Neurological Physiotherapy is the term used to describe the physical therapy and treatment of patients who have neurological injuries or impairments such as:
Neurological Physiotherapists specialise in providing physical therapy that maximises neurological function. Neurological Physiotherapy can either take place in the home or at a physiotherapy centre or clinic. Home-based Neurological Physiotherapy is normally limited to mat work and free-standing exercises. At a physiotherapy centre, there is a wide range of machines that your physiotherapist can use to enhance your strengthening and stretching programme. It's also a common for neurological therapists to use hands-on physical therapy and manipulation.
The main objective of Neurological Physiotherapy is to increase the range of motion of the patient as well as increasing their ease of movement. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the patient's quality of life as much as possible. When a patient sustains damage to their central nervous system (either through trauma or disease), the messages that are sent out from the brain do not reach the parts of the body where they are needed. This can cause symptoms such as loss of coordination, difficulty controlling movement, reduction in mobility, weak or soft muscles, shakes, tremors and spasms. The aim of neurological physiotherapy is to restore the message pathways between your brain and the rest of the body, and encourage the production of new pathways. This is accomplished through repetitive actions and sequences of movements. Many patients succeed in making marked improvements in their symptoms, including better balance, coordination and mobility.
Neurological Physiotherapists have specialist knowledge and experience in assessing and working with patients with neurological impairments. They will use the latest techniques and stay up-to-date with current research to ensure that they are delivering the most effective treatments. The treatment programme will be tailored to the needs of each individual patient. As well as improving posture, walking, sitting, balance, range of motion and ease of movement, there is often a preventative aspect to Neurological Physiotherapy. It's important to educate the patient about good physical habits (such as being aware of their posture when standing or sitting) in order to avoid new problems developing in the future. Once you have reached your goals, your physiotherapist will help you to implement a maintenance programme, much of which you may be able to carry out at home either on your own or under the supervision of a family member or carer. If you have a progressive neurological illness such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease, your contact with your Neurological Physiotherapist will continue and they will be able to guide you at each stage of your illness as it progresses. They can help you to understand what to expect and how to pre-empt physical problems before they manifest.