Everyday there are countless injuries, growth of the elderly, and babies born with neuro-disease and trauma. With numerous medical studies and treatments amongst our society, the one area most patients end up in the possession of physical therapist. Physical therapists (PTs) are movement experts who optimize standard of life through distinctive exercises, hands-on care, and patient education. This paper will study the area of focus in neurological physical therapy techniques in likeness to brain trauma, back & spinal cord injury, & neuro diseases. A neurologic physical therapist is a physical therapist who specializes in the overseeing and treatment of individuals with movement problems pertaining to disease or injury of the nervous system. Physical therapists can help improve or restore the mobility you need to move forward with your life after undergoing brain trauma that can affect coordination, back and spinal cord injury that can be due to a block of signalling connection from the brain to that body region, and neuro diseases such as parkinson diseases which causes the body to shake uncontrollably due to affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Physical Therapist are skilled individuals who are able to work in a wide variety of fields by examining each individual and developing a plan catered to that patient using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability and ultimately make earth a better place to move. There are many branches of physical therapy, but probably the most important is Neurological therapy.
The first pioneers of physical therapy were known as Hippocrates and later Galenus. With their studies they pushed for different therapy techniques such as massage, manual therapy and hydrotherapy to treat people. As physical therapy increased and soon became a high source of treatment modern physical therapy was established. The polio epidemic became widespread in the United States and there was a need for muscle testing and muscle re-education to restore function as a result of the disease. During World War I in 1917, while the men were out at war women were recruited to rehabilitate injured soldiers, through this field of physical therapy was institutionalized.Women Rock!
“In 1982, the Petition for the Establishment of a Specialty Area in Neurology was approved by the HOD. In 1987, 10 years after the Academy’s inception, there were 3 Neurologic Clinical Specialist which has grown to 179 in 1997 and 468 today. Within 5yrs development of 2 APTA credentialed Residencies in Neurologic Physical Therapy have come about ” (“The Joint Ventures’ Blog.” History of Physical Therapy).
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications. With your brain being a messenger for the movement of the rest of your body, a patient that has experienced brain injury may have to re-learn movements due to that area of the brain that those movement originated from. For example, one is able to have muscle movement because of the cerebellum located in your brain. If one were to have an unfortunate accident and damage to this region one would have to re-learn different bodily movements. A Neurological treatment for brain trauma may include Neuromuscular re-education. Neuromuscular reeducation represents a series of therapeutic techniques to restore normal function of nerves and muscles, to include movement, balance, coordination, decreased kinesthetic sense, and impaired proprioception. Following the neurological disorder or injury, there is a certain amount of time when the cells that are not injured in the brain and spinal cord can learn to control the missing functions and the regular movement that is being treated will be restored. “Most of the patients can learn to live their lives independently again, which makes them happier with their lives and contributes to their overall quality of life” (Neurological Physical Therapy. (n.d.).
A traumatic spinal cord injury can occur due to a sudden blow or cut to the spine. Injuries like such can cause permanent loss of strength, sensation, and function below the site of the injury. “Physical therapy is very important for people who have previously experienced, or currently have a neurological disease or injury. A person’s spinal cord and brain control both their sensations and their movement ( Weiss, T. C. (2017, May 10). Neurological Therapy: Facts and General Information). An injury to a person’s brain or spinal cord may cause death of cells which control specific movements and sensations, leading to loss of function”. After such injures occur in some life it is important for one to seek rehabilitation. With the use of rehabilitation many people with spinal cord injuries to lead productive, independent lives. After surgery and repair to the spine, the patient may have to train muscles again to gain back strength. Gait training is a form of neurological physical therapy that can be used to retrain your brain to use these muscles. Gait training can help improve your ability to stand and walk. A doctor may recommend gait training if you’ve had an illness or injury that affects your ability to get around. It may help a patient gain independence in walking. Gait training can help strengthen your muscles and joints, improve your balance and posture, build your endurance, develop your muscle memory, retrain your legs for repetitive motion,lower your risk of falls, while increasing your mobility.
Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine, and the nerves that connect them. Through the central and peripheral nervous systems movement and sensation throughout the body is being controlled. Unfortunately if an injury or disease of these areas was to occur a result of loss in mobility, sensation and function can happen. “Physical Therapy can help to restore the mobility, sensation and function of the neurologically impaired patient” (Neurological Physical Therapy. (n.d.) ). With well over 600 diseases of the nervous system, such as brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and stroke as well as less familiar ones such as frontotemporal dementia. As mentioned is the introduction parkinson’s disease causes the body to shake uncontrollably. When we think of Parkinson’s disease, major symptoms such as tremor and slowness of movement are more visible to the eye. Less known are the speech, swallowing, and communication difficulties many people with early onset parkinson’s experience. Neuro-training for parkinsons can come in a form of repetition and concentration. Neuro-therapist can help by developing a program to help you stretch and strengthen the muscles involved in speech, expression, and/or swallowing or by teaching coping strategies that will make communication and swallowing easier.
To conclude, neurological Physical Therapy consists of treatments for individuals with movement problems due to disease or injury of the nervous system. As stated earlier, techniques in relation to brain trauma, back & spinal cord injury, & neuro diseases can be of assistance to regain movement from injuries. Physical Therapist are skilled individuals who are able to work in a wide variety of fields by examining each individual and developing a plan catered to that patient using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability and ultimately make earth a better place to move.