Neuromuscular Re-education (NMR) Improves Your Balance and Coordination
NMR works to training our body to use our joint sensors more effectively again. Proprioceptors, the small sensors located in all of our tissues, surrounding joints including ligaments, tendons, muscles, the joint capsule, and bones. These sensors usually give our brain extremely accurate information about the state of each joint when we are moving. They tell the brain what muscles are contracting, how strong they are contracting, and the amount of strain on our tendons and ligaments. This information helps the brain decide how to fine tune movement and muscle contraction to prevent injury.
Our brains have an internal picture of what the body looks like and works closely with sensors in joints and other tissues to create this picture. The brain uses this sense to determine muscle contraction strength, joint movements, etc. to ensure smooth and accurate motion. Our brains also use information from these sensors to correct faulty movement and prevent injury. One example of this is when you roll your ankle, your brain quickly reacts to signals given by tendons and ligaments to quickly correct and contract muscles to prevent injury.
With tissue damage or injury, this system usually doesn’t work as well due to either tissue damage, muscle inhibition, or underlying swelling When this happens, you are more prone to re-injury since your brain does not have the capacity to make split second decisions due to faulty information.
What is NMR?
NMR is a collection of techniques and exercises that can be used to train the movement system. To effectively train proprioception, slow purposeful movements in typical patterns must be performed. Each body region has specific exercises that can help to retrain muscle activation in typical, atypical, and reactive patterns. All three of these are necessary to prevent injury and get you moving more normally again.
NMR is used to train joint sense using targeted movements and exercises to challenge balance and muscle activation. This helps to restore proprioception by challenging the the tissues surrounding the joints to work together in a coordinated way. Exercises are generally progressed from relatively predictable movements and surfaces to more plyometric movements with compliant surfaces.
Our neuromuscular specialists can help you improve your proprioception through an individualized program to help you reach your goals and prevent future injuries.
Physical Therapy Exercises For Balance
- Balance Retraining Exercises: Promotes co-contraction of muscles surrounding the joints and stimulates proprioceptors through predictable and unpredictable movements
- Stabilization Exercises: Body reacts to random perturbations to promote activation in a reactive pattern
- PNF Patterns: Moves the body segment through multiple angles to train functional movements
- Spinal manipulation: Has been shown to have a short term effect on proprioceptive accuracy of movement