Vaclav Vojta and Reflex Locomotion Therapy


Vaclav Vojta, MD was a pediatric neurologist and college professor whose life’s vocation is best remembered for his work with children inflicted with cerebral palsy, a brain disorder of unknown origins that affects muscle tor skills. Children with cerebral palsy often have difficulty speaking, standing and walking.

In the course of his work, Vojta discovered that children with CP responded to speak more clearly, and eventually stand and walk.

Vojta concluded that there existed some sort of functional blockade that was keeping these children from achieving developmental milestones of speech and movement.

Moreover, Vojta determined that specific movement patterns were present within the nervous system from birth in all humans, and could be activated through locomotion reflex stimulation. Human developmental motor skills include grasping, rolling, crawling, standing and walking.

How Vojta Therapy Works

Vojta therapy is administered with the patient in a prone, supine or side-lying position. When the therapist applies directed pressure to specific zones of the body, every patient, regardless of age, involuntarily responds reflexively in the same way. The technique elicits two complexes of movement patterns:

Reflex Creeping: Elicited in a prone body position, this movement pattern mimics creeping, an early developmental milestone in infants.
Reflex Rolling: Begun in a supine or side-lying position, reflex stimulus elicits rolling to crawling on all-fours.

Vojta therapy is founded on the premise that the brain sto inherently programmed segmental movement patterns.

Dynamic Neuromuscular Stimulation

The underlying premises of Vojta’s methods have been adopted and adapted for work with elite athletes by Pavel Kolar, PT, who trained under Dr. Vojta at the Vojta Institute in Munich. Kolar began using Vojta’s principles of reflex locomotion therapy to the development of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stimulation, or DNS.
Human posture, movement and gait are controlled by the nervous system, and are fundamentally established during early childhood. Vojta therapy and DNS essentially resurrect neurodevelopmental aspects of motor system.

Always on the cutting edge of treatment, the sports medicine team at NYDNRehab utilizes the principles of Vojta and DNS today for a consultation, and discover why the professionals at NYDNRehab are the very best sports medicine team in NYC.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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