treating and preventing sports injuries

“I believe there are two periods in life, one for the bike, the other for becoming active on one’s work.” –  Bernard Hinault

It would be quite easy to argue that the human machine, if we can use that phrase for a moment, is designed for action. While it is true that we can stand, sit and lie down, these seem to be inherently momentary postures. Our limbs, joints, muscles and internal structures seem to be made for moving, for stretching, for being active.

Which is why it can be so frustrating for active people to be incapacitated or even somewhat hobbled by some form of chronic pain or injury.

One of the challenges that any athlete must be aware of is that diagnosing a sports injury is complicated. This is because there are so many factors that contribute to the underlying cause of an injury. And, despite the complex nature of the diagnostic process, we use a technique called Neurokinetic Therapy® to help us discover the root of any injury

What is Neurokinetic Therapy®?

According to the Neurokinetic Therapy® website,

“Neurokinetic Therapy® corrective movement system is a sophisticated bodywork modality that can be used as both an assessment and rehabilitative technique for low back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel, and other injuries.”

David Weinstock co-developed the Neurokinetic Therapy®, or NKT®, bodywork system in 1985 in collaboration with several peers and has used it to treat a variety of disorders. Acute and chronic injuries and conditions are assessed and rehabilitated using NKT®, and the patient is sent home with an individualized exercise program.

Neurokinetic Therapy® is, at its core, a sophisticated form of manual therapy combining motor control theory and manual muscle testing. According to the prevailing understanding of motor control theory, the motor control center (MCC) in the cerebellum coordinates all movement patterns in the body.

It is directed by the limbic system and the cerebral cortex to learn movement patterns, like when a baby learns to stand, for example. However, it will also create substitute movement patterns to compensate for when we are injured. Unfortunately, the MCC adapts to this compensation movement pattern and will retain it until it can be manipulated to change.

The Neurokinetic Therapy® website notes that,

“We also know from motor control theory that if the body fails to perform a specific function, the motor control center is open to new learning for approximately 30 to 60 seconds. How then can we communicate with the motor control center? Manual muscle testing allows us to find muscles that are weak or dysfunctional in relationship to other muscles.”

Neurokinetic Therapy™ can be used to restore your body’s proper easy and graceful movement and balance. Today, many professional sports teams routinely use Neurokinetic Therapy® to keep their players in top performance, prevent injuries, and heal injuries fast. Many athletes, for example, will turn to NKT® when they sustain a rotator cuff injury.

 Diagnosing Sports Injuries

So how does this help you with your sports injury?

Neurokinetic Therapy® makes use of a series of specific muscle tests to determine muscle compensation patterns unique to everyone. Painful muscles are often tight, not from injury, but from being overworked because they have been compensating for under-utilized muscles elsewhere.

Neurokinetic Therapy® is an innovative approach for manually testing the muscles throughout the pain points and the linked areas of the body. As a result of these tests, NKT® can then establish new motor programs by using soft tissue releases and corrective exercises to relieve the chronically tight muscles and lingering pain.

What do these muscle tests consist of?

Initially, light pressure is applied to specific areas of the body so we can evaluate the strength or weakness of each muscle. By identifying the inhibited muscles throughout the entire kinetic chain of tissues, we can then determine the source of your injury and the compensation movement pattern that is the root cause of your pain.

Subsequent to the Neurokinetic Therapy® session diagnosis and determination of the root cause, you will then be given specific home exercises that will allow you to reprogram dysfunctional movement patterns. We know that Neurokinetic Therapy® is an excellent technique for rehabilitation and manual therapy because it not only identifies the cause of pain and dysfunction, but also corrects it very quickly and painlessly.

In order to diagnose an injury properly, we must be able to distinguish the symptoms from the cause. Using an effective assessment technique like Neurokinetic Therapy® provides us with an indispensable tool for identifying the causes. And, when the causes of dysfunction are successfully treated, the result is long-lasting relief.

Pain and Performance Solutions is Here to Help

While it may seem a bit cliché, it’s something we firmly believe: “We can help!”

And understanding how your body moves through your pain and is compensating for movement dysfunction is key to your recovery. Pain and Performance Solutions would love to schedule a consultation with you so we can learn more about your sports injury and explain how Neurokinetic Therapy® can help us diagnose your sports.

As with any diagnosis of an injury or chronic pain, the first step is getting to know you. We can’t determine how to diagnose your chronic pain without understanding your history and what you’ve been through and where you are now. Setting up a consultation is the first step in your journey to recovery, so feel free to contact us at (707) 636-4404 or fill out our online contact form.