Our physiotherapists have experience in the special area of physiotherapy called neurological physiotherapy. This means a disorder of the nervous system, which can be in the brain, spinal cord or nerves throughout the body. Some of the common conditions we treat are listed below.
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A stroke is caused by a disruption to the blood supply of the brain, either by a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain or by bleeding from a burst blood vessel. It results in death of nerve cells in the brain and causes problems with many aspects of the brain, most common movement or feeling of the arm and leg on one side of the body, speech, memory, coordination and balance. Physiotherapy can help to restore movement and the ability to move, feel and complete daily activities.
This common condition is caused by the death of a group of cells deep in the brain which control movement. We don’t fully understand why these cells die and cause problems such as difficulty starting movement, slow movement, tremor or shaking of the hands and problems with balance. Medication is helpful, and most clients are under the close care of a specialist doctor called a Neurologist.
Physiotherapy can help to slow down the progression of disability associated with this disease, maintain movement for as long as possible and promote independence. Recent research from the Netherlands published in a leading journal for Neurologists has confirmed that seeing an experienced Neurological Physiotherapist for Parkinson’s disease resulted in fewer treatments, less complications, less cost to the healthcare system but better outcomes.
Traumatic brain injury
Commonly caused by a fall ormotor vehicle accident, traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in damage to the nerves of the brain due to a combination of the initial accident and any other issues such as swelling or blood clots and bleeding in the brain. The effects of TBI vary widely between people, depending on the areas of the brain damaged, and commonly cause problems such as fatigue, memory issues and difficulty concentrating. Physiotherapy is important to help clients achieve their full potential, as it often affects young people and recovery can occur over many years.
A disease that often starts in young adults, multiple sclerosis or MS is a disease where the body attacks the lining of its own nerves. These attacks vary in the location within the nervous system, the amount of damage to the nerves and the recovery possible. Medications and support from a Neurologist are essential to diagnose and manage this condition which tends to get worse over time. Physiotherapy can help to maintain movement, to get the maximum recovery after an attack and to prevent disability over time.
Spinal cord injury
Damage to the spinal cord can occur due to an accident such as a car accident or diving, or an interruption to the blood supply to the spinal cord. Physiotherapy helps initially to promote independence and recovery, usually with a long stay in a rehabilitation centre. Physiotherapy is helpful when people return home, to maximise their wheelchair skills and independence, or to help with movement if the nerves are showing some recovery.
This term refers to damage to the nerves in the body, such as the arms and the legs. It commonly occurs with diabetes, where the nerves to the legs are affected and people may lose strength or feeling in the legs, which affects balance and walking. Physiotherapy can help improve the strength and feeling in the legs, maintain balance and function or suggest aids if necessary to improve walking and prevent falls.
This term refers to a number of conditions called movement disorders, where themovement of a body part is affected and smooth, coordinated movement is not possible. Some of the common types are writer’s cramp, musicians dystonia or cervical dystonia affecting the neck. People with dystonia are often looked after by their Neurologist and medications may help. Physiotherapy can help to stretch or strengthen involved muscles, and help with fine motor control and coordination.
Motor neuron disease
This progressive neurological disease affects the nerve cells that control movements of the limbs, speech and swallowing. Physiotherapists work with the medical and allied health professionals to maintain movement, independence and comfort.
There are many causes for dizziness, such as medical issues that your general practitioner can help with related to blood pressure or medications. However, it is very common to experience dizziness related to problems with the inner ear, called the Vestibular System. Neurological or Vestibular physiotherapists have completed additional, formal training in the assessment and treatment of dizziness and can help with exercises and special treatments to improve dizziness. For example, one common cause of dizziness is called BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) and most cases of this can be resolved completely in 1-2 treatments with a physiotherapist.
If you have any enquiries contact The Physio Clinic on 8342 1233 or click below to book online.
Dr Michelle McDonnell – Neurological Physiotherapist
Prospect | Marryatville | Blackwood
Michelle has completed a PhD in Neuroscience and practices at The Physio Clinic in Prospect, South Australia who provide services regarding Neurological and Vestibular Physiotherapy for those with other forms of dizziness and balance disorders.
She has a special interest in people with stroke, dizziness, other neurological conditions and falls and balance problems.