Physical therapy has long been a go-to solution for individuals seeking to improve their mobility and functionality following injuries, surgeries or chronic conditions. And while traditional physical therapy techniques have proven to be effective, integrating neurokinetics into physical therapy offers an innovative approach that can enhance treatment outcomes for patients.
Neurokinetics and physical therapy may be considered distinct areas of practice, but they overlap in their shared focus on the rehabilitation and improvement of human movement and function. Let’s explore how neurokinetics is revolutionizing physical therapy by providing a deeper understanding of the neural control of movement, ultimately leading to more effective, personalized treatment plans.
Here's a brief explanation of each field and how they relate to one another:
- Neurokinetics: Neurokinetics is the study of the neural control of movement, which includes the examination of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles involved in the production and control of motion. This field investigates how the nervous system orchestrates and adapts to movement patterns, as well as how it recovers following injury or disease. Neurokinetics may involve the assessment and treatment of neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy (PT) is a healthcare profession that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of physical impairments, disabilities or limitations. PT aims to restore or improve an individual's functional abilities, mobility and quality of life. Physical therapists use various therapeutic interventions, including exercises, manual therapy and modalities like ultrasound or electrical stimulation, to help patients reach their goals.
The relationship between neurokinetics and physical therapy is intertwined at Park North Physical Therapy because our physical therapists in Upper Manhattan may use neurokinetic principles to better understand the underlying causes of movement disorders and to design more effective treatment plans. For instance, when treating a patient with a neurological condition, our physical therapists may focus on retraining the nervous system with NEUBIE therapy, an e-stim device that re-educates the patient’s neurological functionality to improve muscle activation patterns, coordination, balance and gait.
Together, neurokinetics and physical therapy can contribute to the development of more effective, evidence-based approaches to the assessment, treatment and prevention of movement disorders and functional limitations.
Park North Physical Therapy and Neurokinetic Therapy
Meet Carly Krysa, PTA
Carly earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Public health with a minor of Psychology at the College of Charleston. During her time in Charleston, she fell in love with the practice of yoga and healing through the mind and body, earning herself a 200-hour registered yoga certification (RYT-200).
In 2021, Carly completed her Associates of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. As a PT at Park North, she loves incorporating yoga and mindfulness into her treatment sessions to complement traditional physical therapy interventions. Her goal is to help individuals improve their physical health and wellbeing through a holistic approach.
Carly became interested in Neurokinetic therapy in a previous role. She had the opportunity to work in a facility that focused on this specific treatment style. Carly became very interested in neurokinetics because it focuses on treating the whole body rather than a specific injury. It allows the patient to heal from a deeper level because it focuses on your breathing, movements and your pain. Everything in the body is connected so when one part goes out of alignment it will throw your entire system off.
At Park North Physical Therapy, Carly employs neurokinetic therapy to help patients with a wide variety of problems that include pain management, fall prevention, to avoid surgery, improve mobility and movement, sports injuries, neurological conditions, improve balance and many more conditions.
What Does a Neurokinetic Therapy Treatment Look Like?
During a neurokinetic treatment, the physical therapist does a series of manual muscle testing which is used to create a blueprint of the body’s movement patterns. This allows the therapists to target all of the areas that need work rather than just one specific area. Now, the therapist can work with the patient to release certain muscles and then, in a specific window, activate other muscles.
Carly likes to explain neurokinetic therapy as allowing your brain and body to rest the muscles that are constantly overworking and wake up the muscles that are always sleeping. Neurokinetic therapy helps decrease compensations bringing the body into balance. It also focuses on proper breathing patterns called neutral trunk breathing to allow the patient to trigger their parasympathetic nervous system (the “rest and relax" side) and to allow the proper engagement of the diaphragm during exercising.
This treatment style teaches patients how to engage their pelvic floor so they can become strong from within and activate their transverse abdominis, a very important core stabilizer. The patients also have a strict home exercise program that they must adhere to in order to ensure best results. As always, physical therapy is a team effort, and it takes work from the patient and the clinician to reach your full potential.
Neurokinetics Offers a Powerful, Innovative Enhancement to Physical Therapy
By deepening our understanding of the neural control of movement, PTs can develop more effective, personalized treatment plans that lead to improved outcomes for patients. As the fields of neurokinetics and physical therapy continue to intersect, we can anticipate exciting advancements in the assessment, treatment and prevention of movement disorders and functional limitations.
At Park North, Neurokinetic Therapy is a very effective treatment style that helps patients to fully heal by targeting the root cause of the problem and not just focusing on the symptoms. To learn more about this style of therapy or to book an appointment with Carly, call 212-222-6525 or contact Park North Physical Therapy today!