from staying in the position for extended periods of time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

Capt. Bridgette Griffiths, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight commander, South Korean air force’s 111th Fighter Squadron pilots how sitting with poor posture can affect their spine during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots sitting in the cockpit of fighter jets can develop back pain from staying in the position for extended periods of time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Ramirez (far right), 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight chief, and Master Sgt. Joshua Haney (middle left), 8th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent, teach pilots from Republic of Korea Air Force’s 111th Fighter Squadron how to stretch their backs during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often find themselves developing pain in different areas from regularly putting their bodies under high amounts of gravitational forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Ramirez, far right, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight chief, and Master Sgt. Joshua Haney, middle left, 8th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent, teach two South Korean air force pilots how to stretch their backs during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often find themselves developing pain in different areas from regularly putting their bodies under high amounts of gravitational forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michaela Chevalier, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy technician, teaches a pilot from Republic of Korea Air Force’s 111th Fighter Squadron how to stretch his back, during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often suffer from neck and back pain from flying for prolonged hours wearing their equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

Staff Sgt. Michaela Chevalier, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy technician, teaches a South Korean Korea air force pilot how to stretch his back during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often suffer from neck and back pain from flying for prolonged hours wearing their equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) --

The 8th Medical Group held a special pilot-oriented physical therapy class for the South Korean air force’s 111th Fighter Squadron, Aug. 9.

Pilots from the 111th FS participated in the class and learned about exercises that focus on aches and pains associated with flying fighter jets.

“Pilots experience a lot of issues in the neck and back areas from wearing their helmets for long periods of time and putting themselves under a high amount of gravitational forces on a pretty regular basis,” said Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Ramirez, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight chief.

The PT staff went through a variety of stretches, mostly targeting the upper body, to help relieve pain and discomfort the pilots may experience after flying. Many of the pilots began to notice immediate results after being taught and practicing the stretching exercises.

“This is the start of a very valuable and beneficial friendship with the physical therapy team,” said Lt. Col. Choong-Won Oh, 111th Fighter Squadron commander. “We want to invite the 8th MDG physical therapy team to come to our squadron so they can help all of our pilots and continue to teach us how to better care and treat our aches and pains. Everything they taught us was excellent and very beneficial.”

The clinic has the ability to tailor specific classes for whatever their patient needs or requests. If a unit requests a class focusing on running techniques, the PT clinic can customize a program focusing on that. Topics range from proper lifting techniques, exercises to target specific muscles and even exercises specific to bones instead of muscles.

“We’re here to make sure our patients get what they need, whether its information or hands-on training, we can accommodate them,” said Capt. Bridgette Griffiths, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight commander. “Some of our lessons are more informational and hands off, but it’s just as beneficial to the members since we use real world studies and data to support our content.”

The physical therapy class paved the way for more opportunities to present themselves and further strengthen their partnership.

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