Neurokinetic therapy (NKT) is a research and treatment method in which doctors look for the cause of complaints. At the moment, few physiotherapists are certified in all over the world who work according to this method. I am honored to be part of this team
Due to an injury, surgery or overload, problems often arise in the control of muscles from the nervous system. This causes muscles to compensate for each other and cause pain complaints, but also stiffness complaints or problems with stability. (Source)
Neurokinetic Therapy Protocol
With the NKT test protocol we investigate which muscles are not efficiently controlled. And which muscle (but also a ligament, scar or movement pattern) facilitates the weaker muscle to function in daily activities or sports. We test which muscle we should relax (for example, with mobilization, massage or dry needling). And which muscle we should activate with training.
A reset takes place in the nervous system. After the treatment I always give homework exercises to do daily, in this way the reset can be well integrated into the control.
If the cause is not treated, there is a high chance that the complaints will continue to return because, for example, the weak muscle is only trained, while this muscle is inhibited by a facilitating muscle.
For example, a 45-year-old woman presents with back pain. At the intake she tells that she had a caesarean section, 20 years ago, she has already done core stability exercises with a physiotherapist for 12 weeks, but she still has complaints.
After going through the NKT protocol, it appears that the scar from the caesarean section facilitates the abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles are not efficiently controlled (inhibited) as a result. We will now first treat the scar and then we activate the abdominal muscles. And it will appear that after the treatment, she can tighten the abdominal muscles well. So that the back and abdominal muscles can work together in balance.
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NKT is used in:
- prolonged pain as it relaxes muscles and reduces tension
- recurrent pain due to old injuries
- reducing swelling, cramps and tenderness
- restoring normal range of motion, functionality and power
Also, watch video for NKT to treat Low back Pain
Corrects impaired running form
A study published in Sports Health found that professional runners have reduced range of motion and frequent injuries due to muscle compensation (better muscles take on the role of weaker ones). Compensation can lead to greater impact and increased load or pressure on certain muscles and joints inside the legs, hips and feet. Compensatory behavior affects the soft tissue structures that athletes experience: heel pain, pre-arthritic pain, mechanical pain, plantar fasciitis, and other compensatory disorders.
- NKT helps athletes to: improve balance, posture and coordination
- reducing cramps
- increased range of motion, strength and endurance
- faster muscle healing with less fatigue
- injury prevention
Reduces pain in the neck and spine
Research shows that people who have had back or neck pain in the past are three to six times more likely to have pain again. People with arthritic pain, athletes, people who have had an accident, and others who feel constant pain in the lumbar spine often use other, replacement muscles to help them move and heal. However, it has been found that a reduced range of motion of the lumbar spine can contribute to permanent impaired movement, excessive strain on the spine, irregular repetitive movements, and muscle tension in the neck.
Muscle strains are thought to be the most common cause of neck and back pain, especially in athletes. Limited pelvic mobility can increase lower back strain, while limited internal hip rotation is associated with characteristic lumbar spine pain. Heals Shoulder Pain and Headaches NKT helps treat pain associated with muscle irregularities and tension in the shoulders, back and neck. These include: numb shoulder, headaches and migraine pain or other shoulder injuries and excessive injuries.
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It helps reduce carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve in the wrist, which makes you feel numbness in the first three fingers of the hand. The grip is therefore also weaker, but usually so weak that it is difficult to hold the glass. Surgery does not eliminate pain. The primary cause is excessive and improper use of the fingers, and sometimes this is also associated with nerves in the neck, shoulder and elbow. NKT helps reduce congestion in nearby muscles that take on the role of the wrist.
Using neurokinetic therapy, NKT, it is possible to detect over working muscles and under working muscles. I do this with the help of specific muscle tests. Overworking muscles often compensate for under working muscles and this causes imbalance in the body. Such a pattern of imbalance arises, for example, due to overload, falls or operations.
I make the overworking muscle flexible using trigger point therapy, dry needling or fascia techniques (a form of deep connective tissue massage). Activation of the underlying muscle is important to restore balance. By doing the massage and activation exercises at home and repeating this, the new, healthy pattern is stored in the brain. I use
neurokinetic therapy as a diagnostic model to detect muscle dysfunction.
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Imagine that you sprain your ankle, but you are in the middle of a forest and you still have a few kilometers to walk before you reach your car. To relieve the pain in your ankle, you will walk adjusted. Your brain stores this modified pattern, and sees it as the normal pattern.
You strain muscles that you shouldn’t strain while walking. These get overworked and start to hurt. Other muscles are no longer seen by the brain and are, as it were, switched off. These are the working muscles. Neurokinetic therapy detects these patterns.
Recovery can occur by practicing the new pattern daily for a while. This way the healthy pattern can be stored in your brain until this is back to normal.