How Neurological Disorders Can Benefit from Physical Therapy

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How Neurological Disorders Can Benefit from Physical Therapy

Neurological disorders are diseases that affect millions of Americans, slowly taking away muscle function and independence. We’re talking about disorders like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and strokes. While being diagnosed with one of these conditions can be scary, often times a comprehensive rehabilitation programs can improve function, range of motion, and independence. But before starting your therapy, it’s important that you know how each of these conditions can affect the body.

The Effects of Multiple Sclerosis on the Mind and Body

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, has two main types: relapsing-remitting or progressive. Relapsing-remitting MS is a course where symptoms typically lie dormant for long periods of time, before returning. Progressive MS occurs when symptoms come on fairly quickly, but there is no relapse. MS can have a wide variety of symptoms including body numbness, loss of vision, tingling that can be painful, fatigue, gait issues among others. As of today, there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis.

Physical therapy treatments can help the symptoms of MS by working with patients to improve balance issues, increase and maintain strength as well as reduce fatigue. As there is no cure, it is important to treat the symptoms. Working with a physical therapist can help you find the exercise that is right for you to get you feeling better.

The Effects of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, meaning symptoms develop overtime, that primarily impacts the nerves. Beginning with tremors or shaking that may be subtle, Parkinson’s disease slowly progresses until mobility and other basic functions become an issue. Other common symptoms for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease include tightened muscles, issues balancing and changes in speech. Just like MS, Parkinson’s disease has no known cure, but symptoms can be managed with medication and physical therapy.

Again, physical therapy can help patients maintain or improve current function and regain control of their basic movements. However, this does require intense therapy to keep everyday movements, improve walking and flexibility while limiting the effects of shaky and rigid muscles.

The Effects of a Stroke

A stroke is a very serious condition that can be fatal if symptoms aren’t recognized. Learn about how you can act F.A.S.T. when stroke symptoms appear here. Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is disrupted in some way. Symptoms of a stroke include headaches, partial paralysis in the face causing dropping, partial or total paralysis in the arms and legs, vision troubles such as blurriness and double vision and sudden speech issues.

Physical therapy after a stroke focuses on helping patients recover and regain their independence. This is done through a series of exercises that help improve range of motion and to retrain your body to perform normal functions again. Often this includes mobility exercises to help with walking and gripping things with the hands as well as speech therapy.

After a devastating diagnoses it can be hard to know where to start to pick up the pieces. Your hospital and doctors can recommend many amazing facilities that specialize in physical treatment of neurological disorders. With patience, persistence, and practice, you can overcome anything you put your mind to.