NKT – Neurokinetic Therapy

NKT neurokinetic therapy

NKT stands for Neurokinetic Therapy. Physical therapists use this assessment technique to find the root cause of a patient’s complaint. It is an application of Motor Control Theory, neuroscience, and functional anatomy (neurobiomechanics) developed by David Weinstock. This helps determine faulty movement patterns in the brain’s motor control center.

Providers use certain protocols to determine which muscles are inhibited and which muscles are compensating for them. Using this information, they can then create a corrective exercise regimen focusing on proper movement patterns and reprogram the motor control center.

What is NKT used for?

NKT can be used to assess and treat a variety of conditions. These include joint pain, neck or back pain, gait dysfunction, pre or post-surgical patients, some vestibular cases, hyoid dysfunction, TMJ, scars, post- cesarean section and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Instead of chasing symptoms, therapists can use NKT to find more direct causes of pain, tightness, or weakness. However, the patient still needs to perform their corrective exercises to allow their body to accept the changes. This will eventually override the dysfunction and create a new, functional movement pattern. Every patient is different and some will take longer to see results than others.

For example, I commonly treat women experiencing lower back pain after having a cesarean section. During the procedure, the abdominal muscles are cut to remove the baby. A scar forms where the incision was made. The abdominal muscles weaken as a result and the low back usually becomes tight and painful. The NKT protocol allows me to determine which specific core muscles have weakened, which low back muscles are overworking, and which way to release the scar if the scar is causing any dysfunction.

Patients are often surprised to find out that their scar is usually neurologically overactive and sore to the touch. The scar release is immediately followed by a specific muscle activation, usually the abdominal muscles. These exercises enable the brain to process  correct movement pattern and start to reprogram. This also allows people to work on build strength while avoiding overcompensation patterns in other muscles.

Do you think NKT will benefit you?

If so, please email me at rcallahan@prostaffpt.com or call me at Pro Staff Physical Therapy of Clifton at 973-928-3590.


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