Physiotherapy is often used to help restore motor function and movement of joints, muscles, and tendons in people affected by disability, illness, or injury. By keeping the muscles active and the joints flexible, prevents wasting and degeneration, as well as promotes recovery.
Neuro-physiotherapy is a specialized branch of physiotherapy dedicated to improving the function of patients who have suffered from neurological disorders.
In what situations is neuro-physiotherapy used?
Any neurological condition that affects movement and physical strength can be treated with the use of neuro-physiotherapy. Some common situations in which this is used includes:
Traumatic brain injury/head injury
Spinal cord injury
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Depending on the medical condition, the effects may range from a motor impairment, paralysis, tremors, and spasm to ataxia or hearing loss. This is because injuries to the central nervous system can lead to the rupture of various and moving pathways that carry nerve signals to and from muscles and limbs, resulting in symptoms of nervous conditions.
What does neuro-physiotherapy include?
The purpose of neuro-physiotherapy is to help rehabilitate physical disabilities caused by emotional conditions as already mentioned. It is tailored to the individual needs of each individual. For example, does the patient need major improvements such as learning to walk again, or is a small movement that requires adjustment? This will be determined by the neurological physiotherapist at the first visit
The brain can lose and build new connections, something called neuroplasticity. Neuro-physiotherapy is different from traditional physiotherapy in that it utilizes this phenomenon, helping its brain to regenerate synaptic connections. In fact, it stimulates the mind to learn or re-learn tasks and skills.
What is Neurological Physiotherapy?
Neuro-physiotherapy can be done in a one-on-one manner, such as when the posture needs to be improved or the patient needs to re-learn to walk, stand or sit if the damage is severe. Other activities such as walking and moderate exercise can also be done in groups to create a friendly environment and make recovery more enjoyable.
Neuro-physiotherapy does not stop at simple idle exercises or exercises designed to build strength and coordination. Depending on the severity of the injury, leg or splints may be prescribed to help the joints recover. In some cases, mobility aids may be needed such as a wheelchair or a special wheelchair, which includes training to use them.
In all cases of neuro-physiotherapy, the exercises taught by neurological physiotherapists should be repeated both in the clinic and at home daily to ensure that muscle tone and motor function do not deteriorate. This may include simple ‘home’ exercise, or regular visits to the clinic to participate in parallel or group activities.
Rehabilitation will depend on the degree of injury/damage to the brain, as well as how neuro-physiotherapy begins. In addition, the attitude or determination of the person affected is also important for success. Caregivers and family members need to be equally involved in this process, not only to ensure that neuro-physiotherapy is done both at home and in the clinic but also to improve the patient's behavior and attitude.
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