Injuries, illness, and surgery can contribute to weakened muscles and soft tissues. Because weakened muscles lead to reduced mobility, it can profoundly affect your ability to perform everyday tasks.
Dr. Dustin Hamoy incorporates neuromuscular re-education into physical therapy programs at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland ー so that you can get back to doing what you need to do each day.
Below, we discuss what neuromuscular re-education is and how it helps improve your functionality.
Here’s how your muscles and nerves work together to produce movement:
Problems arise when nerves and/or muscles are damaged or injured. Trauma from injury or surgery and underlying neurological conditions can impact your muscle memory. This is where neuromuscular re-education comes into play. Neuromuscular re-education (sometimes called functional re-training) is a technique used by physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists to restore your normal body movement patterns. The goal is to help your muscles “remember” those desired movement patterns.
In other words, neuromuscular re-education is one method Dr. Hamoy uses to facilitate the return of your normal movement.
Neuromuscular re-education isn’t the first step in your therapy program. Rather, Dr. Hamoy uses neuromuscular re-education as the final method of treatment to help his patients regain the most energy-efficient/kinesiological everyday movements.
Neuromuscular re-education helps your muscles learn energy-efficient movements by first breaking down any faulty movement patterns. Sometimes faulty movement patterns may develop over time because of pain. For example, if you twist your ankle, you may limp as a way to reduce the stress put on your ankle and reduce pain. However, altering your gait is considered a faulty movement pattern and can eventually lead to other problems with your musculoskeletal system, such as issues with reduced flexibility, loss of range of motion, proprioception, and/or reduced strength.
Impairments in such areas can actually leave you more susceptible to injury. That’s why neuromuscular re-education first focuses on correcting faulty movements and then prioritizes the right movements. Studies show that neuromuscular re-education helps with all types of injuries, including hand injuries in musicians.
As the name suggests, functional training helps you restore function in your injured body part. Neuromuscular re-education may consist of the following components:
Together these components help you improve your full range of motion, improve strength, and reduce functional limitations. How long your physical therapy program lasts varies from patient to patient. You may need several weeks or several months to regain functionality, depending on the severity of your injury or illness. During this time your loss of motion and any weakness are addressed by retraining your muscles and nerves. Remember, all movements rely on a good working relationship between your muscles and your nerves, and the key of neuromuscular re-education is to re-establish this relationship.
Using the proper techniques and performing the prescribed exercises helps to restore your functionality (and ability to perform daily tasks), but it also prevents an acute injury from snowballing into a chronic problem.
At Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center, we look at the whole person and address all aspects of the dysfunction (i.e., faulty movements) to help you achieve your rehabilitation potential ー and to be the best they can be in performing all of their functional activities.
To find out if functional training is right for you, or if you’d like to learn more about neuromuscular re-education, you can reach us at 410-324-2968. Or, you can schedule an appointment 24/7 with our online booking tool.