Neuro Reeducation

Neuro Reeducation & Functional Training


Neuro Reeducation is a term utilized in rehabilitation used to describe retraining of movement patterns or positions. This could be as simple as learning how to correctly bend forward to pick up a piece of paper, or as complicated as navigating a ski slope at top speeds. The purpose of this retraining may be used to assist healing by protecting an injury or tissue and bone in post-operative recovery.   Faulty movement patterns may need to be corrected to prevent re-injury and to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on joints and surrounding soft tissue. The physical therapists at Catalyst Physical Therapy will assess your condition and diagnosis to determine what treatment and plan of care will address your specific deficits.

Functional retraining is often used synonymously with neuro reeducation. It is where the physical therapist breaks down of the different faulty movement patterns that may have developed over time due to pain, injury or surgery and begins correcting these faulty movement patterns.  Sometimes there can be issues with flexibility, range of motion, proprioception or strength. Impairments in these areas can leave us more susceptible to injury.  Functional movements can include anything we do in daily life at home, work or for recreation. A highly trained physical therapist at Catalyst Physical Therapy will perform a detailed physical examination to determine where these deficits lie and so that an individualized physical therapy treatment plan can be established to address these deficits and initiate a neuro reeducation program.

Interventions may also involve stretching, range of motion exercises and strengthening the individual movements and manual therapy prior to putting it all together in an activity such as running.  Once the range of motion/flexibility, strength and proprioception has been improved then activity can be resumed and progressed back to full function. With neuro reeducation we focus on the both the local the global stabilizers of a joint.  They serve to protect the joint at rest, as well as, with movement.

Local muscles are the smaller muscles that make up the foundational support of a joint. These muscles contribute to the stability and function of the joint.  Their primary roles include: controlling neutral, maintaining activation that is continuous and independent of the direction of movement, and to anticipate movement. Local muscles get inhibited when there is pain and this causes delayed activation. Retraining of a local stabilizer is necessary to reduce recurrence of the pain and to prevent injury.

When these muscles are unable to do their job protecting the joint, there are problems with motor control that continue pain that strength training programs cannot address. This leads to ongoing dysfunction and chronic pain.

Retraining these muscles are often over looked because they can be challenging, and sometimes frustrating. Making sure that you are working with a skilled physical therapist, like those at Catalyst Physical Therapy, is key to a successful rehabilitation program.

The retraining of these muscles is key to learning how to protect a joint and restore proper movement through both the painful joint and the neighboring structures. This specific type of neuroreeducation is often utilized in spinal rehabilitation to teach a patient how to protect an injured disc or nerve. This introduction of movement is the framework to allow a patient to begin retraining into their functional movement and to allow them to return to pain free activity.  Once the patient has achieved control of the global stabilizers, progression through a more traditional strengthening and flexibility program can be performed.




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