By Don Williams
Many of our regular patients would know that Don has spent a considerable period of time studying and practicing in the Czech Republic. But many of you may not be specifically aware of what is done there.
Prague School of Rehabilitation has a long and proud history in the field of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. By good fortune, in the mid 1900s, Motol Hospital and the Prague School of rehabilitation were a hot spot for thought, research and development of rehabilitation, the names of Professors’ Vaclav Vojta, Karel Lewit, Vladimir Janda and Frantisek Vele should be essentially household names to anyone who specialises in treatment of Musculoskeletal conditions through manual methods. It is almost the exception to find a research paper that doesn’t mention at least one of these names.
Healthcare in Eastern Europe has been setup differently as a system than we experience in Australia and the Western world, and in some respects, their system has fostered and developed more collaborative work between disciplines. Bringing aspects from the disciplines of Neurology, Orthopaedics, Physiotherapy (which encompasses manipulation akin that many techniques used in Chiropractic), and medicine, DNS rehab is the new approach to rehabilitation which is being used by many practitioners around the world today.
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), is a multi-part qualification, encompassing 4 study level with examinations required to receive a qualification as a DNS Certified Practitioner. This generally takes practitioners a minimum of 4 years of courses and studies, as well as some trips to Prague to attain.
There are currently only 4 certified practitioners in Brisbane, Don Williams, at Institute of Sports and Spines, Hans Lindgren, at Alex Hills Chiropractic, Gaery Barbery, at BodyKey Chiropractic at Indooroopilly and Louise O’Connor at MovementConcepts Physiotherapy at Morningside.
Most of these practitioners have been studying DNS rehab since 2001 and most have undertaken multiple courses and trips to Prague, often in the order of 15-16 courses to improve their proficiency.
Much of DNS Rehab is based on the Vojta Principle. Between 1950 and 1970, Vaclav Vojta was looking for a treatment system for children with Cerebral Palsy. Ironically, under the umbrella of communism, the opportunity to have a facility with many children with this condition was easy due to them essentially being pushed out of society as being ineffective and unhelpful. Professor Vojta developed “reflex locomotion”. Essentially, the basis of this is that within our neuromotor system, we have motor patterns that are pre-programmed and inherent within us all, by using specific reflex points throughout the body, these motor patterns can be incited and developed to enhance the movement patterns, not of just palsy sufferers, but of many people with motor pattern disorders.
Professor Vojta’s observations and assessments allow earlier assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Cerebral Palsies and Motor Co-ordination disorders. In fact, this assessment and treatment is best started early, within the first 6 months of life.
Professor Vojta treating a premature baby.
Developmental Kinesiology is essentially the development of the motor patterns in the baby through early childhood, and when these patterns are considered, many postural issues and musculoskeletal aches and pains, find their basis in poor developmental patterns.
What is most fascinating about Developmental Kinesiology and the DNS approach is that many of the treatment options are based on global patterns and functional reactivation, rather than in isolation of one body part. The approach is always aimed at improving the entire system and postural program, rather than just improving that segment.
Don uses the DNS approach in an integrated manner is patient management. It is a major component of his thought process particularly with his management Chronic pain cases and post -operative rehabilitation.
Karel Lewit Frantisek Vele Pavel Kolar