People with brain damage can manifest various problems that also have a great functional impact, such as not being able to get up from bed alone, sitting on their own, or standing up.
All these alterations that affect parts of the body, however, have the cause of their dysfunction in the brain, so the professional in charge of treating them, the physiotherapist, must be familiar with this very specific pathology and approach it from neurological physiotherapy.
Neurological physiotherapy is the part of physiotherapy that is aimed at treating alterations due to an affectation of the central or peripheral nervous system.
The Neurological Physiotherapy is a specialty directed to patients with diseases of the nervous system, such as:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down’s syndrome
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Facial paralysis
It is important that a professional specialized in Neurology is in charge of evaluating and conducting the treatment, given the complexity of this condition. Knowledge of motor, sensory and cognitive function is necessary to formulate a specific treatment plan for the needs and goals that the patient and his family want to achieve.
Neurological physiotherapy makes available to the patient with brain damage, a series of knowledge aimed at improving, among other aspects, the quality and efficiency of movements, postural control, improving gait, stability, reducing spasticity, tremors, fatigue and the search for autonomy, independence in daily life and thus improve the quality of life of both the patient and the family member or caregiver.
After an evaluation aimed at assessing the patient’s preserved abilities and their difficulties, the neurological physiotherapist, together with the patient and / or family, establishes a series of objectives to be achieved with the treatment.
The physiotherapist specialized in neurology searches, investigates, and updates. You must know how and where a movement arises, what systems are activated, what muscles participate … and be able to apply this knowledge to the reality of the patient, to improve their quality of life.
In neurological physiotherapy, one cannot lose sight of the fact that the damage is in the nervous system, and it is on it that we must act. Therefore, clinical practice must be based on current knowledge of neuroplasticity, motor control and motor learning.
This specialty aims to restore functionality through learning to move and re-establish the injured patient’s emotional and physical identity. Neurological physiotherapy can also be called neurofunctional physiotherapy.
Advantages of Neurological Physiotherapy
Neurological physiotherapy is essential in the treatment of people with neurological injuries (from mild to more severe injuries). After all:
- It works with the recovery of the functional capacity of all patients who have some type of brain injury;
- Stimulates motor, physical learning or relearning of the patient’s daily life activity;
- Exercises the patient’s motor and cognitive parts (this includes, for example, memory and concentration exercises);
- Helps the patient to gain muscle strength and joint mobility;
- Improves posture and balance;
- Prevents complications;
- Promotes individual autonomy;
- The treatment has exercises separated by body region and will be related to the daily life of each patient;
- Improves the patient’s quality of life.
The Importance of Neurological Physiotherapy in Brain Injuries
Neurological physiotherapy applies both to patients who have brain injuries at birth (such as cerebral palsy) as well as to people who have acquired a lifelong injury (Alzheimer, Stroke, Head Trauma, Parkinson’s Disease, etc.).
For these patients, it is very important to work on recovery and return to maximum functionality and independence.
The patient assisted by neurological physiotherapy may recover partially or fully their functions, because some pathologies can leave sequelae and, therefore, the physiotherapist will seek the most appropriate alternatives for the patient to achieve the most independent possible way in their daily lives.
What Other Diseases Can Be Treated by Neurological Physiotherapy?
The following situations can be met by this method:
- Down syndrome
- ALS- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury (due to an accident)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Guillan Barreé syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy