ACL Rehabilitation has many intricacies and deviations from patient to patient. Some patients have a harder time reactivating certain muscles or muscle groups after injury or surgery. This is a little more typical in female athletes and any patient with ongoing chronic trauma and instability at the knee joint whether due to having multiple surgeries or just from having inadequate biomechanics for so long. The body will purposely recruit other muscles to help with joint stability if the stabilizer muscles aren’t strong enough or firing properly. Overtime it will rewire it’s mechanics to compensate for this inefficiency in order to continue to create effective movements. With patients or athletes who fall into this category simple strength training mechanisms alone might not be enough to alter the recruitment patterns and change the neuromuscular efficiency. This is where RNT can be extremely effective.
Reactive Neuromuscular Training or RNT uses outside resistance to neurologically turn on an automatic response. It teaches the muscles and the brain to resist and react to the applied force on the band allowing the body to recruit muscles that have weakened and become inefficient over time. RNT helps to increase neuromuscular coordination and improve joint stability which are both two common issues regarding ACL rehabilitation.
The example in the picture is my client Kim. She has had 4 knee surgeries on her right knee and suffers from chronic instability and knee valgus due to weakness and chronic VMO issues resulting from her surgeries. By using the resistance band in the direction of her compensation problem at the VMO muscle (located on the lower quad on the inside), her brain and muscles are forced to resist the force on the band and in turn will relearn proper firing sequence patterns that will eventually help decrease her knee pain and prevent her from suffering further knee injuries. This is huge from someone who has had this many procedures and is unable to fire and coordinate the proper muscle actions efficiently without the band. Kim teaches 5 Bootcamp classes every week and is already seeing tremendous results on her rehab allowing her to instruct and teach her Bootcamp with no pain and no dysfunction!