Understanding Neurological Disorders
When it comes to disorders that commonly affect the CNS,
some of the most common conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, multiple system
atrophy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Rett syndrome, traumatic brain
injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and
In terms of disorders that commonly affect the PNS, this
list includes Erb’s palsy, Bell’s palsy, diabetic neuropathy, Guillain-Barre
syndrome, alcoholic neuropathy, HIV neuropathy, myasthenia gravis, cauda equina
syndrome, and radiculopathy.
These conditions each have unique impacts on those who
suffer from them. Their symptoms include everything from loss of mobility,
sensation, balance, or coordination to impaired speech, cognition, memory, or
speech, as well as significant behavioural changes.
The Specialized Approach of Physiotherapy Clinics
One of the ways that people who are faced with neurological
disorders can seek treatment is by going to a physiotherapy clinic for neurological physiotherapy. This therapy is aimed at
helping an individual to either maintain or regain maximum movement
capabilities and/or functional independence.
A neurological physiotherapist can help along this
kind of recovery in patients suffering from neurological disorders by using
repetition and exercise to aid in the development of new pathways.
Although a physiotherapist may not always be able to
directly or independently treat a specific medical condition other than
musculoskeletal conditions, through various therapeutic approaches, they can
help optimize recovery outcomes while also educating a person on how to help themself
in various ways.
In most cases, physiotherapy treatment includes examinations
of a person’s flexibility, movement, and muscle and joint motion, leading to a
clinical diagnosis, prognosis, and the development of a care plan that includes
both long- and short-term goals.
This is followed by various treatments and interventions
targeted at the relief of certain symptoms, or the enhancement of particular
functions, which is paired with detailed instructions on exercises the patient
can do on their own at home.
What are the specialized techniques in neurological physiotherapy?
Neurological physiotherapy involves specific concentration
on the comprehensive functionality of the nervous system, including the spinal
cord, brain, and nerves. Neurological physiotherapists utilize specialized
techniques to help enhance their patients’ motor function, balance, and
Treatment approaches vary depending on the individual’s
condition, symptoms, and goals. In many cases, however, a combination of methods
focused on the improvement of normal movement, motor relearning, and
synergistic movement are employed. As such treatments progress, patient will
likely be able to regain their ability to complete everyday tasks like walking,
climbing stairs, and getting out of bed on their own.
One example of an approach often used in neurological
physiotherapy is the application of facilitation techniques. These involve
proprioceptive maneuvers like joint compression, joint distraction, and the use
of reflexes such as stretching and resisting to achieve optimal muscular
Tapping is another technique used to facilitate voluntary
muscle contractions by applying a light amount of force to muscles or tendons.
One more method is cryotherapy, which uses ice to facilitate muscle responses
through the combined sensations of coolness and pain.
In recent years, traditional neurological physiotherapy
approaches have become increasingly combined with the use of modern
technologies that enhance the effectiveness of rehabilitation.
Thus, some of the specialized approaches to therapy may include robotic-assisted training, virtual reality, non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), and functional electrostimulation, which are various ways to manipulate brain excitability and plasticity.
How Physiotherapy Helps Enhance Neuroplasticity and Functional Improvement
Various parts of our brains are constantly transmitting
information to each other and to other parts of our body. This information
circulates within our brains from neuron to neuron via special connections
Neurons can increase or decrease the
strength of existing synapses, and they can also form new synaptic connections
or eliminate old ones. Our nervous system thus can alter its
activity by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections, which it
does as a result of intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli. This is known as
Neurological physiotherapy takes advantage of the brain’s
capacity to adapt and recover in this manner by providing targeted activities
and exercises that stimulate the nervous system in various ways.
Certain movements and exercises target neural pathways and
assist in the growth of new neural connections. Therefore, by encouraging a
patient to engage in such repetitive and functional movements, a
physiotherapist can help improve functional recovery and promote neuroplastic
After assessing a person’s specific needs, a physiotherapist
can design rehabilitation exercises and an overarching rehabilitation plan that
will be most suitable for promoting neuroplasticity in that person’s brain.
As this rehabilitation plan is executed and the patient’s
physiotherapy treatment progresses, they should experience notable improvements
in their motor function, as well as other types of functional restoration and
By encouraging neuroplasticity, physiotherapists can also
help halt disease progression and development, resulting in significant ongoing
improvements to patients’ quality of life.
The Role of Physiotherapy in Managing Neurological Disorders and Conditions
Working with a physiotherapist who specializes in
neurological physiotherapy is one of the best chances that someone has to
overcome the symptoms that negatively impact their life when they are afflicted
by a disorder or condition.
Whether you have a condition like Alzheimer’s disease,
Parkinson’s disease, or cerebral palsy (which affects your central nervous
system), or one like Erb’s palsy, Bell’s palsy, diabetic neuropathy, or
radiculopathy (which affects your peripheral nervous system), the various methods
and technologies employed in neurological physiotherapy can help improve your
quality of life.
By engaging in specialized treatments and exercises that are
aimed at triggering neuroplasticity in your brain so that it can form new
synapses and, in turn, regain motor control and mobility, you can recover the
ability to participate in all kinds of activities that you may otherwise