What is NKT®?
NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT®) is a sophisticated movement correction system 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 this technique in the 1980s, and has used it to treat a variety of disorders and pain syndromes. The NeuroKinetic Therapy™ corrective movement system protocol includes a system of precise muscle tests. It has the ability to change the programming of the Motor Control Center (MCC) in the cerebellum. The MCC coordinates all movement patterns in the body. It learns through failure.
A good example is a baby learning to stand. Through many attempts and failures the baby finally achieves success. But how? The MCC chooses the most successful attempts until standing happens without “thinking” about it.
Conversely, after an injury, the MCC adapts to a compensation pattern and holds that in its memory forever unless it is convinced to change. A good example is a whiplash accident in which the posterior neck muscles brace for the anterior neck muscles. This pattern can endure forever unless there is some intervention.
When an NeuroKinetic Therapy practitioner tests a “weak” muscle, like the anterior neck muscles in a whiplash injury, they fail thus opening the MCC to new learning. After the balance is restored through specific manual therapy such as massage therapy, or graston technique, the MCC is “reprogrammed” and recognizes the anterior neck muscles again and begins to use them properly in movement.
However, to complete the treatment effect, very specific rehab exercises are assigned to “set-in” the new functional pattern. This serves as homework for the client, and will make the changes permanent to the brain.”
What to Expect With NKT®
First and foremost, before anything else, is taking an in-depth and thorough health-history from the client. Without certain specific information regarding ANY past traumas/injuries/accidents/surgeries/hospitalization, therapy may not be as effective as it could be. The worst and highest priority dysfunctions are typically past traumas that the body has been forced to compensate for.
A classic example of this is an ankle sprain. To protect and guard the ankle, muscles and ligaments in the area will typically become neurologically overactive. In order to compensate for this, the joints above will then have to become neurologically under-active. This can present in low-back pain, neck pain, chronic hamstring or hip flexor tightness, and lots more. Everybody’s body adapts slightly differently.
Following medical history is a movement/postural assessment to see what is moving properly in the body. This will allow a practitioner to determine an appropriate hypothesis of which areas are compensating due to poor movement patterns.
The practitioner then uses specific muscle challenges to determine the function of various muscles/ligaments/fascia and “sift out” any weaknesses that the nervous system is hiding to keep the body safe. This is where most other modalities of treatment fail to find the source of pain.
In NKT®, we aim to determine the root cause of your pain and to not only address the symptoms. We always TEST and never GUESS what the issue is. This affords safer and more effective treatment for the client in a fraction of the time. After hands on treatment interventions, clients generally feel immediate relief of pain and feel “light” on their feet as they walk and move. This is what makes NKT so powerful and such an effective tool in the manual therapist’s toolbox.
Ricki Porter at R3 Integrative Health is a Master NKT® Practitioner (level 3) and utilizes this approach in order to accurately assess and treat dysfunction in all walks of life. If you have any questions regarding this approach, or would like to call for an appointment, you can reach us at: 506.863.8844