When it comes to Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), those that are familiar with the method will often ask me, "How do I find the time to treat my patients with chiropractic, rehab methods, and DNS?" The reasons for the question is simple - DNS is seen as very time consuming. The challenge with DNS is incorporating the method into a busy practice while remaining efficient and delivering a high level of quality care to your patients.
It's a difficult scenario for me to connect with since I have always maintained a schedule which enables me to spend 30-60 minutes with each patient. However, I realize this is not the norm for the overwhelming majority of chiropractors and they are under more of a time crunch to deliver the most they can in a shorter period of time. Even most physical therapists I know do not have that time to spend with a patient 1-on-1 as they normally have a number of patients blocked together for appointments and rely upon help from their assistants.
That said, the reality is until one has been properly trained in DNS, they will continue to assume that the amount of assessments, patient education, instruction, and exercise-based interventions will all add up to extra time with patients they simple don't have.
In my opinion, the time I have taken to study, learn, and implement DNS concepts into my patient care has only been a compliment to what I do as a chiropractor. Chiropractic, in a very traditional sense, is the healing art based on the science of the nervous system and it's relationship to altered spinal joint mechanics. At its very root, chiropractic aims to improve the functional of the nervous system through manual methods or manipulative therapy of the spinal joints. There is a tremendous focus on the musculoskeletal system and its relationship to the health of the nervous system. Chiropractors evaluate for postural, structural, functional, and movement-based imbalances that play a role in either pain, dysfunction, or reduced expression of overall health.
As a chiropractor, we routinely treat patients to get them out of pain, but we also work with them to restore health and a quality of life they want to maintain. And that's what makes chiropractic and DNS such an awesome combination. They both produce results that enable patients to get out of pain, improve function, restore health and get back to enjoying their life. As a chiropractor, I use DNS assessments to identify movement patterns that are non-ideal in regard to stability and mobility. DNS is not merely a technique, but rather an overall strategy to better understand the principles of movement. It includes both a knowledge and theoretical base that forms the foundation for assessment, treatment, exercise and functional strategies.
We aren't simply just looking for joints that don't move well or muscles that are too tight or weak. The focus of DNS is correcting faulty movement patterns that ultimately cause tight or weak muscles and joint fixations. By performing basic assessments it is possible to identify what the problems are and what exercise interventions would successfully achieve the desired correction - and this can all be done quickly. This biggest misconception is that providers need to instruct their patients in a large number of exercises in order to correct dysfunction in movement stability or mobility. This couldn't be further from the truth. My patients only perform the most challenging exercises with the proper stabilization and movement control. This means that most patients are leaving with 2-3 home exercises and there are those that will leave with only one exercise. These exercises are intend to improve the sensory messages our brain receives from movement. We can thank the modern sedentary lifestyle and simply not moving with enough variety for the decline we see in maintaining a healthy brain and nervous system. This decline presents itself in postural abnormalities and altered movement patterns And both can be addressed through exercises and improved proprioceptive control of our joints and movement.
The exercises are intended to be functionally-based and proprioceptively-rich. This enables the patient to create a lot change from just from a few exercises - training economy at it's finest. When it comes to DNS exercises, patients get a great deal of results without having to invest a lot of time. Furthermore, chiropractic adjustments improve sensory inputs from the spine to the brain and this proprioceptive stimulus opens a window by which we can use DNS to improve our body's control of posture and movement. DNS exercises enable us to provide a regular proprioceptive stimulus that will create change in the body. And isn't that why patients seek out chiropractors in the first place? They are coming to us hoping we will make a change in their body that not only provides relief, but also results in lasting changes they can maintain.