Course Review: Redcord Neurac Level 1 | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Course Review: Redcord Neurac Level 1

What happens when the course you were supposed to teach in Italy gets cancelled? You make some lemonade! I was offered a spot in Redcord's Neurac Level 1 course this past weekend in Princeton, NJ - almost as good as Rome!

What is record? - It's "Low Tech, High Knowledge" It's basically a system of pulleys, harnesses, ropes, and bungees. Think of everything you love about Pilates - without the moving reformer, and TrX, but better. It was invented by a carpenter/sailor/gymnast to provide traction to his back and was previously called sling exercise therapy.

Tyler showing cervical assessment with unweighted head/neck - so comfortable

The course was taught by owner of The Neurac Institute, and one of their main instructors, Tyler Joyce. Tyler is passionate about his company and product and it shows. He has done his research on pain and movement, referencing everyone from Hodges to Moseley. You know I'll enjoy a course when they reference Lorimer Moseley!

What's Neurac?

Unweighted UE shoulder mobilization - endless possibilities!
Neurac stands for neuromuscular activation, and this is quite the appropriate name for their medical track of courses. Like other recent courses I have attended and highly recommend (KinetaCore), Neurac uses a test-retest model and is grounded in the science of motor control. They define their exercises as a type of reset, which resonates so well with my approach. Neurac acknowledges
  • there is no standardized, and generally agreed definition of "core"
  • pain alters motor control
  • all treatments should be pain free, or if already in pain and unable to relieve, should at minimum not make pain worse
To re-establish sensorimotor control, Neurac uses 4 elements
  1. dynamic stabilization of single joints
  2. neuromuscular training of single joints
  3. reactive neuromuscular training
  4. exercise in total functional movement patterns
The Redcord system of ropes, bands, slings, and pulleys does wonders for threat reduction. And that's really what it is, a very simple, comfortable method of unweighting various elements and creating unstable surfaces for different methods of closed chain testing and treatment. Since exercises became functional, many have abandoned simple open chain exercises as being, non functional, particularly for the lower quarter. The slings and pulleys make movements like hip abduction and adduction closed chain.

There are several testing positions, in tall kneel/standing, supine, prone, and sidelying. Depending on how long and well you can perform the movements, your deep stabilizers and global movers are assessed for motor control/stability issues. On Day 1, we learned the Kneeling Setting, when the clinician palpates for global mover activation as the patient lightly leans forward having their arms in slings. For most, this was only 5-7 degrees of forward lean. The patient then backs off of the range where global movers fire, and holds for up to two minutes. If they can hold that long, the test becomes treatment. For many of us, using this very low threshold strategy, Top Tier SFMA movements like Multisegmental Flexion and Extension changed dramatically after only holding this lightly for 2 minutes.

They often reference Thomas Myer's Anatomy Trains, a text I recommend to see the different "lines" of muscles and connective tissues and how they are related. This was tested on day 2 because many of us had unilateral issues that came out in sidelying testing. For example, my cervical patterns were limited to rotation left, and extension, in addition to very limited and painful in left cervical sidebending. After exercising in right sidelying with a sling under my pelvis and left thigh to help activate my left adductor (which was pretty tough), my cervical patterns all returned to FN, with the exception of sidebending which was FP, from a very limited DN. This only took 4-5 minutes of exercise. This was a very effective way of treating a distal DN to help a proximal DP.

Very quickly into the course, you can see that due to the comfortable unweighted nature of the exercises, plus using bungees for assistance, you can....

  • systematically progress, and more importantly regress any exercise to restore motor control/stability
  • the exercises are only limited by your imagination and nearly any position and movement can be made pain free
  • have that extra 3 or even 4th hand assisting your any manual therapy technique
  • use the unweighting for repeated motions, getting to end range with even less threat, making the loading strategy easier for the patient for home exercises

Redcord has many different options and they get quite pricey. I wanted to take the course for different exercise and motor control options for both higher level, and now I realize even lower level patients. I plan on taking the rest of level 2 and 3 courses sometime in the future along with KinetaCore's and that should keep me busy for new tools in the box. What's the verdict? Highly recommended!

Keeping it Eclectic....

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