The neurological rehabilitation of patients with damage to the nervous system must be multidisciplinary, since psychologists, neuropsychologists, neurologists, speech therapists and neurological physiotherapists must work in coordination to improve the quality of life of patients and minimize the consequences of their problems.

What is neurological or neurofunctional physiotherapy: Definition

Neurological Physiotherapy also called neurofunctional physiotherapy, consists of rehabilitative interventions with the objective of improving the physical aspects of neurological and neuromuscular disorders.

These conditions are usually manifested as alterations in muscle tone, poor balance and coordination, spasms and tremors, loss of functions and diminished sensations.

To which patients is neurofunctional or neurological physiotherapy aimed?

People with neurological and neuromuscular disorders can present numerous movement difficulties that influence balance, walking, arm-hand function, posture and pain . People with dizziness or balance disorders , and people at risk of falls are also treated  .

Some of the problems that can be improved by neurofunctional physiotherapy are the following:

  • Cerebral infarction or Vascular Brain Accident (CVA)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Head Injury
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Dystonia
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / Motor neuron disease.
  • Guillian-Barre syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neuropathy
  • Supranuclear progressive paralysis
  • Multisystemic Atrophy
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Cerebellar spinal ataxia
  • Hereditary spastic paraparesis
  • Myositis

This type of physiotherapy works differently for each individual, and there are many factors that influence its effectiveness, such as:

  • The location of damage to the nervous system
  • The amount of nervous system damage
  • Other simultaneous medical problems.
  • The type of medication taken.
  • Activity levels and fitness before the injury.
  • The diet
  • Family and social support
  • Motivation and cognitive status

What is neurological physiotherapy?

This type of physiotherapy consists of neurological rehabilitation to reach the potential motor of patients and maximize their participation in life. The world health organization defines rehabilitation as a process that allows them to reach and maintain their physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social levels. It provides people with some type of disability the necessary tools to achieve independence and self-determination.

Exercises and techniques of neurological physiotherapy applied by the professional

Each person has a different situation, therefore the treatment will depend on the preferences, goals and individual needs. The treatment is based on the latest scientific evidence and will consist of:

  • Education and advice for symptom management.
  • Balance exercises.
  • Work on body alignment.
  • Activities to improve balance, walking ability and confidence.
  • Activities to improve the function of the upper extremities and hands.
  • Exercises to increase body awareness and skillful movement control.
  • Fatigue management
  • Individualized programs of cardiovascular and strength exercise.
  • Pain management.
  • Management of spasticity, spasms and muscle tension.