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Meet Pamela

Pamela M. Rief, Musculoskeletal Education Expert
M.S.  Stanford University School of Medicine

SETUPSTRONG® programs are based on Pamela's groundbreaking training at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, 30 years of rigorous research, and more than 25 years of delivering life-transforming individual and group education.

My Promise

Too many of us suffer from chronic muscle and back pain unnecessarily because we are rarely taught how to use our bodies as nature intended. I’ve dedicated my career to translating valid science on how to use your body strongly and safely into fundamental educational approaches; to make it as easy as possible for you and those you care about to thrive with movement, to overcome and prevent physical challenges. 


I am so passionate about helping you because I want you to avoid wasting your time, money, and hope–as I wasted mine–on treatments that don’t work effectively without natural body use. Since my early teens I was one of those who suffered many physical limitations, much agony due to chronic physical pain, and compromised function.


My determination to help intensifies as I see scores of adults and children unwittingly inflict wear and tear on their bodies. 

I feel immense gratitude that my academic background has given me the required expertise to sort out the science and strategies to free ourselves from pain and stay on the thrilling path of top physical function, shape, and comfort. Some of my students have called my innovative approaches “their fountain of youth.” They’ve been mine too.


My innovative programs and hands-on lessons have improved the physical comfort, performance, and resilience of people of all ages and professions, from executives and office workers, doctors and entertainers, to manual workers and athletes of all levels, to retirees. 

I stay committed to reversing the epidemic of back pain and premature physical dysfunction.


I'm equally committed to helping you to get the body you’ve always wanted. 




Selected Credentials


  • Stanford University School of Medicine; Masters of Science, Stanford Prevention Research Center

  • S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook; Valedictorian; Bachelors of Science, with Honors,

        Biochemistry (major), Mathematics (minor); Stony Brook Honors College graduate

  • Certified Yoga Teacher (10-month training; Piedmont Yoga Studio, CA)

  • One of 3 people in U.S. certified by L’Institut Supérieur d’Aplomb (Paris, France)


Selected Grants, Presentations, and Awards

Grants for research and educational work include:

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI (highly competitive fellowship for research breakthroughs to benefit humanity)

  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society

  • Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women

  • Margie & Ken Blanchard

  • Frank and Denise Quattrone Foundation

  • ​Other family foundations

Presentations at major academic Institutions:

  • Mayo Clinic

  • Harvard University

  • Northwestern University 

  • Stanford University

PBS’s Makers, Women Who Make America

  • One of the first 10 women in science and medicine featured

My Personal Story

I was born with multiple defects of my spine and pelvis. As a kid, I assumed everyone hurt when they walked because I did and thought stress urinary incontinence was normal. By age 23, I couldn’t ride my bicycle, cut vegetables, carry bags, or do physical therapy exercises without debilitating flare-ups. I tried countless traditional and alternative quick fixes and lengthy treatments to overcome chronic pain and poor function.

All (but one) of my many doctors were ignorant of the missing link: my poor posture and movement patterns kept adding to the growing list of diagnoses. Even many well-intentioned practitioners hurt me with misinformation. At best, each treatment gave me a few hours or days of improvement. Several MDs prescribed daily opioids to me. Top MDs and PTs told me I needed spine surgery urgently and that I would need hip replacements every 15 or so years for the rest of my life. This launched my vast search for solutions.

Pamela M. Rief
Pamela M. Rief
Pamela M. Rief
Pamela M. Rief

To learn how to reverse many musculoskeletal pathologies, I applied my academic training to study first-hand with preeminent scholars globally, while reviewing thousands of peer-reviewed publications.

By building protective musculoskeletal habits, I corrected my pronounced kyphosis (“fixed” hunchback) and scoliosis, reversed my poor pelvic floor function, quickly got a “rock-solid core”, and (to my surprise) grew 1.5 inches in my 30’s. I’m more athletic in my 50’s than in my childhood. While I'm not against surgery as a last resort, I'm grateful that I’ve avoided all of those recommended lumbar spine and hip surgeries, injections, and opioids.

Each month, I feel and look stronger. So do my students. Nearly every day, I study the latest science and best practices to help you make similar gains.

Senior Yoga Class

My Personal Guarantee

If within the first session you don’t feel better with less pain or more strength (e.g., in your core, back, shoulder, buttocks, balance, or coordination), or have a straighter or taller appearance, I will waive my hourly rate for that session.*


Pamela M. Rief

* Offer applies to the first one-on-one, in-person session that is at least one hour long. 

  Offer does not apply when someone else has booked your session for you, for video-based lessons, or for group lessons/events. 

  Prearranged transportation fees, if any, are non-refundable.

*Offer applies to the first one-on-one, in-person session that is at least one hour long. 

  Offer does not apply when someone else has booked your session for you, for video-based lessons, or for group lessons/events. 

  Pre--rearranged transportation fees are nonrefundable.

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