Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI)
Manual therapy technique that helps children reach their gross motor milestones
Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) is a comprehensive intervention that incorporates current research on neurorehabilitation, technologies, and methodologies. This therapeutic technique is used by physical (PT) and occupational therapists to treat children with gross motor impairments by improving and/or provoking a desired action with great emphasis on alignment, sensory integration, and function. The goal is to promote progress toward developmental milestones. Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) is currently available for in the Denver, CO area.
Regardless of level of cognition and extent of neurological deficit or damage, affected children benefit from DMI motor intervention as it pertains to stimulating neuroplasticity in the developing brain. Children diagnosed with any type of motor delay including the conditions listed below may benefit from this form of therapy.
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- global developmental delay
- chromosomal abnormalities/genetic disorders
- spinal cord lesions
- acquired brain injury
Children at risk, such as those who are born prematurely can also benefit from this therapy due to the strong neuroplastic changes that this treatment stimulates within the developing brain.
What happens during DMI?
After a brief assessment, the therapist will identify areas of deficit, which will guide the treatment. The therapist chooses exercises that will challenge the child’s neurological system to the highest level of skill as well as exercises that develop the core and foundational milestones. Exercises involve movement against gravity, progressively more challenging support, provocation of desired movements, as well as postural and strength challenges.
DMI focuses on these skills:
Gross motor skills
Improving gross motor skills of children from birth by developing automatic motor movement. (Promotes Neurological Maturity)
Continuously increasing the challenge to encourage the child to respond with greater independence
Alignment and Postural Control
All exercises focus on optimal anatomical alignment and stimulate postural control and verticality
Range of Motion
Muscle and joint range of motion is achieved by movement (Dynamical and functional stretching)
Improved balance is a common thread through most DMI exercises
Improving actions and skills that lead to attaining milestones such as rolling, sitting, standing, and walking
The strong sensory information provided by the exercises sends afferent messages to the brain to create specialized synapses that fine tune balance, muscle control, and movement
Modifying tone, primitive reflexes, and abnormal patterns of movement
DMI focuses on gross motor skills, however, many other skills develop as a byproduct of this intensive intervention