A neurological physiotherapist is one who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with movement difficulties due to an injury or disease of the nervous system. A neurologic clinical specialist (NCS) is a physiotherapist who has advanced training in neurological therapy. These specialists develop a plan of care using a variety of treatment techniques to help restore function and help you move better with a neurological condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or stroke. Neurological conditions are challenging and having a team of these specialists on your side is very beneficial. Studies have shown that physiotherapy is very beneficial to those who suffer from neurological conditions.
Neuro Therapy and Physiotherapy
Neuro therapy is a non-invasive treatment that allows individuals to gain information about their brain activity and learn how to change it. Brainwave activity is measured with an EEG, and “brain maps” are created. Physiotherapists work closely with those who specialize in neurological therapy. Without physiotherapy following a neurological injury, patients may be unable to perform certain activities, lose function and lose their independence. Physiotherapists who specialize in neurology work with a wide range of patients who may have the following conditions:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s nerve cells. It’s a progressive disease. The disease causes slurred speech, severe tremors and irregular facial expressions. Physiotherapy has been shown to help those with chronic conditions like Parkinson’s disease. It improves flexibility and strength. As a matter of fact, physiotherapy is now an essential part of many treatment plans. Your physiotherapist can help address the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as gait, freezing and dystonia.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in adults. Your physiotherapist is part of the stroke rehabilitation team and will develop an individualized plan for the best outcome. Your physiotherapist can help you improve walking and balance, train you on how to use assistive devices and provide training for your caregivers. Therapy typically includes constraint-induced movement therapy, functional electrical stimulation, motor image, partial body weight support and neuro therapy like biofeedback. Biofeedback is a type of neurological therapy that helps you be aware of how your muscles work and how you can change things. The therapist will attach electrodes to your skin, so you can see measurements of muscle activity on a screen. The goal of your physiotherapist is to help you regain functional skills after a stroke, so you can get back to your life.
With multiple sclerosis, it’s likely that you’ll be feeling weakness, fatigue and pain. Physiotherapy can help you manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. A physiotherapist will help you with stretches to ease muscle spasms, exercises to keep muscles strong and specific range-of-motion exercises for movement. With physiotherapy, you can improve balance problems and trouble moving your body. You’ll also be given expert instruction on how to use assistive devices, such as a cane or wheelchair. A physiotherapist can help you through all the stages of multiple sclerosis.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurological disease that typically begins in the hands, feet and extremities, then progresses centrally. People may first discover that they have difficulty walking, tripping or poor balance. In addition, people may notice that they have weakness in their hands or legs, along with occasional muscle cramps. As the disease progresses, it affects walking, use of the arms, speaking, swallowing and breathing muscles. While there is no cure for ALS, maintaining independence and function as long as possible is the goal of the rehabilitation team. Safety with walking and adaptation of assistive devices is critical to prevent secondary complications such as fractures from falls. Physiotherapy focuses on improving and maintaining range of motion, strength, stamina, walking and balance. In addition, our physiotherapists will focus on making recommendations for adaptive equipment such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, braces and other devices. The goal of physiotherapy is to maintain safety with walking and independence for as long as possible.
The field of neurological therapy and physiotherapy work together today. It gives patients who suffer from a neurological condition the best of both worlds. Do you suffer from a neurological condition? Is this condition impacting your lifestyle? If so, be sure to contact Elite Physiotherapy Clinic, Progressive Sports Medicine, or Total Health Link today in Burlington, ON for a one-on-one consultation and comprehensive assessment. Our skilled and knowledgeable Burlington physiotherapists can help you manage the symptoms of your neurological condition. Each patient has unique needs, and our therapists will provide you with an individualized treatment plan for success.