What is Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS)
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation or DNS as it is often referred to as is a newer manual rehabilitative approach used to assess and treat certain conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system including nerves, joints and muscles.
What is the basis behind DNS?
During the early development of an infant, there are certain movement patterns that are formed as the central nervous system matures which allows the infant to control posture, lift their head up, grasp a toy, roll, crawl, sit etc. These movement patterns will normally automatically occur in a particular sequence as the central nervous system matures. The brain influences development of these movement patterns, which in turn, influences development of bodily structure.
Certain factors may influence the disruption of some of these movement patterns e.g. sport or work injuries, prolonged overloaded postures, osteoarthritis and joint replacements to name a few. DNS is then utilised to help ‘re-acquaint’ the brain to the body and the body to the brain through these movement patterns we inherited as an infant.
We think about how functional an infant or toddler is with the depth and control of their squat position, this can once again be achieved later in life.
How is it applied in the clinic?
It all starts with the ‘core’ or sagittal stabilisation, which is dependent on the diaphragm’s ability to create sufficient Intra-Abdominal Pressure, while still performing its breathing function. Basically, it isn’t just about tightening the core, rather working to normalise one’s breathing pattern which in turn will help with stabilising the core from inside out through the creation of this intra-abdominal pressure. The core is defined as the centre of a mass, hence if the core is stabilised then movement around it can be easily normalised.
Who is a good candidate for DNS?
Anyone and everyone can benefit from DNS. There is strong research and clinical evidence that lower back, neck, shoulder, hip and knee pain is more prevalent in those individuals with a reduced ability to activate and maintain control of their core. We have seen great results in pre-natal and post-partum patients, post operative patients, osteoarthritic patients and patients who suffer from chronic niggling injuries.
DNS is heavily utilised in our practice and can be applied at almost any stage of the rehabilitation process. We can utilise passive therapies such as soft tissue therapy, trigger point dry-needling and mobilisations prior to the use of DNS but the ultimate goal would be to shift from the passive care model being ‘hands on’ to the active care model where you as the patient are empowered to manage the injury or ailment through some of the DNS exercises. After all, motion is lotion.