Introduction to NDT: NDT Series Part 1
Over the next few weeks, PTC’s blog will be doing a series on Neurodevelopment treatment. Over half of our therapists are NDT certified across all of our disciplines, and we’d like to share how NDT enriches our patients’ lives.
What is NDT?
NDT, or Neurodevelopmental treatment, is a specialized treatment approach used by physical and occupational therapists, as well as speech pathologists for patients with neurological damage. NDT helps enhance a patient’s motor function ability and makes everyday life more efficient and comfortable.
During the assessment, the therapist analyzes the child’s quality of movement carefully to determine which muscles are not activating and thus blocking the acquisition of the normal motor milestones. After the assessment, treatment begins which includes one-on-one handling of the child to get activation of the muscle groups required to elicit a more normal movement pattern, thereby enabling the acquisition of higher level motor milestones. Each time the child actively uses the pattern, he or she lays down motor pathways in their brain that with repetition will replace the abnormal pathways that have resulted in his or her abnormal movement. Thus, NDT actually results in a re-wiring of the brain taking advantage of the latest understanding of the neuroplasticity of the brain. The earlier treatment is started, the easier it is to re-wire the brain since movement is a habit.
Who Does it Help?
NDT is used to help people with neurological damage, most commonly patients with cerebral palsy (CP). Neurological damage and congenital diseases such as CP affect gross and fine motor skills, which limits patient’s movements. Because of this, people who struggle with motor skills often are limited to stereotypical movements that they then use to complete most functions in their life, regardless of their effectiveness or efficiency. This can be restrictive for the patient, as well as uncomfortable or even dangerous if they are unable to adapt their movements to the task at hand.
If your child has CP, or any other neurological disorder or damage that affects motor skills, one of the most effective ways to help them gain movement is Neurodevelopment Treatment.
Check back with us for more information on PTC’s recently certified NDT therapists!