Neurologicalphysiotherapistsworkwith patients who have movement and functionaldisabilities that have been derived fromdamage to the nervous system.
The main mechanical problems associated with damage to the nervous system aremuscular weakness, sensory issues, decreased balance,decreased coordination and uncontrolled movements that can lead to increased muscle tremors.
Common neurological conditions are:
- Muscular dystrophies
- Stroke, CVA or TIA
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis),
- TM (transverse myelitis),
- MG (Myasthenia gravis)
The moment a patient has astroke, spinal injury or traumatic brain injury theymust seek immediate medical attention. These patients are initially treated at the hospital and the neurologist will usually refer them to a physiotherapist. The Physiotherapist will assess the patient’s strength, balance, cognition, perception and coordination and then create a treatment program according to the patientsneeds. This treatment plan includes:
- Exercise: To regain strength, endurance, coordination and balance
- Mobility Aids: The use of a walking frame, or other walking aids as required
- Breathing and Circulation Exercises: Deep breathing exercises/segmental breathing exercises to help maintain the airway and to prevent respiratory complications and chest infections
- Positioning / splinting: the limbs are positioned in the correct way to prevent the tightening of muscles and to prevent bed sores
- Teaching transfer techniques: The patient is taught how to do easy transfer techniques to move safely in and out of bed, sit up, stand and walk
- Planning necessary changes at home: Necessary changes and equipment may be acquired at home after discharge,the physiotherapist works with the patient to apply these changes
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