Nerve transmission, i.e. the correct functioning of nerves and the nervous system, in the human body must always be optimal in any situation. The signals produced by the nervous system and which reach, practically, every single cell of our body are fundamental to our survival. No cell in our body takes any action if this is not ordered and modulated by the nervous system.
The concept of biomechanics of the nervous system, defined by Shacklock as neurodynamics in 1995 is not new, but has only recently begun to be considered in medicine.
What does neurodynamics study?
“The study of neurodynamics is the study of the mechanics and physiology of the nervous system and how they relate to one another” – Shacklock 1995.
For example, the analysis of the movement of the sciatic nerve involves not only the study of its movement towards the surrounding tissues, such as the lumbar discs and leg muscles, but also the study of blood flow, the activity of its sensors or the type of inflammation. All these components obviously have to do with the passage of nerves through more or less elastic muscles and / or scars that make them stick to the surrounding tissues. Thus, the nerve can be hyper-stressed, pinched, compressed or pulled.
In theory, there is nothing new in neurodynamics: stretching exercises of the thigh muscles have always been performed in case of sciatica. Tai Chi, Yoga and Qi Gong are ancient practices that already experimented exercises for the correct functionality of the nervous system, as well as the entire human body, including the mental body.
How is neurodynamics applied in physiotherapy?
The novelty is the inclusion of biomechanics and the alteration of the movements of the peripheral nervous system in manual therapy. In practice it is a question of identifying the origins of the patient’s painful state and his disability.
The most important cultural result was integrating the examination of the health of the nervous system for the best clinical reasoning into the already existing neurological and orthopedic tests.
The key concept of neurodynamics is the continuity of the nervous system. In medicine, in general, the nervous system is divided into central, peripheral and autonomous. Once divided in this way, it can be conceptually difficult to put it back together. But, all the functions of the nervous system are interdependent to one another. The electrical, mechanical and chemical connection of the nervous system is unique in all the organs and the alteration of only one of these parts can affect all the others, and the lack of knowledge of this continuity can give great difficulty in explaining many of our symptoms . This continuity gives the possibility to connect symptoms and problems even very distant from each other. It is a question of considering the broader spectrum variables.
It is possible to consider the nervous system as a network of data transmission cables. Its design includes features that must allow nerve slips during various movements:
- the return from the stretching positions,
- the defense against possible compressions in everyday life,
- the strength to withstand the pull (for example kicking a ball), the shaking (like during a whiplash),
- resistance to repeated microtraumas (repeated movements of musicians),
- forced pushups (squatting)
Furthermore, it must be considered that nerve malfunctions can constitute barriers to the various fluids that must have access to nerves, including blood and the lymphatic system that provide nutrients and command, and are concerned with eliminating harmful products and I decline.
This whole system must move smoothly to ensure that information arrives at its destination, whatever happens and in whatever position we are.
Therefore, it is absolutely essential, in any pathological or dysfunctional state, in the therapy performed to our patient, to examine the state of health and mobility of our nerves.
Neurodynamics in Nervenia
Nervenia physiotherapist, expert in the neurogenic field, has the ability to test how mobile the nerve affected by the patient’s problem is, to evaluate clinical health and to relate this data to the patient’s clinical picture.
The tests are free from risks and contraindications and are conducted with extreme gentleness. This approach, characteristic of the Nervenia method, allows an extremely refined evaluation of the neurogenic disorder; evaluation that will contribute to the success of the treatment.