NDT’s targeted population is those with neurological (CNS) disorders or impairments of all ages. Those who benefit from NDT the most are clients with posture and movement-related impairments commonly seen in cerebral palsy and post-stroke.
It is difficult to break from abnormal use of patterns once the affected limbs are engaged. This approach is used with patients with impairments that experience difficulties breaking from abnormal patterns once engaged.
Patients with CNS disorders may experience muscle spasticity and hyperactive reflexes, which create obstacles to moving freely. The NDT approach uses guided therapy techniques that help relieve these obstacles.
During the use of NDT, occupational therapists identify abnormal movement patterns that arise due to limited mobility and are considered "adaptive features." Despite being labeled as adaptive, these patterns are actually maladaptive in nature.
This treatment states that postural alignment and control provide the base for functional movement.
Re-establishment of correct movement patterns occurs by repetitively inhibiting synergistic movements and abnormal tone through guided therapy.
NDT uses therapist handling that aims to alter muscle tone during movement and create optimal postural alignment during skill acquisition.
The NDT approach uses guided therapy techniques that prevent maladaptive movement from occurring during task completion.
During the NDT approach, the therapist encourages the client to re-establish correct movement patterns by engaging in guided sensorimotor experiences.
The NDT approach has the occupational therapist grading, increasing or decreasing, task-related movements, and postural behaviors for optimal occupational participation.
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