Over the last ten years, there has been a dramatic growth in the acceptance of physiotherapy as an essential treatment component for many medical conditions.
As the profession evolves, many expert streams have emerged, necessitating advanced training and an enhanced set of specific expertise.
One such stream is neurological physiotherapy, in which therapists have received intensive training in treating neurological conditions.
What is neurological physiotherapy?
To effectively move muscles, your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) send signals to the muscles (peripheral nervous system). When the nervous system is damaged, the signals do not reach their destination. That is where neuro physiotherapy comes in to assess what is wrong with the body, reactivate nervous system signals, retrain normal movement pathways, or access alternative pathways/strategies.
Neuro physiotherapy can be used to treat any neurological condition that affects movement and physical ability.
The principles of neuroscience and neuroplasticity, movement science, and exercise therapy guide treatment aimed at improving an individual’s physical function, independence and quality of life.
The ability of neural networks in the brain to change and adapt as a result of experience, growth, and reorganisation is referred to as neuroplasticity. Neuro physiotherapy focuses on neuroplasticity.
It empowers and enhances movement through strengthening, sensory stimulation, positive reinforcement, and verbal feedback. Consider it rewiring the brain to re-learn impaired or lost function.
Common neurological conditions
- Traumatic brain injury or head Injury
- Spinal cord injury or tumours
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bell’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Motor neuron disease
- Basal Ganglia disorder
Common symptoms of neurological conditions
Muscle weakness, spasticity, altered movement control and coordination, sensory changes, perceptual issues, walking and balance problems, altered upper and lower limb function, fatigue, and pain are all common physical problems.
Depending on the medical condition, the effects can range from motor deficits, paralysis, tremor, and spasm to ataxia or lack of sensation.
This is because damage to the central nervous system can result in the breakdown of afferent and efferent pathways that carry nerve signals to and from muscles and organs, resulting in neurological symptoms.
What is the difference between a physiotherapist and a neuro physiotherapist?
Physiotherapists are allied health professionals who work with people of all ages to improve daily physical function, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, and improve the overall quality of life through physical movement. Physiotherapists work with healthy people, athletes, and people who are disabled or have various acute or chronic health conditions, including ageing populations.
Physiotherapy is frequently used to assist individuals affected by disability, illness, or injury in regaining motor function and movement of joints, muscles, and tendons. Maintaining muscle activity and joint flexibility, inhibits wasting and deterioration of function while promoting rehabilitation.
Neuro physiotherapy is a subspecialty of physiotherapy that focuses on improving the function of patients with physical impairment due to neurological conditions.
People suffering from movement disorders caused by injury or disease of the brain, spinal cord, or extremities of the body are assessed and treated by neurological physiotherapists. The goal is to maximise your potential so you can live a healthier, happier life.
The advantages of neurological physiotherapy treatments
Various neurological and neuromuscular conditions can benefit from neurological physiotherapy assessment and treatment.
The advantage of neurological physiotherapy is that it allows people with neurological injuries/diseases to function as well as they can in everyday life.
Therapists have to analyse “normal movement” to treat patients. Developing this skill requires an understanding of standard movement patterns, as well as biomechanics.
Neurological physiotherapists can employ various techniques to improve movement efficiency if standard movement patterns are disrupted.
Treating neurological conditions is typically based on exercises that attempt to overcome motor deficits and improve motor patterns to restore motor function. Based on primary and clinical science research information, various theoretical frameworks have been promoted to achieve this goal.
Neurological conditions can have a devastating impact on the lives of those who suffer from them, as well as their families and friends.
Consequently, patients’ and families’ ability to effectively communicate with the multidisciplinary team, including speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, nurses, and doctors, is essential to successful rehabilitation following neurological disorders.
Final thoughts on Neurological Physiotherapy Treatment
Neurological physiotherapy should begin as soon as possible after an injury to ensure the best possible recovery.
Neurological physiotherapy focuses on assessing and treating conditions affecting the nerves of the brain or body.
Physical function problems in people with neurological conditions can include issues with muscle strength, range of motion, coordination, sensation, balance, and mobility.
At Australian Sports Physiotherapy, we are fortunate to have Jessica Georgy from Revive Neuro physiotherapy to support our patients with all their neurological conditions.
At Australian Sports Physiotherapy, we are a dedicated team committed to providing the best treatment, advice, and support to enable you to be the best you can be.
We therefore house Revive Neuro Physiotherapy to support our patients with all neurological conditions.