The term Locomotor Dysfunction describes an abnormal condition of tissues involved in body’s mobility, posture and balance, including muscles, joints, discs and, most importantly, neural wiring’ in the central motor regulation centers of the central nervous system. This situation can be reversed by a variety of manual techniques and remedial exercises, which affect the nervous system as a whole. Manual techniques used to treat locomotor function consist of joint and soft tissue manipulation, reflex stimulation, various neuromuscular techniques. These release trigger points, strengthen, and most importantly, improve coordination by influencing the motor control of the central nervous system. Exercise program includesspinal stability and postural training, body awareness exercises, breathing retraining and neuromuscular reducation excercises.
Rooted in developmental kinesiology, our therapeutic program is based on evoking the ideal movement patterns through the reflex stimulation of the motor regulation centers, and then conditioning the patients through exercise to be able to activate these patterns automatically without any conscious effort. All soft tissue techniques and gentle non-forceful manipulations are conducted in basic primal positions of an infant and follow the rules of Development Kinesiology. Different challenges are applied using therabands, gym balls and therapist cues.
Our therapeutic program puts a special emphasis on the importance of spinal stability and proprioception. Deep muscles of the spine are the first ones to be affected when pain is present. The deep spinal muscules never produce pain, but their inability to properly contract together overloads more superficial muscles. This creates trigger points, spinal joint dysfunctions, bulging and herniated discs whichresult in excruciating pain so familiar to to back pain sufferers. Our primary goal in this respect is to teach our patients to feel and control these muscles. We further aim to train our patients in how to activate these muscles at will evoking appropriate movement patterns and eventually to condition the brain to activate the associated locomotor programs automatically without the patient’s voluntary control. In our experience this is the best way to release muscular tension, establish proper movement patterns, improve posture and dramatically improve and strengthen spinal stability.
This approach not only alleviates suffering but also prevents relapses and recurrences which are so common with the back pain. For patients with increased work demands or athletes whether recreational or professional we progress spinal stability training into a functional training. The functional training is goal-oriented and involves various movements like: lunges, squats, pulling and twisting all of which are performed in challenging positions and are enhanced by different labile surfaces.