Neurological rehabilitation

Performing Neurological Rehabilitation Physiotherapy

Recover your independence through neurological rehabilitation

Serious injuries and conditions that affect the nervous system can make it difficult to perform regular tasks and functions, effectively stealing your independence.

Neurological rehabilitation can help recover what you’ve lost, minimizing the impact of your condition through a customized treatment plan.

What is neurological rehabilitation?

Neurological rehabilitation (or neuro rehab) is the assessment and ongoing treatment for those with movement and functional problems caused by conditions or injuries to the nervous system.

Research on the brain shows us that this powerful organ has an incredible capacity to change and adapt, following alterations to the body or environment—such as an injury or condition. This capability to adapt is referred to as plasticity.  Neurological rehabilitation specialists use this capacity to improve or create new neuropathways through various training and exercises, returning you to—or close to—the level of function you had previously. It’s all about teaching your body new ways of moving.


Top three benefits of neurological rehabilitation physical therapy

Neurological rehabilitation physical therapy works to stimulate the nervous system through therapeutic activities and exercises, helping you to learn new ways to move. Treatment plans are unique to your condition or injury, focusing on improving cardiovascular function, strength, movement, balance and overall coordination. Physiotherapists help you optimize functionality in your current condition, as well as advise on ways to modify work and home spaces for safe, efficient and independent living.

Benefits may include:

Increased strength

Muscle movement training is used to strengthen muscles weakened by your condition or injury. Physiotherapists may focus on increasing muscle control and range of motion, as well as managing or decreasing spasticity (when muscles continuously contract).

Prolonged endurance

Gait training or re-training helps you develop easy and effective strategies for walking independently, on different surfaces and for a variety of activities. In some cases, mobility aids are incorporated to help with balance, posture and ease of movement. Physiotherapy treatments may involve teaching proper techniques for using these aids.

Better balance

Balance training works to improve your steadiness and confidence in walking and regular activities. When balance is improved, falls and related injuries are less likely to occur.

 


Patient and Physiotherapist working on muscle movement

Who can benefit from neurological rehabilitation?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a neurological condition or suffered a neurological injury, neuro rehab can help you function more independently. Ideal candidates include a range of conditions such as:

  • Stroke (ischemic, from a blood clot; or hemorrhagic from a blood vessel rupture in the brain)
  • Spinal chord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal or brain tumours
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Progressive nerve palsies
  • Guillian-Barre syndrome

Additional services in comprehensive neurological rehabilitation programs

Neurological rehabilitation is about more than just the physical quality of life—it’s also about your emotional and social well being. In addition to the physical therapy component of neuro rehab, other services may be complementary to the focus on recovery of movement, such as:

  • Occupational therapy to help you learn specific techniques for everyday activities (eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, handwriting, cooking, cleaning)
  • Speech or language therapy, if you’re experiencing problems with speaking, reading/writing or even swallowing
  • Psychosocial treatment, such as psychotherapy or structured counseling, to help you work through stress, anxiety or depression related to your injury or condition
  • Cognitive therapy, using activities in clinic and at home to improve cognitive losses, (concentration, attention, memory, judgment)
  • Behavioral therapy, if your injury or condition has changed your general behaviour or outlook (for example, making you more impulsive or withdrawn)
  • Nutritional counseling, so your daily diet is made up food that’s accessible and optimal for your recovery
  • Social reintegration or vocational counseling, if there’s a need to make changes to your workplace or career path
  • Social worker support, to help you get more involved in community or support groups
  • Education and support for family members, so they can learn about your needs and goals, as well as how they can help
  • Medical professionals who can assist with any pain management you require
  • Help obtaining assistive devices (walkers, canes, etc.) that can make you more independent
  • Homecare support for safety and independence

 


Woman with symptoms of pain and dizziness

When to visit a neurological rehabilitation centre

If your injury or condition is making your daily movement painful, frustrating or unsafe, you may be tempted to simply refrain from these activities. However, this may not only decrease your quality of life but also weaken your muscles, making it even harder to move around normally.

A neurological rehabilitation centre or specialized physio clinic can help if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms connected to your injury or condition:

  • Problems with balance
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to walk or move without assistance or frequent breaks
  • Trouble taking part in your regular activities and exercise

Neurological rehabilitation is an option that will help you move past your current limitations and discover new ways of moving for a more independent lifestyle.