Neurological conditions

Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) disrupt normal neural system function and create significant challenges to movement and day to day functioning.

PD and MS are both degenerative conditions, whereas stroke and TBI relate to damage to the brain. People with neurological conditions experience a blockage in the normal transmission of neural signals from the brain to the rest of the body. This can be due to the lack of a neurotransmitter (dopamine), as with Parkinson’s, problems with conduction of neural signals due to demyelination of neurons, as with MS, or neural cell death, which occurs following stroke or TBI.

Thankfully, the brain has the capacity to learn and build new neural pathways, through a phenomenon called neuroplasticity. This can be described through the analogy that when there is an accident on the freeway, you may take a detour through back streets and still reach your destination. Blockages opposing normal movement may involve weakness, spasticity (heightened stretch reflex), rigidity and problems with coordination and motor planning. Treatment and exercise need to be targeted towards each symptom, and in a specific order, for new neural pathways to develop.

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How can The Body Refinery's physiotherapists help you?

For those with neurological conditions, it is imperative that treatment and exercise commence sooner rather than later. To delay the progression of symptoms, function must be improved and weakened muscles must be strengthened.

Exercise prompts an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance that sparks neurogenesis and strengthens cells and axons and the connections between neurons. So just going for a walk can be an effective way of making you feel good and helping restore the connections!

Pilates and other movement therapies, when combined with Physiotherapy, provide an excellent environment to retrain movement and create new neural pathways. A home exercise program is essential in order to maintain these new pathways and to ensure progress continues to be made.

At The Body Refinery, we are passionate about encouraging our clients to move to their optimum ability. Many of our physiotherapists have training in Pilates for neurological conditions, as well as in other programs such as PD Warrior®. If you want to experience a different kind of rehabilitation, book with Kristen and/or Luiseach.

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