The Motor Control Restoration Story: Restoring movement.

The Motor Control Restoration project began in 1988 at the then Health Hill Hospital for Children, now the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation. The hospital served children with physical needs—children with cerebral palsy and those who sustained an injury such as a stroke, motor vehicle accident, or other trauma that affected the ability to use their muscles. In restoring movement to various patients, I found that traditional “biofeedback” did not work very well. For example, if a person was re-learning to stand after a stroke or head injury one or two muscles on the legs would be targeted. Most of the time targeting one or two muscles to achieve restoration of movement will not work because muscle groups (also called onstellations of muscles) are used to perform a movement, not just one or two muscles.

Typically, patients come to the program because traditional treatments for restoration of movement have stopped helping.   Many come to fine tune a movement they have learned. The Motor Control Restoration program was created to serve patients aged 18 months through adulthood who have been injured in some way (either before, during, or after birth) and need help learning how to use their muscles. The goal of every session is the return of function outside of therapy. It does not matter how well someone can do the movement in a clinic if there is no carry-over to home life.

I understand how the muscles work to determine what group of muscles to target. The best way to learn how to target the correct muscle groups is through experience and learning from many patients.  I have over 25 years and more than 10,000 hours doing this kind of work. The program offers treatment for those seeking restoration of movement as a result of motor vehicle accidents, stroke, traumatic head injuries, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injury, torticollis, swallowing difficulties, and many other conditions.

Having created the Motor Control Restoration program, the next step was to publish my findings. The many articles published in a variety of professional journals can be found on this site. There are three types of articles: Success statistics of the program, case studies, and academic articles about the construction of the program.