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The Vojta method is used primarily in infants, because the rehabilitation of children up to the age of one brings the best results. Asymmetry of the body position, torticollis, paresis, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy or disorders of central nervous coordination - these are just some of the indications for exercising with the Vojta method.

The Vojta method( exercises with the Vojta method ) takes its name from the name of Czech pediatric neurologist Václav Vojta. After years of observing the motor development of newborns and infants, he came to the conclusion that even the smallest damage to the nervous system can lead to disturbances in muscle tone, and this in turn results in the consolidation of abnormal movement patterns. Professor Vojta, while working with young patients suffering from spastic cerebral palsy, noticed that pressure on a certain part of the body causes a motor reflex elsewhere in the body. As a result of systematic exercise, his little patients with cerebral palsy were able to stand over time and then began to walk. Based on his own many years of experience, Václav Vojta has developed a method based on the stimulation of the central nervous system, which supports the development of normal motor processes and prevents motor development disorders.

Vojta method: rehabilitation process

Professor Vojta pointed to several features of children's behavior, even in the neonatal period, which should arouse parents' vigilance, because they may indicate a malfunctioning of the central nervous system. They include, among others stretching of the legs, asymmetrical body position that excessively, involuntarily bends to the right or left, not making eye contact, tilting the head back and flexing the torso, clenching the fists with the thumb inside the hand, trembling legs or arms, too little muscle tension. Early diagnosis makes it possible to start rehabilitation quickly, thanks to which there is a chance to prevent more serious disorders of motor development.

Exercises using the Vojta method can only be conducted by a specialist who has undergone training in this field and has the appropriate permissions. First, he looks at the child, puts pressure on his body at various points, and observes the reactions. Then, he chooses the most optimal method of stimulation, adapted to the needs and age of the child. With 2-3a month-old baby can practice a few minutes, with a 7-8 month old baby even several minutes. The rehabilitator also teaches parents how to deal with the child, because the exercises, at least in the initial period, should also be performed at home. Sometimes parents worry that their children cry during rehabilitation, because the Vojta method is designed to be painless. However, stimulating the movement processes may be uncomfortable for a baby, which is why parents play a more important role here, who should support the child during exercise, be close to him and soothe him.

Vojta method: indications

The main indications for the Vojta rehabilitation method are:

  • asymmetry of body position
  • bad posture
  • torticollis of muscle origin
  • paresis
  • hydrocephalus
  • cerebral palsy
  • disorders of central nervous coordination, which include various types of abnormalities or deviations in the spontaneous motor activity of children, as well as postural and reflex reactions.

The Vojta method is also used in the rehabilitation of children with spina bifida, Down syndrome, brachial plexus injuries that occurred during childbirth, meningeal hernia, hip dysplasia and congenital myopathies, which include a group of diseases related to muscle damage. Vojta rehabilitation is most often carried out in infants and young children, but it can also bring positive results in the treatment of adult patients. In this case, its goal is to regain normal motor patterns that have been lost as a result of, for example, illness.

Vojta method: contraindications

Contraindication to the use of the Vojta method are all kinds of infections, with fever (temperature above 38 degrees C), vomiting, diarrhea or acute inflammation. Exercises should also not be performed in the event of a child's general weakness, e.g. due to vaccination. In adults, contraindications are cancer, pregnancy, problems with the circulatory system or respiratory failure.

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