India has about 30 million people living with various forms of neurological disorders. Disorders such as Parkinson's and other nerve-related issues can leave those affected with limited strength — some may even be bedridden for life. Such people become completely dependent on others for daily activities, which can affect them emotionally and psychologically. Ailments such as these require neurophysiotherapy — a branch of therapy that addresses loss of limb function, uncoordinated movements, spasticity (stiffness of muscles caused by constant spasms), effects of nerve compression and other accompanying nerve-related disorders.
Neurophysiotherapy is used to treat neurological and neuromuscular issues. It comprises exercises that help optimise the functioning of affected body parts, manage pain, correct postural defects, and relax stiff muscles. This therapy works to rehabilitate and restore body movements to provide the patient with optimum mobility. Neurophysiotherapy, a combination of neuroscience, exercise and movement science, helps people with nerve-related disorders lead a normal healthy life without any physical restrictions.
The course of treatment varies based on the condition and need of the patient. The treatment develops motor skills, re-teaches normal movement patterns and improves standing and walking. Guidance and advice, stretching, strengthening, and balance are also part of the treatment. Some exercises under this therapy are tapping, brushing, cryotherapy, passive stretching, joint compression and vibration therapy.
Neurological conditions that restrict mobility and functional movement are stroke, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or transient ischemic attack (TIA), injuries to the spinal cord and brain, multiple sclerosis Parkinson's disease
The benefits of neuro physiotherapy extend beyond the physical body. Patients with neurological conditions often experience depression-like symptoms such as anxiety, lack of sleep and appetite, feeling of hopelessness, and social withdrawal. Combined with other cognitive and emotional balance techniques, neurophysiotherapy can help improve a person's outlook.
Neurophysiotherapy sessions can be taken at home. Several organisations provide this facility, helping the person avoid physically taxing trips to the clinic. The therapist can give individual attention to the patient, which helps the entire process of healing.
Just as age is not a deciding factor for any injury, it is not a limiting factor to recovery. It is possible for anyone with a neurological condition to become independent by gaining control over day-to-day activities. Even though the brain cells that die cannot work again, the remaining ones can form new links with one another. Apart from this, when the nerves in the brain become damaged, there are others that may take up their work and improve the condition of the patient. Neuro physiotherapy guides this very process, called neuroplasticity, giving the patient and those around him a new lease of life.