Neurac (Neuromuscular Activation) is a therapy method developed at the beginning of 21st century by Norwegian doctors and therapists in cooperation with specialists from other countries. It is based on experience of therapists working with Redcord device and the scientific rules which have been confirmed in many experimental studies conducted all around the world. The theory behind of Neurac method is related to the generation of correct locomotor patterns by the nervous system and the assumption that the majority of locomotor system dysfunctions is generated by a disorder of mechanisms joining the work of local and global muscle groups. The theory may, in line with the current state of knowledge, be used for the explanation of the causes of dysfunctions both within the peripheral joints and the mobile junctions of the backbone.

Studies show that the functioning of local stabilizing muscles may be disrupted by pain or lack of proper stimulation. The above factors may lead to impairment of the locomotor function, decreasing muscle strength and functional disorders in the nervous system. It is interesting that despite the disappearance of the pain stimuli, the motor programs encoded in the nervous systems may be disturbed, which leads to a chronic dysfunction and further escalation of pain.

The aim of Neuromuscular Activation (Neurac) is to restore the proper motor programs, which is possible only by means of intense stimulation of the nervous system. In order for the therapy to be efficient, all exercises must be performed in pain-free conditions. Neurac therapy brings desired effects only when performed in such conditions.

Elements of the Neurac method

Closed kinetic chains exercises and progress ladder

One of the basic elements used in Neurac method are exercises in closed kinetic exercises. The exercises allow to minimize shearing forces which may lead to damage to passive stabilising elements, as well as to activate many motor units, thanks to which their influence on the muscular system is more general. The listed features of exercises in closed kinetic chains are used for the purpose of intense nervous system stimulation. The weight used for the exercises is adjusted on the basis of the so-called progress ladder. The progress ladder is a manner of making the exercise gradually more and more difficult. The patient may go up to a higher, more difficult rump of the ladder only after the exercise on the lower level is done properly and does not cause any pain experience.

Vibrations and unstable ground

During the performance of exercises according to Neurac method vibrations are used in order to increase the nervous system stimulation. They may be used from the very beginning of the rehabilitation. The next element of similar meaning is the unstable ground. Application of this factor increases the difficulty of the exercises and leads to formation of proper reflexive neuromuscular activity in patients.

Neurac method – procedures

In the Neurac method there are two types of procedures: maintaining long-time tension and giving great load (especially to the nervous system). Local muscles of cervical and lumbar region of the vertebral column are subject to the first type of procedure. If the sufficiently long time of maintaining muscle tension (above 2 minutes) does not cause pain, fatigue or discomfort, the second procedure may be introduced, in which the activation of local stabilising muscles is joined with the activation of global muscles. In this type, the time of exercise is not as important as the number of its repetitions (4-5) with a significant load on the nervous system, obtained by the work of many muscle groups, vibrations, unstable ground etc. In both methods, the patient should climb to the highest level of progress ladder which the patient can achieve during a given session (exercising correctly, without pain or other discomfort.

Elimination of pain

For the nervous system to achieve proper motor program, it is necessary to eliminate any pain, which is a factor which blocks such a change. It can be achieved by rest, introducing support elements and vibration.

Neurac method in its present form stems from the earlier system of exercises: Sling Exercise Therapy (SET).  Neurac is a reflection of natural evolution of SET from a loose group of rehabilitation techniques into a fully formalized therapeutic method with its own diagnostic panel and strict vectors of treatment proceedings. Although it was less structuralised, SET included many elements present currently in the Neurac method. It involved the examination and improvement of functioning of local muscles in the cervical and lumbar regions of the vertebral column, introduced progress ladders for functional integration of local and global system muscles, stressed the significance of neuromuscular control, as well as gradually moved from more "laboratory-like" exercise techniques to fully functional motion patterns present in everyday activity of every patient.


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