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What is NKT?

Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT) is a technique physical therapists use to identify the root cause of a patient’s discomfort. Developed by David Weinstock, NKT integrates Motor Control Theory, neuroscience, and functional anatomy (neurobiomechanics) to pinpoint faulty movement patterns in the brain’s motor control center. By using specific protocols, therapists can determine which muscles are inhibited and which are compensating for them. This information is then used to create a corrective exercise regimen that focuses on proper movement patterns and reprograms the motor control center.

NKT is versatile and can be used to assess and treat various conditions, including joint pain, neck or back pain, gait dysfunction, pre or post-surgical recovery, some vestibular issues, hyoid dysfunction, TMJ, scars, post-cesarean section, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Rather than just treating symptoms, NKT allows therapists to identify the direct causes of pain, tightness, or weakness. Patients must still perform their corrective exercises to help their bodies accept the changes, which will eventually override the dysfunction and create a new, functional movement pattern. Every patient is different, so the time it takes to see results can vary.

For example, I often treat women with lower back pain following a cesarean section. During this procedure, the abdominal muscles are cut, forming a scar and weakening the muscles. This often results in tightness and pain in the lower back. The NKT protocol helps me identify which core muscles have weakened, which low back muscles are overworking, and how to release the scar if it is causing any dysfunction.

Patients are often surprised to learn that their scar can be neurologically overactive and tender. After releasing the scar, we follow up with specific muscle activation exercises, usually targeting the abdominal muscles. These exercises help the brain process correct movement patterns and start to reprogram. This approach also allows patients to build strength while avoiding overcompensation in other muscles.

Benefits of NKT include:

  • Pain relief

  • Increased freedom of movement

  • Improved sports performance

  • Post-injury rehabilitation

  • Scar rehabilitation

I have found NKT to be essential for achieving lasting relief from a wide range of conditions. Its speed, accuracy, and effectiveness in uncovering and quickly relieving the underlying causes of chronic and acute musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction are truly remarkable.


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