When we speak about physiotherapy, people in general mostly think of professionals who treat musculoskeletal issues (for example, low back pain, shoulder tendonitis, ankle sprains, etc).
Most people are unaware that there are several other problems that physiotherapists can assess and treat. One of these areas is the neurological system, an integral part of the body.
What is a neurological pathology?
It makes perfect sense to say that this includes anything to do with the neurological system. Among these pathologies, we find everything that affects the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Here are a few examples:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Spinal cord injury
Polyneuropathy (disease of the nerves)
We also find the class of degenerative neurological diseases, for example:
The problems caused by these pathologies will very often lead to movement disorders which will result in weakness, difficulty coordinating movements, difficulty walking, difficulty climbing stairs, loss of balance and falls.
What do we do in neurological physiotherapy?
The neurological physiotherapist will carry out a complete evaluation of movements and displacements in order to determine the cause of the problems. After the assessment, the treatment may be to work on strength, coordination, joint mobility, sitting or standing balance and more.
Rehabilitation in neurology is mainly functional, which means to practice the task such as standing position, walking, climbing stairs, etc. Much of the process will take place while moving from one place to another. For example, relearning to get up from a chair, get out of bed, pick up an object from the floor, turn around while walking without losing your balance, etc.
Physiotherapists are also trained to provide recommendations for appropriate technical aids for walking such as a cane, a walker, a walking stick, an orthosis, etc.
Frequently asked questions
After learning about the different neurological pathologies that can be treated in physiotherapy, here are two frequently asked questions:
It’s been 6 years since I had a stroke. Can I still benefit from neurological physiotherapy?
It is true that much of the neurological recovery process takes place in the first 3 to 6 months after a stroke. After this time, there is still a possibility of obtaining results, especially at the functional level (examples such as walking better, being more efficient when getting up from a chair, having better balance).
The proof is in the fact that participants in most stroke studies are chronic patients long after the 3-to-6-month window after stroke and positive effects can still be seen in their condition.
The same goes for any other neurological pathology where even at a chronic stage, there is the possibility of consulting a physiotherapist who will establish objectives adapted to your situation.
I have a degenerative disease. Can I benefit from neurological physiotherapy?
For certain conditions, especially with Parkinson’s disease, it is even recommended to have your condition monitored annually by a professional, such as a physiotherapist, who is qualified to treat this type of pathology.
Consulting a physiotherapist
Consulting a physiotherapist will allow you to know what to work on so that you may keep your condition at the best possible level.
Joint stiffness, muscle weakness and a lack of coordination, posture problem?
⇒ The physiotherapist can equip and support you to maintain your autonomy. Even if the nature of your disease is degenerative, there is something you can do to limit the impact on your functioning, and thus improve your quality of life.