Neurological physiotherapy for brain damage
But what about the movement? what about functionality?
It is true that on many occasions, mobility and functionality are greatly affected. People who see altered movement of the hand or who associate an apraxia , or an aphasia that makes it difficult or prevents them from speaking or certain movements. Neurological physiotherapy in brain damage is a useful tool to achieve a great improvement in the motor function of the upper and lower limbs after brain damage, associating an increase in the quality of life of patients.
Why does my physical therapist make me exercise?
Neurological physiotherapy tries to help you retrain those muscles that are most affected, that respond in an altered way or that need to be recruited more effectively.
Trunk exercises (deep and superficial abdominals, deep spinal erectors…) improve balance when people who have suffered brain damage are sitting. These exercises manage to increase trunk stability, as well as mobility and functional independence.
Apart from muscle work itself, if we want to achieve stability we must work on anticipatory postural adjustments (imperceptible muscle contractions that the body needs to stabilize and be able to carry out a movement).
These anticipatory postural adjustmentsThey are the ones that allow our body to leave one part still to make a movement with the other. I will give you an example: imagine that you want to take a cup that you have right in front of you.
Surely you will not realize that for this your abdomen has contracted, your scapula or shoulder blade has stabilized, the opposite shoulder to the one performing the movement has moved slightly back and your body has rotated to the left if you are right-handed so that your right arm has reached the cup.
Well, all this and much more, is what happens to go get the cup of coffee. When these adjustments, these movements have been lost, their retraining is necessary for the movement to be functional, for a stable base to exist in our body and to be able to move a certain segment and execute an action.
And what happens when I feel like I’m falling to all sides?
As we have already commented in other entries on neurological physiotherapy and neurorehabilitation, certain patients with neurological involvement may have an alteration in the perception of space, for example those who suffer from hemineglect , in addition to difficulty in carrying out these anticipatory adjustments, for which reason the therapist must offer that external stability through aids, so that the treatment session is as productive as possible.
Many relatives of people affected by brain damage have a clear objective; the March. However, we cannot walk when the environment is unstable, or if we can, our march will be different. Try climbing on stilts with the base smeared with grease and crossing an ice rink. Hard right? Now take off your stilts, grease your soles and cross the track again. It might be easier, but it’s still complicated.
The same thing happens when we have the impression that we are falling to all sides, when even the ground under our feet, which was firm before the injury, now seems unstable. Maintaining balance is a very hard task when we have stopped noticing part of our body, or when the healthy half of our body pushes us towards the affected side, or when everything that happens on the affected side has ceased to exist. Undoubtedly, in these cases, in order to be able to move, other factors that condition gait must first be worked on and, fortunately, appropriate treatment usually improves dynamic balance and symmetry.
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How does neurological physiotherapy work?
Among the best known and those that require the intervention of neurological physiotherapy are cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, cerebrovascular accident (CVA, cerebrovascular accident or cerebral embolism), Parkinson’s disease, disease and traumatic brain injury , as a result of Alzheimer’s disease as well as accidents and trauma in general. However, various other diseases and disorders arise daily and present themselves in the area of physiotherapy in neurology.
The techniques are applied to patients who have some change or alteration in their movement or even paralysis of one or more members of the body. In order for these parameters to be smoothed or normalized, the most common treatments within neurological physiotherapy consist of the use of resources such as electrical stimulation, manual therapies and movement simulators, both in the office and in home care.
Right now there is a simulator in home physiotherapy (dual bicycle for rehabilitation exercise), state-of-the-art electrotherapy devices for the total or partial recovery of circulation in neurological patients , in combination with other techniques used in this branch of physiotherapy.
The professionals specialized in neurological physiotherapy and published in this section are fully trained to use and apply the necessary techniques for the full recovery of patients and to identify opportunities during the phases of the evolution of the individual framework, realizing what can be changed. , strengthening or softening during sessions.
Home Physiotherapy aims to restore the physical, personal and social identity of patients, always in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
See all treatments in Neurological Physiotherapy:
- (CVA) Cerebral Vascular Accident
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerose
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Neurological Physiotherapy
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson disease
- Asperger Syndrome – Autism
- Down syndrome (DS)
- Spinal cord trauma (SCT)
- Cerebral palsy
- Physiotherapists specializing in neurological physiotherapy use physiotherapy techniques such as the Bobath method, kabbat, Vojta Perfetti and many others.
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Yes Yes. But How does neurological physiotherapy contribute to it?
In the same neurological physiotherapy session, we can leave room for walking if that is your goal to improve. Once the anticipatory postural adjustments, stability, stabilizing musculature, normalized the muscles involved in walking, we get to work on the go in a controlled way and with full attention to each movement.
For this work it will help us a lot to know what the scientific advances say in our area of work, in this case physiotherapy, and to apply the techniques that have proven to be effective in clinical practice.
When the alteration is mainly in the muscles, the correct work on the muscles involved in the action can have very beneficial consequences. For example, in the plegic foot, the treatment of the peroneal muscles, added to the use of a splint, can improve the quality and speed of the step.
Regarding stride length, gait symmetry and speed, some patients may benefit from an external agent as simple as a metronome. Since the use of a rhythmic sequence can produce an improvement in these parameters.
Types of intervention
After an initial assessment to detect the problem of the affected person and taking into account their ability to move, the following therapies can be performed:
weekly sessions in which the affected person and the neurological physiotherapy professional work on personalized objectives after a prior assessment. The purpose is to address the changes in mobility caused by the disease and that affect the quality of life of the affected person.
Therapeutic Pilates and motor control:
Iit is the application of the Pilates method, directed by physiotherapists, in neurological rehabilitation. The goal is to improve postural control and core stability, with special attention to the abdominal-lumbar girdle, combined with breathing and gradual learning of proper movement patterns. It begins with individual preparatory sessions to continue in group sessions, depending on the level.
Neurological aquatic therapy:
Uses the properties of water and specific physiotherapy techniques to improve strength, fatigue and balance. The sessions will take place in a different environment free of risk of falls, allowing greater independence of movement.
Therapeutic exercise group sessions aimed at people with MS and mild motor impairment and under the supervision of a trained professional from our neurological physiotherapy team. The objective is to improve muscular strength, as well as postural and motor control, in addition to providing tools for a more optimal development and performance of physical activity. To achieve this, a functional training is developed with various types of exercises using different elements such as TRX, weights, balls, etc. in addition to your own body weight.
Therapy with exoskeleton for gait and balance:
It allows to re-educate the gait of those people with neurological disorders, reproducing physiological movement patterns, avoiding compensation and creating a more efficient gait pattern. The treatment is individualized and the parameters are adapted according to each patient after a specific assessment.
What does neurological physiotherapy treatment consist of?
Neurological physiotherapy is based on a series of rehabilitation methods such as the following:
- The human brain is dynamic and can adapt to changes after brain injury.
- Treatment should be tailored to the symptoms of how to use it for strengthening, sensory stimulation
- Encourage movement and normal functions
- Correct posture when lying down, sitting and standing
- Increase functional activities based on daily tasks
- Use of verbal and visual cues to encourage the patient to think about the task and learn from the treatment
- Prevention of muscle shortening, since it produces spasms and abnormal movements.
- Teamwork for the rehabilitation of patients
- Actively involve the patient in treatment sessions
- Achieve the greatest possible degree of independence and quality of life
Benefits of neurological physiotherapy
After an injury occurs, it is important to start neurological physiotherapy treatment as soon as possible. The treatment used will vary depending on the person, the extent of the injury , and their goals.
In general, after a neural injury, muscle strength and movement are affected. The muscles tend to become weak and tense, producing spasms. Speech and swallowing difficulties may also occur. A neural physiotherapy treatment helps to:
- Facilitate precise movements
- Reinforce normal movement patterns
- Improve ability for daily activities
- Increase muscle strength
- Increase range of motion
- Improve motor skills
- Reduce the risk of falls
- Improve posture
- Increase balance
- Lengthen tight muscles to help decrease spasms
- Increase resistance levels
- Help breathing problems
- Reduce the risk of chest infections
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Ease the pain
- Increase independence
- Reach full potential
Is it important to treat immediately after diagnosis?
Scientific evidence confirms that early intervention is very important due to the course of the patient’s signs and symptoms. This gives an improvement in:
- Functional outcomes in rehabilitation therapy.
- The ability to reduce the person’s degree of “disabled functional diversity”.
- Reducing complications that can appear in the disease.
The physiotherapist’s early action will provide the patient and their family with the information, recommendations, treatment and help needed to tackle the disease from the start. Which facilitates better recovery and quality of life, and provides ongoing support to the user.
It is important to note that if the brain is damaged, the main effect does not occur directly on a perceptible structure, that is, it cannot be touched, felt, or directly manipulated at the gate in which ‘traditional’ physiotherapy techniques are not as effective.For this reason, it is especially recommended to go to a specialized physiotherapist who feels vital for correct diagnosis, planning and implementation of appropriate treatment for this person and pathology.
As neurophysiotherapists, we take into account the global and integrated dimensions of our patients in treatment, so that we can treat neuronal synapse facilitation, control and motor learning through various specific techniques such as:
- Bobath method
- Perfetti method
- Basal stimulation
- Adapting the most appropriate technique for each patient to promote his or her neurological rehabilitation.