A Neurological Physiotherapist is a therapist who specialises in treating patients who have suffered an injury or disease affecting their central nervous system (CNS).
These can include: stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, head injuries, Parkinson’s Disease, spinal injuries and other less well known conditions such as: Peripheral Neuropathy and Cerebellar Degeneration. It is a long list and many of the conditions will affect the way and the ease with which people can move and balance.
Certain conditions may affect the muscles and sufferers can experience unwanted activity in their bodies such as spasms. Many will feel that areas of their bodies do not have enough activity and feel moving difficult.
Pain, which is a very common feature, may be due to hypersensitive skin and joints, or misaligned body parts, or the pain of learning to accept a disability. The symptoms are not just confined to those of an obvious physical nature. They may affect a person’s speech, ability to swallow or their ability to understand and process information.
A neurological condition can be signaled by any number of symptoms.
Each set of symptoms is unique to the individual.
It’s the job of the Neurological Physiotherapist to assess the individual and to use their skills and knowledge of tone, joints and movement to help the patient move with more efficiency and ease.
The aim is to enable them to function better and enjoy life more.
The Neuro-physio also has a role in focusing the patient through listening and talking, helping them come to terms with their disability.
Clearly, a Neuro-physio cannot be expert in all areas and will liaise and refer onto other professionals such as occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and clinical psychologists.